IG is one of the largest forex brokers in the world with low spreads and a range of trading platforms while easyMarkets has fixed spreads, negative balance protection, guaranteed stop losses but a very strong suite of risk management tools ideal for new CFDs traders.
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Comparing the spreads of these market makers, one can see that IG (formerly IG Markets) spreads are more narrow. While low spreads can be a good reason to choose a forex broker, it helps to understand why the spreads differ for each broker.
Variable or floating spreads are spreads that do not have locked ‘ask’ and ‘bid’ prices. These quotes will vary depending on the supply and demand for the currency pair.
Fixed spreads are spreads that do not change. The difference between the changing ‘bid’ and ‘ask’ price is always the same. These spreads don’t typically change except in an extremely volatile market.
IG uses variable spreads for most of its currency pairs. So while minimum spreads will generally be lower than easyMarkets (as shown in our comparison) they can potentially also be higher.
easyMarkets differs from IG because they use fixed spreads. This broker is unusual because historically they have not widened their spreads regardless of market conditions. Even in June 2015, when the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly stopped keeping the Swiss Franc at exchanged rates in line with the Euro resulting in a 40% fall in the valuation of the euro to the franc or a drop in 2000 pips for CHF/EUR easyMarkets held their fixed rates.
If you want the tightest available spreads, then consider Pepperstone who offer Electronic Communication Network (ECN) no dealing desk rather than Market Maker dealing desk type trading.
easyMarkets have several notable inclusions built into their spreads that are included for all trades that IG do not.
See our risk management comparison to understand each of these risk management tools.
IG might be the broker for you if:
Trader types that might fit this profile are those with some trading experience but don’t consider themselves experts. It can also benefit traders that know their trading climate is likely to occasionally volatile.
easyMarkets might be the broker for you if:
easyMarkets offer one of the more complete suites of risk management features in the online broker market. The great thing is many of these risk management tools are included with all your trades. This explains why the spreads are wider when we compare with IG. If you are new to trading and want to manage your trading risks or am trading in a very volatile climate then easyMarkets might suit your broker requirements.
Open a demo account >>Visit easyMarkets>>
easyMarkets offer a choice of different accounts. These choices will vary depending on if you are in Europe or outside of Europe.
If you are a retail client from the UK or Europe, then you only have one account to choose from. This is their VIP account.
If you are outside the UK and Europe, then you have a choice of accounts to choose from. The higher your minimum deposit, the better your spreads will be.
IG, on the other hand, offer basic types of account. Standard and Professional. This review is only focused on the Standard as Professional has restrictive requirements for eligibility such as a minimum $2.5million in net assets.
The standard account offers the following
The ability to use leverage is important when it comes to trade. Currency prices typically only change incrementally on a day-to-day basis, which can make it difficult to make a significant profit. The ability to use leverage to trade a large number of assets will allow you to greatly amplify your profits and therefore make trading forex worthwhile.
As leverage means taking on debt, it is important to understand the risks with high leverage and speculative trading and therefore be responsible when you trade. If you have done your research and tested your trading strategies and am confident in positive outcomes, then leverage is a very useful tool.
Each broker is limited by the maximum leverage allowed by their subsidiaries regulators. This means different maximum leverage may apply for different subsidiaries of the broker.
Leverage with easyMarkets will vary depending on which regulator applies to your region and which trading platform you are using. Retail clients in the UK and Europe will find they have more restrictive leverage than clients in the UK and Europe.
easyMarkets is regulated by CySEC or the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission in the UK and Europe. Retail clients can trade with a maximum leverage of 30:1.
If your trading portfolio exceeds €500,000 and you have averaged at least 10 trades for each quarter over the previous 12 months, then you can apply for a professional-client account. A professional account means you will have more generous leverage.
If you are an easyMarkets client from outside the UK or Europe, then easyMarkets apply protections in according with ASIC regulations requirements, which is the Australian Securities and Investments Commission or the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles (FSA)
The below table summarises the leverage for each region for easyMarkets
Like with easyMarkets, IG leverage will vary depending on where you join from as regulation differs for different countries.
IG has the following subsidiaries and regulators
Note: IG Markets Ltd, which is IG UK subsidiary, cannot offer cryptocurrency due to FCA regulations.
This broker offers a choice of two platforms. This their proprietary platform and MetaTrader 4.
The main reason to choose the easyMarkets trading platform is to access the exclusive risk management tools easyMarkets offer. While this platform covers all the basic and necessary features a broker would expect from any platform nowhere else can you find ‘dealCancellation’, ‘Freeze Rate.’
