To find the best forex broker in New Zealand we compared the top forex trading platforms and August 2021 spreads of all 9 FMA regulated NZ forex brokers. Other factors considered include trading speed, commissions and customer service.
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The top 9 FMA regulated forex broker NZ list is the following.
Any new or experienced forex trader that resides in NZ should only use an FMA regulated forex broker. The Financial Markets Authority have strict requirements for brokers from training requirements, segregated trading accounts to leverage caps. When determining which of the seven FMA regulated brokers are right for you the most important feature is the forex trading platform they offer. This trading software directly impacts the way you trade including the functionality and charting package offered. The second factor is the trading fees which directly impact the profit a trader may make. The two most common fees are spreads (the difference between the buy and sell for a currency pair) and the commissions based on trading volume. Other factors to consider is the level of customer service the broker offers and training program and lastly the range of markets offered from the stock market to trading commodities. To summarise, the five key features to consider when choosing a forex broker are:
Based in Auckland, BlackBull is one of the few brokers founded in New Zealand. The online broker offers 2 retail investor accounts that both provide access to over 60 tradable CFD instruments, along with an ECN institutional account for high volume traders. The asset classes and financial markets you can trade with BlackBull include:
BlackBull offers ‘True ECN’ trading conditions for kiwi traders. This means that individuals can place orders with straight-through-processing (STP) execution, allowing you to trade directly with liquidity markets. In the case of Blackbull, liquidity providers include the Bank of America, Credit Suisse and HSBC. To help you get the best possible spreads, BlackBull has its own proprietary aggregation system designed to ensure liquidity providers are competing with each other. Below shows the three ECN broker accounts available for NZ forex traders.
The standard account is designed for beginners with just a spread charged and no commissions. This simpler cost structure makes it easier to calculate trading costs for novice traders. With no commissions fees charged, the spreads are wider than other account types, which is why experienced traders rarely choose this option. To open a standard account, a minimum deposit of USD $200 is required.
This account is best for traders wanting the lowest spreads available to retail traders, and a higher initial minimum deposit of USD $2,000 is needed. Spreads start from 0.1 pips and pay commission fees of USD $3.00 per side or $6.00 round-turn, per 100k traded. With tight spreads and low commissions, advanced high volume traders and scalpers are well-suited to this account.
To help you understand BlackBull’s competitiveness, the table below shows how BlackBull spreads are superior to other brokers for certain forex pairs. Please note, spreads are updated monthly and sourced directly from brokers websites to ensure accuracy.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 01/08/2021
If you open your account with a minimum of $20,000, then you can receive the best spreads BlackBull offers. Spreads for this account start from 0.0 pip and commissions can be negotiated with your BlackBull client relationship manager.
A significantly higher minimum deposit of $20,000 is required to qualify for an institutional grade trading account with BlackBull markets, yet you receive a tailor-made trading experience with custom server options and negotiable trading costs.
BlackBull offers the two best forex trading platforms based on popularity, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Below shows that while MetaTrader 4 is the older trading software of the two, it remains the choice for forex trading vs MetaTrader 5 which is designed for CFD trading.
What makes Blackbull the best MetaTrader broker is its superior infrastructure for MetaTrader 4. This includes the use of the NY4 Equinix data centre in New York to connect you with their liquidity providers. The New York Equinix data centre is where the majority of liquidity providers store their servers, so it makes sense BlackBull’s use this NY4 as their main server location. However, to ensure you get the fastest possible execution for your trades, Blackbull can also connect you with fully functional servers in London, Japan, Hong Kong and Shanghai where the proximity may be better for your location.
Other enhancements to their forex trading platform include the add-ones of ZuluTrade and Myfxbook for social trading. BlackBull traders also have access to Virtual Private Servers (VPS) through VPS Trading, NYC Servers or Beeks FX. The enhances the forex trading platform execution speed to as low as 1ms.
BlackBull was founded in NZ with its headquarters based in the Auckland CBD. This is also where their main customer support centre is located and available during NZ business hours. To ensure the Asia-Pacific region is catered to, the New Zealand base is complemented by a Malaysian office for customer support outside of business hours. When you open a forex trading account, BlackBull will provide you with a dedicated account manager that can assist with any customer service needs.
Key points of contact including:
Deposits can be made via:
As a locally based FMA regulated forex broker, Blackbull Markets offer both the best forex trading platforms and the lowest spreads. With a low minimum deposit starting from $200 NZD and superior customer service, the broker is recommended for NZ forex traders at the intermediate to advanced trading bracket.
