IC Markets Review
IC Markets’ competitive pricing and scalable execution make it an excellent option for algorithmic traders. IC Markets delivers an impressive range of social copy-trading platforms and platform plugins, and the broker’s research and educational offerings have recently improved to become more competitive with its industry peers.
Tradeable Symbols (Total):
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IC Markets pros & cons
- IC Markets maintains regulatory status in two Tier-1 jurisdictions and three Tier-4 jurisdictions.
- Offers competitive pricing across all account types with low average spreads.
- Third-party research and trading tool plugins enhance the IC Markets MetaTrader offering.
- IC Markets won our 2024 Annual Award for #1 MetaTrader broker.
- IC Markets' multi-platform offering also includes MetaTrader 5, cTrader, and TradingView.
- The available range of markets has significantly expanded from 204 symbols to more than 3,500.
- IC Markets’ low-cost, scalable execution makes it a perfect fit for traders who want to run algorithmic strategies.
- Research and educational content has been improved with the addition of new video series and blog articles.
- Traders looking for copy trading platforms will appreciate the IC Social mobile app (powered by Pelican Exchange) as well as the newly launched Signal Start platform.
- The TradingView platform is now available at IC Markets, expanding the broker's range of platforms available for algorithmic trading.
|Offering of Investments
|Commissions & Fees
|Platform & Tools
Is IC Markets safe?
IC Markets is considered Trusted, with an overall Trust Score of 84 out of 99. IC Markets is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. IC Markets is authorised by two Tier-1 regulators (high trust), zero Tier-2 regulators (average trust), zero Tier-3 regulators (Average Risk), and three Tier-4 regulators (High Risk). IC Markets is authorised by the following Tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) and regulated in the European Union via the MiFID passporting system. Learn more about Trust Score or see where the different IC Markets entities are regulated.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)
Offering of investments
IC Markets offers a total of 3,583 tradeable instruments across its Australian, Cyprus, and Seychelles-based entities. The table below summarizes the different investment products available to IC Markets clients.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available at IC Markets through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents.
|Forex Trading (Spot or CFDs)
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)
|Forex Pairs (Total)
|U.S. Stock Trading (Non CFD)
|Int'l Stock Trading (Non CFD)
|Social Trading / Copy Trading
|Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents (except to Professional clients).
Commissions and fees
Considering the small effective spreads and the low deposit requirement for its commission-based accounts, IC Markets’ trading costs rival the best low-cost forex brokers, such as IG and CMC Markets. As a result, IC Markets earned Best in Class honors in the Commissions & Fees category in our 2024 Annual Awards.
Global entity: Spreads at IC Markets vary depending on the trading platform you use, your account type, and your chosen IC Markets entity. IC Markets has three regulatory entities available: European (based in Cyprus), Australian, or its offshore entity based in Seychelles.
Account types: IC Markets offers three account options: the commission-free Standard account (spread only), and the commission-based Raw Spread and cTrader Raw Spread accounts.
cTrader versus MetaTrader accounts: The cTrader Raw Spread and the IC Markets (MT4 or MT5) Raw Spread accounts have a near-identical commission structure. The difference in pricing between the two comes down to platform choice. The cTrader-linked account commission is lower by about a tenth of a pip, at $3.0 per side for every 100,000 units, or $6.00 per RT. The Raw Spread account, which uses MT4 or MT5, charges $3.5 per side for every 100,000 units (1 standard lot) or $7.00 per round turn (RT).
Effective spreads: IC Markets lists its average spread on the EUR/USD at 0.02 pips (August 2021). After adding the commission equivalent of 0.6 pips for the cTrader account, the all-in cost comes to 0.62 pips (or 0.72 on MetaTrader in the Raw Spread account) – which is competitive. Alternatively, the Standard account lists an average spread of 0.62 pips and is commission-free, making it an attractive option.
Active traders: IC Markets offers discounts to traders that trade over 100 standard lots per month.
Agency and dealer execution: IC Markets provides execution on an agency basis, which means orders may be subject to positive or negative slippage – there are no requotes and no instant execution. That said, IC Markets is still considered a dealer and counterparty to your trade. Though it routes orders to nearly two dozen liquidity providers, it does not hedge all trades and thus does manage some risk as a counterparty (dealing desk).
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts
|ACH or SEPA Transfers
|Bank Wire (Deposit/Withdraw)
Mobile trading apps
IC Markets provides mobile apps for the four platforms it offers – MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5), cTrader, and TradingView – all of which come standard for iOS and Android. The lineup is great for algorithmic trading; however, it should be noted that the leaders in mobile trading, like IG, Saxo Bank, and CMC Markets, all offer proprietary trading apps.
Tools comparison: The MetaTrader, cTrader, and TradingView mobile apps have similar functionality and charting. The platform you choose will likely depend on whether you trade manually or use desktop platforms for automated trading systems.
