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IC Markets

IC Markets Review
Trader's rating 4
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type/Platform Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage  Typical Spread Swap-free
(MT4) Standard  $200 0.01  1:500 1.1 pips on EUR/USD Yes
(MT4) True ECN $200 0.01  1:500 0.1 pips on EUR/USD + $3.5 per standard lot per side Yes
cTrader ECN $1000 0.01  1:500 0.1 pips on EUR/USD + commission of $3.00 per standard lot per side No

 

IC Markets offers its clients a choice of three live account types, available on two different platforms. The Standard account is a commission-free one, and True ECN one provides tighter spreads, but a commission of $7 round turn applies.


Micro lots are available for trade on all account types and, of course, the broker provides free Demo accounts, which are always appreciated by inexperienced traders.


What is more, IC Markets provides swap-free service to investors of Islamic belief, who are able to open Sharia-compliant accounts.


The Company. Security of Funds


Incorporated in Sydney, Australia in 2007, IC MARKETS is a NDD broker providing trading in more than 80 instruments, including a number of currency pairs, various CFDs on indices, commodities and futures, as well as precious metals. It also offers trading in some of the most popular cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, Dash and Bitcoin Cash.


The company behind the IC MARKETS brand is International Capital Markets Pty Ltd., which holds an Australian Financial Services License and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).


ASIC requires licensed companies to comply with various rules and to meet certain requirements. Clients’ money is to be kept in segregated trust accounts, separated from the companies’ operating funds. As for the minimum capital requirement, forex brokers must hold at least $ 1 million in order to prove their good financial standing and to operate legitimately.


Despite the regulation and the requirements set to Australian brokers, one should be aware of the risks of trading on margin. Returns and gains are not guaranteed. ASIC, the Australian Government nor any other person guarantees any funds in your account.


We would also like to point out that unlike many EU-based brokers, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme. 

 

In 2008, IC Markets got a license from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (‘CySEC’) and can now offer its services thoroughout the European Union and the EEA.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit
Traders are required to deposit $200 in order to open an account with IC Markets, which is an average initial amount. In comparison, Plus500 requires $100 and XM (holding, among others, also an ASIC license) demands just $5 from its clients as a start.


Average Spreads & Commissions

IC Markets offers variable spreads, the typical ones on its commission-free account amounting to 1.1, which is average. Spreads on the ECN accounts, on the other hand, are as low as 0.1 pips on EUR/USD on average, involving a commission of $6/$7 per standard lot round turn on the cTrader and MT4 respectively. So, trading costs of such account holders amount to just 07 – 0.8 pips, commission included, which is really attractive, especially considering that one can open such ECN MT4 account for just 200 bucks.


In comparison, XM also offers variable spreads starting from 0.0 pips on EUR/USD and applies commission of $5 on its Zero account, while spreads on its commission-free accounts start from 1.0 pips.


For further information, you may look up real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.


Maximum Leverage

Clients of IC Markets use leverage ratios up to 1:500 and such maximum leverage rate is considered high. Some jurisdictions cap leverage to significantly lower levels (i.e. 1:25 in Japan), because higher leverage involves higher risk of losses in excess of initial investments.


Most brokers usually offer leverage of up to 1:200 or 1:400, for instance global broker FXCM, also holding an ASIC license, provides leverage up to 1:400, and Plus500 – up to 1:200. Nevertheless, many brokers provide leverage ratios equal to or exceeding 1:500.


Trading Platforms


While most brokers provide just the MT4 and/or their in-house platform, IC Markets offers its customers a choice of three popular platforms: MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader. 


MT4 is the most widely used forex platform, available to the broker’s clients as Mac, iPhone/iPad and Android versions, as well as a Web Trader version. MT4 provides all the tools and resources a trader needs: a number of technical indicators, advanced charting package, wide range of Expert Advisers (EAs) and extensive back-testing environment. EAs are especially popular among experienced users, as they allow full automatization of trades, so traders may sit back, while the software does all the work.


If you are running EAs, it is vital that your platform is connected to our servers 24 hours a day. The best solution in this case is VPS and IC Markets has partnered with Commercial Network Services, NYCServers and BeeksFX VPS, to provide a customized low latency solution for their clients. The VPS seamlessly connects traders to the Equinix NY4 grid using cutting edge technology and providing excellent execution.