Full review >>Visit BlackBull >>
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
CMC Markets is a multi-regulated global broker that has a long history of facilitating CFD trading for retail traders. The broker offers its brokerage services across the world with FCA regulation (formally FSA) in the UK to ASIC regulation in Australia. Within New Zealand, they are licenced by the FMA to provide contracts for difference (CFDs) and countdowns across:
Below shows the spreads offered by the regulated broker on the core markets, ranging from Forex to cryptocurrencies.
Most CFDs have trading costs included in the spread with no additional commission fees. Spreads for most major currency pairs start from 0.7 pips and you can choose from over 300 currency pairs. Other CFD products with no commission fees include indices, cryptocurrencies, hard and soft commodities and treasuries.
If you do wish to purchase share CFDs, then you can choose over 9000 shares across 23 markets including NZX, ASX, NYSE, LSE. The commission will vary for each market but if you trade on the NZX the fee is 0.10% with a minimum charge of NZD 7.00. Trading on the ASX will cost you 0.09% with a minimum fee of AUD 7.00 while the US stock exchange charges 2 cents (min. USD 10.00).
CMC offers a choice of two different trading platforms. Next Generation, a proprietary CMC Markets trading platform is available along with the ever-popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) software. I can access both software options via a desktop trading platform, webtrader platform or mobile trading apps for Android and iOS devices.
While most proprietary platforms lack advanced technical analysis tools, Next Generation is on par with mainstream options like MT4. To help you develop robust trading strategies, the platform offers 115 in-built technical indicators and over 70 chart patterns across 12 types of charts.
Perhaps the most interesting feature is the availability of a guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO). As CMC has its own trading platforms, it is one of few brokers that can offer this feature. A GSLO is the same as a stop-loss order but CMC will guarantee to close out of the trade at the price you set for a small premium. This means you don’t need to worry about being caught out in the event of slippage or market volatility. Best of all, if you close your trade without needing to use the GSLO, then the entire GSLO cost will be refunded.
No initial minimum deposit is enforced by CMC Markets, meaning you can open a trading account with as little as $1. To get started, you can deposit trading funds using credit card, direct deposit or Paypal.
CMC Markets offers leverage on major currency pairs of up to 500:1. There is a high level of risk when trading CFDs with high leverage, so only experienced traders with a high-risk threshold should consider choosing the maximum leverage available.
Maximum leverage ranges for other products with 500:1 of indices, 400:1 for treasuries, and 200:1 for commodities. You can view more leverage information on the CMC Markets review. It should be noted leverage is more limited if you are trading with the broker’s ASIC (Australia), FCA (UK) or CySEC (Cyprus) regulated subsidiaries.
Should you start trading with CMC, it may useful to note that this broker does have an office in New Zealand (not all brokers do) at Level 25, 151 Queen Street, Auckland which can be useful if you desire a broker with a local presence.
Open a demo account >>Visit CMC Markets >>
IG is one of the largest retail fx brokers worldwide marketing itself as an all-in-one trading solution provider. They provide stockbroking, currency, and CFD trading services across a number of forex platforms.
IG Markets is a market maker, meaning they use internal liquidity to fill your orders and act as the counterparty to your trade (comparing to no dealing desk brokers that connect you to external liquidity providers).
Market maker brokers like IG offer commission-free spreads, making them a good option for traders looking for a simpler cost structure. Traders also benefit from a range of inclusive tools that come with their account include a range of risk management tools and a large education library about trading. You can find more about IG with our in-depth review here.
If you choose to do share trading, IG offers NZ traders share with market-based spreads across 12,000 companies and a 0.09% commission per side (minimum of NZ $7).
If you prefer to trade forex, you can choose from over 100 currency pairs including AUD/USD and EUR/USD CFDs that have an average spread of 0.75 pips.
Overall, spreads and commissions vary by CFDs with some more competitive than others. CMC overall spreads and commissions were viewed as more competitive compared to IG.
IG offers a large and diverse range of products for trading across over 17,000 markets making it a great option for portfolio diversity. Very few brokers can offer the range of products that IG Markets provide access to. Financial products include:
Should you wish to sign up with IG, it may be useful to know the broker does not have an office in New Zealand.
Open a demo account >>Visit IG Markets >>
When trading with Plus500, you can choose from the following CFD products:
Plus 500 has its own trading platform which means it can offer a range of tools not always found with other brokers. These include:
Plus500 is not only FMA regulated. The broker is licensed in several financial jurisdictions such as South Africa (FSCA), Singapore (MAS) and Europe (CySEC). One weakness of choosing Plus500 is that the broker does not have an office in New Zealand, which may present issues should you want to engage with the broker in person.
