IC Markets is a leading ECN brokerage with a global footprint, which offers solutions for traders of all skill levels and employing various strategies and trading styles – from scalping to swing and position trading.

In the current broker review, we will pay attention to the key aspects of IC Markets, which you may consider before deciding whether to trade with this brokerage.

Key Pros and Cons

Let us first provide a quick snapshot of IC Markets’ advantages and disadvantages.

Key Pros

  • Deep interbank liquidity and raw pricing
  • True ECN execution with no dealing desk intervention
  • No fees on deposits and withdrawals and no inactivity fee
  • Good selection of account types, including Zero Spread accounts
  • Good selection of trading platforms and comprehensive trading tools
  • Leverage of up to 1:500 available
  • Great customer support and other services

Key Cons

  • No FCA regulation
  • No US, Canadian and Japanese clients
  • Negative Balance Protection available only for Australian and EU clients

Company Information

IC Markets was established in 2007 by a team of experts with over 20 years of experience in derivative markets. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, the brokerage was founded with the vision of ensuring fair and transparent access to the Forex market for active traders, while bringing solutions that were previously available only to professionals and institutional investors to retail traders across the globe.

IC Markets Group is comprised of the following entities with their respective regulated offices:

  1. International Capital Markets Pty Ltd, regulated by the ASIC; office address: 50 Carrington Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia;
  2. IC Markets (EU) Ltd, regulated by the CySEC; office address: 141 Omonoias Avenue, The Maritime Centre, Block B, 3045 Limassol, Cyprus;
  3. Raw Trading Ltd, regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority; office address: Eden Plaza, Office 209, Eden Island, Mahe, Seychelles;
  4. IC Markets Ltd, regulated by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas; office address: Unit 3B, Western Road, Western New Providence Commercial Centre, Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas.

With over 180,000 active clients, IC Markets is the largest Forex and CFD provider by Forex volume globally, according to Finance Magnates Q2 2020 Intelligence Report. As of March 2021, the broker had $1.04 trillion in global trading volume.

Still, we should note that the Australian brokerage does not accept clients from particular countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Israel and Iran.

Why Trade with IC Markets?

Now, let us provide a quick list of the key features that we like about IC Markets.

AspectWhat we like
RegulationReputable and secure broker, regulated by the ASIC, the CySEC and the FSA of the Seychelles
PricingUltra-low spreads and competitive commissions
ExecutionImpeccable order execution based on cutting-edge ECN technology, ensuring no dealing desk intervention, no requotes and minimized risk of slippage. In other words, the best possible conditions for scalping and automated trading strategies.
TradingDiverse selection of tradable asset classes, including Currency Pairs, Commodities, Stock CFDs, Stock Indices, Cryptocurrencies and Bonds. There are also no restrictions on trade orders and no limits on trade sizes.
PlatformsMetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader. Advanced trading tools included.
Customer SupportProfessional, 24/7 support service via several channels

Regulation

IC Markets is a multi-regulated Forex and CFD provider. In Australia, its home market, it complies with strict regulatory standards of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which is a top-tier industry regulator.

In the EU, it is authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), which is a Tier 2 regulator, or less stringent, for example, than the ASIC, the FCA or FINMA.

And, IC Markets’ operations in other parts of the globe are handled by a corporate entity that is licensed and regulated by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, which can be considered as rather loose.

A breakdown of the various regulation regimes is presented below.

RegionEntityAuthorityLicense
AustraliaInternational Capital Markets Pty LtdAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)AFS License No. 335 692
EUIC Markets (EU) LtdCyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)License No: 362/18
InternationallyIC Markets LtdSecurities Commission of The BahamasLicense No: SIA-F214
InternationallyRaw Trading LtdSeychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA)License No: SD018

We can say that the broker’s regulation is good, without being way too rigorous. If it had a FCA, FINMA or CTFC authorization, that would certainly not have been the case.

The lack of FCA regulation means that clients will not be able to receive compensation of up to GBP 85,000 from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in an event of broker insolvency. However, under CySEC regulation, EU clients will be compensated by the Cyprus Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) for an amount of up to EUR 20,000, if IC Markets’ EU arm fails to meet its financial obligations.

And, the lack of CFTC regulation means that IC Markets cannot provide online trading services to clients based in the United States.

We should also note that the broker does not accept clients from several other countries, including Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Japan and Iran.

