ASIC (Australia) Regulated Forex Brokers

Written by Zornitsa Stefanova
Zornitsa Stefanova is experienced forex and crypto analyst. She also covers various financial topics such as stocks trading and retirement investments.
, | Updated: May 14, 2024

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is the regulatory body monitoring the operations of brokers catering to Aussie traders. It is one of the top-tier regulators in the industry, and authorization issued by ASIC usually serves as a token of reputable trading operations. Below, we have provided a list of the best brokers that operate under a license issued by the Australian watchdog, ASIC.

1Fusion Markets
Rating: 4.6 ⭐
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
2AvaTrade
Rating: 4.5 ⭐
76% of retail investor accounts lose money
3eToro
Rating: 4.2 ⭐
51% of retail investor accounts lose money
4Pepperstone
Rating: 4.5 ⭐
75.5% of retail investor accounts lose money
5Plus500
Rating: 4.1 ⭐
80% of retail investor accounts lose money
6FP Markets
Rating: 4.8 ⭐
73.85% of retail CFD accounts lose money
7Eightcap
Rating: 4.3 ⭐
76.09% of retail investor accounts lose money
8XM Group
Rating: 2.7 ⭐
72.82% of retail investor accounts lose money
9FXCM
Rating: 4.2 ⭐
70% of retail investor accounts lose money
10Admirals
Rating: 4.1 ⭐
73% of retail investor accounts lose money

Top 10 Brokers Licensed by ASIC

  1. Fusion Markets is easily one of the best forex brokers Australians can choose to trade with. Launched in 2017, the broker has gained enough experience to know how to provide the best trading conditions for its clients. Forex options present more than 200 currency pairs, including major, minor, and exotic currency tickers. In addition to forex trading, Fusion Markets also covers markets like metals, indices, energy and soft commodities, crypto, and CFDs on US shares.

    Australian traders also have the chance to join Fusion Markets and enjoy some of the best trading conditions online. Fully licensed and regulated by ASIC, Fusion Markets provides forex trading services under Australian Financial Service License No. 385620. You can take a look at the Fusion Markets profile on ASIC’s official register here. As any reputable broker licensed in Australia, Fusion Markets offers its clients negative balance protection. Meanwhile, the maximum available leverage on major currency pairs cannot exceed 30:1.

    Gleneagle Asset Management Limited (ABN 29 103 162 278) trading as Fusion Markets, is the issuer of the Fusion Markets Products described in this communication. Trading in Fusion Markets Products involves the potential for profit as well as the risk of loss which may vastly exceed the amount of your initial deposit and is not suitable for all investors. You should read all of these Financial Product Service Terms, the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the Financial Services Guide (available on our website) carefully, consider your own financial situation, needs and objectives for investing in these Fusion Markets Products and obtain independent financial advice.
  2. Aussie traders looking for a trustworthy broker for their forex trading sessions can head to AvaTrade’s website. There, they will be given the option to choose from popular trading platforms and trade 55 different currency pairs. Some of the lowest spreads and low commission fees make AvaTrade a perfect option for your forex trading. Meanwhile, the safety of your funds is guaranteed as the brand is compliant with ASIC regulatory conditions.

    To provide financial services to traders based in Australia, AvaTrade operates under license No. 406684. The Australian entity of the broker is operated by Ava Capital Markets Australia PTY Ltd., whose ASIC profile can be found here. In compliance with regulatory guidelines imposed by the Australian regulator, AvaTrade has adopted a wide range of security tools, including negative balance protection for all retail trading accounts.

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts 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 your money.
  3. The next reliable broker brand regulated by ASIC on our list is eToro, which is one of the most popular names in the global trading sector. Members of eToro will be granted access to a wide range of markets, including stocks, ETFs, commodities, indices, crypto, and forex. Thanks to the broker’s proprietary platform, forex traders can pick from 55 currency pairs, including major, minor, and some exotic options.

    To cater to the needs of Australian traders, eToro has been authorized to operate by ASIC, providing its services under license No. 491139. If you wish to verify the company’s ASIC regulation, you can check its profile on the regulator’s official website. As a proper member of Australia’s regulated financial market, eToro has adopted a wide range of tools and measures to protect its clients. That is why traders’ money is kept in a separate bank account and retail account holders will not be able to trade with leverage higher than 30:1 for major currency pairs and 20:1 for non-major tickers.

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 51% of retail investor accounts 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 your money.
  4. Launched in 2010, Pepperstone has been operating in the forex trading sector for more than a decade, bringing traders the best trading conditions online. The brand caters to investors from more than 160 countries, with an ASIC license authorizing its operations in Australia. You can trade more than 90 currency pairs, with popular trading platforms like MT4, MT5, cTrader, and even a proprietary trading solution being at traders’ disposal.

    Pepperstone has been authorized to offer financial services to Australians thanks to a license (no. 414530) issued from ASIC. Those who wish to verify the validity of the license and the broker’s permission issued by ASIC can check the brand’s profile on the official website of the Australian regulator.