Open a demo account >>Visit Plus500 >>
*Your capital is at risk ‘72% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
Hantec Markets New Zealand is part of the Hantec Group which also operates regulated entities for forex trading in Australia, Japan, England and Vanuatu. The company has its headquarters in Hong Kong where it was founded 30 years ago and has been licenced to offer derivatives by the FMA in New Zealand since November 2018.
Choosing Hantec Markets gives you access to commissions free spreads starting from 0.6 pips. The broker uses straight through processing (STP) which means there is no dealing desk. No dealing desk interference ensures your orders receive the most optimal execution and pricing when you trade.
Trading products available with Hantec Include:
Hantec offers the most popular forex trading platform, MetaTrader 4, for both Windows and Mac (via an emulator). This is the platform most used by online brokers worldwide and by many of the top retail traders participating in forex markets. MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is suitable for a range of trading experience forex traders with Hantec Markets offering different base currency options including GBP, USD and EUR. There is also the option of a demo account to trade virtual funds before real money.
View Hentec >>Visit Hantec >>
The best cTrader forex broker in NZ is Jarden Securities. Jarden specialises in trading derivatives and offers the following products for trading:
Jarden offers a choice of 4 platforms for trading. When choosing your platform, t is important you have mapped out your trading strategy as each platform offers different market access. The following platforms are available:
If you are looking for an alternative mainstream platform to MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 that has no cost to use, cTrader is a popular choice. cTrader has lightning-fast execution which makes the platform popular with scalpers, high-frequency traders, copy traders and automation. In addition to this, the platform has depth of market (level II pricing) and a number of useful technical analysis features such as multi-charting and multiple time frames.
If you choose Jarden’s cTrader platform you’ll gain access to the following financial products:
Commission when using cTrader is $100 per million in the base currency traded (ie AUD/USD then AUD is your base)
Rockfort Markets is an FMA regulated broker that offers both the trading of CFDs and shares. Two popular mainstream trading platforms can be used to access the broker’s range of financial markets, being MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and cTrader. Both forex platform solutions can be utilised on mobile through iOS and Android apps.
A range of financial instruments is available to trade with Rockfort Markets as CFDs or physical assets. 54 major and minor currency pairs can be traded as CFDs, with the pricing structure dependent on the account type you sign up to:
Along with forex trading, the online broker offers the following asset classes to trade as CFDs:
As well as CFDs, longer-term investment opportunities include trading shares, options, futures and ETFs as physical assets.
Rockfort Markets provide access to thousands of different stocks to trade from 14 different countries. Brokerage fees are competitive:
Overall, Rockfort Markets may be well-suited if you are looking to trade a range of CFDs alongside a selection of longer-term investments such as stocks and ETFs.
TradeMax Global Markets (TMGM) recently acquired an FMA financial license to operate in New Zealand. The forex and CFD broker was founded in Australia in 2013 and is well known for its competitive no dealing desk execution and ECN trading environment.
TMGM offer commission and commission-free pricing structures. Both trading accounts require a minimum deposit of $100 and use fast ECN execution methods.
An Islamic account option is also available for those following Sharia Law.
As well as a good selection of account types with low spreads, TMGM offer three popular trading platforms:
In total, thousands of CFDs can be traded with TMGM. Just keep in mind that if you want to trade shares, IRESS is your best options as you can trade shares all hours.
Regardless of the trading platform you choose, TMGM utilises diverse liquidity sources to achieve ultra-tight spreads and fast execution speeds. Overall, there are many benefits as a TMGM trader, you can access tight spreads from 0.0 pips + low commission fees, use the worlds best trading platforms plus access a wide selection of CFDs.
HFTrading is a NZ broker that is regulated locally by the FMA and by ASIC in Australia. HFTrading is a MetaTrader 4 broker, with over 300 CFDs available to trade on the platform, including cryptocurrency, stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities and forex pairs.
The kiwi broker offers NZ and Australian traders three account types:
HFTrading is one of the best brokers in New Zealand for crypto trading with 20+ different CFDs that can be traded against the US Dollar (USD), Euro (EUR) and/or the Great British Pound (GBP).
In terms of other charges and trading costs, HFTrading charges no deposit or withdrawal fees when managing your account balance. As with any broker, swap fees apply for positions held open overnight.
It is worth noting a hefty inactivity fee may apply for traders that do make open or close a trade for more than 60 consecutive days. If you are inactive for 61 days the broker may charge $160, and if you don’t trade for 271 days, you may incur a $500 fee.
