IC Markets Review 2024: Key Features, Pros and Cons

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IC Markets is an online forex and CFD broker that offers affordable services to a wide range of traders. Originally an Australian firm, the broker has spread its reach across Europe, Asia, and the globe. The broker is a true ECN/STP broker that offers raw spreads from 0.0 pips and very competitive commissions.

Traders can choose from the 3 most popular platforms in the forex market. No matter your trading style or experience level, IC Markets seems to have a solution to your needs. Experienced traders are supported with trading tools while beginners can learn from the provided trading resources.

Pros

  • Multiple regulations from top regulators like ASIC, and CySEC, and also from other regulators like FSA and SCB.
  • Offers 3 powerful trading platforms which are MT4, MT5, and cTrader.
  • Supports its clients with MT4 advanced tools and analysis from Trading Central, AutoChartist, etc.
  • Beginners are provided with training resources and demo accounts.
  • Investors can open MAM/PAMM accounts or participate in social trading from ZuluTrade or AutoTrade.
  • Clients who trade high volumes are given access to VPS at no extra costs.

Cons

  • The assets index is small when compared to the top competitors.
  • The minimum deposit of $200 is high.

Company information

Andrew Budzinski and his team of professionals founded IC Markets in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. The vision was to deploy modern technology to enable retail and institutional traders to access forex trading at minimal costs. Over the years, IC Markets has proved itself to be a true ECN broker and has become one of the largest brokers in Australia.  

The head office is in Sydney but it has subsidiaries in Cyprus, Seychelle, and the Bahamas. It has more than 180,000 active traders and processes a daily volume of about 500,000 trades. 

Regulation and Safety (9.5)

“International Capital Market Pty Ltd” is the parent company that owns the IC Market brand. The company is regulated and authorized by the Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The European arm; “IC Markets (EU)” is licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Clients under this jurisdiction are protected by the Investors’ Compensation Fund (ICF); which pays each client a maximum of €20,000 if IC Markets goes bankrupt in the future.

The global arm of IC Markets is operated by ‘Raw Trading Ltd’ which is  a company regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of Seychelles. Clients under this jurisdiction are automatically covered by the insurance policy taken to protect clients’ funds in case of any eventuality. The fund is capped at $1 million per client and is bought from Lloyd’s of London.

The international arm; “IC Markets Ltd”, is registered in the Bahamas and regulated by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB).

All clients’ funds are held in segregated accounts which are maintained with the top European and Australian banks. The broker has implemented negative balance protection which prevents clients from losing more than their deposits. It has also deployed “Secured Socket Layer” (SSL) technology to encrypt clients’ data before transmission over the internet.

Deposit and withdrawal (9.0)

IC Markets have multiple methods of funding and withdrawing from your account. The payment options available to you will depend on your location. The minimum deposit is $200. Withdrawal requests are processed on the same day if it is submitted before 12:00 AEST. Third-party withdrawals are not allowed.

Below are the acceptable payment methods:

Credit and Debit cards

The major cards accepted are Visa and MasterCards in multiple currencies. UnionPay cards are also accepted for payment in RMB. Card deposits are instantly processed; the funds become available in the trading account immediately. But, withdrawals take 3-5 working days before your card is credited.

Online payments

Multiple e-wallets and online payment processing gateways can be used to fund IC Markets accounts in several currencies. They are PayPal, Neteller, Neteller VIP, Skrill, Bpay, POLi, Rapidpay, and Klarna. Deposits are processed instantly except for Bpay, Rapidpay, and Klarna which may take 1-2 days. Withdrawals can be received within 24 hours after approval.

Thai and Vietnamese internet banking solutions are accepted for funding in USD.

Bank transfers

Bank deposits take 2-5 days to process. Deposits are accepted in 9 currencies including USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, JPY, CAD, CHF, NZD and SGD. Withdrawals can take up to 5 days to reach your account after it is approved and processed.

Broker to Broker payments

IC Markets accepts deposits from other brokers. It takes 2-5 days for complete processing.

Fees and Commissions (9.0)

The trading fees that you pay depend on the type of account you have. Generally, the spreads are tight courtesy of the liquidity providers. For standard accounts, the spread for the major currency pairs starts from 0.6 pips; the average is 0.67 pips for the EURUSD, 0.83 for the GBPUSD, and 0.74 for the USDJPY.

For MT4 raw spread accounts; the commission is $7 per round turn. But for cTrader raw spread accounts, the trading fee is calculated as $3 for every $100,000 traded per side. The amount is not fixed as the notional value of the trade is converted to the account’s base currency before the commission is computed. 

Apart from trading fees, there are no other fees. IC Markets has no hidden fees, no inactivity fees, and does not charge commissions on deposits and withdrawals.  

IC Markets offers lower spreads when compared to other similar competitors like eToro and Eightcap which offer spreads of 1.0 pip on the EURUSD. Eightcap charges commissions of $3.5/lot on its raw accounts. eToro also charges inactivity fees as well as withdrawal fees.

