Interactive Brokers is a low fee forex broker with 8 entities from Canada to Australia and regulation including FCA, ASIC and FINRA offering the advanced TWS forex trading platform, a range of CFDs from cryptocurrency to ETFs backed by a score of 7.8/10 from 32 Interactive Brokers reviews.
Advantages for active forex traders Interactive Brokers offers the:
For those new to CFDs or low-volume traders, issues of Interactive Brokers are:
View the full Interactive Brokers forex review below for more details on each of the key points above.
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The overall rating is based on review by our experts
The two main trading fees for any forex broker are spreads and commissions.
Interactive Brokers forex offering is the only true ECN broker with direct access to interbank quotes. This means:
While the online broker doesn’t publish their average spreads (for comparison to other brokers) you can see their real-time quotes on their website that are set by the market.
IBKR has low commissions which get lower based on volume, making it excellent value for high-volume traders. The table below details how a high volume forex trader can achieve a low commission multiple of just 0.08 basis points.
Low Commission Example
To provide an example scenario of the highest traded tier (USD >$5b), if $1,000,000 units of EUR/USD were traded, the total calculation would be $1,000,000 EUR * 0.00001 = $10 EUR. This Euro amount would then be converted to USD at the real-time value set by IBKR. At lighter monthly trading volumes a broker like Pepperstone or IC Markets may have lower commissions but for active traders, IBKR has low costs.
Interactive Brokers offers two commission pricing models:
The second main element that impacts trading costs is the spreads. Our Interactive Brokers forex review rated the spreads as an ‘ECN broker’ as they quote prices based on the sixteen largest exchange dealers. This is 60%+ market-share of the interbank market-making EUR/USD spreads from 0.1 pips. To clarify, spreads are not marked up and the foreign exchange broker makes its money from commissions.
Our Interactive Brokers forex review found the CFDs provider offers ECN broker spreads (market-based spreads) and the lowest commissions for high-volume traders. If your predicted future trade value and you’re looking for a low-cost broker, then you should consider IBKR.
As one of the largest forex brokers in the world, IBKR has created its own forex trading platform, including:
The biggest advantage of IBKR trading platform is you can trade more than just forex and CFDs. This means you don’t need a separate stockbroker platform or platform to trade futures or bonds.
Alternative Interactive Brokers offers an FX Trader offering:
IB FX Trader includes additional real-time news powered by Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, Seeking Alpha, etc. Disclaimer: The news should not be considered as a piece of investment advice, it’s for general information only.
The table below shows the range of markets including Stocks, Options, Futures and even Bonds.
The disadvantages of IBKR platform is that that existing forex traders will need to learn the unique platform and that switching fx brokers later will be difficult with the need to switch platforms. This is compared to the most popular forex trading platforms like MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader which are offered by a large proportion of CFD providers. Another issue comes to sharing information and tools such as forex bots with more choice available on popular platforms compared to IBKR.
The IBKR platform (especially TWS platform) is the best forex platform for traders looking for an all-in-one solution. If you want to trade shares, CFDs and foreign exchange without switching platforms while having powerful features, IBKR is right for you. Only if you’re looking to more focus on CFDs or forex and be closely connected with the majority of traders worldwide should you consider another platform like MetaTrader 4.
Interactive brokers are one of the few online brokers’ providers to offer a full range of financial service. Using the IBKR Universal Account™, a professional can trade a plethora of services across the globe, including:
Those looking to trade more than just forex across the globe across multiple markets with the single interface are ideally suited toward IBKR. Our Interactive Brokers review strengths clearly signal that it’s appropriate for professional traders who are active traders (high volume traders).
Interactive Brokers forex accounts have no minimum deposit requirements as shown below. This is across both trading accounts for individuals. As mentioned in the next section, there are inactivity charges to consider which are partially set on the trading account balance.
Interactive Brokers is rated among the best online brokers worldwide. Headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, IB is a financial technology company listed on the NASDAQ, ticker symbol IBKR. Interactive Brokers holds licenses from regulators in the following regions:
Based in London, Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited has FCA number 208159. Based on this regulation, there are ESMA restrictions and requirements unique to the region. As of April 2021, 64% of retail CFD trading accounts lose money which is lower than other large brokers:
In 2020, IBKR launched their Singapore operations under MAS regulation. Their licence number is CMS100917, and they are located at 8 Marina View #40-02A Asia Square Tower.