Algorithmic trading: Automated trading is not possible with the mobile versions of the cTrader, MetaTrader or TradingView platforms. That means they are primarily useful for managing existing positions or manually opening new trades. Mobile copy trading is available with supported third-party platforms such as ZuluTrade and IC Social (powered by Pelican).
|Apple iOS App
|Mobile Alerts - Basic Fields
|Watchlists - Total Fields
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)
|Mobile Charting - Draw Trendlines
|Mobile Charting - Multiple Time Frames
|Mobile Economic Calendar
Other trading platforms
IC Markets has strengthened its position as an excellent choice for algorithmic traders thanks to the availability of the MetaTrader, cTrader, and TradingView platforms. IC Markets also delivers robust execution methods (i.e., no requotes) and the ability to place orders within the spread.
IC Markets was our pick for the #1 MetaTrader broker for our 2024 Annual Awards. Want to learn more about MetaTrader? Read our full MetaTrader guide, and check out our MetaTrader 5 (MT5) guide if you want to dive deep into the newest version of the MetaTrader platform.
Platforms overview: IC Markets offers the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platforms developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp., alongside the cTrader platform developed by Spotware Systems. Additional add-ons available for MetaTrader clients include the Advanced Trading Tools package for the desktop version, along with plugins from Autochartist and Trading Central. While these third-party plugins must be installed separately, their ability to enhance the MetaTrader experience makes them worth the extra effort. Last but not least, IC Markets recently launched the popular TradingView platform, which is available for desktop and web, and supports both algorithmic trading and backtesting.
Charting: Charts on MetaTrader and cTrader are excellent, with a good variety of default indicators pre-installed and an even larger array available from third-party providers. The IC Markets cTrader platform offering includes both the web-based and desktop versions. Likewise, TradingView is renowned for its Supercharts.
MetaTrader Tools: IC Markets provides access to the Advanced Trading Tools package, which is a suite of platform add-ons developed by FX Blue. IC Markets also provides installable third-party plugins from Trading Central and Autochartist.
Algorithmic trading: The desktop version of MetaTrader supports algorithmic trading, and the cTrader suite includes trading applications such as cAlgo for automated trading, and cTrader Copy for social copy trading. IC Markets is popular with serious algorithmic traders due to its low cost and execution methods, and its support for Virtual Private Servers (VPS). Likewise, TradingView supports backtesting and algorithmic trading on both its desktop and web app.
Interested in learning about algorithmic trading and high-frequency trading systems? Check out our high-frequency trading guide.
VPS services: For traders that complete at least 15 standard lots, IC Markets offers several free third-party Virtual Private Servers (VPS) services for hosting client algorithms.
Social copy trading: In addition to cTrader Copy and the native Signals market from MetaTrader, IC Markets offers the Myfxbook (AutoTrade) and ZuluTrade platforms for copy trading across its global brands. IC Markets recently launched IC Social, a mobile-only app powered by Pelican Exchange. This additional social-copy trading platform is available in select regions from IC Markets' Seychelles entity.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)
|Desktop Platform (Windows)
|Social Trading / Copy Trading
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)
|Charting - Trade From Chart
|Watchlists - Total Fields
IC Markets continues to improve its research content with the evolution of its IC Your Trade series, which features high-quality video content and accompanying articles.
Research overview: IC Markets posts several articles each day on its blog, including a technical and fundamental forecast. I found the quality of the research content to be pretty standard, though not quite as rich as what you see from industry leaders such as IG and Saxo Bank. It's worth mentioning that the quality of content has improved year-over-year, including within the IC Your Trade podcast series.
Market news and analysis: IC Markets delivers in-house technical and fundamental analysis content by way of its blog, and provides daily updates in its market analysis section. There are videos from Trading Central and short clips that recap market events under the Web TV section, as well as live trading sessions posted to the IC Markets YouTube channel.
|Daily Market Commentary
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)
|Trading Central (Recognia)
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs
IC Markets has a good range of content for beginner as well as advanced traders, with over 100 written articles and dozens of videos. However, content is not organized by experience level, and there is no progress tracking or quizzes, which are both features I’ve come to expect from the best forex brokers in this category.
Learning center: The educational content at IC Markets is organized into six series, such as Forex Trading 101 and Trading Plan 101. The quality of the articles are a touch above the industry average. IC Markets has also created a podcast series known as “IC Your Trade”, and has a YouTube channel that hosts a catalog of archived webinars.
Room for improvement: IC Markets still has room to enhance its educational offering by developing courses that feature progress tracking and quizzes, and by adding the ability to filter content by experience level. I'd also like to see IC Markets expand the number of available learning materials.
|Education (Forex or CFDs)
|Client Webinars (Archived)
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)
IC Markets appeals primarily to algorithmic traders that use the MT4, MT5, or cTrader platforms, and who need agency execution coupled with competitive spreads and low commissions.