Overall, HFTrading could be a good option if you are a high volume trader making large deposits and actively trading. Otherwise, between the wide spreads and high inactivity fees, trading costs may add up.
Forex trading in NZ should only be done with an FMA regulated forex broker holding a valid FSP number with the best brokers having:
Our 2021 review found BlackBull Markets was the best forex broker for NZ forex traders.
Both in NZ and worldwide the most popular forex trading platform is MetaTrader 4 with over 50% market share. For CFD trading (eg stocks) MetaTrader 5 is the market leader while cTrader is popular for algorithmic trading.
The complete list of FMA forex brokers holding a New Zealand forex licence for forex trading in NZ is the following.
To determine the best forex broker in New Zealand in addition to the factors above customers service, leverage and product range were also considered. The overall best NZ broker is BlackBull Markets based on their:
Blackbull is ideal for intermediate and expert NZ forex traders looking for a locally based broker that meets their needs.
NZ forex traders should only consider a CFD provider that shows as active on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR). Only FMA brokers are listed on this page (last updated in August 2021), and kiwis are recommended to avoid providers without a New Zealand forex license, including top international brokers like Pepperstone NZ, AvaTrade or Axi (formally AxiTrader). Although these brokers are regulated by other ‘tier 1’ regulators such as the ASIC, NFA or FCA, they are not licensed by the FMA or authorised to act as an NZ regulated broker.
AxiTrader (Axi) FMA licence has been suspended and should not be considered by NZ forex traders. New Zealand forex traders should understand the high risks of leveraged products. Regulatory bodies have guides providing risk warnings and risk management suggestions, including this article.
When selecting the best forex broker in New Zealand forex broker, you should consider the following 5 aspects:
1) Brokerage Fees is primarily the spreads. Spreads are similar to those traveller views when going to a foreign exchange provider with a different price for ‘buying’ a currency compared to ‘selling’ the same currency. The foreign exchange provider makes the difference, which is called the ‘spread’. Some forex brokers will move to minimise these spreads and instead charge a commission. This increases the transparency of forex brokerage costs and can lead to a lower overall brokerage. These types of NZ brokers are called ECN brokers. It should be noted that some NZ forex broker charges other fees for holding positions, trading exotics and certain funding methods.
2) Forex Trading Platforms help individual online forex brokers match individual traders with overseas liquidity markets. The main markets are in New York and London, so the trading platform servers need to be close to these locations. Choosing the right forex trading platform will mean finding one that has a good interface, fast trading execution and popularity. By using a popular forex platform like cTrader or MetaTrader 4, a broker can relatively seamlessly change the NZ forex broker they trade with. Forex broker reviews will often give more insights into platform performance.
3) Leverage is critical for currency trading to make it worthwhile for traders. With currencies often moving by fractions of a percent each day, leverage makes these changes more substantial. The leverage levels can be up to 10x different, so this element needs to be considered. It’s also worth noting that higher leverage is not necessarily better. This is because higher leverage increases the risks of forex trading.
4) Risk Management features can help forex brokers reduce the level of risk associated with leverage. Some management tools are inbuilt such as minimum balance protection, which ensures an NZ trader doesn’t lose more than their deposit. Other features need to be enabled on individual trades such as guaranteed stops where a broker can determine the most they are willing to lose on a transaction. It should be noted that these features can increase the brokerage costs of the trader.
5) Regulation: The NZ financial service providers register created by the Financial Services Market (FMA) show locally regulated fx brokers. There are many requirements of the New Zealand regulators, so choosing these fx brokers will reduce the risk of forex scans. The brokers listed on this page meet FMA requirements, and you can view the FSPR (financial service provider registry) website. Other key regulatory bodies include the Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL) where complaints of financial institutions can be made.
The FMA register has the full list of registered broker NZ with a valid licence. The top 2021 derivative issuers which offer retail forex broker NZ services are listed below. As further licences can be added or suspended, it’s recommended to check the FMA register website to ensure details are up-to-date.
Please note, Axi NZ (formally AxiTrader) lost their Financial Markets Authority in 2020.
Disclaimer: Before trading, make sure you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Any leveraged product increases your chances to lose money when trading. Most fx providers will provide details of the percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money. Make sure you are aware that you can lose money when trading CFDs, which are complex instruments. Understand how CFDs work before trading and consider a demo account before trading real money. While overseas traders such as eToro may have overseas regulation from FCA to FSC it’s recommended to stick to the list shown on this page regulated by FMA.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.