IC Markets is registered International Capital Markets Pty. Ltd and they are based in Australia. Their company registration number is ACN 123289109 and their offices are located at Level 6 309 Kent Street, Sydney. They have expanded rapidly since their inception and have over 60,000 traders with them. They also process some of the highest volume in the industry and turn over $646bn in volume per month! You can see their trading stats right on their website.
IC Markets is an Electronic Crossing Network (ECN) broker. This means that they connect their traders directly to a pool of liquidity providers. This allows the traders to get tight raw market spreads on a number of assets. They have a global presence and take traders from numerous regions. In order to cater to such a large array of clients, they have translated their website into over 14 different languages.
Despite this though, there are some regions that they do not provide their services to. These include the Unites States, Canada, Israel and Iran.
Is IC Markets Safe?
This is probably one of the biggest concerns for any Forex trader. There are number of things that we look for when determining broker safety. The most important of these are the regulatory oversight and the internal protocols at the broker.
You will be pleased to know that IC Markets is fully regulated by Australia’s Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). They have an AFSL number of 335692.
The Australian regulators are some of the most reputable in the world and there are a number of benefits that come with their oversight. These relate to the rules that they place on brokers and how they conduct their business. Here are some of the most important of them:
- Segregated Accounts: ASIC requires that brokers keep their client’s funds in separate bank accounts from the main broker operations.
- Capital Reserves: The regulator stipulates that the broker must store A$1m in reserves in their bank accounts.
- Regular Reporting: Brokers are required to maintain these levels and regularly report back to ASIC.
- Extensive Due Diligence: Before a broker can get an ASIC licence, they will have to complete a series of background checks on a company and individual level.
Apart from these client protections, you also have the comfort of knowing that there is always some authority that you can turn to in the case of a dispute.
There are a host of other protections that you have at IC Markets. For example, they bank with top tier banking institutions in Australia. They use National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac). This means that your segregated funds are in a safe place.
They also have liability insurance from Llyods of London. This means that the broker is protected from any legal liability that could be thrown its way. IC Markets is also externally audited by an independent firm. This is great to know as it means that accurate liquidity and reporting numbers are being presented to the regulators.
Finally, as is standard with most financial websites, they have full SSL protection. You can feel comfortable sending them your documents and using your credit card as it is all encrypted.
Asset Coverage & Leverage
This was something that really impressed us about IC Markets. They have an extensive range of assets across numerous asset classes.
Exactly what assets you will be able to trade depends on the account that you open up and the platform that you use. We cover the platforms below but here is a sneak peak of the assets that they provide:
- Forex: 60 Pairs covering all Majors and most Minors
- Indices: You can trade over 7 indices from a number of global markets
- Commodities: You have 14 commodity CFDs including hard, soft and most metals
- Stocks: They offer 120 single stock CFDs from the ASX, NYSE and Nasdaq
- Crypto: You have 10 crypto assets including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum etc.
- Bonds: 6 different government bond indices.
- Futures: Futures on Oil, VIX, ICE.
This is one of the first CFD brokers that we have seen offering government bonds! Now you can trade the credit worthiness of the US and UK governments for example.
Given that IC Markets is a CFD broker, it means that you are trading on the margin with borrowed money. This means that your positions are leveraged by a certain factor and your gains / losses are maximized. Leverage at IC Markets will vary depending on the asset that you are trading and the size of the position. However, here is a helpful breakdown of the max leverage you can achieve on each asset class:
- Forex: 500:1
- Commodities: 500:1
- Indices: 200:1
- Futures: 200:1
- Bonds: 200:1
- Stocks: 20:1
- Crypto: 20:1
These are reasonable leverage levels. The minimum leverage that you can trade with is 1:1 so there is no need for you to trade with the max when you first start.
The Pros and Cons of Trading with IC Markets cTrader
Like with any budget company, it’s all about working with economies of scale to ensure the business model works. As long as the core service works flawlessly, it’s acceptable to cut back on some extras. But what are the extras that IC Markets have cut back? Let’s review the pros and cons of trading with IC Markets cTrader.
The Advantages of IC Markets
- Here are some of the primary reasons why we consider it an absolute pleasure to trade on IC Markets cTrader.
- IC Markets offer the cheapest trading commissions and tightest spreads of all well-established cTrader brokers.
- The company offers a good range of deposit and withdrawal methods. Deposits and internal transfers are almost instant. Withdrawals get processed in less than 24 hours.
- There are no commissions on Indices CFD’s. The spreads are reasonable during the Index’s exchange trading hours.
