FXCM is an international forex broker that offers leverage1 up to 30:1 for AU, EU, and UK clients while 400:1 for other clients, the choice of the forex trading platforms MetaTrader 4, NinjaTrader, or Trading station, spreads2 from 1.30.4 pips on EUR/USD and zero commissions.
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FXCM, also known as Forex Capital Markets, is a global forex provider trading with various FXCM entities in the UK, Europe, Australia, South Africa. Our FXCM review concluded FXCM has a simple but helpful account type structure, average spreads, a hybrid trading execution model and a good range of trading platforms.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing money.
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
FXCM has a very simple account structure for its clients. The majority of clients will use their Standard Account, which is designed for retail traders’ high volume traders will prefer their Active Traders account to save on costs.
Other account types available includes an Interest-free account, which is designed for Islamic traders who can’t pay swaps.
Most FXCM clients will be using FXCM’s standard account. This is FXCMs offering to all clients who don’t qualify as an Active Trader. This account is a commission-free account, which means the trading costs are included in the spreads. This explains why spreads are wider than commission-based accounts such as the Active Trader account.
New traders may appreciate a standard style account, as no commissions mean a simpler cost structure. Long term or discretionary traders may also like this account as the simpler costs structure compared to a commission account can make trading easier.
The FXCM Standard Account has a minimum requirement of $50 (depending on payment method) when making an account deposit. When trading, you will still need to meet initial margin requirements to open trading positions.
If you are a high volume investor, then the Active Trader account may be for you. This account offers FXCM’s lowest spreads with the added benefit of discounted commission, dedicated support, and depth of market.
FXCM Active Trader offers savings up to 62.4%. The Active Trader account uses a tiered commission structure which means the more you trade, the lower your commission cost will be.
To be able to take advantage of these discounted commissions, you will need a minimum $25,0000 in equity in your trading account, so will not be a serious consideration for most retail traders.
An Interest-free account targeted at Islamic traders who are forbidden from earning (or paying interest) as it is forbidden by Sharia law. FXCM add an extra 0.4 pips to the spread for Standard accounts and $2.00 commission per lot (per side for commission-based accounts in place of overnight fee or swap rates.
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In the module below, the Compare Forex Brokers team compiled the average spreads from brokers that provide the data on their website.
FXCM standard spreads generally fall in the midrange when compared with other brokers with the most competitive spreads on offer appearing to be for AUDUSD and AUDJPY currency pairs.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 01/08/2021
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An FXCM dealing desk determines the best execution means which can result in FXCM acting as a market maker or uses a dealing desk.
When comparing the spreads to other brokers, FXTM at first glance appears to have only average spreads. While FXCM is competitive when looking at the EURUSD, USDJPY and even AUDUSD currency pairs with other brokers and poor when comparing EURGBP, GBPUSD and EURJPY to other brokers, the following consideration needs to be kept in mind.
Active Traders commissions can be less than most ECN brokers once you factor in that FXCM has lower commissions.
Commissions with most other brokers are $7.00 round-turn, while Active Traders can be as low as $5 round-turn. This represents a saving of 0.2 pips. If you subtract 0.2 pips from each spread, then the spreads appear to be more competitive.
FXCM can be compensated in several ways, which includes but are not limited to adding a mark-up to the spreads it receives from its liquidity providers, adding a mark-up to rollover, etc. Commission-based pricing is applicable to Active Trader account types.
If you are looking for the best possible spreads, then Active Trader is the best choice. Spreads with FXCM’s active trader account are cheaper than they may appear when you compare with other brokers as FXCM off lower commission fees. The overall lowest spreads are offered by IC Markets in our head-to-head comparison.
FXCM operates four subsidiaries around the world that are overseen by different financial authorities. The leverage you are able to trade with depends on whether you sign up to the UK, European, Australian or South Africa entity.
FXCM in Australian (ASIC), European (CySEC), and UK (FCA) regulated territories offer a maximum leverage of 30:1 for major currency pairs and 20:1 for minor and exotic currency pairs. This is in line with the maximum amount most tier-1 regulated brokers will offer.
