The top 10 forex brokers in the world were determined based on global forex regulation, spreads and the best forex trading platforms. The companies that made the top 10 list were outstanding at a unique forex trading category.
Compare the top forex brokers in the world based on their size, spreads, trading platform and more.
By regulator and features here is the list of the largest forex brokers
Pepperstone is considered the best global broker overall, as it’s a great option for all styles of CFD and forex trading. All the tools and features required to develop successful currency trading strategies are offered by Pepperstone, including low spreads, the best trading platforms, a great product range and award-winning customer services.
Regardless of the subsidiary you register with, Pepperstone offers two account types that are suited to different strategies and levels of trading experience. You can choose between either commission-free standard spreads or Razor spreads where you pay a flat rate commission fee.
If you want to execute day trading, scalping or automated trading strategies, Pepperstone’s Razor Account provides an ECN-style trading environment with ultra-tight spreads. As shown below, Pepperstone offers low spreads that most of the world’s best brokers fail to match. For commonly traded forex pairs like the USD/JPY spreads average 0.13 pips with Pepperstone, much less than what brokers such as Tradersway and XTB offer, which average 0.50 pips.
Because you gain access to institutional grade spreads that can be as low as 0.0 pips, you pay a flat rate commission fee on top of the spread. MetaTrader users incur a fee of AUD $3.50 per side per 100k traded, while cTrader has a 7 unit charge per lot. With ECN-like spreads and low commission fees, overall trading costs are low for Razor account holders.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 07/05/2021
Standard Accounts are great for beginners as you can trade commission-free spreads, avoiding the need to calculate trading costs when you’re starting out and building confidence. Compared to other top brokers, Pepperstone offers the tightest no commission spreads. For instance, the standard account holders can access spreads averaging 1.33 pips for the AUD/JPY, significantly lower than 4.90 pips at Tradersway or 3.36 pips at FxPro.
To access the broker’s diverse range of forex and CFDs Pepperstone clients can use choose either MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) or cTrader as their trading platform. All are available as desktop trading platforms for PC and Mac computers, mobile apps for iOS and Android devices as well as webtrader platforms for online trading.
Five different asset classes are available to trade being forex, commodities, shares, indices and cryptocurrencies. As well as major, minor and exotic currency pairs you can also trade currency indices such as the US dollar index (USDX), a weighted basket of six major currencies including the GBP, JPY and EUR.
Although the online broker offers access to over 150 financial markets, access depends on the trading platform you are using. For example, share trading only available on MT5 as it is a multi-asset platform, while cTrader and MT4 are predominately forex trading platforms.
Pepperstone is ideal if you want to focus on trading cryptocurrency. Spreads are competitive and commission-free for when trading crypto with Pepperstone. Five CFD products are available (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash), with Bitcoin spreads starting from $10.00.
Note: Clients in the UK will not be able to trade cryptocurrencies as the UK regulator, the FCA, no longer allows crypto trading.
Whether you are trading forex, cryptocurrencies or share CFDs, Pepperstone trading platforms offer a great range of analysis and automation features to help you develop trading strategies and save time.
As well as an excellent trading environment and product range, Pepperstone is seen as safe and trustworthy as it’s overseen by top-tier financial authorities. The level of investor protection you receive as a Pepperstone client depends on where you reside and the subsidiary you register with:
Note: Clients in the UK should sign with Pepperstone UK, Clients in Germany and Austria should sign with Pepperstone GmbH, Clients in other mainland Europe countries should sign with Pepperstone EU.
Pepperstone is known for its reliable and efficient customer service. Live chat, phone or email can be used to get in touch with the customer support team, with all contact methods available 24/6. The online broker has been recognised for its customer services for many years now, winning awards for the quality of trading support and relationship management provided by Pepperstone.
Pepperstone provides a range of free educational resources (such as webinars) to help you develop trading strategies and conduct market analysis.
