|IC Markets Broker Features|
|⭐ Rating out of 5||5.0|
|? Head Office||Australia|
|↕️ Maximum Leverage||500:1|
|? Minimum Deposit||200 AUD|
|?️ Platforms||MT4, MT5, cTrader|
|? Mobile Apps||Yes|
|? Algorithmic Trading||Yes|
IC Markets is a recommended forex broker. They are a well established broker, having been founded in 2007. They operate in ASIC’s strict regulatory environment, and have no known regulatory violations. They also score very well on other key evaluation criteria. In particular, they offer some of the lowest transaction costs in the retail forex industry. They also offer permanent demo accounts, which is of particular importance for new traders. Further, they offer some of the most well established trading platforms, including MT4, MT5 and cTrader.
Don’t open an account before finding out if IC Markets is right for you.
IC Markets is an Australian forex broker founded in 2007. The IC Markets brand is owned by International Capital Markets PTY. LTD, a privately held company located in Sydney, Australia. They primarily offer online brokerage services for forex trading, with some choices of futures, indices, stocks, commodities, bonds and cryptocurrencies. Ic Markets has grown to become one of the largest providers of forex CFD’s in the world.
✅Summary Of Regulatory Status
This is a review for IC Markets in Australia, or International Capital Markets Pty Ltd. IC Markets also has a company called Raw Trading Ltd that uses the IC Markets brand. This second company is regulated by the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles (FSA). Seychelles is a country in the Indian Ocean made up of a archipelago of 115 islands. It is the option of Forex Scam Alerts that this FSA regulation does not put in place the same level of regulatory protections for forex traders, vs Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). Forex Scam Alerts recommends that prospective forex traders open an account with the Australian version of IC Markets if possible. To repeat this is a review for the Australian IC Markets broker.
IC Markets is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). They are registered with license number 335692 as of July 2009. ASIC is among the most strict forex regulatory bodies, ensuring a high level of fraud protection for traders. As required by ASIC regulation, IC Markets publishes a Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services guide. These should be read carefully before signing up for their service. IC Markets advise that they engage the services of external auditors to supplement their own business processes to ensure regulatory compliance. IC Markets has no known regulatory violations.
IC Markets is also a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS is an independent body available to consumers at no cost to resolve complaints with member companies. If you have a complaint about IC Markets, they have an internal dispute resolution process that includes escalation to their compliance department. If this does not produce a satisfactory outcome, the FOS can be engaged for an independent assessment of the complaint. The FOS will issue a decision on the complaint, which is binding on IC Markets should you accept the decision. This mechanism provides excellent protection against broker fraud vs other forex brokers.
There have been some unfavorable users reviews on Forex Peace Army. Potential new clients may wish to consider the experience of others on Forex Peace Army. However, user reviews need to be taken in context because many novice traders like to blame their broker when they lose money, when the real issue is that they don’t know what they are doing or don’t understand the terms and conditions under which they are trading. Further, there is a lot of “gaming” of reviews whereby some forex brokers post negative fake reviews against their forex broker competition. The best authority to determine whether a broker is a scam broker is the regulatory body that governs and monitors the broker.
IC Markets is required to keep minimum capital reserves to stay compliant with ASIC’s regulatory requirements. They advise that they keep capital reserves well in excess of those requirements.
During the SNB Swiss franc event of January 2015, it was business as usual for IC Markets. It even elected to forgive negative account balances for 90% of its clients. They did this even though there was no obligation to do so, as forex traders are generally responsible for their negative account balances. We believe this reflects the effectiveness of their risk management policies as well as the value they place on their clients.
IC Markets maintains professional indemnity Insurance with Lloyd’s of London. They also have an independent auditor in place to ensure compliance with regulations and ensure it follows it’s documented processes.
