Please Note: IC Markets was not included in the 2020 annual review. As a result, this broker's ratings may be outdated. Read our Best Forex Brokers 2020 guide for a look at the top rated forex and CFDs brokers.
Founded in 2007, International Capital Markets Pty Ltd (IC Markets) was established in Sydney and acquired an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in 2009.
Today, IC Markets offers the suite of trading platform from MetaQuotes Software Corporation, including MetaTrader4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), as well as the suite of cTrader platforms from SpotWare Systems.
In addition to providing traders 63 forex pairs and 41 CFDs on indices, metals, cryptocurrencies and futures contracts on its available account types, IC Markets also provides social copy trading via Myfxbook and on the ZuluTrade platform.
Is IC Markets Safe?
IC Markets is considered average-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 73 out of 99. IC Markets is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. IC Markets is authorised by one tier-1 regulator (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust). IC Markets is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||No|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to IC Markets clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||63|
|CFDs - Total Offered||41|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
IC Markets offers three account types in which trading costs vary from commission-free (spread only) on the Standard account to commission-based pricing (spread + commission) on the True ECN and cTrader accounts.
IC Markets also offers further discounts to traders that do over 100 standard lots per month, akin to an active trader offering.
The cTrader account has about a tenth of a pip lower commission than the TrueECN account, making both accounts similar. The main difference is the platform that can be accessed. For example, the True ECN account, which uses MT4, charges $3.5 per side for every 100k units (1 standard lot) or $7.00 per round turn (RT), whereas on cTrader it is $3.0 per side or $6.00 per standard RT.
IC Markets lists its average spread on the EUR/USD at 0.1 pips, and after adding the commission equivalent of 0.6 pips on the cTrader account, the all-in costs would be 0.7 pips (or 0.8 on MT4) which is competitive. IC Markets also offers further discounts to traders that do over 100 standard lots per month, akin to an active trader offering. Meanwhile, the commission-free standard account has an average spread of 1.1 listed by IC Markets, making it a less attractive option compared to the other two commission-based account types.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$200|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1.1 (as of May 18)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.7 (as of May 18)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||No|
For our 2018 Forex Review, 129 customer service phone tests were conducted over three months. The data collected is institutional grade. On average, three questions were asked for each test. To score each test, the tests were divided into three separate groups and scores were given for the time taken to connect with each support representative and the ability of each representative to professionally (and thoroughly) answer each question. A Net Promoter Score was also given for the overall experience.
- Average Connection Time: <1 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 6.33 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 6.7 / 10
- Overall Score: 7.0 / 10
- Ranking: 19th (43 brokers)
IC Markets combines some in-house research resources, such as multiple technical and fundamental analysis, on its blog every day under its market analysis section, alongside content powered by third parties, including an economic calendar from MQL5 and news headlines from Myfxbook.
Beyond the minimum industry standards, IC Markets also provides social copy trading via ZuluTrade and Myfxbook. For MetaTrader 4, IC Markets provides the Advanced Trading Tools add-on developed by FX Blue LLP.
IC Markets also added EA Lab by Trade View in 2017, which lets users build out their Expert Advisors (EAs) for automated trading on MetaTrader platforms. With EA Lab, traders use a drag and drop feature that removes some of the complexity around understanding code, yet still requires advance technical knowledge.
Besides social copy-trading resources and the platform add-on, research is not IC Markets’ strong point as the broker does not provide pattern-recognition tools or news headlines in MT4.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||No|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||No|
Platforms & Tools
IC Markets offers third-party online forex trading platforms from two of the most popular developers, including MetaQuotes Software Corporation – creator of the MT4 and MT5 platforms, and the cTrader platform suite developed by Spotware systems.
While MT4 and MT5 come standard with little variation from broker to broker on the surface of the platform, there can be significant differences in how the platform is set up for trading spreads and commissions, the available execution method, and other tools, features, and administrative areas that can affect your trading experience.
Besides spreads, range of instruments, and account types, here is a summary of the differences in features between IC Markets’ available MT4 and MT5 platform setup and the default MetaTrader experience:
- MT4 Advanced Trading Tools package offered as available add-on
- No news headlines stream from top-tier providers
- EA Lab by Trade View
- MT4 and MT5 web available
To learn more about MT4 and MT5, see our guide to MetaTrader.
IC Markets’ other platform offering centers around the cTrader suite of platforms developed by Spotware Systems. cTrader comes as a web-based version and desktop version for Windows, and the suite includes related trading applications from developers such as cAlgo – used for automated trading – and the cMirror platform for social copy trading.
In addition to cMirror and the Signals market from Metatrader, IC Markets offers Myfxtrade and the ZuluTrade platforms for social copy trading.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
IC Markets provides a mobile version of all the platforms it offers, including MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 and cTrader, all of which come standard for iOS and Android.
To learn more about the mobile version of cTrader, read our guide to cTrader; for MT4 or MT5, read our guide to Metatrader.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
IC Markets provides execution on an agency basis, which means orders may be subject to positive or negative slippage as there are no re-quotes, and the broker permits hedging.
...IC Markets has a good range of educational content for beginners...
In terms of educational content, it is worth mentioning that IC Markets has a good range of content for beginners under its 101 series that ranges from topics such as trading psychology to technical analysis, with nearly a dozen or more articles in each category.
In 2017, IC Markets expanded the range of cryptocurrency CFDs it offers beyond Bitcoin by adding Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Ripple.
IC Markets can appeal to algorithmic traders that use the MT4, MT5, or cTrader platforms, and who need agency execution coupled with competitive spreads and low commissions.
The standard account would not be my choice as spreads are inherently wider compared to the True ECN account for MT4 or the cTrader account, which is priced slightly better by about $1 per 100,000 units traded.
Although research is not IC Markets’ strong point, the broker has room to build on its foundation, and offering social trading on Myfxbook and ZuluTrade helps round off its offering to retail forex and CFD traders.
For our 2018 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 43 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 140 variables. Learn more.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses." Learn more.
About the author: Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.
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Commissions & Fees
*IC Markets did not participate in the 2017 Online Broker Review, as a result the following data may not be up to date.
Below is an overview of trading costs at IC Markets across its three account offerings, including contract specifications for its cryptocurrency CFDs:
- Standard Account: This is a commission-free account used with MT4. An average EUR/USD spread of 1.1 pips is listed by IC Markets for the standard account.
- True ECN Account: This is a commission-based account used with MT4. An average EUR/USD spread of 0.1 pips is listed by IC Markets for the True ECN account, and its commission is $7.0 round turn ($3.5 per side), bringing its all-in cost to 0.8 pips (after adding the 0.7 pip commission equivalent).
- cTrader Account: This is a commission-based account used with cTrader. An average EUR/USD spread of 0.1 pips is listed by IC Markets for the cTrader account, and its commission is $6.0 round turn ($3.0 per side), bringing its all-in cost to 0.7 pips (after adding the 0.6 pip commission equivalent).
For active traders that do more than 100 standard lots in volume, IC Markets provides further discounts (on a case-by-case basis) on the applicable commission rate.