IC Markets is an ECN pricing forex broker, FxPro uses NDD execution for low spreads. With 250+ tradable CFD instruments, 60+ currency pairs and MT4 + 5 and cTrader platforms, both offer compelling features. See our FxPro vs IC Markets review.
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IC Markets is a no dealing desk (NDD), ECN-style broker (electronic communications network) that provides access to CFD and forex markets for retail investors. On the other hand, FxPro promotes itself as neither a market maker, STP or ECN broker instead they apply their own NDD execution system for trading. In this review, we assess the broker’s ECN-like spreads, trading account and platform options, as well as fees, trading tools and customer support. Read on to see which broker wins when FxPro and IC Markets go head to head.
While IC Markets customers can choose between a Standard account or an ECN pricing Raw Spread Account, FxPro customers are limited to spread only account types (when using MetaTrader platforms). For IC Markets Raw Account, spreads are tighter with traders paying a flat rate round-turn commission fee when they close their trade. Standard trading accounts offered by both brokers are inclusive of costs, with brokers receiving compensation through the spread.
IC Markets and FxPro’s standard account types charge wider spreads than ECN-style accounts. Yet, with all-inclusive spreads, traders avoid spending time calculating orders commission costs. Both IC Markets and FxPro’s standard account types are available on MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5.
The IC Markets ‘True ECN’ account has been renamed as The IC Markets Raw Account. The ECN-style pricing spread structure provides traders access to the best prices available to retail investor accounts. While spreads average 0.1 pips for major currency pairs such as EUR/USD, during times of volatility bid-ask prices can be as tight as 0.0 pips in the forex market. As well as ultra-tight spreads, ECN-like accounts allow for minimal slippage with ultra fast execution and therefore is well-suited for day trading, scalping and Expert Advisors.
Commission fees vary between trading platforms when trading under a Raw Spread account. IC Markets customers using MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 pay an AUD $7 round-turn commission fee, while cTrader users pay AUD $6 round-turn. Learn more about the two accounts with our guide on Raw vs Standard account types.
For traders who follow Islamic finance practices, swap-free accounts are available with both IC Markets and FxPro. In accordance with Sharia Law, swap-free accounts do not pay or receive interest as standard or ECN accounts do. Rather, Islamic account holders pay flat-rate overnight financing fees when positions are held open for longer than a day. Prospective IC Markets customers can easily open an Islamic Account online (although proof of religion may be required). To start trading under an Islamic Account with FxPro, traders are required to email the broker’s customer support team.
As IC Markets offers a standard account, ECN-like account and Islamic account, they can offer a solution for all types of trader preferences. IC Markets range of solutions means you can trade spreads where a commission is all-inclusive or access to ultra-tight institutional grade spreads while paying low flat rate commission fees.
IC Markets is an ECN-style forex broker that offers straight-through processing (STP) with no dealing desk (NDD) involvement. While FxPro offers fast execution and minimal slippage, the brokers no commission pricing tends to be more in line with the wider spreads of a market maker broker.
IC Markets Raw Spread Account, on the other hand, is similar to a true ECN account with fast execution as well as ultra-tight spreads. With IC Markets STP and NDD execution, the broker is able to offer traders institutional grade spreads due to the brokers 25 different top tier liquidity providers. This allows IC Markets to consolidate bid and ask prices, ensuring customers can trade at the best possible prices available to retail investor accounts.
Unlike IC Markets Raw Spread Account, FxPro does not offer an ECN-style account type where customers can access tight spreads while paying flat-rate commission fees.
IC Markets pricing is very competitive when compared to other top forex brokers. For the EUR/USD currency pair, customers can trade at average spreads of 0.10 pips. For the AUD/USD forex pair, spreads average 0.20 pips, with Pepperstone the only competing broker offering a narrower spread of 0.18 pips. For traders wanting to focus on the USD/SGD fx pair, IC Markets is an excellent option. Whilst brokers such as Pepperstone provide access to spreads as low as 1.39 pips, IC Markets average spreads are much tighter at 0.30 pips, a significant difference.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
Compare All Commission Spreads
For those new to forex trading or requiring a simple pricing structure, Standard Account types offer spreads that are all-inclusive of commission fees. Similarly to the brokers ECN-style account, IC Markets offers competitive no commission spreads when compared to FxPro and other online brokers. For currency pairs such as EUR/USD, EUR/GBP and GBP/USD, IC Markets offers the tightest spreads available to standard retail investor accounts, with fx pairs AUD/USD and AUD/JPY following closely behind Pepperstone.