Catering to high-frequency traders helps IC Markets achieve significantly higher trading volumes relative to its peers, as automated trading strategies can typically do higher turnover than manual traders. These factors helped IC Markets win first place in both the MetaTrader and Algo Trading categories in 2024.
Access to third-party social trading services like Myfxbook and ZuluTrade helps to round out IC Markets’ overall offering and make it appealing to retail forex and CFD traders and helping it finish best in class for both Social Copy Trading, as well as in the Commissions & Fees category. I generally do not recommend IC Markets unless you are an algorithmic trader or if your manual trading strategy is spread-sensitive.
Is IC Markets a good broker?
IC Markets is a good broker for investors who want to run automated trading strategies on MetaTrader and cTrader platforms. IC Markets provides social copy trading platforms and a growing selection of research and educational materials, and offers competitive pricing.
Is my money safe with IC Markets?
IC Markets is regulated in Australia, Cyprus, the Bahamas, and Seychelles, and Mauritius; the degree of safety of your funds will depend on which entity holds your funds.
For example, in Australia, the National Guarantee Fund does not provide any protection when trading CFDs, but IC Markets maintains indemnity insurance and holds your funds in a Client Moneys Trust Account), and is regulated by ASIC. For clients of IC Markets in Cyprus, the Investors Compensation Fund can protect eligible retail clients in the unlikely event of bankruptcy, for up to 20,000 euros per account held by IC Markets EU. For comparison, its IC Trading brand in Mauritius, as well as IC Markets brand regulated in the Bahamas, and IC Markets entity regulated in Seychelles, do not provide as much regulatory protection as its tier one licenses do.
IC Markets was founded in 2007, and factors such as its years of operation and scope of regulatory licenses should be taken into consideration when choosing a broker. Going with a broker that is well-capitalized also reduces your potential counterparty risk.
What is the minimum deposit for IC Markets?
The minimum deposit at IC Markets starts at $200 to open a live account, regardless of the account you choose, including the Standard, Raw, and cTrader account options. There are also over a dozen funding methods available, ranging from bank transfers and credit cards to third-party payment providers such as PayPal and UnionPay.
About IC Markets
With servers in New York (Equinix NY4) and London (Equinix LD5), IC Markets has positioned itself as an agency broker that caters to scalpers and high-frequency algorithmic traders who require low latency and fast execution. Founded in 2007, IC Markets’ monthly trading volume surpassed $1.39 trillion in June 2023 across over 200,000 clients within its related brands (IC Markets and IC Trading). IC Markets has 260 employees, according to its Wikipedia page.
ForexBrokers.com 2024 Annual Awards
For the ForexBrokers.com 2024 Annual Awards, brokers were evaluated against ForexBrokers.com’s 8 Primary Categories: Commissions & Fees, Offering of Investments, Platforms & Tools, Mobile Trading Apps, Research, Education, Trust Score, and Overall.
Best in Class honors were awarded to the Top 7 forex brokers in each of the following areas: Beginners, Social Copy Trading, Ease of Use, MetaTrader, Algo Trading, Crypto Trading, and Professional Trading.
For more information, see how we test.
|Commissions & Fees
|Social Copy Trading
|Best in Class
|Best in Class Streak
2024 Review Methodology
At ForexBrokers.com, our reviews of online forex brokers and their products and services are based on our collected data as well as the observations and qualified opinions of our expert researchers. Each year we publish tens of thousands of words of research on the top forex brokers and monitor dozens of international regulator agencies (read more about how we calculate Trust Score here).
Our research team conducts thorough testing on a wide range of features, products, services, and tools (collecting and validating thousands of data points in the process). We test all available trading platforms for each broker – whether they are proprietary or come from third-party providers – and evaluate them based on a host of data-driven variables.
We also take an in-depth look at each broker’s commissions and fees, such as bid/ask spreads – including the average spread data for some of the most popular forex currency pairs. We research other trading costs, such as inactivity or custody fees, minimum deposit requirements, VIP rebates and/or discounts, and a range of other important fee-based data points.
Some of the other important research categories that are factored into our testing include mobile trading accessibility and capability, availability of market research and educational content, and each broker’s overall Trust Score.
All content on ForexBrokers.com is handwritten by a writer, fact-checked by a member of our research team, and edited and published by an editor. Generative AI tools are not a part of our content creation or product testing processes. Our ratings, rankings, and opinions are entirely our own, and the result of our extensive research and decades of collective experience covering the forex industry. Read our Generative AI policy to learn more.
Read our full explanation and accounting of our research and testing process to learn more about how we test.
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. Read more on forex trading risks.
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