Founded in 2010 in Melbourne, Pepperstone has grown to be a major player in the online forex brokerage industry, transacting over $100 billion in monthly FX volume. In 2016, Pepperstone attracted a strategic investment from CHAMP Private Equity, one of the leading investment firms in Australia. The partnership is expected to help fuel Pepperstone’s international growth.
Pepperstone predominantly offers the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) suite of platforms from MetaQuotes Software Corporation, as well as the range of platforms from Spotware Systems: cTrader, cAlgo and cMirror.
In addition, Pepperstone offers additional third-party platforms for social copy-trading from companies such as such as ZuluTrade, Tradency, and Myfxbook, to complement the signals market available by default on MT4 and cMirror.
Platforms aside, Pepperstone supports CFD trading on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dash, catering to the growing interest in cryptocurrency investing.
Trading with a forex broker traders can trust is crucial to success. Unfortunately, forex fraud and scams are common in the industry.
Here at ForexBrokers.com, we maintain the largest independent regulatory database available on the web. Using 28 different variables, we have created a proprietary 1-100 score (the higher the better) of overall trustworthiness, which we call the Trust Score. Here is our trust summary of Pepperstone.
|Publicly-Traded Company (Listed)||No|
|Regulated in Major Hub||Yes|
|Regulated in Emerging Hub||No|
|Authorised in the European Union||Yes|
|CFTC Registered (USA)||No|
|FCA Regulated (UK)||Yes|
|IIROC Authorised (Canada)||No|
|FINMA Authorised (Switzerland)||No|
|ASIC Authorised (Australia)||Yes|
|SFC Authorised (Hong Kong)||No|
|MAS Authorised (Singapore)||No|
|FSA Authorised (Japan)||No|
|FMA Authorised (New Zealand)||No|
|CySEC Authorised (Cyprus)||No|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Pepperstone clients.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$200.00|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||61|
|CFDs - Total Offered||33|
|Exchange Traded Securities: US||No|
|Exchange Traded Securities: International||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Pepperstone is regulated in Australia and the UK and has offices in the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), China and Thailand, and offers several dozen CFDs on major indices that include commodities such as energy and precious metals, in addition to nearly 60 forex pairs.
Commissions & Fees
Pepperstone offers two pricing models depending on the account type you open, ranging from the commission-based Razor Account to the Standard Account, which incorporates commissions into the prevailing spreads. Fees can also vary slightly, depending on the platform you choose to trade.
Pepperstone offers a good range of options on its pricing plan, with the Razor Account the clear choice for cost-sensitive traders.
The Razor Account can be used with either the MetaTrader (MT4) or cTrader platforms and follows a commission-based pricing structure in addition to prevailing spreads. Average spreads of 0.16 pips on the EUR/USD in the Razor Account are comparable to industry peers when factoring in the commission of 0.753 pips to calculate the all-in cost of 0.91 pips on MT4 (or 0.86 pips on cTrader).
Meanwhile, the Standard Account is based on commission-free pricing and is not as competitive, as spreads are inherently wider, similar to Saxo Bank’s commission-free offering.
Pepperstone offers a good range of options on its pricing plan, with the Razor Account the clear choice for cost-sensitive traders. In addition, Pepperstone’s active trader program offers further discounts on the applicable commission rates – depending on the amount you deposit and your expected trading volumes, helping to boost its ranking in this category among forex brokers that cater to active traders.
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1.16|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.86|
|Active Trader or Premium/VIP||Yes|
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: 7.33 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 5.7 / 10
- Overall Score: 7.2 / 10
- Ranking: 15th (43 brokers)
Pepperstone’s broad range of third-party social copy-trading platforms and research tools helps counter-balance its limited scope of in-house content. For example, the Market Review section – where news articles where posted - hadn’t been updated for several months around the time of our review.
Pepperstone offers AutoChartist to live account holders, providing automated pattern recognition and trading signals. Pepperstone also offers Smart Trader Tools, an MT4 add-on with tools such as sentiment indicators, which is available to clients with an account balance of at least $500 AUD.
For social copy-trading, Pepperstone offers the MirrorTrader and RoboX platform from Tradency, the ZuluTrade platform, and myFxbook for MT4, in addition to the native signals markets from MT4 and cTrader.
When it comes to fundamental and technical analysis content from third-party analysts and an economic calendar that shows consensus forecasts powered by Myfxbook.
Aside from social trading and the platform-related add-ons, which help give MT4 a premium touch, Pepperstone’s research offering still has room to grow if it wants to compete with industry leaders.
Overall, Pepperstone finished 24th out of 43 brokers for Research in our 2018 Review.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||No|
|Calendar Includes Forecasts||Yes|
|Economic News Sentiment||Yes|
|Trade Ideas - Backtesting||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
Pepperstone offers Metaquotes Software Corporation’s suite of MetaTrader platforms, including MetaTrader4 (MT4) for desktop, mobile and web, as well as the MT4 Multi-terminal. To learn more about MT4, read our Metatrader guide.
After registering for a Razor Account at Pepperstone, accessing the desktop and web version of MetaTrader 4 (MT4) comes pretty standard, with minimal configuration changes made from each broker, even though pricing, execution and reporting tools can vary significantly.
Pepperstone uses its EDGE infrastructure to help bridge the MetaTrader platform with liquidity providers to whom it routes your order for execution, while incorporating its Pepperstone Price Improvement (PPI) technology to help improve execution rates. This is a highly proactive approach for an agency broker.
Besides the desktop version, MT4 web is a lighter version of the platform made for web browsers, and comes with nearly the same number of indicators and drawing tools as the native desktop version, making it a viable option for the desktop version when you need access to MT4 charts. Meanwhile, MT4 web doesn’t support automated trading strategies, which can be done only on the desktop version.