Regulation

  • Multi-jurisdiction regulation helps to develop trust
  • CySEC regulation translates into EUR 20,000 compensation per covered client
  • FSA regulation translates into higher leverage allowed - up to 1:500

KYC Procedure for Account Creation and Depositing

Signing up with IC Markets turned out to be quite fast and effortless process. The entire procedure took us less than 10 minutes, while our live account was verified within 24 hours. We can say that it was a rather standard procedure, the steps of which can be presented as follows:

  1. Contact Details – country of residence, first and last name, email address and telephone number;

  2. Some Personal Details – date of birth and address;

  3. Choosing an account type – individual, joint or corporate;

  4. Configuring the trading account – choosing a trading platform, an account type (Standard or Raw Spread) and a base account currency;

  5. Providing information about your trading experience and selecting a security question. The secret answer to that question will be used by the brokerage to verify your identity when contacting it via phone, email or live chat;

  6. Declaration that you have read and agree with all the legal documentation of IC Markets, including Terms and Conditions, Order Execution Policy, Privacy Policy and Risk Disclosure Notice;
  7. Providing proof of ID (Passport, or National ID card, or Driver’s License) and proof of residency (utility bill, or bank account statement), which IC Markets will have to verify.

Once you have filled the profile form and uploaded your identifying documentation, you will have to wait until the brokerage verifies your account. The procedure takes one business day. Once the review is complete, you can fund your account and begin trading.

We should note that IC Markets will also conduct a suitability test, where you will be asked to provide info about your employment and income as well as trading knowledge and experience.

Account Opening

  • Quick sign up process (less than 10 minutes)
  • Sign up includes a suitability test

Account Types

In an attempt to satisfy trading needs and financial objectives of clients of all skill levels, IC Markets has designed several types of live trading accounts, including:

  • Standard Account
  • Raw Spread Account
  • cTrader Raw Spread Account

Standard Account

This account type is very suitable for novice traders, because of its simplicity when it comes to pricing and trading costs. You can access competitive raw pricing and take advantage of no trading commissions, as all costs are incorporated into the bid-ask spread. As a result, you will pay a bit wider spreads on all tradable asset classes, starting from 0.6 pips on major Forex pairs such as EUR/USD. The advantage here is that you will not have to make any cost calculations before placing a trade. Trading platforms available include MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.

Raw Spread Account

According to IC Markets, this is currently the most popular account type with clients. Due to the broker’s cutting-edge ECN technology, you will be able to access the lowest possible spreads (as low as 0.0 pips) on all major and minor Forex pairs available as well as on Spot Metals. In exchange for these conditions, the broker will charge you a small commission of $7.0 per round turn for every 1 Standard Lot (100,000 currency units) traded. More active traders will find this account type as quite appealing, as it will allow them to reduce trading costs. Raw pricing coupled with exceptional order execution makes the Raw Spread Account very suitable for scalpers, day traders as well as clients who employ automated trading strategies. Trading platforms available include MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.

cTrader Raw Spread Account

This is another account type, which allows trading with the lowest possible Forex spreads, starting from 0.0 pips, on IC Markets’ cTrader platform. In exchange for ECN trading conditions, you will be charged a small commission of $6.0 per round turn, per 1 Standard Lot. Similar to the Raw Spread account type, the cTrader Raw Spread Account will be very suitable for both scalpers and day traders.

There are also several other account types offered by the broker.

  1. Multi Accounts Manager – MAM/PAMM
    This is a good solution for money managers and other professionals who can take advantage of flexible allocation methods and real-time reporting of performance and commissions. It is also a suitable solution for money managers who use expert advisors.
  2. Islamic Account (Swap-Free)
    IC Markets also offers a swap-free account type suitable for clients of Muslim faith, as there will be no interest fees credited or debited. Trades in major and minor currency pairs, Metals and Stock Indices will be associated with no swap or interest being earned or paid.

    The only exceptions are instruments such as Brent Crude Oil, Natural Gas, WTI Crude Oil and exotic currency pairs, which will incur a small overnight financing charge. Any trades in those instruments that remain active for over 24 hours will incur a flat financing fee ($10 per Lot in GBP/SEK, $30 per Lot in USD/RUB, $50 per Lot in EUR/TRY). The Islamic account option is available on all three main account types.

