IG Markets is the largest retail Australian forex broker with strong reviews, a range-of-markets including FX, CFD and share trading, low spreads from the IG Markets ECN forex direct account starting at 0.6 pips for EUR/USD and the choice of trading platforms including MetaTrader 4, L2 Dealer and ProRealTime.
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IG Markets is one of the largest forex brokers with the regulation in the UK, South Africa, Australia, USA, Singapore, Dubai and NZ. CFD trading is available in all markets while Australia and England offer Share trading. UK clients can also spread bet.
See our IG Review for all key features below
IG Platform, L2 Dealer
Spread betting, Digital 100
The types of trading accounts available will depend on the country you are trading from.
Most traders when joining IG will sign up with an IG Trading account. With this account, IG clients will get access to all the standard features the broker offers. Only traders looking for specialised features will have a need to consider an alternate account. Reasons to consider a specialised account include:
When using the IG Trading account, clients can choose between IG’s standard or DMA trading execution.
CFD trading in the case of IG means dealing desk/market maker trading execution. With this type of trading are no commissions when trading instruments such as forex, indices and cryptocurrencies as the primary trading costs are included in the spreads. Stock CFD trading, however, will have commission fees. See Trading spreads for more information.
A forex direct market access (DMA) account is similar to straight-through processing (STP) or electronic communication network (ECN) trading execution. With this type of trading execution, IG connects you directly with liquidity providers. Removing the middle man means tighter spreads, access to more liquidity and IG’s fastest available trading execution.
To keep spreads tight, forex direct has a different cost structure to the standard execution. With this account, IG clients pay commission and these commissions will be reduced the more the client trades in the month. See Trading Spreads for more information.
In addition to CFD trading, UK traders have the option of spread betting. This type of trading is very similar to CFD trading in that one speculates on the movement of an asset’s price. As the trader is only betting on the movement, it differs from CFD trading where you buy or sell a contract that represents the value of the asset. You can learn more about spread betting platforms on the best UK forex brokers page.
Disclaimer: This type of trading is popular in the UK as there are tax benefits.
The main features of the IG retail investor accounts are the range of trading instruments available. IG markets one of the largest range of trading instruments found among all brokers. IG offers some 82 currency pairs, common options like commodities, indices from across the world, cryptocurrencies, share CFD plus some unique choices not often offered by brokers such as bonds, interest rates, ETFs, sectors.
Risk management tools vary between each IG entity. Traders in the United Kingdom and Europe will get negative balance protection by default, which means they cannot lots more than they have deposited. All traders have the option of guaranteed stop losses.
Available to UK traders with big trading experience, it is designed for high-volume traders that manage a trading portfolio of over 500k, work in the financial sector, or have traded leveraged instruments of significant size over the past year. With this account, traders have access to increased leverage but will not have negative balance protection.
Traders in Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand and Dubai will be assigned a limited risk account by default when joining IG. This means to open a position they must purchase a guaranteed stop loss. This feature is excellent for inexperienced traders however experienced traders will want to disable this feature as guarantee costs are added to the spreads.
Available to IG’s Dubai clients, this account is designed for Muslim traders as it has no swap fees or rolling fees.
IG’s Australia clients have the option of Share Trading with this account. Unlike trading CFD shares, traders own the actual share, which means they can sell them for profit at a future date, receive dividend payments and gain shareholder rights.
IG’s Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) allows UK individuals to choose where to invest their personal pension funds in a range of stocks and shares. The retirement wealth planning investment platform James Hay Partnership will handle all your account administration.
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
A comparison of the leading forex brokers found the spread and commissions using Forex Direct (their ECN broker account) was in the ‘mid-range’ when it came to this trading brokerage.
When trading on the IG core platform, the standard spreads shown to the right will apply and will vary depending on the currency pairing and market conditions.
Standard trading execution is a spread only account, which means no commission costs. If you choose to use guaranteed stops (which ensure you can’t lose more on a trade than the amount set) then spreads will widen slightly.
Those who choose to use the MetaTrader 4 platform have different spreads which are shown to the right. While minimum spreads are similar to the core platform, the average spreads are higher.
IG encourage you to use one of their native trading platforms so the client effectively pays a premium to use the MetaTrader 4 platform.
If clients prefer to trade with no dealing desk, then IG offers direct market access trading execution. This type of trading means full market transparency and therefore tighter spreads.
This type of trading execution means commission fees are applied in place of a widened spread. IG uses tiered commissions which means the more you trade each month, the fewer clients will be charged each time their trade. Unless you trade > 500 million, then commissions are high compared to Pepperstone and IC Markets.