The Disadvantages of IC Markets
- As mentioned before, IC Markets offers somewhat of a no thrills approach and the overall experience sometimes feels impersonal. Here are the disadvantages we experienced.
- There are long queues for live chat support. Undoubtedly they have a lot of clients, but waiting times for an agent to reply can reach 20 minutes, and there can be over 100 people in the queue ahead of you.
- The quality of support is not always helpful and is sometimes fragmented. In some cases, support agents don’t understand your problem, don’t read your question correctly, or just can’t help you at all and ask you to contact another department.
- The client zone is old, un-intuitive, and at times confusing. Some of your accounts might be visible in one section and not in another. Everything works pretty well, once you figure out how it should work.
How to Open an Account with IC Markets cTrader
We’ve already commented that the client zone is very much outdated. However, the registration forms for creating a new live or demo account were given a complete makeover along with the website.
Once you submit your contact information and select your prefered trading platform in the registration form, you will be taken to the IC Markets client zone where you will notice the difference.
The final step is to provide your KYC documents. This task is done from inside the client zone and not the registration form. Once your documents are submitted, they are typically reviewed quickly. In our case, we submitted our application on a Saturday, and they were approved on a Sunday. It was not instant, but for a forex broker to do anything on the weekend is impressive.
During our IC Markets review we found that three different accounts are available. The commission-free Standard Account carries the highest spreads. The Raw Spread Account is available on the MT4 and proprietary cTrader platforms. Traders have access to spreads as low as 0.0 pips, but realistic ones are 0.1 pips and higher. While the MT4 carries a fixed commission of $7.00 per lot, cTrader has a flexible one with a minimum of $6 per lot. The minimum deposit, regardless of account type, is $200. Islamic accounts are available.
The Raw Spread Account for the MT4 trading platform offers the most superior trading environment.
IC Markets offers the full suite of MT4/MT5 and cTrader platforms; they include desktop versions, web traders, and mobile applications. The MT4 platform is supported through 20 plug-ins available exclusively for live account holders as part of the Advanced Trading Tools suite. cTrader, the market leader for the ECN execution model, offers another excellent choice. cAlgo allows for the addition of automated trading solutions using the C# language, while MT4 applications are coded in MQ4. All platforms fully support algorithmic trading, but the MT5 is by far the least suited option. Islamic accounts are equally supported.
Traders have the best trading environment in the MT4 trading platform, upgraded with the IC Markets Advanced Trading Tools suite.
Deposits and Withdrawals
IC Markets offers 10 flexible funding options in 10 major base currencies AUD, GBP, JPY, HKD, SGD, NZD, CHF, CAD, EUR, USD. From the client secure area, there is an ability to deposit or withdraw funds throughout Cards, PayPal, Bank Transfer including local ones, Neteller, Skrill, WebMoney, Qiwi, China UnionPay, FasaPay and more.
The Standard Account enabled through MetaTrader4, along with other two account types available at IC Markets are set with the minimum deposit of 200$ to start.
IC Markets does not charge additional fees for deposits or apply 0$ fee for withdrawals. Yet, for International Bank Wire withdrawals, IC Markets pass the transfer fees charged by the company banking institution, which is approximately AUD20 that is deducted from the amount of your withdrawal.
However, make sure at your payment provider about transaction fees that may incur on payments to and from some international banking institutions.
IC Markets app
Experience cTrader faster, more responsive and easier to use than ever before with a seamless sign-up and login process with Facebook, Google or cTrader ID. cTrader does not compromise features, transparency or speed when trading on mobile or tablet devices, you can expect as much information about your trading events and order execution as you would on desktop.
- 26 Time Frames; from one minute to one month
- 50+ indicators; all of the most popular indicators are available
- 4 Chart Types; Candlesticks, Bar Chart, Line Chart, Dots Chart
- Symbol Watchlists; group and save your favourite symbols
- Price Alerts; get notified when a price hits a specified level
- Email Alert Configuration; choose which events you want to know about
- Fluid and Responsive charts; for seamless charting experience
- Market Sentiment Indicator; see how other people are trading
- QuickTrade Mode; responsive one tap trading
- Symbol Trading Schedules; so you know when the market is open and closed
- Detailed Symbol Information; to help you understand the assets your trading
- Links to News Sources; know more about events that affect your trading
- Trade Statistics; review your strategy and performance in detail
- Sign up or Log in with Facebook or Google; fast and convenient
- Trade using Lots or Units; apply settings per asset class
- 22 languages
You get access to a complete range of order types, technical analysis tools, price alerts, trade statistics, order management settings, symbol watchlists and a variety of settings to customize the platform for your trading on-the-go requirements.