An Australian brokerage with nearly a decade’s worth of experience under its belt, IC Markets isn’t just one of only a few True ECN brokers, it is also a pretty reputable operation.
Taking a quick look upon the user reviews posted at various online trading portals, it becomes clear that most of their traders are indeed pleased with the services they offer.
That does not mean of course that there are no negative reviews and complaints at all. Some people even allege market manipulation and market making, but the broker is indeed a true ECN one, there is just no way around that fact.
Some portals have pointed out that the broker received a large number of suspicious positive reviews – make of that what you will.
Launched in 2007, IC Markets aimed to bring trading solutions previously only available to institutional actors and rich investors, to the masses. More than a decade later, it is fairly safe to conclude that they have succeeded in this undertaking.
The corporate entity behind the IC Markets brand is International Capital Markets Pty Ltd, a company incorporated in Sydney, Australia. As such, ICM is a registered Australian company. Its ACN number is 123 289 109.
Regulated and authorized by ASIC, IC Markets’ AFSL number is 335692.
Given the global scope of the operation, one would expect it to be regulated by several other national regulators, but for the time being, ASIC is its only license-provider.
Why should you choose IC Markets as your primary Forex/CFD broker though?
As said above, the operator is a true ECN broker, meaning that its execution and unaltered prices are its top selling points.
Its trading conditions are also quite attractive. They offer some of the lowest spreads in the business, and their fills are better than most of their competitors’.
The quality of the customer service is said to be unrivalled, and indeed, there are almost no trader complaints out there about this operational aspect.
The broker covers all the best and most popular trading platforms. Traders can pick between MT4, MT5 and cTrader.
What exactly does it mean to be a true ECN broker though? In IC Market’s case, it specifically means that the broker offers direct access to interbank prices, provided by 50 different liquidity providers. Top-tier banks are among these liquidity providers, together with a number of dark pools. All the price-making happens through an Electronic Communications Network.
IC Markets Account Types
The broker features a total of 3 account types, two of which are advertised as True ECN ones, while the remaining one is a Standard Account.
The first True ECN account is the cTrader-based one, which features spreads starting from 0 pips. This account type does charge commissions though: $3 per $100k.
The starting deposit for this account is $200 (it is the same for the other account types too), and the maximum available leverage is 1:500.
Given that this account type uses the cTrader platform, its servers are located in London. It supports some 64 currency pairs, it allows for one-click trading and for all trading styles. The stop out level is set to 50%.
This account type is available in an Islamic version too, for those who qualify for such a setup.
The MetaTrader-based True ECN Account is what’s billed the “most popular” choice by the broker. The spreads start from 0 pips on this account too, and the commission is $3.5/$100k.
The trading conditions are quite similar to the ones featured by the above detailed cTrader account. The maximum leverage is 1:500, all trading styles are allowed and the account type is available in Demo as well as Islamic versions.
The third account type is the Standard one, which is presumably the option aimed at recreational traders and beginners.
There are no commissions charged on this account type, but it is not a True ECN account, and the spreads it features are much higher: they start from 1 pip. Servers for the MT-based accounts are located in New York.
Other than the higher spreads, the trading conditions on this account type are similar to the other two discussed above.
MAM/PAMM Account options are also available, for those who need to manage multiple accounts for their clients.
As already mentioned, IC Markets’ trading platform selection is based on MetaTrader and cTrader. Both options offer powerful solutions and they are both impressive in their own right.
As far as MetaTrader is concerned, both MT4 and MT5 are available at the broker. In addition to the regular versions of these two platforms, a web trader as well as Mac and mobile apps are available.
MT4 is – beyond the shadow of a doubt – the best online trading solution. It features superb charting, trading tools and technical indicators, not to mention the Expert Advisors that advanced traders can use to automate their trading strategies.
MT5 takes several of these useful features a step further still. Needless to say, every one of the available MT versions can be downloaded from the IC Markets website for free.
cTrader is a very capable trading platform and powerful trading environment in its own right. It too features full ECN trading, with unparalleled execution speeds. It features detachable charts and it supports multiple order types. Real time reports and FX and CFD quotes are also available.
Like the MT suite, cTrader comes in multiple versions too, covering web- as well as mobile trading.
IC Markets support a plethora of deposit methods, making sure that everyone can make a deposit at the site, regardless of where he/she lives.
Credit and Debit cards like VISA and MasterCard are accepted, together with well-known eWallet solution providers Neteller and Skrill. Interestingly, PayPal is also accepted.
WebMoney, Qiwi, UnionPay and BPay (Australia) are also accepted, together with wire transfers and local bank transfers.
What’s more: the broker also accepts broker-to-broker transfers.
Security of Funds
As far as user feedback is concerned, not many people have ever complained about issues linked to funds’ security at IC Markets. Indeed, traders’ money is held in segregated client trust accounts at institutions such as National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation.
In addition to that, all financial transfers are processed through SSL technology and utmost care is exercised with information concerning such transfers.
The market coverage of the broker is quite outstanding. In addition to the standard selection of FX pairs, commodities, indices, stocks, bonds and futures, cryptocurrencies are also supported.
Obviously, traders will not be able to purchase actual crypros through the broker, just as they won’t be able to acquire actual gold or oil either.
Cryptos – like commodities – are traded through CFDs (contracts for difference), which means that the entry- and exit price differences of the contracts are really traded.
IC Markets customer support reps are based both in Sydney and in Limassol, Cyprus. Support is available 24/7, which is quite outstanding in the world of online trading.
Support channels include live chat, phone, emails ([email protected] and [email protected]), as well as a postal address: International Capital Markets Pty Ltd, Level 6 309 Kent Street. Sydney NSW, 2000, AUSTRALIA.
The Bottom Line
IC Markets is a very solid online FX/CFD trading destination, offering great support, an outstanding selection of trading platforms, as well as True ECN execution. To top it all off, its reputation amongst its users is pretty impressive as well.
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