Key features of their platform include:
MetaQuest makes the two platforms we recommend. These are MetaTrader 4 and 5. At this stage easyMarkets and IG only offer MetaTrader 4. More brokers offer MT4 than any other platform, so it is no surprise this platform is the most popular with traders as a result.
MT4 is well known for its interface, which is easy to use, tools that can assist with fast execution, its range of chart options and ability to work with Expert Advisors (EAs).
Below is a summary of the platforms that IG provide.
IG offers a choice of more platforms than most other brokers offer. IG proprietary trading platform is available for web and browser. The platforms most notable feature is its ability to offer basic risk management features such as stop loss and profit limits. This platform is an award-winning platform and offers a great collection of charts and indicators however does not offer ‘Expert Advisors’. If you wish to use EAs then consider MetaTrader 4. If you wish to access more charts then you may opt to use ProRealTime. This is available free, provided you meet minimum trade requirements each month. Given you can use ProRealTime with MT4, there is little reason to use ProRealTime on its own. The last platform, L2 Dealer, is only for professional traders with a Forex Direct account. So is unlikely to be a consideration for most traders.
Which platform you go with is mostly a case of personal preference and what tools you want access to. Both brokers offer MetaTrader 4, which is the platform we recommend, so it simply comes down to which broker you prefer. On the other hand, if you desire risk management tools then you need to decide which risk features you desire and choose the appropriate platform.
easyMarkets offer a great collection of free and optional risk management features.
Complementary and Free
Optional Risk Management Tools
IG also offer some risk management tools. All of which incur a fee.
easyMarkets offer a better range of risk management tools. Not only do they offer more choices, but most of them come complementary. This is because they are inclusive in your spread and this is reflected in the higher spreads.
easyMarkets offer a small range of CFDs in addition to forex. These include cryptocurrencies, metals, commodities and indices and shares.
IG, on the other hand, offer a far more extensive range of CFDs. Not only are there more asset classes to choose from by more choices within the asset class. Asset classes include everything easyMarkets offer plus shares, bonds, options, IPO, interest rates, sectors, Exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded products.
Other markets IG offer include:
IG is an all in one broker that aims to make it easy for traders to trade in all sorts of derivatives. easyMarkets primarily a forex broker who also offers some other CFD options.
One thing UK traders should be aware of when choosing IG is that they cannot offer cryptocurrencies to UK traders. This is due to FCA regulations which do not allow this type of product for trade. easyMarkets use CySEC as their regulator, so do allow crypto trading.
This broker has 3 promotions which will be of interest when signing up for an account.
This broker offers the following promotions:
easyMarkets give a bonus simply for signing up and trading with them, so unless you intend to refer lots of friends to join with the broker, its likely easyMarkets will be your choice.
easyMarkets offer customer support 24/5 with the Australian week commencing 8 am Mondays. The support team is located in Australia (Sydney) and Cyprus. You can reach the support team through several ‘unique’ features such as Messenger and Viber and WhatsApp in addition to the usual live chat, email and fax.
easyMarkets also offers a good range of educational material. Available features include:
easyMarkets also provides market analysis. Here you can find the following:
Lastly, easyMarkets gives you access to a demo account. Their demo account does not expire and includes $15,000 in virtual currency. The demo account includes access to the risk management tools easyMarkets offer.
IG offers customer support nearly 24/7. The hours on Saturdays end at 8 am and recommences at 3 pm (AEDT). IG support team are available via phone, email, live chat and interestingly via Twitter. Support can be found in 14 different countries, including Australia.
IG also has a peer support forum which allows the IG community to support each other with all things trading.
Most IG learning tools can be found through their IG Academy. The Academy includes the following:
Other education tools include the following
IG have a demo trading account that gives users access to $20,000 of virtual funds. Their account does have a few restrictions, for example, you will not experience ‘slippage’ and trades will not be rejected due to size or price.
Both brokers offer great customer support and customer services. It is difficult to choose between the two. We like IG academy learning platform as it is well organised. We also like the range of tools available to get the information we need on demand.
This broker does not charge any fees for deposits or withdrawals, regardless of the transfer method you use. All their available credit/debit cars, online banking and eWallets are free to use. Deposits are instant when using cards and can 1-5 working days when using online banking tools.
Unlike easyMarkets, IG does charge to use some of their funding services. Using a Visa card will result in a 1% fee, while using MasterCard will cost you 0.5%. PayPal will also result in a fee of 1%. When using any of these services, you must deposit a minimum of $500 each time you deposit. BPAY and Bank Transfer are free and have no minimum deposits.
easyMarkets easily win this area simply because they do not charge for you to deposit or withdrawal. We also like that they have no minimum funding requirements.
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.