  3. Demo Account
    With IC Markets, you can also open a free Demo Account, which is configured to support all account types, all trading platforms and all trading instruments available with the broker. Since it mimics real-time trading conditions, the demo is very appropriate for testing a variety of trading strategies in a risk-free environment (with virtual money), while also getting acquainted with platform features and tools.

Account Types

  • 3 main account types: Standard, Raw Spread, cTrader Raw Spread
  • Islamic Account available
  • Standard Account suitable for novice traders
  • Raw Spread Account spreads reduce trading costs

Trading fees and other costs

Selecting a brokerage with low trading fees is a key moment to consider. As with any other CFD and Forex broker, with IC Markets you will need to be aware of two types of fees:

  • Trading fees – spreads, commissions and overnight financing rates;
  • Non-trading fees – account management fees, deposit and withdrawal fees, non-activity fees.

Let us provide a breakdown of those two categories and see if IC Markets has managed to remain competitive on this front.

Costs/feesWhat is this?with IC Markets
SpreadsThe cost incorporated into the price of what you trade. A wider bid-ask spread means higher costs.
  • Spreads are ultra-thin.
  • Standard Account: average spread of 0.62 pips on EUR/USD is very competitive.
  • Raw Spread Account: average spread of 0.02 pips on EUR/USD is currently one of the best in the world.
CommissionA flat fee paid per position often used as an alternative to charging via the spread.
  • Standard Account: No commissions.
  • Raw Spread Account: $7.0 per lot for the total trade is competitive.
Financing chargesThe cost of holding a position active overnight.The broker will not charge an extra fee on top of standard swaps rates.
Deposit feesFees charged by the broker to fund your account.None
(see more in Deposit Methods below)
Withdrawal feesFees charged by the broker to withdraw money from your account.None
(see Withdrawal Methods below)
Inactivity feesFees charged on dormant trading accounts.None

Spreads

There are two different pricing models on IC Markets’ main account types:

  • Standard Account – all-inclusive spread only;
  • Raw Spread Account – extremely tight spreads (starting from 0.0 pips) + a small commission (USD 7.0 per round turn, per lot for USD-based account; EUR 5.5 per round turn, per lot for EUR-based account).

Let us take a look at the average spreads on both account types:

InstrumentStandard AccountRaw Spread Account
EUR/USD0.62 pips0.02 pips
GBP/USD0.83 pips0.23 pips
USD/JPY0.74 pips0.14 pips

There is a mark-up (of 0.6 pips) to the average spread on IC Markets’ Standard Account to cover the costs of trading.

Now, let us compare the trading costs for the two account types. Let us have a 1 Lot trade on EUR/USD (where 1 pip movement equals $10). Let us assume that the trade is opened and closed at the same price. By using the average spreads, the trading costs for the two accounts will be:

  1. Standard Account
    • Spread – 0.62 pips
    • TOTAL COST – 0.62 x $10 = $6.20.
  2. Raw Spread Account
    • Spread – 0.02 pips
    • Spread cost – 0.02 x $10 = $0.20
    • Commission – $7.00 per round turn
    • TOTAL COST – $0.20 + $7.00 = $7.20.

Finally, let us compare IC Markets Standard Account average spreads with those offered by other brokerages on the three most actively traded Forex pairs.

InstrumentIC MarketsFusion MarketsAvaTradeIG Markets
EUR/USD0.620.890.90.7
GBP/USD0.830.961.60.9
USD/JPY0.740.911.11.2

Clearly, IC Markets outpaces its competitors in terms of average spreads offered on the Standard Account.

Commissions

IC Markets will charge a commission of $7.0 for 1 Lot, per round turn (open and close of trade) on its Raw Spread Account.

This means:

  • for a 1 Standard Lot trade (100,000 units) you will pay a $7.0 commission to open and close the position;
  • for a 1 Micro Lot trade (1,000 units) you will pay a $0.07 commission to open and close the position.

A $7.0 commission for a 1 Lot trade is reasonable, as many other leading brokerages will charge similar commissions. However, an equivalent trade on a zero spread account with brokers such as Fusion Markets will incur a $4.50 commission per round turn, which is among the most competitive offers within the industry right now.

