By Steven Hatzakis
February 18th, 2019
Last Updated: April 16th, 2019
The ForexBrokers.com Annual Review (3 years running) is among the most cited in the industry. Our Head of Research, Steven Hatzakis, is frequently referenced as a leading analyst covering forex brokers and cryptocurrency. Learn more.
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 financial year ending May 31st, 2018, IG services over 195,000 active clients globally through its 14 global offices and 1,500 staff, across its regulated entities in the UK and internationally.
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.
- Since 1974, join 195,000 traders worldwide, listed on the FTSE 250 Visit Site
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|Publicly-Traded Company (Listed)||Yes|
|Regulated in Major Hub||Yes|
|Regulated in Emerging Hub||Yes|
|Authorised in the European Union||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
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).
|Minimum Initial Deposit||£250.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.75|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.363|
|Active Trader or Premium/VIP||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.
- 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.
- Best Forex Trading Platforms 2019
- Best FX Brokers for Copy Trading 2019
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|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)||22|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||17|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||12|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
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)
- View Infographic
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.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
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.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||26|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to IG clients.
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||91|
|CFDs - Total Offered||15000|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||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. Furthermore, IG offers 7,500 CFD products and at least 70 currency pairs.
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.
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.