IC Markets founded in 2007 and is owned and operated by International Capital Markets. With a home base in Sydney, Australia, this Forex broker holds an Australian Financial Services Licence, along with a Seychelles Securities Dealer Licence. IC Markets recently made news by shifting many clients over to their Seychelles branch, a move which allowed them to provide services to a broader range of clients, as well as to retain clients who may have otherwise been forced to search for a different broker due to changes to regulations. The IC Markets review that follows will provide you with the most current information regarding this popular FX broker.
IC Markets offers three different account types: True ECN cTrader, True ECN MetaTrader and Standard MetaTrader. The cTrader and True ECN accounts do charge commissions (see Trading Costs below), while the Standard account is commission-free. In addition to these, the broker offers Islamic accounts for clients who cannot earn or pay interest due to their religious beliefs. The Islamic accounts is available for the True ECN and Standard account types on the MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms. There truly is little difference between the provided account types, with the selection between them really coming down to your preferred platform and trading style.
Traders who use this FX broker will be given the option to trade within MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, or cTrader. IC Markets cTrader trades are processed through trade servers in the NY4 (New York) & LD5 (London) data centers. The cTrader platform was built to operate specifically within a true ECN environment and allows traders to place orders between the spread with no minimum order distance and a freeze level of 0. With no FIFO rule in place, traders are free to hedge their positions. Their cTrader platform has no restrictions on trading and provides excellent trading conditions for scalping and high frequency trading.
MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are also available, with these being provided along with the True ECN and Standard account types. The MT4 and MT5 servers are located in the Equinix NY4 data center in New York. These servers have latency of less than 1 millisecond to major VPS providers either collocated within the New York 4 data center or via dedicated lines to nearby data centers. Should you decide to trade with this brokerage, be sure to select the account type that provides you with access to your preferred platform.
Leverage up to 1:500 is offered on all account types and all trading platforms. The leverage selection can be made at the time your trading account is created, but can also be adjusted at a later time. The 1:500 ratio maximum is right on par with what we see most brokers offering, with only a small number of brokers offering higher ratios. Note that this leverage maximum does not apply when trading cryptocurrencies. When trading digital assets, the maximum leverage is 1:5. Leverage is also reduced on certain other asset types, including Indices, Bonds and Futures, all of which are capped at a leverage ration of 1:200.
Clients can submit order with trade sizes starting from 1 micro lot (1,000 base currency) to as large as 250 lots (25 million base currency) through the IC Markets platform. The minimum for CFDs is 1 CFD. Whenever a trade is initiated, their ECN sorts and ranks prices to allow for real-time execution of even the largest large trades over several different liquidity providers and pricing tiers. This helps to ensure the best possible pricing for any trade size. A free Low latency collocated VPS is made available. The average speed of trade processing is currently less than 40 milliseconds.
Trading costs are based upon account type. The commission charged on the cTrader (True ENC cTrader Account) platform is $3 USD per 100,000 USD traded. The USD commission amount is converted over to the base currency of the account at the current spot rate. See an example of the commission calculation for the cTrader account below.
On the regular ECN account (MetaTrader 4 or 5), the cost is $3.50 USD per traded lot. On the Standard (non-ECN) account, there is no commission charge, but you can expect the spreads to be less attractive with this account type. According to IC Markets, the regular ECN account is the most popular among their clients.
Swap fees are charged on overnight positions, with the exception of Islamic accounts. On those accounts, a flat rate financing charge will be assessed on all trades remaining open overnight. Each currency pair has its own swap charge and these can be viewed within your chosen trading platform. To view this information, right click on any asset within the ‘Market Watch’ section, then left click on ‘Specification’ from the dropdown menu. After this, a new window will open that shows the long and short swap rate for the selected asset.
The assets made available clients is based upon their chosen account type. However, there isn’t much difference between them, with the Standard account having access to just a few less. The available asset types and numbers are as follows:
- Currency Pairs – 60
- Indices – 17
- Commodities – 19
- Stocks – 120+
- Bonds – 6
- Futures – 4
- Cryptocurrencies – 10
IC Markets does an excellent job of providing complete details for each and every asset, including spreads, maximum leverage for each, product details, and much more.
IC Markets’ true ECN accounts offer spreads starting at 0.0 pips. This broker boasts an average spread of 0.1 pips on the EUR/USD pairing, which they claim is the lowest in the world. Spreads can vary by account type though, with the lowest available spread on the commission-free standard account being 1 pip. Over 50 different banks and dark pool liquidity sources are used to ensure that spreads remain as tight as possible, regardless of conditions within the marketplace. Spreads for each underlying asset can be viewed from the broker’s website, or by signing up for a free demo account.
IC Markets allows clients to open an account with a minimum deposit of $200 USD or currency equivalent. Accounts can be funded and managed using ten different base currencies. This holds true regardless of account type. On most deposit methods, the initial deposit will be instantly credited to the account. However, some payment methods do take longer. Additional information regarding account funding can be found below.