Besides MetaTrader platforms, Pepperstone offers the suite of platforms from Spotware Systems, including the cTrader and cAlgo platforms, which support automated trading. The Razor and Standard accounts can be used with both platforms at Pepperstone, helping to unify account offerings across its products.
Moving to the cTrader platform, traders at Pepperstone can login to the web version or download the desktop version for Windows. To learn more about Spotware Systems, read our cTrader guide. For algorithmic trading, cAlgo can be used as a standalone platform that can be linked with a cTrader account and comes standard from the developer. It would be ideal if both modules were combined into a single platform, as those who need the automated trading capabilities must install both cTrader and cAlgo.
Spotware systems also launched a web-based app called cMirror, which lets Pepperstone’s clients copy trading strategies from other users and mirror those signals in their own account (i.e. social copy trading).
This offering appears to compete with MetaQuotes’ signals market, which is available through the MT4/MT5 desktop platforms. Nevertheless, cMirror is very rudimentary in its current form, with only a few basic features beyond sorting strategies by account type, returns and time frame, giving MT4 the edge on social trading from its signals’ market.
Compared to the MT4 platform, both platforms support algorithmic trading and fare well when compared alongside each other; however, cTrader has an advantage with its web-based platform, which offers a wider range of trading tools compared to MT4 web. Meanwhile, the desktop version of MT4 contains the algorithmic trading module – compared to cTrader, which requires the standalone cAlgo platform to run in parallel, a small but noteworthy difference.
Pepperstone’s platforms compare well with other brokers that offer platforms from MetaQuotes Software Corp and Spotware Systems’ platforms, such as FxPro, aside from differences in execution method and pricing as Pepperstone only offers agency execution across its platforms.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Mac)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
Mobile trading at Pepperstone is done either via the MetaTrader 4 mobile app or the cTrader app, both of which are available directly from the developer on Google Play and iTunes, and usually come standard from broker to broker. To learn more about cTrader mobile by SpotWare, read ourTo learn more about Spotware Systems, read our guide to cTrader. For this section, I focused on Pepperstone’s MT4 mobile app.
For traders who already have the MT4 mobile app installed, logging in is just a matter of searching for Pepperstone from the app login screen – compared to the cTrader mobile app where the developer makes a branded version for each broker, which can be found on iTunes and Google Play directly from Spotware Systems.
Both apps rank highly in design, functionality and range of tools. Meanwhile, Pepperstone’s lack of proprietary platforms – including desktop, web and mobile – makes the comparison more about pricing and execution, which both rank highly and are similar to FxPro, IC Markets and FXOpen.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Can Turn Horizontally||Yes|
|Charting - Technical Studies/Indicators||30|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
Pepperstone provides execution across all its account types and platforms solely on an agency basis, compared to other forex brokers that may execute using an agency or dealing desk execution model, such as OANDA, Dukascopy Bank, FXCM and FxPro, which offer both.
This structure of using agency-only execution leaves less room for conflicts of interest that can arise with a dealing desk, yet it also leaves less control for execution quality as third-party dealers are relied upon in the agency model. Therefore, traders seeking pure agency execution may prefer Pepperstone.
During 2017, Pepperstone launched CFD trading on four major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dash, alongside the ability for traders to hedge from the same account.
With nearly 90 instruments available to trade, Pepperstone’s niche offering is mainly for those who focus exclusively on forex and the most popular CFD markets. Pepperstone’s regulatory umbrella encompasses the UK’s FCA and Australia’s ASIC licensing, which helps win customers’ trust.
Pepperstone caters well to advanced traders with competitive pricing on its Razor Account and active trader offering. It also supports algorithmic trading on platforms from MetaQuotes Software Corp. and Spotware Systems, in addition to providing a multitude of social copy-trading platforms.
Considering the low minimum deposit, range of platforms and account types, Pepperstone caters well to all types of forex-focused traders, regardless of experience level.
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 foreign exchange trading, 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 currency pair. 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.
Reviewed by 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 19 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
Compared to firms with commission-based pricing that offer cTrader and MT4, such as FxPro, the commissions for forex trading at Pepperstone are similar to its industry peers.
- In the Razor Account in MetaTrader 4, the average spread on the EUR/USD is 0.16 pips, using data from Pepperstone for the week of November 2nd, 2017, while the commission is $3.76 per side or $7.53 round turn for every 100,000 units (standard lot) when your balance is denominated in USD, which equates to an all-in cost of roughly 0.85 pips (0.16 pips + 0.753).
- The commission rates when using cTrader with the Razor Account will be slightly different as they are based on the pair you are trading and not the currency in which your balance is denominated.
- The standard account is commission free but has higher spreads instead and is not as competitive as the Razor Account, as average spreads on the EUR/USD are 1.16 pips, according to Pepperstone.
Active Trader program:
Pepperstone’s Active Trader program is structured as a liquidity rebate where a portion of the commissions paid are refunded to you based on the volume you trade during a given month.
Since Pepperstone doesn’t track the volumes to notify you, traders must keep an eye on their volumes and inform the broker manually in order to claim any eligible rebates. A minimum of 200 lots is required to qualify for the lowest tier, with a rebate of $1.00 per standard lot.
- Level 1: 200 lots @$1.00 ($200 rebate)
- Level 2: 1,000 lots @ $1.50 ($1.5K rebate)
- Level 3: 1,500 lots @ $2.00 ($3K rebate)
- Level 4: 5,000 lots @ $3.00 ($15K rebate)