Spreads & Commissions

  • Standard and Raw Spread Account spreads are very competitive
  • Raw Spread Account commissions are reasonable, but can be lower

Financing charges

If you hold a currency position overnight, you will incur an overnight financing charge, or swap rate. This charge is determined by the overnight interest rate differential between the two currencies included in the particular pair and whether you are holding a long position or a short position. All swap rates are presented in points, while the MT4 and MT5 platforms will automatically convert them into your base account currency. IC Markets’ MT4 swap rates for some major pairs are presented as follows:

Currency PairLong PositionShort Position
AUD/USD-2.48-1.72
EUR/USD-5.23-0.47
GBP/USD-3.44-2.73
USD/CHF0.11-4.87

Deposit fees

IC Markets will not charge any deposit fees, which is a fairly standard practice among major brokerages – for more details see Deposit Methods

Withdrawal fees

IC Markets will also not charge any withdrawal fees on all payment options available. The broker, however, cannot control any fees that may be charged by international banks for wire transfers – for more details see Withdrawal Methods

Inactivity fees

IC Markets will not charge an inactivity fee, in case there has been a period of no trading activity on your account. This is not that frequent circumstance, because many of the large brokerages will charge such a fee. Consequently, IC Markets deserves the top mark on this front.

Inactivity Fees

  • No Inactivity charge

Overall on Fees

IC Markets offers extremely tight spreads, reasonable commissions and there are no extra fees on top of overnight financing charges. Additionally, you will incur no non-trading costs, which is another huge plus.

We do not give IC Markets the top mark overall on fees, because its commissions are a bit higher compared to those of other industry competitors (such as Fusion Markets, for instance).

Trading fees and other costs

  • Very competitive spreads on Standard and Raw Spread accounts
  • No extra fees on top of standard swap rates
  • No non-trading fees
  • Commissions higher than those of some competitors

Desktop Trading Platforms

Currently, IC Markets does not offer any in-house desktop trading platforms. Still, it offers a decent range of third-party platforms, including MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader.

MetaTrader4

Already a standard for Forex trading, with IC Markets, MetaTrader 4 is available for both Windows PCs and Mac. Along with the default trading features (one-click trading, chart types, built-in technical indicators and drawing objects, timeframes etc.), IC Markets offers over 20 exclusive trading tools, which were not previously available on MT4. Those include 11 advanced trading applications (such as Correlation Matrix, Alarm Manager, Sentiment Trader, Mini Terminal, Stealth Orders and so on) as well as 17 additional indicators (such as Renko indicator, Keltner indicator, Magnifier indicator, Chart – in – Chart indicator, Donchian indicator, Gravity indicator and so on). This extra package will certainly be praised by traders who seek institutional quality tools on top of the ones provided in the underlying platform.

There are also other key benefits that you can take advantage of:

  1. Fast execution of trade orders (which we will discuss in more detail later in the current review);
  2. Raw pricing across the broker’s entire Forex and CFD product list, as average spreads remain ultra-tight during the business week due to IC Markets’ deep and diverse liquidity mix;
  3. You can hedge your positions, as there is no “first in first out” rule with IC Markets;
  4. You have no restrictions on trade sizes – micro lots are available to trade, allowing for a better risk management;
  5. You have no restrictions on trade orders – Stop Loss and Take Profit orders can be placed at the closest pip distance possible from the current market price. This feature is not available with some of the other major online brokerages;
  6. Flexible options to deposit and withdraw funds (which we will discuss in more detail later);
  7. MT4 WebTrader that can be accessed through all popular web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE 10+. It delivers most of the features available on the desktop version of the platform.

MetaTrader 5

It is an updated and improved version of MT4, which grants access to more order types, more timeframes, more technical indicators and drawing objects as well as to a more comprehensive environment for development and backtesting of expert advisors.

Additionally, you can trade more asset classes compared to MT4, including Shares CFDs and Futures CFDs.

MetaTrader 5 also allows you to access Level II Pricing. This means the software will disclose the entire range of available prices for each currency directly from IC Markets’ liquidity providers.

cTrader

This trading platform offers user-friendly interface, high-speed performance and deep interbank liquidity in 64 Forex pairs and 16 major Stock Indices. You can take advantage of flexible layout customization options, including detachable charts, expanded symbol display, no restrictions on limit orders, while being able to trade micro lots. There will also be no maximum limit for trade sizes.