The Forex direct account is also termed an ECN forex broker, as traders have direct market access with raw costs. This can help open up opportunities such as trading with FIX API.
Forex Direct has overall the lowest spreads, but commissions can be high for traders who have low volumes. For such traders, it’s recommended to view the Australian forex broker comparison table. Otherwise, IG offers good value for high-volume traders.
IG offers a wide range of trading platform options that are superior to forex brokers across forex and CFDs.
Core Platform Their most popular platform is their own ‘core platform’ which is browser-based spread betting and CFD web platform designed for on-the-go FX traders as no downloads are required. This is complemented with mobile apps (iOS and Android) for any device, including tablets, which integrate with the web-based platform.
There are several monitoring tools including the ability to set limits and stops to close out positions, the ability to ‘tear-off’ prices when you want to close the core platform and the option to have price alerts in the form of e-mails or an SMS when prices are reached. The platform is also complemented by an excellent suite of research tools and interactive charts equipped with a full range of technical indicators.
Several free tools and features available with the core platform once you become an IG Markets client, including streaming of Reuters news which is fully integrated with no delays. Autochartist is another feature that can monitor CFDs and currency markets, alerting clients as to opportunities based on chart patterns. Trading central is also available as a technical analysis tool, providing charting and daily e-mail updates about the financial markets.
IG Markets Charts can be included for free to provide technical indicators and the ability to trade directly from charts. Another option is ProRealTime, which is an advanced charting tool, with a dedicated suite of features. This charting balance has monthly costs, but these are not charged when traders actively trade on the platform. Additionally, the IG platforms allow FX traders to create a watchlist with their preferred financial instruments to find them at their fingertips.
The most popular feature of the core platform is that it allows IG shares trading. This allows you to trade shares across stock exchanges in Australia, USA, Ireland, Germany and the UK. The combined forex and share trading CFD accounts solution mean that IG customers can benefit from an all-in-one financial services solution.
Three Specialist Platforms For those that prefer to use more popular platforms compared to IG’s platform, three of the most popular options are available for forex trading. The absence of trading Apps is the only major disadvantage that comes with IG’s specialist platforms.
1) L2 Dealer
This platform allows an ECN forex broker trader experience with direct access to markets through IG’s Forex Direct, which means the broker doesn’t add any additional spreads on currency pairings. Instead, prices are quoted directly with liquidity and major providers with a flat commission placed on volume by IG. This platform is ideal for those forex traders who also want to trade shares worldwide through a CFD broker. As discussed earlier, L2 Dealer is the advanced choice for those looking to trade CFDs and also share trade.
Note* There are no mobile trading apps supported by the L2 Dealer platform.
2) ProReal Time
This platform is ideal for forex traders who specialise in automated trading. The platform allows traders to build strategies using their development tools or you can code from scratch. Other options include functionality to import strategies from other traders or 3rd parties and back-test it across 30 years of data. There is no need to be active on the platform for the tool to trade on your behalf.
3) MetaTrader 4
This has been a new addition to IG based on the platform’s popularity and the fact most Australian forex brokers offer MT4. This platform’s popularity is due to the simplicity of the platform, the ability to customise it to your needs and its fast execution speeds. With the MetaTrader 4 platform, you have the advantage to trade forex currency pairs or spread betting on additional thousands of markets on the go with IG’s mobile trading applications.
The three advanced platforms and the core platform offer free demo accounts. This allows forex traders to try the platforms risk-free and test out IG’s customer service to make sure it suits their needs before trading with real money. You can read more on the comprehensive platform guide.
IG’s technology focuses on stability, speed, and achieving improved pricing within the forex trading market. IG’s pricing model is also able to fill 98.3% of their market orders within 0.014 seconds across all trading platforms, including the spread bets. At IG, retail investors can profit from consistent liquidity and advanced dealing options that ensure forex traders will always get the desired exchange rate with zero slippage on 89% of their trades.
The table below gives an in-depth view of IG’s slippage performance (based on data from August 2019).
To minimise slippage caused by delays, their systems have been built at scale achieving:
IG markets also source their forex market quotes directly from the world’s largest global exchanges and banks. In turbulent markets, their price improvement technology may give you a superior price to that quoted when available. This has resulted in 1.8 million points of positive slippage to clients, which is equivalent to nearly £3.3 million that were passed on to IG traders.
A real positive of IG is that, unlike many other forex online brokers, all their client’s funds are not used for hedging. This means that all funds which include net running, unrealised profits are held for their clients in the major banks which is above and beyond AFSL requirements. This combined with their technology has led them to win several awards, including the Online Personal Wealth Awards in 2015.
