The gold standard when forex trading is using an ECN forex broker that has no dealing desk to minimise spreads and execution speeds. The ECN forex accounts show below are from the best forex brokers and vary by minimum deposit requirements, trading platforms, CFDs offered and MAS regulation for Singapore traders.
By Justin Grossbard / Updated: Monday, December 30th, 2019
Best ECN Brokers 2020 For Singapore Traders
Pepperstone – Fastest execution speeds and lowest commissions
IC Markets – Low minimum deposit and spreads
Interactive Brokers – Lowest ECN spreads for the highest volume traders
AxiTrader – Low spread broker specialising in MetaTrader 4
IG Markets – Largest forex broker offering a direct market access account
FXTM – Specialist ECN broker account but is not Singapore regulated
FxPro – No dealing desk account but higher spreads than competitors
Saxo Bank – Singapore regulated ECN broker but high minimum deposit
Razor Account – A Forex Broker offering ECN-style Trading
Pepperstone’s Razor Account facilitates forex trading with similar features to an ECN trading where traders are linked to over 20 liquidity providers operating in global markets. A Razor Account offers direct access spreads as low as 0.0 pips, no dealing desk involvement and ultra-fast execution. Although both Razor and Standard Pepperstone Accounts permit hedging, expert advisors and scalping, the ECN-like Razor Account is designed to give scalpers and algorithmic traders access to institutional grade spreads with low commission from AUD $7 (round turn). To open a Razor Account, Pepperstone requires a low minimum deposit of AUD $200 with traders gaining leverage up to 500:1 on forex trades.
CFD and Forex Trading
Pepperstone provides direct market access to financial markets such as forex pairs, CFDs and commodities. Over 80 currency pairs are available, including major, minor, and exotic currencies. CFD trading is offered on Indices, Shares, Commodities, Currency Indices and Cryptocurrency. Popular cryptocurrencies are available to be traded against the USD, including Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash with up to 5:1 leverage.
Trading Tools and Features
An ECN-like Razor Account is available on cTrader, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. All platforms offer tools to develop trading strategies, including customisable charting, strategy backtesting, Expert Advisors and copy trading. Pepperstone offers an array of add-ons and advanced trading tools specifically for MetaTrader platforms. Smart Trader Tools consist of 13 Expert Advisors and 15 indicators to develop sophisticated trading strategies.
Pepperstone’s rewards program offers cash rebates to high volume traders. A monthly rebate can range from $200-500 and is deposited daily into trading accounts so investors can trade with the funds immediately. If eligible, high volume traders can upgrade from a retail investor account to premium client status. Premium traders gain access to market insights developed by Pepperstone’s analysts, as well as increased leverage and invitations to exclusive VIP events.
When setting up a Pepperstone Razor Account, Singapore based clients can conveniently select from 10 base currencies: SGD, HKD, NZD, JPY, GBP, CHF, CAD, USD, or AUD. Although Pepperstone is not a MAS regulated broker, they are overseen by top tier authorities such as ASIC and FCA.
cTrader, MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader5
ASIC (Australia), FCA (United Kingdom)
Forex, CFDs – Indices, Shares, Commodities, Currency Indices and Cryptocurrency
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
10 / 10
10 / 10
10 / 10
7 / 10
Range of Markets
8 / 10
10 / 10
IC Markets – Raw Spread Account
IC Markets Raw Spread Account is similar to an ECN account with quick order execution and spreads as low as 0.0 pips due to the forex broker working with 25 top tier liquidity providers. The ECN-type account was designed for scalping, automated trading, high volume trading with access to institutional-grade pricing with no dealing desk (NDD) involvement. Hedging is also allowed due to IC Markets not enforcing first in first out (FIFO) practices.
A low minimum deposit is required to open a Raw Spread Account, with other fees charged below the market average. No deposit or withdrawals fees are charged, with round-trip commission of $7 for ECN-type spreads. For traders of Islamic faith, IC Markets offers a swap-free account, where a flat overnight commission is charged if holding leveraged positions, compared to the standard percentage-based financing fees.
IC Markets product catalogue is limited with investors restricted to trading CFDs and foreign exchange. Maximum leverage is on the high side, going up to 500:1. For investors wanting to concentrate on trading forex with features similar to an ECN account, IC Market’s Raw Spread Account is well-suited. A demo account is available on either MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 where investors can practise ECN-type trades.