But, in our view, the most important advantages of IC Markets’ cTrader platform include:

  1. Access to full Depth of Market – for every single Forex pair, you will be able to see the available volumes for each price level, at any time;
  2. Smart Stop Out for maximum account protection – if your margin level falls below the Smart Stop Out level, your active positions will be closed partially, until the margin level is brought back above the Smart Stop Out level;
  3. Access to cAlgo – automated trading software used along with cTrader. You can develop algorithmic trading systems and customized technical indicators with the use of the source code editor and C# programming language. FIX API access is also ensured.

Copy trading with IC Markets

There are two third-party copy trading services available with IC Markets:

  1. AutoTrade by Myfxbook – you can replicate the trades of any trading system selected directly into your MT4 account with the broker;
  2. ZuluTrade – you can access trading signals from 100,000 top-ranking traders from 192 countries for free directly into your MT4 account with the broker.

Desktop platforms

  • MT4, MT5 and cTrader available
  • No proprietary platforms offered
  • Advanced features and trading tools available
  • Copy Trading available via AutoTrade and ZuluTrade

Mobile Trading Platforms

With IC Markets, you can also access all three trading platforms on a range of mobile devices through a mobile trading app.

All MT4, MT5 and cTrader mobile apps translate very well from the desktop platform versions.

IC Markets’ MetaTrader mobile app for Android-based devices offers a user-friendly interface, access to real-time Forex and CFD quotes, all trade orders (including pending orders), real-time interactive charts with zoom and scroll, 3 chart types (Bars, Candlesticks, Line) and over 30 popular technical indicators. The app requires Android 4.0 or later.

Similar features can be seen on IC Markets’ MetaTrader mobile app for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch). The app requires iOS 7.0 or later.

Meanwhile, the cTrader native app for Android devices will give you access to the same core functionality that cTrader Web offers. You can use effective technical analysis tools (such as common trend indicators, oscillators, volatility measures) and drawing objects (such as lines) directly from within the chart. The app also allows for single-tap order execution, saving you precious time, and visualizes the full balance, margin, profit and loss information. In addition, the cTrader app, which requires Android 4.1 or higher, has a special split-screen interface for devices such as Tablets.

These functionalities and features are very much accessible on the cTrader mobile app for iOS devices as well. It requires iOS 6.0 or later.

Still, we should note that, unlike other leading brokerages such as ThinkMarkets for instance, IC Markets currently does not offer a proprietary mobile trading app.

Mobile trading

  • Third-party mobile apps for MT4, MT5 and cTrader available
  • Apps offer similar functionality compared to desktop platform versions
  • No proprietary mobile apps on offer

Trading Instruments

Though IC Markets’ focus is mostly on Forex trading, the broker has expanded its CFD product list over the years and, currently, you will find over 1,750 financial instruments available for trade. Although that number is not that huge, compared to some of the other top brokerages such as IG for example, what impresses here is the diversity of IC Markets’ CFD offering.

Asset ClassIC MarketsFusion MarketsOANDA
Forex71 – OK7970
Indices23 – Good1115
Commodities22 – OK1631
Stocks CFDs1,600+ – Excellent500
Cryptocurrency13 – Good52
Bonds11 – Good06
Futures4 – Poor00
Options0 – n/a00

Let us now take a closer look at the product list.

Forex

Currently, IC Markets offers 61 major, minor and exotic currency pairs to trade, which is a bit above the average among major peers. But what truly makes the broker stand out is its deep liquidity, raw pricing (spreads starting from 0.0 pips on all major and minor pairs) and cutting-edge ECN execution technology. The average spread on EUR/USD is 0.02 pips on the Raw Spread Account – one of the most competitive in the entire industry, while the average spreads offered on other majors and on all minor pairs remain ultra-tight 24/5 due to IC Markets’ deep pool of top-tier liquidity providers. The maximum Forex leverage that can be accessed is 1:500, but in some jurisdictions such as Australia and the EU there will be leverage caps for retail traders (1:30 on major pairs, 1:20 on minor and exotic pairs). Overall, Forex trading with IC Markets brings numerous key advantages for clients to enjoy.

Stock Index CFDs

You will be able to access CFDs on 23 Cash Equity Indices such as Australia S&P ASX 200 Index, Nikkei 225, FTSE 100, DJIA 30, S&P 500 or Hang Seng and 2 Futures Indices. The maximum leverage allowed is 1:200, spreads start from 0.0 pips (on ASX 200) and there will be no trading commissions charged. Overall, the broker’s selection of Stock Index CFDs is above the average among other industry competitors.

