About IC Markets
Founded in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, as International Capital Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 12 123 289 109), it is known as IC Markets. Since its formation, IC Markets has established itself as one of the handful of true ECN Forex brokers in the world. Especially, in the Australian market, IC Markets is a leading ECN Forex brokerage service providers.
IC Market was founded by people with significant experience in the Forex, CFD and Equity markets in Asia, Europe and North America. The experienced management was the key behind IC Markets’ success over the years as they ensured the best possible technology solutions are used and hand pick the best liquidity available in the market in order to provide the best in class brokerage service to the Australian, as well as the global retail Forex market.
As an Australian registered broker, IC Markets is licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC – AFSL registration number 335692), making it subjected to one of the most strictest regulators in the world.
Pros and Cons of IC Markets
- IC Markets is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
- Offers very competitive spread, starting from only 0.0 pips on EUR/USD on True ECN account
- Servers are hosted in New York, offering low latency and fast order execution
- High level of leverage – 500:1 on all accounts
- Requires only $200 to open Standard or ECN account
- Supports copy trading via ZuluTrade and SignalTrader
- Requires $1,000 to open the cTrader account, which is higher compared to other brokers offering cTrader
- No binary options trading
Review of Trading Services
IC Markets currently offers three types of Forex trading accounts, the Standard, True ECN, and cTrader.
The Standard account of IC Markets offers MetaTrader 4 trading platform retail traders can open this account with only $200 initial deposit. IC Markets mostly targets “discretionary traders” with this account, who usually makes only a handful of trades based on technical and/or fundamental trading strategies.
Although IC Markets has an account name called “True ECN,” their Standard account is also based on ECN technology that does not involve any dealing desk. The only major difference between the True ECN and the Standard account is how IC Markets charges their fees.
On the Standard account, they charge a 1 pip spread and retail customers do not have to pay any commissions. However, on the True ECN account, traders are charged $3.5 commission per standard lot, but this account virtually has no spreads.
Besides this, all other features of the Standard and True ECN accounts are the same, which includes 500:1 leverage, 64 currency pairs to trade with, and a minimum initial deposit of $200. Both of these account types support all trading styles, including scalping.
The third account type offered by IC Markets is the cTrader account. cTrader is a cloud based trading platform. Unlike the MetaTrader 4 platform, retail traders can login to the cTrader Web from any modern browser that does not require downloading, installing and/or maintaining the software platform on their desktop. However, there is a cTrader desktop application for professional traders who prefer the speed of order execution over convenience.
While IC Markets’ cTrader account comes with the same 500:1 leverage, it does offer some additional benefits, such as Level II pricing that shows full market depth, no order or trade restrictions, and multiple order types. cTrader account holders can also participate in automated trading via the cTrader Algo interface, which is used to build and customize algorithmic trading strategies. The cTrader Algo is based the popular C# programming language.
IC Markets requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open their cTrader account, which we found to be a bit high compared to other brokers who are also currently offering cTrader based Forex trading to the retail market.
All of these three accounts come with a free demo version that traders can use to familiarize themselves with the IC Markets true ECN trading environment.
Review of Trading Platforms
While the Standard and True ECN accounts support only MetaTrader 4, and its mobile trading platforms, the c
Trader account is only accessible from cTrader and cTrader mobile.
MetaTrader 4 is the most popular Forex trading platform in the world, but IC Markets has modified it to make it even better! Both the desktop, iPhone and Android MT4 software are directly connected to IC Markets’ liquidity providers. Hence, it offers unmatched True ECN connectivity to retail traders.
On the other hand, the cTrader platform is relatively new but has some distinct features that make it the choice of professional and institutional traders. For example, Level II market depth is very useful for traders who trade large enough accounts to move the market price. In addition, IC Markets cTrader also supports all 64 major and minor currency pairs offered to other account holders.
Based on our research regarding the major Forex brokers around the world, we have found the speed of trade execution of IC Markets to be at 90 percentile rank. Which means, IC Markets’ speed of trade execution is better than 90 percent of the Forex brokers.
Review of Customer Support
IC Markets has a dedicated knowledge bank that offers answers to most commonly asked questions. Customers who are not satisfied with the answers can reach IC Markets support staffs via the live chat option on their website.
Besides the live chat option, IC Markets also has a dedicated support email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), where customers can send their queries.
IC Market also lists several phone numbers for their Australian office (+61 02 8014 4280) and dedicated hotline in Shanghai, China (+86 21 51851798), where customers can talk in Chinese.
During the research for this review, we called the Australian general enquiry line and found IC Markets support staff to be very helpful.
The IC Markets servers are located in the NY4 IBX Equinix Data Centre in New York. As a major international financial hub, New York is home to a large number of brokers and dealers. The NY4 IBX data centre is known for hosting servers of around 600 buy and sell side firms in New York, which puts IC Markets right in the middle of the global financial ecosystem.
As the servers are located in the same place, order execution of IC Markets is very fast compared to other Australian brokers, who host their trading server in Australia.
IC Markets has been operating its Forex brokerage business with distinction for close to 10 years and earned the trust of major retail trading firms. If you want to trade Forex with a solid broker in Australia, give IC Markets a try.