Another key educational resource is the broker’s demo account. As CFDs and forex are complex instruments, trading comes with a high risk of losing money. Demos allow you to practise and build confidence in real-time currency trading conditions, but in a risk-free environment. The online broker offers trials for MT4, MT5 and cTrader with both Standard and Razor Account pricing.
To open a real account with Pepperstone, no minimum deposit is required, although the broker recommends at least $200.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
Since IC Markets was established in 2007, the Sydney-based broker has become one of the largest forex brokers regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). With competitive pricing, no dealing desk (NDD) interference and ultra-fast execution speeds, IC Markets is one of the best brokers with low spreads.
As an IC Markets customer, you can choose between three trading platforms – MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader.
Depending on whether you prefer no commission spreads or ECN-style pricing, two account types are available.
The broker’s Standard Account type is only available on MT4 or MT5. Ideal for beginner traders, Standard Account holders pay no additional commission fees on top of the spread. For major currency pairs like the GBP/USD or EUR/USD, IC Markets commission-free spreads start from 1.0 pips.
Comparable to Pepperstone’s Razor Account type, IC Markets Raw Spread Account offers an ECN-like trading experience with ultra-tight spreads. Raw Account holders can trade spreads as low as 0.0 pips on MT4, MT5 or cTrader, although commission fees vary between software.
cTrader users pay $6 round turn per 100k traded, while MetaTrader clients pay $7 round turn. With competitive spreads on top of low commission fees, IC Markets low trading costs are well-suited to algorithmic or active traders.
IC Markets can offer ECN-style spreads on over 64 forex pairs due to NDD interference and top-tier liquidity sources.
As an NDD broker that follows an ECN pricing model, orders are filled using 25 different external liquidity providers. This allows IC Markets to offer some of the best bid-ask prices currently available to retail investor accounts.
To ensure orders are filled with minimal slippage, IC Markets servers are hosted by Equinix Data Centres located in New York (MetaTrader platforms) and London (cTrader).
Similarly to Pepperstone, IC Markets combination of ECN-like pricing and lightning-fast execution speeds are ideal if you are day trading, scalping or using Expert Advisors.
To test out the brokers’ trading conditions in a risk-free environment, free demo accounts are available.
To open a live trading account, IC Markets requires a $200 minimum deposit. Australian traders can register with IC Markets Australian subsidiary that is regulated and licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
As well as its Australian branch, IC Markets operates in Europe and internationally with licenses issued by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Seychelles Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA).
Unlike European brokerage firms, ASIC regulated brokers such as IC Markets can offer a high maximum leverage of 500:1 to retail forex traders. Trading with leverage comes with a high risk of losing funds, so be sure to practice with a demo account before you start trading.
CMC Markets is a great option if you are looking for a UK broker with access to a wide range of forex markets. Over 338 different spot and forward fx pairs are available to trade, with CMC’s full product range consisting of over 9,500 financial instruments.
When trading forex CMC Markets charges no commission fees and requires no initial minimum deposit. Spreads start from 0.7 pips on major currency pairs like the EUR/USD and USD/JPY. Indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies are also commission-free but if you trade share CFDs, you will pay commission fees starting from 0.1%. At CMC Markets the spread for currency pairs is variable, which changes in tandem with the exchange rate. Other brokers with variable spreads that haven’t made the cut into our top 10 forex brokers in the world include FXCM, Oanda, Saxo Bank and Swiss Markets.
Note: Crypto trading is not available for clients in the UK due to FCA regulations.
If you are based in the United Kingdom CMC Markets offers spread betting as an alternative to CFD trading. Unlike trading CFDs where profits are subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT), spread betting is more tax-efficient as profits are exempt from CGT.
When spread betting with CMC Markets you are required to use the broker’s proprietary trading platform, Next Generation. If you are trading forex and CFDs, you can choose either Next Generation or MetaTrader 4 (MT4).
CMC Markets is a UK broker overseen by the highly regarded Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In addition to the standard requirement of segregated client funds, UK brokers have to follow strict rules set by the FCA to ensure investor funds are protected.