You can trade crypto with leverage of 2:1 with the ASIC regulated branch, and 4:1 with the FSCA regulated branch in South Africa. Cryptos are only available to professional traders in the UK, not retail traders.
FXCM South Africa is regulated by the FSCA and permits maximum leverage of 400:1 for all forex pairs. Clients who have more than 20,000 CCY ($20,000) equity in their trading account will only be allowed to trade with 100:1 leverage.
When trading with a leveraged product, it is important to keep in mind that while leverage can be a powerful tool for profitable gains, high leverage can exaggerate your losses when currency movements don’t work in your favour and should be used responsibly.
Note: Leverage is a double-edged sword and can dramatically amplify your profits. It can also just as dramatically amplify your losses. Trading foreign exchange/CFDs with any level of leverage may not be suitable for all investors.
FXCM list statistic regarding their performance when it comes to execution and slippage. Transparency gives their clients a level of assurance and trust that the broker is meeting the client’s expectation when it comes to trading. FXCM to deliver on the client’s requirement of fast order execution with no slippage, competitive pricing and no re-quotes.
Slippage can make a big difference to your trading success. Lag time, which naturally occurs due to the time taken between placing your order and completing your order, can see prices change. The changes are called slippage and can be positive or negative. As a trader, you want pricing certainty and execution certainty.
In the first quarter of 2020, FXCM had the following performance highlights.
As per FXCM’s Spread Report
These stats show that FXCM completes your orders with no slippage more than 60% of the time. This is made possible thanks to an average execution speed of 28ms and good till cancelled market orders speed of 29 ms.
When slippage does occur, FXCM trading infrastructure is generally favourable for traders, with slippage being positive nearly 30% of the time and over 70% of the time for limit orders.
Our FXCM review found the forex broker offers one of the extensive choices of trading platforms from all online brokers. Not only does FXCM offers a choice of 4 trading platforms (2 of them social trading platforms), the broker also offers 7 speciality platforms.
FXCM’s in-house developed proprietary trading platform built from feedback from FXCM traders and 10 years of trading data
FXCM is especially proud of their own Trading Station II (not to be confused with another platform TradeStation). It was built based on the feedback from FXCM traders and trading data accrued from over 10 years to meet the needs of their clients.
The FXCM Trading Station forex platform is generally hard to fault, it has a very user-friendly design and comes with has become FXCM’s hub for investment advice. One of the key features of the platform is the free professional charting tool known as Marketscope 2.0 which consists of price alerts, chart and a wide selection of indicators. One of the key features of Marketplace is the ability to open and manage all your trades directly from the charts. This means you can perform all your trading analysis, opportunity identification and order execution all in one place. This simplified trading process makes the platform a great tool for beginner traders.
The recent upgraded Trading Station Web 2.0 migrated from Flash to HTML5 now offers a cleaner, more modern and intuitive user interface. The new platform incorporated many of the features found on Trading Central Desktop, including:
This platform is the most widely used platform by traders and the most offered platform by brokers, many consider MetaTrader 4 to be the ‘gold’ standard when it comes to platforms. While you can find platforms with more indicators, more charts, faster speed, as a whole, MetaTrader 4 offers one of the most complete packages because it does everything really well. MetaTrader 4’s reputation and reliability make it a sound choice for all traders.
This platform is a worthy alternative to Trade Station and MetaTrader. NinjaTrader is perfect for scalpers thanks to its Advanced Trader Management feature (ATM) which allows semi-automated features so you can manage your positions through orders such as entries, stops, targets and exits and trading automation with C#.
It is also a great option for active traders who benefit from an abundance of technical analysis tools, including over 150 analytical tools and a wealth of customisable charts and drawing tools.
If you prefer social or copy trade, then Zulu Trader might be your preferred choice of the trading platform. This type of trading allows you to copy the trades of experienced traders, making it a great choice for beginner traders wanting to learn the trading strategies of successful traders. One of the key features of Zulu trade is the social element. The feature gives users the ability of traders to share ideas and strategies and help other traders. Zulu Trader has over 1 million users, making it one of the larger social trading communities available.