Deposit Methods & Costs
IC Markets does an excellent job of providing a wide range of deposit options. The current list of accepted payment methods includes:
- Credit Cards
- Debit Cards
- Wire Transfer
- Broker to Broker
- Thai Internet Banking
- Bitcoin Wallet
- Vietnamese Internet Banking
IC Markets does not charge any fees for deposits or withdrawals. You should, however, be aware that you may incur fees on payments sent to and from some banking institutions and payment processors. IC Markets does not accept responsibility for or offer reimbursement for any such bank fees. Like most, this FX broker does not accept third-party payments.
Withdrawal Methods & Costs
Withdrawal requests are paid back to the payment method used to fund with account, with profits exceeding that amount typically being paid out via bank wire. As noted above, there are plenty of payment methods to choose from. IC Markets does not charge any withdrawal fees, with one exception. For International Bank Wire withdrawals, they do pass the transfer fees charged by the banking institution on to the trader. International Wire Transfer fees are approximately 20 AUD and this fee is deducted from the withdrawal amount once the request is reviewed and approved.
Withdrawal Processing & Wait Time
The daily cut off time for withdrawal requests is 12:00 AEST/AEDT. When a withdrawal is submitted before this time, the request will be processed on the day of receipt. Whenever a withdrawal is submitted after this time, it will roll over to be processed on the next business day. International Telegraphic Wire Transfers will usually take 3-5 business days to land in a bank account, while Domestic Bank Transfers within Australia will usually credit within 2-3 business days. Once processed, Credit and Debit Card withdrawals may take 3 to 5 business days to land. Do be aware that in some rare instances it may take up to 10 business days for the payment to post, depending on the bank.
Bonuses & Promotions
As an ECN broker, IC Markets does not offer any deposit bonuses. They also do not offer any promotions such as trading contests or any type of giveaway. This, of course, could change in the future, so do check the broker’s website for current information.
Educational & Trading Tools
In addition to all of the standard tools that MT4 provides, this broker has added in a one click trade module, market depth, spread monitor, trade risk calculator, and advanced order types. These were previously not made available on MetaTrader 4 and work to provide a better trading experience. In addition, IC Markets has partnered with leading trading technology companies to improve their trading environment and to offer cutting edge trading tools such as Depth of Market (DoM), inbuilt spread monitoring, ladder trading, automated trade closure with custom order templates, and much more.
Educational resources are also provided and include a ‘Trading Knowledge’ area, video tutorials, comprehensive lessons and more. A total of ten lessons are provided, with these covering everything from the basics to analysis to strategies. Also provided is Web TV, a service offering actionable trade ideas and market commentary in a short video format. With fewer and fewer Forex brokers offering educational resources, this is a plus of IC Markets.
Myfxbook Auto-Trading: Auto-trading is made available through the popular Myfxbook service. This next generation account mirroring trading service allows you to copy the trades of any selected system directly into your MetaTrader 4 account. When using the service, you will not have to pay any volume based fees or install any complex software. Only the best, most profitable systems are are shown, eliminating the need to search through 1000’s of systems looking for the best as all systems are hand selected.
Trade Signals: Trading signals are also offered via Zulu Trade. The service allows you to choose from over 100,000 traders in 192 countries and follow their trading signals at no cost. Signal providers are ranked via a process of analyzing their overall performance, stability, maturity, exposure and minimum equity. An advanced account protection feature is in place to monitor the performance of your selected traders 24/7, working to protect your invested capital whenever necessary.
IC Markets offers support via phone, live chat and email. They do provide a toll-free contact number for Australian clients: +1300 600 644. The hours for support are Monday to Saturday (AEDT) 07:00 – 07:00 and Sunday to Friday (GMT) 22:00 – 22:00. The Chinese support center hours are Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 23:00. Email inquiries can be sent to the proper department using on of the email addresses shown below.
To send an email to the Sydney head office, using email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To send an email to the Seychelles head office, using email address: email@example.com
The global telephone numbers are as follows:
General: +61 (0)2 8014 4280
Fax: +61 (0)2 8072 2120
To view all of the available contact methods and information, visit: https://www.icmarkets.com/en/company/contact-us.
Demo accounts are provided on each of the available trading platforms. While these accounts provide similar trading experiences, demo accounts are used predominantly for practice purposes and IC Markets does not a guarantee of the same results as a live account. Demo accounts do expire after 30 days of inactivity, but if this happens to you, it is possible to open a new demo. Existing clients can register for a demo within their account backoffice, while new clients will need to register in order to create a demo account.
Although the IC Markets website states that residents of U.S, Canada, Israel and Islamic Republic of Iran are not accepted, U.S. traders are able to register and trade though their Seychelles branch. IC Markets is regulated by the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles with a Securities Dealer Licence number SD018. U.S. clients will not be able to trade under the International Capital Markets Pty Ltd. branch, which holds an Australian financial services licence and operated a financial services business in Australia. For more information and additional clarification, contact IC Markets customer service directly.
IC Markets is among the better brokers in operation today and should continue to be viewed as such, despite the recent offshore shifting on some clients. The good news for these clients (as well as those searching for a broker) is that the same solid level of services and support is not going to change just because the location does. This broker has already proven themselves over the past decade plus and we do not anticipate any sudden decline to take place. Register an account with IC Markets with confidence.