Stock CFDs

With IC Markets, you are able to trade CFDs on over 1,600 large-cap US and Australian Stocks across the ASX, NYSE and NASDAQ on the MetaTrader 5 platform. The maximum leverage allowed is 1:20, but in certain jurisdictions such as the EU there will be leverage caps for retail traders. IC Markets also offers a limited selection of ETF CFDs, which is the case with many leading brokers. We should note that there will now be a fixed market data fee of AUD 22 per month for trading Australian Stock CFDs and, additionally, you will be charged a minimum commission of AUD 7 on every trade (round turn).

Commodity CFDs

There are 22 CFD contracts available to trade, which include Spot Energies, Spot Metals such as gold, silver, platinum or palladium (both classes traded with maximum leverage of 1:500) and Soft Commodity Futures such as corn, soybeans, sugar, cocoa or coffee (traded with maximum leverage of 1:100). There are also 2 Energy Futures CFDs available to trade – Brent Crude Oil and West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil. We consider IC Markets’ Metals and Energies CFD list as OK, but its Soft Commodity list is a bit thin.

Cryptocurrency CFDs

As many as 13 different digital currencies can be traded in pairs against the US Dollar in the form of CFDs. The maximum leverage allowed is 1:5, but in certain jurisdictions such as the EU it will be limited to 1:2 for retail traders. You will find popular Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple along with some altcoins such as Emercoin, PeerCoin, Polkadot or Chainlink.

Bond CFDs

The broker offers CFDs on 11 bonds issued by governments across the globe, including Europe, Japan, the UK and the US. The maximum leverage allowed for Bond CFD trading is 1:200, there will be no trading commissions charged, while you will be able to access these instruments on both the MT4 and the MT5 platforms. Overall, it is a good selection of CFDs, given that not many online brokerages offer Bonds as tradable instruments.

Futures CFDs

4 Global Futures are available to trade as CFDs, including ICE Dollar Index, CBOE VIX Index, Brent Crude Oil and WTI Crude Oil. The maximum leverage allowed for Futures CFD trading is 1:200 and there will be no trading commissions charged.

On the other hand, what you cannot trade at IC Markets are Options CFDs, Interest Rate CFDs and other more complex instruments that may lure the attention of professional traders.

Traded Instruments

  • Good diversity of tradable asset classes
  • Forex, Stock Index and Crypto offering above average
  • Competitive raw pricing on Forex, Spot Metals and Cash Equity Indices
  • Soft Commodity and ETF range limited
  • No Options CFDs

Trade Execution

IC Markets is a no dealing desk model brokerage, which utilizes the advantages of an Electronic Communications Network (ECN) in order to execute its clients’ trades. Such a model of operation boosts not only client trust, but also allows for exceptionally fast execution speeds.

IC Markets sources its pricing from a deep pool of 25 top-tier liquidity providers and those prices are then passed onto its clients without any dealing desk intervention. This diverse liquidity mix allows for ultra-tight spreads across the broker’s entire CFD product list.

IC Markets utilizes a market execution model. This means all client trades and pending orders are filled at the price streamed on the broker’s trading platform at the moment an order is submitted. It also means there will be no requotes.

The broker claims that its platforms are capable of executing trade orders at an exceptional average speed of 36.5 ms.

IC Markets’ MetaTrader server is located in the Equinix NY4 data centre in New York, which is considered as one of the most secure and reliable financial ecosystems worldwide. The server is cross connected to the broker and its liquidity providers, with the aim being to ensure very low latency and ultra-fast order execution.

The brokerage claims that its MetaTrader server “has latency on average of less than 1 millisecond to major VPS providers either collocated in the NY4 data centre or through dedicated lines to nearby data centres.” These conditions may suit perfectly scalpers, high frequency traders and those who use automated trading strategies.

Meanwhile, IC Markets’ cTrader server is situated in the LD5 IBX Equinix Data Centre in London, which also ensures low latency and outstanding order execution speeds for clients.

We should also note that the Australian brokerage offers high-quality Virtual Private Server (VPS) service, which enables clients to run Expert Advisors 24/7 with the fastest possible connectivity to its trading servers. The VPS subscription with all three providers (Forex VPS, Beeks FX VPS and New York City Servers) will be sponsored by IC Markets, in case clients achieve monthly trading volumes of at least 15 Lots (round turn). This requirement refers to trading volume of Foreign Exchange and Metals only.