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IG markets Australia offer locally based customer service 24 hours a day from Monday to Friday. The IG Group also supports customer service if a trader is overseas. IG offer support over the phone, via e-mail, or even through their handle on Twitter. An investment trends report found IG has strong customer support but awarded the winner in 2015, 2016 and 2017 to Pepperstone. To reach the full Pepperstone report including these awards click here.
While customer service may not be the best in the industry, they do have a solid training offering. This includes free in-person seminar which is also held live through webinars. They also have an IG academy app which is free for traders with information on forex, shares, commodities and indices and how traders can capitalise from both rises and falls in financial markets. The app also helps develop a trading plan, explains leverage and ways to manage risks.
Additionally, the IG community offers an open social trading network that allows retail traders to interact with each other and learn from experienced traders.
IG doesn’t have any minimum requirements to open an account however there are minimum deposit requirements to fund your account. Most regions give you a choice of a debit card, credit card, PayPal or Bank Wire for deposits.
IG is one of the few forex brokers that offer a full range-of-markets including domestic and international share trading. What is unique about IG share trading is that a trader can use the same platform for both currency and stockbroking services. Below highlights a few key features of IG share trading.
When trading in shares, IG clients can trade shares the following way
When trading shares CFD and spread betting, clients can profit off the stock’s price movements with a small margin invested. With this type of trading, clients do not take actual ownership of the stocks. Australia and clients in the UK have the option of Share trading, which gives them shareholders rights as they have ownership of the company’s stocks, which they can later sell for profit. Australian’s and UK traders wanting to trade shares will need a Share dealing account.
IG share trading gives access to 12,000+ shares from global stock exchanges including the ASX, DOW, NASDAQ and London Stock Exchange. Across these major exchanges, you can start trading not only large companies such as those listed on the S&P 500 can be traded but also many small caps. An IG share trading account has some limitations on stock exchanges such as Germany and Ireland, where only large companies can be traded.
Brokerage will depend on if you are trading CFDs or Stocks along with the stock exchange traded as shown in the table below.
CFD trading of stocks requires less upfront capital than Stock trading. CFDs are a leveraged instrument, so only the margin needs to be invested to gain full exposure to the trade. Over 17000 markets are available for trade. Below lists the costs when CFD trading.
IG’s client’s clients can choose from the following markets
One unusual feature available to UK traders is the ability to buy US stocks out of hours.
Below lists the costs when trading stocks
Note: Fees are higher when trading by phone, and there are also currency conversion fees for overseas share trading. IG will convert the currency at the time of trade based on the best available exchange rate, plus a spread of 0.5% for UK traders and 0.7% for Australian traders.
If you choose to spread bet, then you should expect a minimum spread of 010%. Spread betting has the lowest costs of CFD, Shares, however, is the riskiest method of investment.
To enable stockbroking, it’s important to pick a suitable platform when selecting the share trading account. This is discussed trading platforms section, but in summary, there are two options:
Selecting either platform during the share trading account sign-up will allow a combination of stockbroking and CFD trading with IG. There is also a market access DMA account to gain direct market prices while paying an extra commission. Overall, most Australian forex brokers do not offer stockbroking services and rather focus on CFD trading. The IG share trading and CMC Markets are presently the larger retail foreign exchange brokers offering these range-of-markets which has led to their popularity over the past decade.
In Australia, IG markets offer retail traders maximum leverage of 200:1 or 250:1 for professional traders, which is one of the lowest levels of all brokers with ASIC regulation.
Traders in the UK, Europe, South Africa can trade a maximum of 20:1 which is lower than the maximum allowable leverage by the ESMA compliant regulators. Professional traders that meet strict qualifying conditions can trade a maximum of 222:1. IG clients from Dubai and USA can trade 50:1.
What this highlights is that IG doesn’t want its traders to a have leveraged currency positions which can lead to magnified profits or losses. They even offer guaranteed stops to further help reduce risk in volatile markets.
While lower spreads and guaranteed stops may be great for many beginner and intermediate traders, some more sophisticated traders may require higher leverage. These traders may wish to consider other fx broker shown on our Australian forex broker comparison table.
It should be noticed that leverage products can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit. Losing your money is a real possibility due to leverage, so it’s critical to understand the risks and consider a demo account before trading real money. Once trading features like stop losses should be considered to help contain risk elements leverage exposes a trader to.
Established in 1974, IG Markets is trusted by over 178,500 worldwide retail investors. IG Group is subject to strict standards and operates under the norms imposed by tire-one regulatory bodies, including:
The table below outlines all the regulatory bodies that supervise IG trading activities.