Unlike Singapore or Australia, where leverage can be as high as 500:1 (with brokers like CMC Markets, Plus500, AvaTrade and eToro), the FCA requires all UK brokers to enforce leverage caps in an aim to reduce the high risk of forex and CFDs. Major currency pairs have a maximum of 30:1 while minor and exotic fx pairs are limited to 20:1.
As with all FCA regulated brokers, CMC Markets provides negative balance protection (NBP) to retail investor accounts in the UK and Europe. NBP ensures you cannot lose more funds than you deposited into your trading account, meaning you cannot end up in debt to CMC Markets.
Additionally, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the UK’s compensation fund that provides up to £85,000 if your broker runs into trouble.
Founded in 1989 and listed on the London Stock Exchange, CMC Markets is a well-established and trusted broker regulated by the FCA.
View CMC Markets Review >>Visit CMC Markets>>
TD Ameritrade has been operating for nearly 50 years and is one of the largest US brokers. Customers can access various asset classes and markets, paying no commission fees when trading shares, ETFs, and options.
The online broker is overseen by multiple US financial authorities, including:
In line with CFTC regulation, TD Ameritrade’s product range mainly consists of US financial markets. While most of the broker’s clients are US residents, traders from Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia are eligible to open trading accounts.
TD Ameritrade offers a unique range of account types suited to different investment objectives: Managed Portfolios and Standard, Margin Trading, Retirement, Education and Speciality Accounts.
To trade forex and shares with leverage, you will need to sign up to the broker’s Margin Trading account type. US traders do not need to make an initial minimum deposit when signing up to a Standard Account, but Margin Trading Accounts require a deposit of at least $2,000.
International customers need to make an even higher initial deposit, i.e. Malaysia or Singaporean traders must fund their account with at least $3,500 before they can start trading.
You can trade a wide range of asset classes with TD Ameritrade including forex, shares, ETFs, options, mutual funds, futures and bonds, with cryptocurrency products expected to be available soon. All TD Ameritrade clients can enjoy commission-free fx trading, with 70+ currency pairs offered by the broker.
Keep in mind market access and pricing varies depending on where you reside, making the broker best-suited to traders based in the United States.
A major perk for US customers is that you can trade exchange-listed US shares, US and Canadian ETFs, as well as options commission-free. Stocks not listed on a US exchange are subject to a $6.95 commission fee.
For the best trading experience, the broker’s proprietary trading platform Thinkorswim is recommended. The software is available as a desktop platform or mobile app with demo accounts available for both versions.
Forex.com is a global broker that is overseen by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (IIROC) as well as financial authorities in the UK, US, Hong Kong, Japan and the Cayman Islands.
Canadian traders can access hundreds of financial instruments with over 80 forex pairs and 220 CFDs (shares, commodities, and indices).
Forex.com’s offers rewards to VIP clients who are trading high volumes. Perks include:
Forex.com customers can choose between two trading platforms. The fx brokers proprietary trading platform is available as an advanced desktop platform, online trading platform or mobile apps.
Alternatively, the broker offers MetaTrader 4 (MT4) for those wanting to execute Expert Advisor or sophisticated trading strategies. To enhance your trading experience, Forex.com provides MT4 trading tools such as Autochartist, Trading Central technical analysis and real-time news sourced from Reuters.
MT4 users can download the desktop trading platform, trade online via the webtrader platform, or download Android and iOS trading apps. To help you decide which platform is right for you, Forex.com offers demo accounts with 30 days’ access.
View Forex.com Review >>Visit Forex.com >>
IG is a well-established online broker regulated by 10 different financial authorities, including the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). IG operates as a market maker, which means they use their own liquidity to fill clients’ orders and set their own spreads.
If you are new to forex trading IG is a great option as it offers a simple pricing structure with commission-free forex spreads as well as easy-to-use trading platforms. In addition to forex, over 17,000 CFD products are available to trade covering stock, commodity, cryptocurrency and forex markets.