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.5% of retail investor accounts 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 your money.
  5. Another top-tier broker we can recommend to Aussie traders is Plus500, which has been providing some of the best trading conditions online since its inception in 2008. The brand offers customers a wide range of markets, with forex options enabling trading as many as 60+ currency pairs. Members of Plus500 can enjoy the best value for their trades, with tight spreads and no commission being some of the perks the brand offers to its customers.

    Not only is Plus500 licensed to operate in Australia, but it has adopted a great level of transparency, clearly stating details such as license numbers and regulators. The broker has been authorized to operate by ASIC under license no.417727. If you wish to further confirm the validity of the license, you can check the company’s ASIC profile.

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts 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 your money.
  6. FP Markets joined the forex trading market in 2005 and is currently one of the top brokers catering to thousands of traders. With different account options, the broker offers its members tight spreads starting as low as 0.0 pips. Meanwhile, low commission rates will further make one’s trading sessions more rewarding. Australian traders will also have the chance to explore the markets covered by FP Markets as the brand has been authorized to operate by ASIC.

    In addition to negative balance protection, Australian traders will have access to a wide range of security tools that can limit their losses and help them hedge their risk levels. Under license No. 286354, FP Markets makes sure to follow ASIC regulatory guidelines and offer the best trading conditions for its Aussie customers. If you want to verify the regulatory details about FP Markets, you can check FP Markets’ details on ASIC’s website.

    Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71.23% of retail investor accounts 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 your money.
  7. There are several factors that make Eightcap a great destination for your forex trading. A wide selection of trading instruments, popular trading platforms, and top-tier trader protection are just a few of the elements that tailor a superb trading environment for traders from all over the world. Forex traders from Down Under will be happy to know the broker offers CFDs on 56 currency pairs, with competitive spreads and commission rates available for a wide variety of instruments.

    To ensure a secure trading experience, Eightcap has made sure to follow the strict regulatory requirements imposed by ASIC. If you head to the official website of the broker, you can find more information about its licenses, with Australian operations being authorized via AFSL no. 391441. Detailed information about the company can be also found in ASIC’s official registries.

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.09% of retail investor accounts 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 your money.
  8. Trading is always a smooth and enjoyable process if you decide to trust XM with your investments. Launched in 2009, the company has built up experience in this field and is currently one of the top forex brokers in Australia. Making sure that traders have plenty of options, XM offers more than 50 currency pairs to trade.

    While the low commissions and competitively tight spreads are things worth mentioning, we would also like to highlight the security of one’s funds while trading with XM. The brand operates under license no. 443670 issued by ASIC. The validity of the license as well as the regulatory status of the brand can be verified on the official website of the regulator.

    Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72.82% of retail investor accounts 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 your money.
  9. 9. FXCM

    When it comes to forex trading, it is always worth it to trust a well-experienced brand like FXCM. This broker started its business way back in 1999, making it one of the pioneers in this field. With multiple regulators authorizing the operations of the broker, FXCM has also obtained a financial service license from ASIC (no. 309763). Following strict regulatory measures, FXCM makes sure to protect its Australian clients via leverage limits, negative balance protection, and other tools that may balance out the risk level while trading different assets.

    Transparency is a top priority for this broker, which is why you can easily find information about its regulators and the licenses it has obtained from different jurisdictions. Conveniently enough, Aussie traders can also head to the official website of ASIC and check FXCM’s company details.

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts 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 your money. 
  10. Admiral Markets, recently rebranded to Admirals, is another reputable broker brand we can recommend to Aussie traders. The broker launched its financial services in 2001 and currently offers more than 8,000 trading instruments to its global-based clients. Australian traders will also have access to the various markets supported by Admirals, with an AFSL no. 410681 authorizing the broker’s operations in Australia.

    Forex investors will be given the chance to choose from 82 currency pairs, including popular major, minor, and exotic currency tickers. Low spreads and competitive commissions are also among the perks Aussie traders can enjoy after they become Admirals’ clients. Regulated by ASIC, Admirals makes sure to follow strict regulations for fair and secure trading, which is why leverage above 30:1 will not be available to retail trading accounts. If you wish to confirm the regulatory status of the broker, you can check its profile on ASIC’s official website.

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73% of retail investor accounts 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 your money.

About the Regulator

ASIC was established as a regulatory body in Australia in 1998 while its role and functions were stipulated in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. To be eligible to operate in Australia, brokers must obtain a license issued by ASIC. To do that, they are required to meet a list of requirements that ensure safe and fair trading conditions for Australian traders.

In addition to issuing licenses, ASIC is also responsible for taking regulatory action whenever a company fails to ensure proper trading conditions for its clients or it has breached any of the trading rules and guidelines imposed by ASIC. In the case of misconduct, the regulator can impose financial penalties or revoke the operational license of an entity. The regulatory body also participates in the process of introducing new regulations concerning the financial markets in Australia.

Transparency is an important factor in trading services carried out in Australia. That is why traders can find license information about any company regulated by ASIC on the official website of the authority. Meanwhile, news about any recent regulatory actions is also available on ASIC’s webpage, keeping Aussies informed about any trading-related topic.

