Since 1974, join 195,000 traders worldwide, listed on the FTSE 250 Visit Site 74% of retail CFD accounts lose money × is committed to the highest ethical standards and reviews services independently. Advertiser Disclosure

IG Review

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Trading forex carries a high level of risk. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.

The annual forex broker review (three years running) is the most cited in the industry. With over 60,000 words of research across the site, we spend hundreds of hours testing forex brokers each year. How we test.

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 15,000 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.

Review Summary

Rank: 1st (of 28)

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.


  • Comprehensive trading and research tools powered by real-time exchange data.
  • Publicly traded and licensed in major regulatory jurisdictions across the globe.
  • Competitive commission-based pricing and spreads on forex.
  • Broad range of markets, currency pairs, and multi asset CFDs (including cryptocurrencies).


  • Forex Direct offering is only available to professional traders within the EU.

Promo Offer:

  • Since 1974, join 195,000 traders worldwide, listed on the FTSE 250 Visit Site

Is IG Safe?

help 99
Trust Score

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.

Trust Comparison

FeatureIGSaxo BankCMC
Year Founded1974199219891999
Publicly Traded (Listed) Yes No Yes Yes
Bank Yes Yes No No
Tier-1 Licenses6644
Tier-2 Licenses3120
Tier-3 Licenses0000
Trust Score99989891

Commissions & Fees

Rank: 4th (of 28)

IG uses its size to provide traders competitive pricing across the board, regardless of the product being traded, and shines for its active trader pricing available through Forex Direct accounts.


  • For mini and standard size contracts, minimum spreads on the EUR/USD were 0.6 pips and average spreads were 0.75 pips, for the 12 weeks ending December 12th, 2018.
  • 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.
  • Forex Direct streams from interbank liquidity providers where IG acts as an agency broker – and doesn’t add on any additional spread. Instead, IG just adds a commission to each trade you make (similar to FXCM’s agency execution and other brokers with commission-based pricing).


  • None.


Further Reading

Fees Comparison

FeatureIGSaxo BankCMC
Minimum Initial Deposit£250.00$2,000.00$0.00$250.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.7500.9000.7440.770
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.3630.6000.7440.700
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commissions & Fees 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Platforms & Tools

Rank: 3rd (of 28)

All in all, IG provides an excellent offering of trading platforms and tools. The functionality is widespread and serves traders of all experience levels.


  • IG’s main trading platform is its proprietary web-based platform. Usability is at the heart of the experience. For example, charts can be opened from nearly any view that shows live market prices and streaming bid/ask rates, and various other shortcuts provide access to a trading ticket or order dialogue window.
  • The default charts within the platform feature some advanced functionality, such as the ability to add an alert on a specific indicator, with a total of 22 indicators available to choose from.
  • 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.


  • IG’s default layout in its web-based platform is mostly empty, requiring the user to customize the platform without a selection of pre-templated layouts to select from.
  • More advanced charting with nearly 100 indicators is provided by IG via the ProRealTime premium charting, which is available as a standalone application. ProRealTime costs £30 per month unless at least four trades are made during each calendar period.


Further Reading

Tools Comparison

FeatureIGSaxo BankCMC
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes No Yes Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No No No No
cTrader No No No No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)224781139
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)17172422
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields1212811
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes Yes Yes Yes
Platform & Tools 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars

Customer Service

Rank: 1st (of 28)

To score Customer Service, 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)
  • View Infographic


Rank: 2nd (of 28)

IG provides traders an excellent selection of quality market research from both in-house and third-party providers.


  • On its trading platform, IG offers streaming news from Reuters and research in the form of an Economic Calendar, as well as a customizable screener for various asset classes including CFDs on global stocks, forex, and cryptocurrencies.
  • IG also integrates AutoChartist and PIA First into its platform, allowing traders to view trade signals generated by automated pattern-recognition and technical analysis.


  • None.


Further Reading

Research Comparison

FeatureIGSaxo BankCMC
Daily Market Commentary Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weekly Webinars Yes Yes Yes Yes
AutoChartist Yes Yes No Yes
Trading Central (Recognia) No No Yes Yes
Delkos Research No No No Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Economic Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Research 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Mobile Trading

Rank: 3rd (of 28)

IG’s mobile app ranks highly as the app comes packed with plenty of features that will satisfy both casual and picky traders.


  • 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.
  • The charting function within IG's mobile app is loaded with technical indicators and drawing tools. Any indicators added to a chart are automatically saved and reappear with each subsequent login. AutoChartist is also integrated into the experience.
  • MetaTrader is also available for traders who prefer the MT4 mobile app.


  • None.


Further Reading

Mobile Apps Comparison

FeatureIGSaxo BankCMC
Android App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apple iOS App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - Forex Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch List Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies26412313
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile Trading 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars

Offering of Investments

Rank: 1st (of 28)

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to IG clients.

Offering Comparison

FeatureIGSaxo BankCMC
Forex: Spot Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)9118218384
CFDs - Total Offered15000329999959220
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No No No No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes No Yes Yes
Offering of Investments 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars

Other Notes

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. Furthermore, IG offers 7,500 CFD products and at least 70 currency pairs.

Final Thoughts

Rank: 1st (of 28)

Overall, retail forex and CFD traders who want trusted access to nearly every market, including exchange-traded securities on a number of 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 in 2019.


For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers. 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.

Steven Hatzakis

About the author: Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for 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.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

IG - 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

arrow_drop_upBack to top