Interactive Brokers IBKR Pro Account is an ECN-like account where investors can trade with other IB clients as well as liquidity providers such as banks. IBKR Pro Accounts are available as an institutional or retail investor account, as well as being suitable for advisors and brokers. With complex trading platforms and high inactivity fees, IBKR Pro Accounts are best for experienced, high volume traders.
Interactive Brokers offers 22 currency pairs for forex traders to choose from, with Crypto products available in the form of Bitcoin Futures as well as Ethereum and Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs).
The ECN-like broker derives market prices from 16 global exchange dealers. With no mark up or fees built into the spreads, the ECN-like spreads are as low as 0.1 pips for EUR/USD. Interactive Brokers has a tiered volume based commission structure where fees depend on a traders monthly trading volume. High volume traders are rewarded with lower commission fees ranging from 0.08-0.2%. Additionally, IBKR Pro Account clients will earn interest on idle cash balances in excess of $10,000.
Interactive Brokers requires no minimum deposit. The forex broker charges no deposit fees and the first withdrawal each month fee of charge. Yet, a high inactivity fee of up to $20 a month is imposed if clients do not generate at least $20 in commissions or maintain a balance of $100,000. Likewise, a $10 inactivity fee is imposed if commission fees are less than $10 per month, or a traders balance drops below $2,000.
For investors interested in following professional portfolio managers, IB offers an asset management service for copy trading. A minimum deposit of $5000 is required, with an annual management fee of 0.08-1.5% being incurred for the service.
AxiTrader’s MetaTrader 4 Pro Account is designed for experienced traders wanting access to ECN-like spreads, low commissions, and fast execution. Similar to an ECN trading environment, the MT4 Pro account provides traders spreads as low as 0.0 pips due to AxiTrader working with top-tier international liquidity providers.
Unlike AxiTrader’s Standard Account, the MT4 Pro Account charges round trip commission of $3.50 per side, with no commission fee built into the spread. Combined with AxiTrader’s liquidity providers, the flat rate commission allows for Axitrader’s 0.0 pip spreads and an environment similar to ECN trading. No minimum deposit is required to set up a MetaTrader 4 Pro Account with AxiTrader. Once signed up, scalping is permitted with traders having access to maximum leverage of 400:1.
In addition to forex markets, AxiTrader’s offers products including Cryptocurrency, ETFs and CFDs among others. As with most forex brokers, a demo account is available for 30 days and users are given virtual cash to stimulate trades and explore the MT4 platform.
As AxiTrader’s Pro account is designed for MetaTrader4, with features such as AutoChartist and Expert Advisors for automated trading available. To download MetaTrader’s latest MT4 software NextGen for free, traders require a minimum deposit of $1,000. The latest MT4 NextGen platform includes features such as a correlation trader, sentiment indicator, alarm manager, economic calendar, forex news, session map, as well as an automated trade journal.
IG Markets is a Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulated broker that accepts clients from Singapore as well as internationally. A minimum deposit of $450 is required to open an account, with deposits and withdrawals incurring a 2.3% fee. In addition to IG Markets standard CFD trading account that gives traders access to over 16,000 financial instruments, the forex broker offers Direct Market Access (DMA) to ECN-type marketplaces and liquidity providers.
DMA execution provides forex traders ECN-like spreads with orders placed directly onto an exchanges order books. As there is no intermediary, clients can view both sides of the order book for a certain market. With the ability to view all current orders, DMA users can assess market liquidity, determine market sentiment and trade accordingly.
IG Markets DMA prices are derived from market makers such as currency exchanges, banks and liquidity providers resulting in ECN-like spreads of 0.165 pips for EUR/USD. Commission fees are structured to reward high volume Forex Direct traders, ranging from $10 to $60 per $1,000,000.
L2 Dealer is IG Markets proprietary DMA platform for ECN-type trading. The DMA platform gives traders access to a vast range of order types, live market news and ladder dealing. Although the platform was designed for trading DMA shares and forex, investors also have access to OTC forex and shares, as well as the benefits of spread betting.