Based in Connecticut (USA), Interactive Brokers LLC is regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The United States subsidiary is also regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It should be noted that just a handful of brokers are regulated in the USA, giving Americans an opportunity to trade forex and CFDs.
Based on Quebec, Interactive Brokers Canada is regulated by the IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada). In the region, IBKR only offers trading services (eg CFD trading) and not advisory services.
Based out of Sydney, Interactive Brokers Australia is regulated by ASIC with an Australian Financial Services Licence 453554. In the region, IBKR offers global stockbroking, CFD trading and many other services unlike most other brokers in the region.
Based in Mumbai, Interactive Brokers India is a member of several organisations including SEBI, BSE and NSE. The SEBI registration number INZ000217730 for the region.
Interactive Brokers Securities Japan Incorporated is both members of The Financial Futures and Japan Securities Dealers Association. The Japanese subsidiary has registration number 187.
IBKR trades as Interactive Brokers Hong Kong Limited and is members of both the HKFE and SEHK.
Regulated by the CSSF (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier), IBKR Europe SARL is based in Luxembourg and is a member of the Système d’indemnisation des investisseurs.
Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI), Interactive Brokers Ireland Limited is based in Dublin and is a member of the Irish Investors Compensation Scheme (ICS).
Regulated by the Central Bank of Hungary (CBI) under no H-EN-III-623/2020, Interactive Brokers Central Europe Zrt. is based in Budapest.
Interactive Brokers charge an activity fee for low trading or low balance accounts. An activity fee can be:
These fees become $0 if commissions for the month reach USD $10 or higher. This inactivity fee is $USD 3 when the account holder is either 25 years old or under. Market data subscription data is also removed from an account where the balance is lower than $500 USD.
Traders who plan to trade infrequently and with low volume may want to consider another broker such as OANDA who only charge an inactivity fee after 12 months. It should be noted that OANDA in our analysis has higher spreads and commissions when trading.
Interactive Brokers offers leverage (margin rates) on forex trading that is at the lower end of the market. Leverage is also set by the regulation an individual falls under with the standard 30:1 on forex within the UK (FCA maximum leverage for retail traders).
Leverage increases individuals’ exposure to markets. This means that losses can be substantial and traders should know the high risks of online trading and consider a demo account first. In regions such as America, Europe and Japan, leverage is heavily restricted. Traders looking for higher leverage should view the best forex broker table. This can include algorithmic traders who often require the highest leverage available.
Interactive doesn’t offer higher leverage to reduce exposure to the market with additional automated risk controls in place. This is backed by the broker’s conservative balance sheet and capital controls.
Yes, Interactive Brokers clients can trade forex on the spot market or via CFDs (Contract for Difference). IBKR offers 85 currency pairs with favourable margin rate and low spreads. Choose from the Top 10 Forex Brokers In The World 2021 based on our independent and unbiased star scoring system.
Yes, Interactive Brokers is considered to be a safe multi-asset brokerage trading firm. Interactive Brokers is known to be one of the biggest US-based electronic trading platforms rated as the best online brokers by Barron’s. The broker complies with the requirements imposed by the world’s biggest financial regulator the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
No, Interactive Brokers is not recommended for beginner traders. TWS Trader Workstation requires a steep learning curve and the platform interface is difficult to navigate. For beginner traders, we recommend Pepperstone or IC Markets which are better suited to accommodate the needs of the inexperienced traders.
Interactive is suited for traders looking for an ‘all-in-one’ broker offering more than just forex trading but also stockbroking, mutual funds and even have a hedge fund marketplace.
Active investors looking to trade a range of products with low brokerage should consider IBKR.
With regulation across the globe, Interactive Brokers can offer most individuals with the trading solution to meet their needs. Even beginner traders can learn about trading through Interactive Brokers Traders’ Academy, which provides webinars and educational videos on a range of topics including trading concepts, IBKR’s financial offerings, platform tutorials and so much more. For any inquiries, we encourage potential clients to get in touch directly with Interactive Brokers Customer Support.
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.