What is more, this broker provides Multi Account Manager MAM/PAMM options on MT4.

 

IC markets launched the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform in May, 2017. The MT5 sees a growing level of use recently, as MetaQuotes company tries to strengthen its presence on the market and ouphase its still more popular predecessor, the MT4.

 

In addition, IC Markets offers access to cTrader platform, which is custom-made for use in ECN environment. The IC Markets cTrader suite includes a PC, web and mobile versions, as well as automated trading software cAlgo.

Traders who are fond of automated trading are offered three more options with this broker: ZuluTrade, Myfxbook’s AutoTrade and Signal Trader's unique mirroring technology.


Institutional and high-volume traders (with minimum volume of $500 million per month) are also offered FIX API option to access market leading liquidity at affordable prices. The FIX Inside API can integrate the proprietary electronic and algorithmic client server, browser based, and mobile trading systems.


Methods of Payment


IC MARKETS offers its clients a variety of deposit/withdrawal methods: via credit/debit card, bank wire, BPAY, Neteller, Skrill, Webmoney, China UnionPay, FasaPay, PayPal and Qiwi.


What is more, this broker offers 10 flexible funding options in 10 different base currencies: AUD, USD, SGD, CHF, GBP, CAD, HKD, JPY, EUR, and NZD.


Conclusion


IC MARKETS is a reliable NDD Australian broker, offering competitive conditions for trading in a wide range of products on two platforms. To sum things up, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to IC MARKETS:

 

Pros  Cons
Low ECN spreads  No bonuses & rebates
Wide range of trading platforms & auto trading solutions  
ASIC-regulated   
High leverage levels available  

 

Country: Australia

Regulation: ASIC Australian Financial Services Licence Number 335692. 

Dukascopy

Dukascopy Review
Trader's rating 3.7
Editor's rating 3.9

Trading Accounts

  

Account type Minimum Initial deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads (and Commission)
Standard $1 000 0.01 1:100 0.2 pip + $3.5/lot*

 

*Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 currency base units (per side). Commission discounts offered to clients with higher Equity or Net deposits (details provided below).

 

Dukascopy provides a single account type with leverage up to 1:100, tight variable spreads and a reasonable commission. Micro lots are available for trade and all transactions are executed automatically on its ECN, whatever their size.

 

Besides, PAMM services are also available with this broker. The Percent Allocation Management Module (PAMM) is a technical solution allowing Dukascopy’s clients to have their accounts managed by a trader appointed by them on the basis of a limited trading power of attorney. PAMM solution allows the trader on one trading platform to manage simultaneously unlimited number of managed accounts. 

 

The Companies

 

Company  

Country 

Regulation

Dukascopy Bank SA

Switzerland

FINMA

Dukascopy Europe IBS AS

Latvia

FCMC

Dukascopy Japan K.K

Japan

JFSA

 

Founded in 2004, Dukascopy Bank is a Swiss online bank based in Geneva, Switzerland, providing online trading services (with focus on foreign exchange, bullion, CFD and binaries), banking and other financial services through proprietary technological solutions.

 

The broker has a EU subsidiary, as well as a Japan-based unit (as a result of acquisition of Alpary Japan in the beginning of 2015). In addition to its Geneva Headquarters, Dukascopy Bank has offices in Zürich, Riga, Kiev, Moscow, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

 

All Dukascopy customers take advantage of the Swiss Forex Marketplace (SWFX) ECN dealing model. The broker's pricing model is transparent, and so are its operational metrics. To top this up, Dukascopy offers a historical data feed, and market depth monitor as well. 

 

Security of Funds

 

Dukascopy is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) both as a bank and a securities dealer. So, this broker is rock solid in terms of safety and security.

 

Getting such a license is not an easy task, as applicants must comply with a set of draconian requirements, including a minimum capital requirement of CHF 20 million. Moreover, Swiss forex brokers are obliged to sign the Swiss Banks and Securities Dealers agreement, which protects all customer deposits of up to CHF 100,000.

