Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG offers traders an extensive list of tradable products, excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, and competitive rates. This fantastic all-round experience makes IG our No. 1 overall broker in 2019.
Top Takeaways for 2019
After spending several hundred hours testing 28 forex brokers over six months for our third annual forex broker review, here are our top findings on IG:
- Founded in 1974, IG is publicly traded (LON: IGG) and regulated in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) to trade forex and CFDs with.
- IG is the ultimate broker, finishing 1st Overall in our 2019 ranking. Alongside finishing first for Offering of Investments (17,000+ tradeable instruments), Education, and Customer Service, IG finished Best in Class (top 7) for Commissions & Fees, Platforms & Tools, MetaTrader, Research, Mobile Trading, Active Trading, and Cryptocurrency Trading.
- Thanks to industry-leading education, low costs, and a user-friendly trading platform and mobile app, IG is excellent for less-experienced traders.
- IG offers outstanding customer service. The broker finished 1st place out of 23 brokers in our national testing across the United Kingdom.
- While IG also offers MetaTrader along with premium MT4 add-ons from FX Blue, only 76 tradeable instruments are available, limiting its appeal beyond algorithmic trading, compared to its flagship platform.
- Since 1974, join 195,000 traders worldwide, listed on the FTSE 250 Visit Site
Is IG Safe?
IG is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. IG is a publicly traded company, operates a regulated bank, and is authorised by six tier-1 regulators (high trust), three tier-2 regulators (average trust), and no tier-3 regulators (low trust). IG is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to IG clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||93|
|CFDs - Total Offered||17535|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
IG uses its size to provide traders competitive pricing across the board, regardless of the product you trade, and shines for its active trader pricing available through its Forex Direct accounts.
Average spreads: For mini and standard size contracts, minimum spreads on the EUR/USD were 0.6 pips, and average spreads were 0.7 pips, for the 12 weeks ending May 31st, 2019.
Active traders: For volume traders who qualify as professionals under EU rules, IG has even more competitive rates on its commission-based offering, Forex Direct. Forex Direct is offered on IG’s L2 Dealer platform, requires only a £1,000 minimum, and uses a tiered pricing scale based on the trader’s previous month’s trading volume.
Execution method: Forex Direct streams from interbank liquidity providers where IG acts as an agency broker – and doesn’t add on any additional spread. Instead, IG adds a commission to each trade you make (similar to FXCM’s agency execution and other brokers with commission-based pricing).
|Minimum Initial Deposit||£250.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.7 (as of May 19)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.363 (as of Mar 16)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
All in all, IG provides an excellent offering of trading platforms and tools. The functionality is widespread and serves traders of all experience levels.
Flagship platform: IG’s main trading platform is its proprietary web-based platform. Usability is at the heart of the experience. For example, charts open from nearly any view where live market prices or streaming bid/ask rates are shown. However, IG’s default layout in its web-based platform is partially empty, requiring the user to customize the platform without a default selection of pre-templated workspaces available to choose.
Charting: The default charts within the platform feature advanced functionality, such as the ability to add an alert on a specific indicator, with a total of 28 studies available to select.
Additional platforms: In addition to its web-based platform, IG offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform and its L2 Dealer platform where Forex Direct and Direct Market Access (DMA) are available for share trading.
ProRealTime charts: More advanced charting with nearly 100 indicators is provided by IG via the ProRealTime premium charting, which is available as a standalone Java application. ProRealTime costs £30 per month unless your make at least four trades during each calendar period.
IG provides traders an excellent selection of quality market research from both in-house and third-party providers.
Content: On its trading platform, IG offers streaming news from Reuters and research in the form of an Economic Calendar, and streaming video content, all nicely organized across numerous categories. IG's research tools include a customizable screener for various asset classes, including CFDs on global stocks, forex, and cryptocurrencies.
Trading signals: IG also integrates AutoChartist and PIA First into its platform, allowing traders to view trade signals generated by automated pattern-recognition and technical analysis.
Dedicated blog: IG powers DailyFX, a blog-style news website that supports IG clients with educational and news content, as well as various research tools.
IG’s mobile app competes with the best in the industry as the app comes packed with plenty of features that will satisfy both casual and advanced traders.
Tools: IG’s mobile app includes features such as alerts, sentiment readings, an economic calendar, and watch lists, including detailed market information for each instrument, all packed within a well-designed layout.
Charting: The charting function within IG's mobile app is loaded with 28 technical indicators and drawing tools. Any indicators added to a chart are automatically saved and reappear with each subsequent login and when switching symbols.
Research: In the IG Mobile app, research is limited to news content and signals from AutoChartist, which, fortunately, has been nicely integrated into the user experience.
MetaTrader: MetaTrader is also available for traders who prefer the MT4 mobile app.
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2019 Review, 229 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.
- Average Connection Time: <1 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 8.5 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 6.6 / 10
- Overall Score: 8.0 / 10
- Ranking: 1st (23 brokers)
Overall, retail forex and CFD traders who want trusted access to nearly every market, including exchange-traded securities on multiple international exchanges, will find that IG is an easy winner.
IG also offers powerful research tools and competitive spreads, making it a market leader and our top broker for 2019.
As an early pioneer in offering contracts for difference (CFDs) and spread betting, IG was founded in 1974 and has grown to be a global leader in the online trading industry. IG is a London-based public company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 250 (LON: IGG).
IG offers traders access to trade over 17,000 products across multiple asset classes, including forex, CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, bonds, cryptocurrencies, and provides access to other global markets, including exchange-traded shares through its regulated offerings.
As of its Annual report for the financial year ending May 31st, 2019, IG services nearly 130,000 active clients globally, processing around 350,000 transactions each day, across its regulated entities in the UK and internationally.
IG Trading Features
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||28|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||17|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||12|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
IG Research Features
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
IG Mobile App Features
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||28|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
In 2017, IG launched Smart Portfolios as its first move into the managed investment space, as well as seven CFD cryptocurrency pairs including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.
In 2018, IG obtained a Forex Dealer Member license in the US, marking its major milestone for the year.
IG also offers exchange-traded securities (non-CFDs) for residents of the UK (read our IG UK share dealing review), Germany, and Australia to access international stock exchanges.
2019 Review Methodology
For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers over a six month time period. Each broker was graded on 81 different variables and, in total, over 60,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. 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." 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.