L2 Dealer (Desktop DMA platform), iOS and Android Apps
MAS (Singapore), FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), FMA (New Zealand), DSFA (Dubai), FINMA (Switzerland), FSCA (South Africa), CFTC (US), JFSA (Japan)
Forex (OTC or DMA), Shares (OTC or DMA), Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Indices and Options
The Cyprus based broker FXTM launched its ECN Zero account in 2013. Straight Through Processing (STP) and No Dealing Desk (NDD) technology provides ECN Zero clients access to highly competitive spreads with no commission fees attached to trades. FXTM allows hedging and scalping, with highly volatile prices creating an excellent environment for scalping.
ECN Zero clients are required to make a minimum deposit of $200 but gain access to leverage well above the market average, of up to 1000:1.
The ECN Zero Amanah account is an account designed for Islamic traders. Yet, the swap-free account is only available on MetaTrader 4.
MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 – Mobile, Web and Desktop (Windows, Android, and iOS)
FxPro’s MT4 account is a commission-free account that offers clients either instant or market order execution, both with no dealing desk (NDD) intervention. Clients preferring instant order execution will receive access to spreads of 1.71, while market order execution spreads average 1.58 pips. FxPro’s spreads are much higher than other ECN type accounts such as FXTM ECN Zero Account or Pepperstone’s Razor Account.
Although FxPro is not an STP broker, NDD intervention means trades are executed in less than 11.06ms. Advantages of FxPro’s MT4 account include the allowance for hedging as well as greater market access. FxPro’s MT5 Account doesn’t allow Share CFD trading or hedging, while FxPro’s cTrader Account doesn’t support Share or Future CFDs.
FxPro offers demo and Micro accounts and recommends an initial deposit of $500.
MetaTrader 4 – Desktop, WebTrader, Android and iOS
FCA (United Kingdom), CySEC (Cyprus), DFSA (Dubai), FSCA (South Africa)
Saxo Bank is a popular broker in Southeast Asia and is MAS regulated. The forex broker that provides clients’ market access to 182 forex pairs, over 9,000 CFDs, and a range of ETFs, Futures, Commodities, Stocks, and Bonds. The forex broker’s ECN-like spreads result from Saxo deriving prices from tier 1 liquidity providers such as ECNs, market-making firms, and banks.
Active traders can upgrade corporate and retail investor accounts to VIP status and gain access to tighter spreads among other benefits. VIP clients gain access to spreads as tight as 0.4 pips on currency pairs such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, EUR/JPY and USD/JPY, compared to 0.6-0.7 pips for standard accounts. Saxo’s VIP account is best suited to high volume traders due to the minimum deposit of SGD $1 million.
Though the high initial minimum deposit, Saxo VIP clients are appointed a dedicated relationship manager to provide priority customer service. Relationship managers offer a range of services for VIP clients, from assisting with sophisticated orders to providing insight into risk management strategies and the latest market movements. Additionally, clients are invited to exclusive VIP events as well as meetings with the Saxo team to develop trading strategies and perfect risk management techniques.
SaxoTraderPRO, SaxoTraderGO, Saxo Investor compatible with iOS, Android and Windows
MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), FSA (Denmark), CySec (Cyprus), FCA (United Kingdom) and ASIC (Australia)
Singapore residents can legally trade forex in Singapore. Domestic brokers based in Singapore are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), while other international forex brokers are regulated by top-tier authorities such as ASIC and FCA. MAS promotes efficient and competitive financial markets, with Singapore residents who participate in financial markets in addition to their regular occupation enjoying tax-free capital gains on forex trades.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore acts as the country’s central bank and regulator of financial markets. Singapore is the fifth largest forex trading centre in the world, and the largest in Southeast Asia. MAS ensures Singapore’s financial markets are upheld to the high standards seen in global markets such as the United Kingdom and Australia. As with ASIC (Au) and FCA (UK) regulation, MAS regulated brokers are required to hold traders’ funds in segregated accounts where the money is prohibited from being used as operational capital.
As cryptocurrency is a highly volatile asset, trading Bitcoin etc is considered high risk. It is worth noting that MAS does not offer any legislative protection or risk warning regarding cryptocurrency trading. This is due to cryptocurrency assets not being classed as legal tender, yet MAS recently announced the authority is initiating steps to begin regulating instruments such as Bitcoin.