Account types (9.5)

If you want to start trading with IC Markets, visit the website and click on ‘open account’ from any page. If you are on the wrong IC Markets website by virtue of your location, you will be prompted to navigate to the right website for your country of residence.

Complete the form by inputting your personal details, account information, and other info. You can open a joint account, corporate or individual account. You will select your trading platform, account type and choose from up to 10 account-based currencies.

After submitting the form, you will be automatically logged into the personal area for registered clients. This is where you will complete the account opening process, upload verification documents, make deposits, download platforms, and manage your account.

Below are the account types

cTrader raw spread account

This account is only available on the cTrader platform. Spreads start from 0.0 pips while commissions are $3 per lot. Up to 2,000 trade positions can be opened on each account.

MetaTrader raw spread account

This account is only available on the MT4 and MT5 platforms. The spreads start from 0.0 pips and the commission is $3.5 per lot for each side.

Standard account

Available only on the MetaTrader platforms, this account attracts no commissions. Spreads start from 0.6 pips.

Islamic accounts

It is available on all account types. It does not incur swap fees but when you trade exotic pairs and maintain an open position for more than a day, a flat fee is charged. The fee depends on the pair; for example, $5 per lot is charged for AUDSGD, $10 per lot for EURSEK, $50 for USDTRY, $80 per lot for XNGUSD, etc.  

Demo accounts

Anyone can easily open a demo account by completing the demo account opening form. You can select the virtual capital from $200 to $5 million and leverage from 1:1 to 1:500.

For all real accounts, the minimum deposit is $200 and the maximum leverage is 1:500 and it is only available to global clients. The margin call level is 100% while the stop-out level is 50%. Retail clients from the Australian and the EU zones are restricted to 1:30 in compliance with the regulatory provisions.

Markets and products (8.0)

IC Markets is primarily a forex and CFD broker; so, it does not offer additional financial market products. Below are the available instruments:

Forex: clients can trade up to 61 currency pairs

Indices: there are about 25 indices from all over the world.

Commodities: You can trade over 20 commodities such as agricultural products, metals, and energies.

Stocks CFDs: Clients can speculate on the share prices of over 2,100 companies which are listed in the Nasdaq, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Stock CFDs can only be traded on the MT5 platform.

Bonds CFDs: Traders can speculate on the prices of over 9 bonds issued by the governments of Japan, the USA, and European countries.

Futures CFDs: Futures trading is available on the MT4 platform. 4 assets can be traded including Brent crude oil futures, ICE Dollar index futures, CBOE VIX index futures, etc.

Crypto CFDs: You can speculate on the prices of popular Cryptocurrencies on a 24/7 basis via our platforms. There are about 21 cryptos available for trading.

Trading platforms (8.0)

IC Markets offers its traders 3 of the most popular forex trading platforms. Each of these platforms is versatile and extensible. The broker has recently developed a social trading app which has only a few users at the moment. 

The following platforms are available to IC Markets clients:

MetaTrader 4 (MT4)

The MT4 is the most widely used trading platform among forex brokers and traders. It is free, rugged, fast, and extensible. You can add more features and tools to the platform through a plugin app built with the MQL4 programming language. It also supports automated trading through trading robots known as Expert Advisors (EAs).

The MT4 is great for experienced traders and also user-friendly. It comes with multiple charts, 9 timeframes, 24 analytical tools, and 30 inbuilt technical indicators. There are 4 pending order types as well as risk management tools like stop loss and take profit.

The IC Markets MT4 platform is available in the following versions:

  • Web trader: This version only works on web browsers. Its major advantage is that it runs on every platform.
  • MT4 Desktop: This is the flagship version that gives access to install plug-in apps, MetaTrader market, and lots of features. It can be downloaded and installed on Windows computers.
  • MT4 mobile: The mobile app versions of the MT4 are available for Android and iOS devices. They can be downloaded from the app stores.

MetaTrader 5 (MT5)

This platform was developed by the same company that built the MT4 but it has not replaced the MT4 because both platforms are not compatible. So, they run side by side on the same system. Both platforms have the same physical look and feel except that the MT5 has more features.

MT5 comes with 21 timeframes, 44 analytical tools, and 38 indicators. It comes with 6 pending order types which include the stop limit order types. An economic calendar is embedded as one of the tabs in the platform.

Just like MT4, the MT5 is free and can be extended using plug-in apps but MT4 apps do not run on the MT5. It supports trade automation via MT5 EAs and also comes as a Web trader, windows desktop, and mobile app.

cTrader

This platform was developed by Spotware Systems in 2010 and it is a powerful platform for trading and analysis. It features detachable charts, level II pricing, and multiple order types. About 8 chart styles are available and can be viewed on 26 timeframes. More than 70 technical indicators come with cTrader and you can add more.

cAlgos is a part of cTrader that can help traders automate their trades by building and using trading robots. cTrader copy enables traders to connect to a community of traders and participate in social trading.