Trade Execution

  • ECN model of execution
  • Exceptional execution speed and ultra-low latency
  • Quality VPS service

Deposits

IC Markets requires a minimum deposit of $200 for all live account types and it will not charge any deposit fees. However, you should bear in mind that there may be charges on transfers to and from international banks, for which IC Markets will not have any responsibility.

The brokerage accepts deposits made in 10 different base account currencies, including Australian Dollar, United States Dollar, Euro, Canadian Dollar, British Pound, New Zealand Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc.

There is also a diversity of account funding options available:

MethodProcessing Time
Credit and Debit Cards by Visa or MasterCardinstant processing of deposits
PayPalinstant processing
Netellerinstant processing
Neteller VIPinstant processing
Skrillinstant processing
UnionPayinstant processing
FasaPayinstant processing
Bpayprocessing time between 12 and 48 hours
Wire Transferprocessing time between 2 and 5 business days
Broker to Brokerprocessing time between 2 and 5 business days
Thai Internet Bankingprocessing time between 15 and 30 minutes
POLIinstant processing
Rapidpayinstant processing
Klarnainstant processing
Vietnamese Internet Bankinginstant processing

Currently, there are no deposit bonuses available with IC Markets.

Deposits

  • Low minimum deposit
  • 10 base currencies
  • No fees charged on deposits
  • Diverse selection of payment options
  • No deposit bonuses available

Withdrawal Methods

IC Markets now requires of all clients to make withdrawal requests from inside their Secure Client Area. All withdrawals are usually processed within 1 business day (if before 12:00 AEDT).

As per present money laundering compliance rules, withdrawals will be matched to the account funding method.

IC Markets will not charge any additional fees on fund withdrawals, which we consider as a solid advantage.

Withdrawals made via Debit or Credit Cards may take between 3 and 5 business days to clear, while international bank wire transfers may take longer, depending on your jurisdiction and your receiving bank – up to 14 days. For withdrawals made via this payment method, there will be a processing fee of AUD 20 (or currency equivalent), charged by IC Markets’ banking institution. Meanwhile, bank transfers within Australia will usually clear within 2-3 business days.

And, withdrawals via PayPal, Skrill or Neteller will usually clear within 1 business day.

Withdrawal Methods

  • No fees charged on withdrawals by IC Markets
  • Timely processing of withdrawals (1 business day)

Customer Support Contacts

IC Markets has a great customer support service 24 hours a day, 7 days in a week. Clients are able to contact the broker’s support team via several channels:

Support contactAvailableResponse
Live Chat24/7Less than 30 seconds
Telephone contact24/5Within several minutes
Email contact24/5Within several hours
FAQs24/7On the website
  1. Live Chat – This is the most convenient and fastest way to contact a representative from the brokerage, as the option is available throughout the entire calendar week. The live chat box is located on the bottom right side on the website.

    We were quite impressed with our live chat experience, as we managed to contact IC Markets in less than half a minute and received swift and precise answers to all of our enquiries.

  2. Telephone contact – The broker’s support team can be contacted over the phone only during local business hours, depending on the office location:
    • Seychelles – by dialing +248 467 19 76, Sunday 22:00 – Friday 22:00 (GMT)
    • Australia – by dialing +61 (0)2 8014 4280
    • Cyprus – by dialing +35725123504
    • Bahamas – by dialing +1 626 657 7688, Sunday 22:00 – Friday 22:00 (GMT).

    Telephone contact may incur international charges.

    The broker has also provided several toll free numbers, including:

    • Brazil: +558008783054
    • Thailand: +661800011956
    • Indonesia: +6280332160329
    • Colombia: +5718005190364
    • Vietnam: +8412032513

    We contacted the broker’s Australian office during local business hours and received a response in about 2-3 minutes. We were treated in a truly professional manner and obtained the information we were interested in. We asked about IC Markets’ liquidity providers and execution policy.

  3. Email contact – You can send specific inquiries to several email addresses that the broker has provided:

    We received precise and timely (less than 3 hours) emailed answers to our queries, after contacting the support team during Australian business hours.