 

The broker’s subsidiaries are also duly regulated: Ducascopy Europe AS is an EU licensed investment brokerage company based in Latvia, and is regulated by the local Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC); Dukascopy Japan holds Type-1 license by the Financial Services Agency of Japan (JFSA).

 

Besides, Dukascopy Bank exercises consolidated supervision from Switzerland over its subsidiaries, ensures adequate liquidity, risk diversification and capital adequacy at a Group level.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

The initial deposit requirement of $1,000 is probably a tad off-putting to rookies looking to start with a smaller amount of money, however the broker's educational and research section is outstanding and can probably make a pro trader out of a monkey. Calendars, charts, market news and research, signals, calculators and many other tools are at trader's disposal. 

 

Average Spreads & Commissions

The spreads offered by Dukascopy are variable and pretty tight, averaged 0.2 pips for the EUR/USD pair, but traders also need to pay a commission of $7 per lot round trip. Nonetheless, the cost of trading with this broker is around 0.9 pips per lot for this pair, which is really low and competitive pricing. Most brokers offer spreads within the range of 1.0 – 1.5 pips on EUR/USD.

In comparison, Swissquote, the only other regulated Swiss broker, provides variable spreads starting from 1.8 pips on EUR/USD (and charges no commission fees).

 

Besides, discounts on commission fees are available to clients with higher net deposits or equity in their accounts:

  

Net Deposit/Equity Commission (per standard lot per side)
≥ $5 000 $3.3
≥ $10 000 $3.0
≥ $25 000 $2.5
 
≥ 10 000 000 $1

 

Maximum Leverage

Dukascopy provides its clients with maximum leverage of 1:100, which is considered a low ratio for the market.  If you need higher leverage levels, many forex brokers offer leverage equal to or exceeding 1:500. Keep in mind, however that higher leverage increases the risk associated with trading on margin. That is why Swissquote also offers leverage up to 1:100 and even advises inexperienced traders to use leverage lower than this.

 

Trading Platforms

 

Ducascopy supports the ever-popular MetaTrader4 (MT4), and also offers its proprietary Forex trading platform JForex.

 

The MT4 hardly needs a presentation. This is the most popular trading software, highly praided by traders of all skill levels. The platform has great charting and is especially popular for its automated trading bots, called ExpertAdvisors.

 

JForex platform is designed for traders interested in automated trading and/or developing and testing trading strategies based on the JAVA programming language. It is available as desktop, web and mobile versions. Here are some of the tools and features the platform offers:

 

- 250 indicators and chart studies

- Calendar of economic events, news

- Automated trading on user's machine or Strategy Server

- Automated trading historical tester

- Renko, Range bars, Point&Figure and Line break charts

- Mql4 expert advisor converter to JAVA

 

Dukascopy’s web-based JFrorex. Click to enlarge.

 

Besides, this broker also offers the possibility of API integration for professional traders (who deposit a minimum of USD 100.000). The Dukascopy API is based on FIX4.4 protocol. The API is used to receive real-time data feed, submit orders, set / modify / cancel orders, and receive automated notifications of trading activities.

 

In addition, Dukascopy offers social trading functionality.

 

 

Methods of Payment

 

Clients of Dukascopy can make deposits to and withdrawals from their accounts via bank wire, debit cards (Maestro, Visa Electron), and credit cards (MasterCard, Visa). Unlike most brokers, Dukascopy does not support e-wallets, such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal.

 

Conclusion

 

Dukascopy Bank is a Swiss forex broker offering a wide range of financial instruments for trade on it robust JForex platform. Holding an actual banking license, among others, it is secure and well-regulated, and offers excellent trading conditions: very tight spreads and fast ECN execution through the SWFX Swiss FX Marketplace technology. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and disadvantages with regards to this broker.

     

Pros  Cons
Very well-regulated Mediocre leverage levels
Tight spreads and low cost of trading High initial deposit required
ECN environment with deep liquidity  
Automated & Social trading available as well a MT4 bridge   

                         

Headquarters:  ICC, Route de Pré-Bois 20, 1215 Geneva 15 

Country: Switzerland 

 

Regulated by: FINMA (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority)

 

Subsidiaries: Dukascopy Europe

 

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