Note: Clients of IG UK are not able to trade cryptocurrencies as the FCA banned trading with this derivative.
IG offers multiple platforms for different levels of trading experience. As a new trader, IG’s proprietary trading platform or MetaTrader 4 (MT4) are the best options. When starting out, risk management and educational tools are vital to building confidence.
Both platforms offer the following trading tools that are great for beginners:
Unlike MT4, the broker’s proprietary platforms offer the added benefit of premium order types. Using guaranteed stop-loss orders is a great risk management tool for beginner traders, as the possibility of losses due to slippage is eliminated for a small fee.
Beginner traders can work through the broker’s online trading courses. Lessons start off covering the basics of forex and trading and leading into more advanced topics like fundamental and technical analysis.
The program is interactive and delivered through a mix of quizzes, videos, and practical exercises that you can complete at your own pace. To make the most of IG Academy, set up a demo account to practice trading while you complete the course.
View IG Markets Review >>Visit IG Markets >>
FP Markets is a popular broker among high-volume traders based in Europe thanks to its ECN pricing and ultra-fast order execution.
Licensed by CySEC, FP Markets follows the stringent regulation set by the European financial authority such as providing negative balance protection and leverage caps.
To achieve ultra-tight spreads, FP Markets follows an ECN pricing model where orders are filled using external liquidity providers. Thanks to no dealing desk (NDD) interference, traders gain direct market access (DMA) to the best possible bid-ask prices. FP Markets trading conditions are ideal if you are implementing scalping, day trading or Expert Advisor strategies, with the broker promoting:
When signing up to FP Markets, you can choose between a Standard or Raw (ECN) Account type and either MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 as your trading platform. There is little difference between platforms, with MT4 and MT5 both providing access to forex, commodity, index and crypto markets with ECN pricing.
Both account types can be set up with the USD, EUR or GBP as its base currency and require a low minimum deposit of 50 GBP, EUR or USD. Account management fees are low with fee-free funding methods.
FP Markets offer great demo accounts for MT4 and MT5 with standard or raw pricing.
Interactive Brokers operate a MAS regulated branch that accepts Singaporean traders. The broker offers a unique range of financial instruments to trade that is accessible via their proprietary trading platforms:
Interactive Brokers is a great option for Singaporean investors’ as you can create diversified trading strategies that include 10 different asset classes.
The broker is particularly popular for share trading and offers 135+ stocks from 33 countries. Pricing is competitive with US stocks, starting from $0.0005 per share.
To trade stocks with Interactive Brokers, you are required to use the Trader Workstation desktop platform or mobile app. You can utilise the IB’s proprietary trading tools when trading stocks, including:
As well as great access to stock markets, IBKR customers can trade a range of popular and unique financial instruments: Forex, options, commodities, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), Exchange for Physical (EFP), mutual funds, hedge funds, bonds and futures. To practise trading different asset classes FP Markets demo accounts provide access to the broker’s full range of products and tools.
FXTM is overseen by the Financial Services Commission in Mauritius (FSC) amongst other financial regulators. FSC regulation permits brokers to offer significantly higher leverage than jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom (FCA) or the United Arb Emirates (DFSA).
When trading major currency pairs, the maximum leverage available is 2000:1 for trades less than $50,000 in value. As shown below, the broker follows a tiered leverage system that means the higher the value of your trade, the less leverage you can use. For instance, trades over $8m are restricted to 25:1 leverage.
Although such high leverage can dramatically magnify your returns, opening a position with 2000:1 leverage carries a high risk.
The broker offers MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) as trading platform options. To reduce the risk of trading with high leverage, the platforms risk management tools can be used such as stop-loss and limit orders.
View FXTM Review >>Visit FXTM>>
ThinkMarkets South African subsidiary is regulated by the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA). Customers can choose from a good range of account types, trading platforms and financial instruments, all with low spreads and fast execution.
When using MT4 or MT5, you can utilise different trading tools to automate trading and save time.
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
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.