Compare All Variable Spreads
If you are using MetaTrader 4 trading platform, then FxPro gives you the option of fixed spreads instead of variable spreads. This is not available with IC Markets. If you are a beginner trader or the economic climate is volatile, then you may appreciate the certainty fixed spreads can offer.
7 currency pairs are available for fixed spreads including EURGBP, EURJPY, EURUSA, GBPUSD, USDCAD, USDJPY and GBPJPY. Trading with fixed spreads means you will use instant order execution. If the broker is unable to meet this spread, you will receive a requote.
Compare Fixed Commission Spreads >>
Both IC Markets are NDD brokers, FxPro provides fast execution and tight spreads however IC Markets spreads are tighter. As IC Markets Raw Spread account holders gain access to spreads as low as 0.10 pips on major currency pairs while paying low commission fees, they are the clear winner when compared to FxPro’s Standard account type.
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FxPro does not offer popular social-copy trading features such as ZuluTrade, and the broker’s proprietary mirror trader service, SuperTrader, was discontinued in 2017. While no social-copy trading services are offered by FxPro, IC Markets allows traders to utilise the various mirror trader features offered by third-party providers such as ZuluTrade and Myfxbook.
ZuluTrade allows users to achieve a level of automated trading via mirror trading. Customers can copy trading strategies and portfolios of proven ‘expert’ investors known as signal providers. The third-party provider offers risk management features such as ZuluGuard, where signal providers are unfollowed if they change their strategies. ZuluRank is an algorithmic feature that evaluates signal providers’ performance, while the platform’s simulation tool allows users to test strategies and gauge potential gains or losses. Additionally, ZuluTrade’s online community can participate in forums and comment on signal providers and strategies.
Myfxbook AutoTrade is an account mirroring service that IC Markets customers can utilise to achieve a level of automated trading. As with ZuluTrade, users can copy the trading strategies of professional and successful investors.
Although an excellent tool for those new to forex trading, AutoTrade is useful for all traders wanting to reduce the time spent conducting technical analysis and placing orders. With over 90,000 trading systems to choose from, AutoTrade is a great method to automate trading and diversify portfolios.
As FxPro does not offer any social trading tools, IC Markets is the clear winner in this round. IC Markets customers are able to utilise ZuluTrade or Myfxbook to automate trading, with the account mirroring services allowing users to copy the trades of successful investors.
The three most popular retail trading platforms worldwide are offered by both FxPro and IC Markets – MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader, yet available trading platforms and product ranges vary between account types. IC Markets Raw Spread Account holders can access MT4, MT5 or cTrader, while Standard Account holders are restricted to MetaTrader platforms. When trading with FxPro, spreads, execution and market access vary depending on the trading platform the customer is using. As both brokers provide access to multiple trading platforms, we will compare available MetaTrader 5 features in this FxPro vs IC Markets review.
MetaTrader 5 is hugely popular due to the platform’s wider market access than MT4 (share trading is allowed), Expert Advisor features and advanced technical analysis tools. Trading tools offered by both IC Markets and FxPro on MT5 include:
While both broker’s MT5 offering provides more than enough tools to assist with technical analysis, the main difference between FxPro and IC Markets MT5 trading platforms is the availability of the popular market-scanning tool, Autochartist. Unlike FxPro customers, those trading with IC Markets can utilise Autochartist’s pattern-recognition software that allows users to easily identify new trading opportunities.
MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader are available as mobile trading apps. Whether you are trading on an Android smartphone or iPad, there is a trading app available for your device. For those wanting to trade on a computer yet not download a desktop trading platform, MT4 and MT5 webtrader platforms are available, as well as cTrader Web.