A note on segregated accounts: Like most other forex brokers, client funds are deposited into a segregated trust account. However, clients funds are commingled together, and are not segregated by client. Significantly negative balances of one client can result in the forex broker recovering the lost funds from the segrated account. Further, in the event of IC Markets bankruptcy, retail clients are treated as unsecured creditors. This is not an unusual arrangement for forex brokers. IC Markets main protections against bankruptcy are to hedge all client orders with a liquidity provider and not engaging in proprietary trading (see broker type below). The best indicator of how IC Markets weathers difficulties is how they have responded to crises in the past, such as the SNB Swiss franc event noted above.
An additional option to protect from counterparty risk is for traders to take advantage of IC Markets’ high leverage to make small margin deposits. This reduces the loss that a trader would incur in the event of an IC Markets bankruptcy.
IC Markets uses the ECN / straight through processing model with no dealer intervention. While it should be noted that IC Markets is the counterparty to client trades, they hedge all client orders against the many liquidity providers that make up their ECN environment. This broker model is similar to the straight through processing model used in the USA, where all brokers are the counterparty, even when the broker is not a market maker. As such, Forex Scam Alerts takes no issue with IC Market’s business model in this regard.
IC Markets offers some of the best spreads in the retail forex industry. They offer a choice of pricing models: a standard account with an all-in spread and no commissions, or the ECN account type with a lower spread and a commission added on. We focus on the ECN account as it offers the more favorable trading terms. The ECN spreads float based on market conditions, and can widen briefly during big news events or unusual conditions. IC Markets advise that their typical spreads on some of the major pairs are as follows:
As evidenced in the table above, the average spreads are very low.
IC Markets charges a commission of $3.00 per lot per side on their cTrader platform, or $3.50 per side with their MetaTrader platform. This is reasonable, making overall transaction costs low considering how tight the spreads are.
✅Accounts and Funding
Clients of IC Markets can open and fund new accounts via a wide variety of payment options. These include:
- wire transfers
- credit and debit cards
- local bank transfers
- broker to broker transfers
- Payment services such as Webmoney, Neteller, BPAY, FasaPay, China Union Pay, Skrill, PayPal
Care should be taken in the selection of payment option, as some may carry higher transaction fees than others. Credit and Debit card transactions typically require a fee as a percentage of the money being transferred, so this should only be used for funding the lowest amounts.
IC Markets allows you to use any of 8 different base currencies, including USD, AUD, GBP, JPY, EUR, NZD, CHF, SGD.
Of particular importance to new traders is that IC Markets offers demo accounts that do not expire. This is an unusual and important feature, as it can take months or years for a new trader to learn how to trade profitably. It is very important to have a chance to do this before risking real money. Please see our article on How To Start Trading Forex Safely to find out more about the importance of this.
IC Markets offers a good choice of trading platforms for forex traders including:
- MetaTrader 4. This version of MT4 used by IC Markets includes some customizations for market depth and one click trading. Servers are located in the NY4 data center in New York.
- MetaTrader 5, with all of its upgrades vs MT4.
- The cTrader platform, with servers in the LD5 IBX Equinix Data Center in London
- A web based platform, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.
- MT 4 mobile trading apps for either Android or iOS.
The following is an example of IC Market’s cTrader user interface.
With such a wide choice of options, especially well known options such as MT4 and cTrader, all traders should be able to find a solution to suit their needs.
IC Markets offers the following additional features:
- Social trading and copy trading via Myfxbook AutoTrade, Signal Trader and Zulu Trader. This allows less experienced traders to copy the trades of more successful traders to improve performance. The historical performance of available traders to copy can be reviewed in advance of copying them. While this has the potential to work well, it also has the potential for scams as described in our article about forex scams.
- Managed forex accounts with an advanced Percent Allocation Management Module (PAMM) environment. This permits a trader to have their funds managed by an account manager under a limited power of attorney. The account manager typically takes a cut of the profits generated.
- Islamic accounts, where no interest fees will be credited or debited.
- CFD trading of indices, commodities, stocks, bonds, and futures. Several cryptocurrencies are also available for trading.