    Another contact option includes filling the “Send us a message” form on IC Markets’ website where you can input some of your details and the support team will either send you an email or phone you back.

  4. FAQs – You will also find a vast list of Frequently Asked Questions, which could help them resolve their inquiries. The IC Markets’ Help Centre includes FAQs about the broker itself, its trading conditions and accounts, its trading platforms, the Forex market as a whole, questions about CFD trading, issues related to the MetaTrader 4 software, as well as questions relating to the Client Area.

Support contact

  • Live Chat was very useful
  • Solid FAQs section
  • Phone contact during local business hours
  • Toll free numbers available

Research and Educational Materials

IC Markets has apparently invested a lot of effort in providing solid, diversified educational materials, including written content, video tutorials and live events (webinars) from both in-house and third-party sources. Here is what you will find:

  • Extensive education content in written form on IC Markets’ Blog, which covers topics such as Forex trading basics, Technical Analysis, Fundamental Analysis, Trading Psychology, Trading Plan and Risk Management;
  • Content in written form focused on advantages of Forex trading and of trading CFDs;
  • Video tutorials focused on all aspects of operating the MetaTrader 4 platform. Very useful for both beginners and intermediate traders;
  • Free webinars conducted regularly, where you can access live analysis from industry experts and acquire new skills in real-time. Appropriate for traders of all levels – from novice to advanced.

On the other hand, IC Markets has, at least for the time being, not included any E-books for a more in-depth look into concepts such as financial markets, trading strategies and styles of trading (scalping, day trading etc).

In terms of research, however, the brokerage offers a more limited selection of options. You will be granted access to:

  • Fundamental Analysis section with daily publications that cover key factors driving a particular market;
  • Technical Analysis section with daily posts focused on technical outlook for several major Forex pairs, Spot Gold and Dow Jones 30 Industrial Average;
  • Web TV service, offered in association with Trading Central, which provides coverage on global equities, currencies and commodities;
  • Podcast series “IC Your Trade” produced by Bloomberg Media Studios, the information on which is not intended to be used as an investment advice.

Research & Education

  • Varied educational content
  • More limited research content

Security and Money Guarantees

Our team of experts at bestbrokers.com believes that your money is safe with a respected global brokerage such as IC Markets. Key findings include:

  1. 14 years of business history and expansion
  2. Top-tier ASIC regulation
  3. ICF compensation for EU clients
  4. Negative balance protection (for EU and Australian clients only)

ASIC regulation is stringent and provides assurance that the broker operates in a transparent and ethical manner. All client funds are kept fully segregated from the broker’s own corporate accounts at AA-rated Australian financial institutions. This eliminates the risk of misuse (using client money as reserve capital, for marketing campaigns or other corporate purposes).

In addition, EU-based clients are covered by the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) in Cyprus in an event of broker failure, as we already discussed.

And finally, IC Markets offers a valuable risk management tool such as negative balance protection, but only to its clientele located in the EU and Australia. This means that clients from other parts of the globe are not protected against occurrences such as a negative balance, which, in most cases, are the result of abrupt market movement coupled with high leverage ratios. In other words, their losses can exceed their initial deposit and they will have to repay that amount to the broker. In the case with EU and Australian clients, if a negative balance occurs, IC Markets will absorb that loss and will automatically restore the clients’ account balance back to zero. Negative balance protection is an extremely useful risk management tool, particularly for novice traders.

Security of funds

  • Strong ASIC regulation
  • ICF compensation under CySEC is good, but incomparable with the FCA’s FSCS
  • Negative balance protection is limited to two jurisdictions only

Conclusion

Our team of experts at BestBrokers.com believes that IC Markets offers some of the best trading conditions for Forex trading among peers, due to its:

  1. Deep interbank liquidity and competitive raw pricing;
  2. Exceptional ECN order execution with no dealing desk intervention, no requotes and minimum risk of slippage (best for scalping, high frequency trading and automated trading);
  3. No non-trading costs and flexible account funding options;
  4. MetaTrader and cTrader platforms offering comprehensive analytical tools and a range of other benefits;
  5. Varied educational content;
  6. Professional 24/7 customer support (live chat);
  7. Range of account types suiting traders of all skill levels.

Overall

  • True ECN broker (fast execution and improved trust for clients)
  • Low costs
  • Good suite of trading platforms and tools
  • Negative balance protection limited to two jurisdictions
  • Limited research content