Both online brokers offer a strong range of trading platforms, with cTrader, MT4 and MT5 available with IC Markets and FxPro. While Expert Advisor features and advanced charting tools are available, accessible through both brokers on MetaTrader platforms, IC Markets offers the unique pattern-recognition program, Autochartist. With a greater range of technical analysis tools provided to traders, IC Markets has the best trading platform offering.
Forex markets are strongly regulated due to the high risk that comes with trading CFDs. Financial authorities around the globe enforce different measures to protect investors and ensure forex markets operate fairly and efficiently. While most jurisdictions such as Australia require brokers to hold funds in segregated accounts, areas such as the UK and Cyprus require brokers to follow stricter financial regulation.
Both IC Markets and FxPro have multiple subsidiaries that are overseen by different top-tier regulators. FxPro and IC Market’s Cyprus-based subsidiaries follow CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) regulation that requires forex brokers to provide traders with negative balance protection in addition to enforcing leverage caps and close-out margins.
FxPro customers registered with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority, UK) regulated subsidiary receive the same investor protection as CySEC regulated brokers provide. As well as being overseen by the FCA and CySEC, FxPro is authorised to operate in South Africa and The Bahamas following FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority) and SCB (Securities Commission of the Bahamas) regulation.
As IC Markets is a forex broker based in Sydney, Australia, they are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and hold an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL). As well as the option of signing up with IC Markets Australia and Cyprus-based subsidiaries, traders can register with the brokers FSA (The Seychelles Financial Services Authority) and CySEC regulated subsidiaries if they prefer.
The multiple subsidiaries of IC Markets and FxPro are regulated by top-tier financial authorities around the world. It is recommended traders research the investor protection they will receive in different locations prior to signing up with a broker. As both brokers follow regulation set by respected regulators such as ASIC, FCA and CySEC, they tie this round.
FxPro and IC Markets offer a range of methods to get in touch. To contact FxPro multi-lingual support team, customers can use live chat, email or phone 5 days a week, 24 hours a day.
IC Markets can be reached via live chat, phone and email. An advantage that IC Markets offer is that its customer support team can be contacted 24/7, a feature most forex brokers do not provide.
FxPro educational resources are limited when compared to IC Markets. While the broker provides articles and videos covering trading strategies, psychology and platforms, they are best suited to inexperienced traders requiring a basic introduction to forex markets.
On the other hand, IC Markets customers gain access to an excellent library of resources. Whether you are a beginner or experienced trader, IC Markets provides a range of educational materials to improve a traders understanding of forex markets. Resources include trading platform tutorials, webinars and educational videos and articles covering topics such as risk management and technical analysis.
With 24/7 customer service and an extensive catalogue of educational resources for a beginner to experienced traders’, IC Markets offers superior customer support when compared to FxPro.
When trading CFDs with FxPro, funding methods vary depending on the subsidiary a customer is registered with. FxPro Cyprus and Bahamas customers can deposit and withdraw funds via bank transfer, broker to broker, credit card (Visa and Mastercard), Skrill, Neteller and Union Pay, with Cyprus clients also able to use Paypal. FxPro UK clients are not provided with any e-wallet methods of payment and are restricted to transferring funds via bank transfer, broker to broker or credit card.
With 15 deposit and withdrawal methods available, those trading with IC Markets have a greater range of traditional and e-wallet methods to transfer funds. As well as debit and credit card, broker to broker, wire transfer and internet banking, customers can move funds via PayPal, Neteller, Neteller VIP, Skrill, Bpay, FasaPay and POLi, although accepted currencies vary between payment methods.
To start trading with IC Markets, an initial minimum deposit of $200 is required. FxPro, on the other hand, requires traders to make a minimum deposit of $100, although they recommend at least $500.
IC Markets and FxPro are NDD brokers providing traders access to CFD and forex markets. When the broker’s spreads, fees and trading tools are compared, IC Markets is the overall winner. IC Markets offers significantly tighter spreads than FxPro that average 0.1 pips for the EUR/USD. As well as ECN-style pricing and low commission fees, IC Markets provides an excellent range of trading tools on MetaTrader platforms to develop automated trading strategies, with Expert Advisors, Autochartist, Myfxbook and ZuluTrade available. To explore IC Markets features and platforms, a free demo account is available to all prospective customers.
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.