FXCM also offers a range of speciality platforms to enhance your trading experience. Most of these tools are exceptionally useful for algorithmic traders and high-volume traders. These tools are useful for both forex and CFD and include:
Clients of FXCM have the option of the following contracts for difference (CFD) products:
All CFD option is commission-free, which means costs are included in the spread.
The range of markets available with FXCM is quite broad however you can find other brokers that offer more choices for each financial instrument. 39 currency pairs, for example, would put FXCM at the lower end of the broker for currency choices.
FXCM offers a choice of 5 cryptocurrencies. The broker claims to offer some of the tightest spreads on the market when it comes to trading BITCOIN.
Please note, due to recent changes to FCA regulation, UK retails traders are not able to trade cryptocurrencies with UK brokers. If you want access to crypto markets, you will need to sign up for an FXCM subsidiary outside of the United Kingdom.
One feature FXCM offers that is not commonly found with other brokers is trading of specialised indices. FXCM offers 3 types of baskets of trading:
Trading with Indices allows you to reduce the risk of your exposure when trading volatile instruments.
FXCM offers 24/5 award-winning customer services with customer support contactable via live chat, email, phone and even SMS text message. If you wish to call FXCM, there are 42 country based numbers one can call from. Countries range from South Korea, United Arab Emirates to Venezuela.
If you prefer to place orders by phone, FXCM offers a trading desk line that can be handy should your internet go be down.
Should you prefer to solve your issues yourself, there is a search feature on their website that should be able to point you to relevant pages to solve your question however the website doesn’t have a devoted FAQ page.
FXCM has a knowledge section that consists of research or market analysis tools and education.
The education section of a wide range of educational tools that help their clients understand forex better, navigate FXCM features and accounts, and master their trading platforms. Education tools include:
While there is a wealth of material for forex, education is lacking when it comes to CFD education.
Market analysis tools consist of the standard tools most brokers offer. This includes an economic calendar, live forex charts, and the latest market news. Additional trading tools are available such as a market scanner, market data signal however to get to the really useful information such as trading signals, technical analyser, trading analytics requires a sign up with FXCM.
FXCM has the following minimum deposit requirement
When making a deposit into your account with a credit card or debit card (Visa or MasterCard) there is a minimum of $50 per deposit and a limit of $30,000 per month for all FXCM clients.
All other deposit methods do not have a minimum deposit requirement however may have limits on how much can be deposited each month.
International Funding Options
The UK and Europe
Most deposit methods take up to 1 business day to complete however bank wire can take 1-5 working days. FXCM charges no fees for deposits.
Withdrawal can be done by card, Bank Wire or Skrill, Neteller and in Australia by Electronic Funds Transfer and Union Pay. While there are no withdrawal requirements, there are fees when using Bank Wire and Union Pay.
The table below summarises the fees:
The FXCM group is part of the Leucadia Investments group and has the following regulations:
The United Kingdom
Other FXCM entities
FXCM does not accept residents of the following countries – United States, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Singapore, Turkey, Japan and the Virgin Islands.
As a global player, originally founded in America but now headquartered in the UK due to regulatory restrictions in the US, Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) has targeted market share in Australia for some time with a very competitive Australian forex broker offering, including standard accounts as well as an active trader account for those budding Forex enthusiasts.
Experienced Australian forex traders that require a very specific niche forex platform should consider FXCM. Those that require high leverage or are looking for low spreads/fees should review our Australian forex broker comparison table and a provider like Pepperstone for advanced traders.
Compare Forex Brokers was created to help Australian forex traders find the right broker to suit their trading requirements. Our forex broker comparison tables were constructed from information from providers websites or actual trading accounts. We try to update our forex broker comparison tables periodically (including our FXCM reviews) but if you have any suggestions or areas that may need updating please feel free to contact the owners via our contact us form.
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.