Additionally, trading CFDs on IG.com come with extra peace of mind as IG Markets also abides by the leading principles of the FX Global Code of Conduct. The online brokers that have signed the FX code created by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) are required to offer a fair trading environment.
There are many locations such as Nigeria which are not covered by the regulator regions above. A trader can choose the entity they trade with (eg FSCA in South Africa) which determines factors such as the leverage available when forex trading.
In the United Kingdom, IG Markets has 2 entities. These are:
Both entities are registered at which Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London EC4R 2YA. IG can be contacted with the following numbers:
IG Markets has a few differences for IG clients in the UK due to FCA regulations which need to follow the rules set by ESMA under MiFID II. FCA has different requirements for Retail traders and Professional Traders.
If you qualify as a professional trader, then you will be able to trade with more relaxed leverage however you will lose negative balance protection and automotive margin closeout when your maintenance margin falls below 50%
To qualify as a professional trader, clients will need to show IG they satisfy the following conditions:
If you wish to binary trade, then IG Markets offers Digital 100s. With digital 100s, you speculate on a true or false event in the market taking place. If you predict the result, then you will gain a profit and if the outcome is false you will lose your stake. IG call this trading Digital 100s as the price ranges from 0 to 100. In other words, you can bet up to 100 that the probability that your prediction will occur.
Digital 100s is only available to Professional traders due to FCA regulations and can be done in the form of spread betting or CFDs trading. Products available for speculation include indices, commodities, forex and sectors.
Traders in the United Kingdom also have Spread Betting and Share trading options (which have previously been discussed).
Founded in 1979, IG Markets is a safe CFD provider regulated by the world’s most trusted financial institutions. IG is authorized and licensed by tier-one regulatory bodies (CFTC, NFA, ASIC and FCA), has round-the-clock support service, offers over 17,000 financial instruments and is the home to over 239,000 retail traders.
Yes, IG uses a market maker model but additionally it also offers Direct Market Access (DMA) via its proprietary trading platform L2 Dealer. Unlike ECN brokers, the market maker brokers ensure that your orders will always get filled without any requotes. However, traders need to keep in mind that IG is the single counterparty to your trades.
IG Markets charges on average 0.6 pips spread on EUR/USD trading and 0.1% commission per share dealing. US share trades come with zero-commission trading while the UK shares require GBP 3 commission per trade. Trading major stock indices like the DAX 30 and FTSE 100 comes with a 1 point spread while gold trading has a minimum spread of 0.3 pips.
An in-depth comparison of the lowest spread forex brokers can help you out better asses IG’s spreads.
IG is the most popular retail foreign exchange forex broker and their all-in-one offering of forex, CFD, spread betting and share trading is why traders choose the broker. Compare Forex Brokers recommends IG for high-volume traders (who attract a lower commission) with a low-risk appetite.
You can view our top forex broker list or the IG vs broker comparison tables including:
When opening an account, four core funding options exist for currency traders:
IG minimum deposit is $450 when using a debit card, Paypal or credit card while those who use a bank transfer or BPAY method have a $0 minimum deposit requirement when opening an IG forex account.
The minimum deposit to start online trading or spread betting with IG Markets is $450 or the equivalent in your local currency. All client funds as discussed earlier are segregated into a separate bank account as per AFSL regulations. Clients of IG Markets can fund their trading accounts in any of the following currencies: USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and HKD. IG clients must be aware that an inactivity fee of $18 will be levied on all trading accounts that have no trading activity for 24 consecutive months.
IG Group is a worldwide global leader in online multi-asset trading headquartered in the City of London, UK. IG clients and possible customers can reach the UK-based broker at its head office address: Cannon Bridge House 25 Dowgate Hill London EC4R 2YA. The company is also listed on the London Stock Exchange LSE and is included in the FTSE 250 Index.
IG is truly an international forex broker with over 45 years of experience in the financial markets. For our IG Markets Review, we assessed if the brand can serve clients from around the world. Our team of industry experts found that IG has a remarkable global presence through its 16 offices (including UK, USA, Australia, Singapore and Europe) spread all around the globe and across five continents.
If you’re considering spread betting and having the option to trade at the same time CFDs, IG Markets is among the fewest online brokers offering both leveraged products. IG clients can open spread bets for CFD trading in both market directions (long and short) across more than 16,000 financial instruments. The most popular markets that can be traded with the CFD accounts include currency pairs, shares, cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Ethereum), ETFs and much more.
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.