IC Markets Review: Summary
From very small beginnings since its launch in 2007, IC Markets (aka International Capital Markets), is today considered the world’s largest ECN broker. In March 2021, their trading volume was a whopping US$1.04 trillion and they have over 180,000 active trading clients.
They are 100% Australian-owned and their head office is located in Sydney, Australia. They are regarded as “Australia’s top online trading company“, alongside IG and CMC Markets.
Overall, IC Markets is a well-regulated forex broker (ASIC, CySEC, FSA), with a range of trading platforms to choose from. They offer low spreads and for those living outside Australia and the UK, there is leverage of 500:1 to trade with.
What Are The Pros of Trading with IC Markets?
Raw Spreads From 0.0 pips
One of the quickest executors of trades in the world
Low spreads & competitive commissions
Over 1700 instruments to trade
High leverage of 500:1 for those living outside Australia and/ or the UK
Friendly, unrivalled 24/7 Customer Support
The Cons of Trading With IC Markets
No investor protection for non-European clients
Commission charges might be considered slightly on the higher side
US clients not accepted
Which Instruments Can You Trade with IC Markets?
When you sign up for an account with IC Markets, you will be able to access over 1,700 tradeable products, including:
- Forex: trade 61 FX pairs – majors, minors and some exotics included.
- Commodities: 22 products available, including gold, silver and oil.
- Indices: trade 25 stock indices, including the German 30, Wall St 30, S&P500 and UK100.
- Stocks: IC have over 1,600 individual stocks on their platform, from all around the world.
- Bonds: trade 11 different bonds from around the world including Japan, Europe, the UK, and the US.
- Crypto: IC Markets offer 13 of the most popular cryptocurrencies.
Where Are IC Markets Regulated?
IC Markets hold licences in three different jurisdictions; Australia, Cyprus and the Seychelles. Which entity you get directed to will depend on where you reside.
IC Markets is regulated by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) in Australia, under its AFSL (Australian Financial Services License) number 335692.
Amongst other things, ASIC requires that all regulated brokers in Australia hold client funds in segregated bank accounts. They also require that brokers have negative balance protection and fair auto-closeout margin %.
IC Markets has its European office in Cyprus and is regulated by CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) under licence number 362/18.
CySEC is overseen by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and must follow strict trading rules. These include, lower leverage, restrictions on promotions/ bonuses, the inclusion of negative balance protection.
Under the trading name “Raw Trading Ltd”, IC Markets has a ‘backdoor’ subsidiary for those living outside Australia, the UK and Europe. This subsidiary is registered in the Seychelles, under the licence number of SD018.
Traders from outside Australia and Europe may trade with this entity and gain access to higher leverage of 500:1 on most assets. It must be noted that the FSA has far fewer investor protections than CySEC or ASIC.
IC Markets Review: Account Types
This broker offers three different account types across their MT4, MT5 and cTrader trading platforms.
Spreads & Commissions at IC Markets
IC Markets claim that their spreads “are among the lowest across all major and minor currency pairs“. And their “average EUR/USD spread of 0.1 pips is the lowest in the world“.
However, our research shows that, whilst IC Markets generally has competitive spreads, they are very rarely the cheapest.
Below are some of the AVERAGE spreads that IC offers:
- AUD/USD: 0.77 pips
- EUR/USD: 0.62 pips
- EUR/JPY: 1.3 pip
- USD/JPY: 0.74 pips
- Wall St 30 index: 1.41 points
- UK100 index: 2.13 points
- German 30 index: 1.34 points
- Gold: 2.08 points
- Silver: 1.89 points
- Brent Crude: 2.8 pts
IC Markets Trading Platforms
This broker does not have its own proprietary platform; instead it offers the world-class MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms. All mobile devices (iPhone, iPad and Android applications) are accounted for too.
- This platform was predominantly used as an FX trading platform only, although many brokers have added different asset classes to it in recent years.
- MT4 is the world’s most popular trading platform for scalpers, beginners and intermediate forex traders.
- Its interface is easy-to-use and very customisable. Slice and dice as you wish.
- Superb order management functionality and added risk management tools.
- EA’s (Expert Advisors) are also a massive drawcard. Download EAs from the MetaTrader Marketplace or create your own using MQL4 programming language.
- This platform is a multi-asset system, with stock trading capability (MT4 does not allow stock CFDs).
- EAs are available on MT5 using the MQL5 programming language, with a built-in Market of trading robots for easy algorithmic trading.
- Access the Virtual Hosting Service (VPS) for super quick execution speeds.
- Access to the MQL5 community, including free trading robots.
- cTrader is a forex trading platform that provides an institutional FX trading environment.
- The cTrader interface can be customised to suit your needs, with detachable charts available.
- Algorithmic trading is available using cBots.
- Back testing capabilities are prevalent utilising past market data.
IC Markets Review: Customer Support
This broker is quite unique in that they offer 24/7 customer support. We believe that they are the only FX broker to do this, with most others offering 24/5 support.
You can contact IC Markets through the following channels:
- Live chat
Through some cold calling, we have found that IC Markets typically has very good phone support. When we contacted them, our call was answered very quickly and the support was friendly, knowledgeable and an overall pleasant experience.
Their email support was similar – we wrote two emails and received quick replies to both. All answers were accurate and well written so no issues there either.
Now, to live chat. Unfortunately this was not such a great experience. It was extremely slow and the answers were vague. Maybe they were busy? But to wit 15min for a reply was a poor result we feel.