Requirements to Get a License Approval

One of the reasons why ASIC is considered one of the most reputable regulators in the forex scene is the licensing process it has established for Australian brokers. To be authorized to offer financial services, including forex trading, to Australian investors, brokers are required to meet several conditions that will prove they are eligible to conduct such businesses and keep their customers’ funds safe.

The license application process is rather simple but companies will be asked to provide a set of documents that will prove they are eligible for ASIC’s approval. In this review, we will cover the basic license and compliance requirements forex brokers are required to meet in order to be licensed by ASIC.

  1. Minimum Capital Requirement:

    According to the latest amendments introduced in the financial service sector in Australia, to be eligible to offer forex services to Aussies, companies must own at least 10% of their revenue or a minimum of AU$1 million in the form of net tangible assets (NTA). A minimum of 50% of a company’s NTA must be held in cash or cash equivalent.

  2. Regular NTA Updates:

    After obtaining an ASIC license, entities are required to provide detailed updates about the company’s NTA at the end of the year. These documents are submitted along with other financial statements proving the broker’s income and capability to continue its operations. Quarterly reports of cash flows for the upcoming 12 months are also required to be submitted regularly.

  3. Australian Registration Requirements:

    To be eligible to obtain a forex license from ASIC, brokers, even foreign ones, must have an office located in Australia. Licensed entities must have at least a few majority clients who are citizens of Australia.

  4. Non-Australian License Requirements:

    Brokers licensed by ASIC and accepting clients from countries outside Australia are required to have licenses issued by the regulatory bodies based in clients’ respective jurisdictions.

  5. Clients Funds Segregation:

    Forex brokers must keep their customers’ funds in a trust, separate from the company’s capital. Since the regulator does not allow brokers to use their clients’ money as working capital, licensed companies must use their own capital to hedge the risk related to providing financial services.

  6. Conducting Safe and Fair Trading:

    Brokers licensed in Australia must become members of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). Licensees must also appoint Responsible Managers and make sure to implement internal dispute resolution schemes. Cybersecurity must also be guaranteed by brokers who are required to implement policies, technology, and other tools that protect their customers’ sensitive information and funds.

Typically, if a broker meets all license requirements, the process of reviewing the application and issuing the ASIC license takes between 120 and 140 days. The fees related to the licensing process tend to range between AU$35,000 and AU$50,000.

Is Your Money Protected

Australian traders can be certain that their funds will always be properly protected, that is, of course, if the broker they have chosen to join is regulated and licensed by ASIC. Quite a few of the license conditions brokers are required to meet are implemented to make sure that traders’ money will always be protected.

As already mentioned, there is a minimum capital requirement that brokers must meet in order to be eligible to apply for an ASIC license. Up until 2013, the minimum capital that could have qualified brokers for an operational license was AU$50,000. The period between 2013 and February 2014 introduced a change in the minimum capital condition, asking license applicants to own 5% of their revenues or a minimum of AU$500,000 as NTA. At least 50% of that amount had to be in the form of cash or cash equivalent.

As of February 2014, following the Basel Ⅲ norms for revenue and capital, the minimum capital requirement has been significantly increased. The condition to own 50% of the NTA amount in cash or cash equivalent was introduced as a measure to handle any unexpected losses. Since clients’ funds are held in segregated bank accounts, such losses are met only via the company’s own operational capital.

ASIC also requires licensed brokers to implement tools and measures like margin closeout and negative balance protection. The former requires brokers to close out any positions if the margin is reduced to 50% of the required margin level. The latter makes sure that trading with higher leverage will not cause losses bigger than the amounts traders have deposited into their accounts.

FAQ

  • How can Australians make sure they trade with a reputable forex broker?

    Aussie traders should always pick forex brokers licensed by ASIC. This will guarantee that their funds will be properly protected and they will have access to tools like margin closeout and negative balance protection.

  • How can I verify the validity of a broker’s license?

    You can head to the Professional Registers section on ASIC’s website and enter either the name of the broker’s operator or the number of the license you see on the broker’s website. In the section that requires a specific register, select Australian Financial Services Licensee, and click on Search. Any relevant information to the broker’s license will be provided, allowing you to verify the validity of its ASIC permission.

  • Are there any leverage limits imposed on forex trading with ASIC brokers?

    Yes. ASIC has introduced mandatory leverage limits on forex trading, with each licensed broker required to abide by this strict regulation. Traders can make use of maximum leverage of up to 30:1 on major currency pairs and up to 20:1 on minor currency pairs.

  • Can Australians make use of higher leverage when they trade with ASIC-regulated brokers?

    Yes. Many brokers licensed and regulated by ASIC will offer their clients the opportunity to open professional trading accounts. To qualify for professional trading status, traders must meet several conditions that will allow them to trade higher volumes with leverage way above the standard maximum of 30:1.

  • Do all ASIC-regulated brokers offer negative balance protection?

    Yes. If a broker has obtained authorization to operate from ASIC, the brand must apply negative balance protection to all of its retail trading accounts. That way, traders who make use of leverage will not be able to accumulate losses that exceed their deposit balance.


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