Just like the MetaTrader platforms, cTrader is available as a cTrader Windows desktop application, cTrader web, and mobile apps on Android and iOS which are available from the respective app stores.

IC Social

This is a new Android and iOS app developed by IC Markets strictly for social trading. Investors can connect their MT4 accounts to analyze, learn, share and copy the strategies of other traders.

Trading tools (9.0)

Apart from the trading tools that come with the platforms, IC Markets provides additional tools for its traders. If you log into the IC Markets personal area, you will have access to several trading tools designed to assist traders with their analysis. Below are the available tools:

Daily market forecasts

Here traders can subscribe to any of the subscription packages: Daily forecasts, correlation alerts, and economic calendar; all from AutoChartist. You can also subscribe to the Market forecast from Trading Central.

Market buzz

This is the news feed portal where the client can read the latest market news on different assets. Traders can select which news to read as related to a chosen asset. The news is sourced from various news agencies like Yahoo, Reuters, CNBC, FXStreet, etc.

MT4 Advanced trading tools

This is a suite of over 20 applications that adds about 11 applications and 17 technical indicators to the MT4 or MT5 trading platform. It can be downloaded and installed on the platform as a single package. Some of the apps are Alarm Manager, sentiment trader, Session Map, and Correlation Trader while some of the indicators are Bar Changer, Donchian, Gravity, Keltner, etc.

AutoChartist

This software tool is available as a web application and also as MT4 and MT5 plug-in apps. It is a technical analysis tool that can be configured to scan the charts, filter results, identify trading opportunities and notify the trader. 

Economic calendar

This tool is used by fundamental analysts to know when the events that usually impact the currencies are going to take place. The calendar can be configured to the trader’s preferences. It gives details about specific events, importance, history, charts, and analysts’ forecasts.

Trading Central

This is a fintech company that conducts in-depth research and analysis of multiple trading instruments. IC Markets has partnered with Trading Central to supply its clients with daily signals, technical analysis, etc on a wide variety of instruments.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

If you need a constant and reliable connection to the trading servers, then VPS is your best bet. EA users, social traders, and other sophisticated traders use VPS. IC Markets has partnered with experts like Forex VPS, NY city servers, and BeeksFX VPS to provide its traders with VPS services at discounted prices.

If you trade more than 15 lots (round turn) monthly, IC Markets will give you free VPS.

Forex calculators

IC markets provide the following calculator to its traders:

  • Pip calculator 
  • Currency converter
  • cTrader commission
  • Margin calculator
  • Swaps calculator
  • Profit calculator

Social trading

IC Markets offers its clients 2 options when it comes to social trading. They are as follows: 

AutoTrade

This is a trade copy service powered by Myfxbook. It allows IC Markets clients to link their MT4 accounts to AutoTrade which will enable them to copy the trades of strategy providers of their choosing. 

ZuluTrade

This is a renowned social trading platform where traders can copy the trades of other expert traders who are registered as signal providers. IC Markets has partnered with ZuluTrade to bring the social trading service to its clients. You can access the Zulu Rank which ranks traders according to their performances and choose whose trades to copy. 

Customer support (9.0)

This IC Markets support center is available 24/7, unlike most brokers that work 24/5. When you visit the IC Markets help center, you will scroll through more than 200 frequently asked questions and their answers. This can be of great use to website visitors as it covers every aspect of the services provided by the broker. 

You can reach the support team via web chat, email, phone call, or through the call-back form. There are toll-free numbers for clients from Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam. If you initiate a web chat, the bot answers and presents you with lots of ideas, questions, and helpful solutions. If you still need help, it will connect you to a live support team member. 

Education (8.0)

IC Markets combines its blog with its education center. It provides articles for beginners such as ‘advantages of forex/CFDs’, and training videos on the MT4 platform. Forex Trading 101 contains more than 100 articles; other articles are grouped under ‘fundamental analysis 101’, technical analysis 101, risk management 101, and trading plan 101.

IC Markets constantly schedules free webinars on its website in different languages. Podcasts are also periodically released for educational purposes. There is a glossary that has more than 220 forex-related terms and their definitions. 

Trading experience (9.5)

IC Markets is indeed an honest broker as virtually all its claims were proved right when we rigorously tested its services. Navigating through the website is easy as every page can be accessed in one click. Just hover through the top menu and click the page you wish to access. 

The account creation process was seamless and very fast. We tried to fund our accounts through some of the available channels; no charges were deducted. Compared to some other brokers, IC Markets has tight spreads and the charges are as stated. Executions are swift and we did not experience any requotes. 

Scalping, hedging, and robotic trading were all allowed without hitches. We tested the following trading tools; Market Buzz, AutoChartist, Trading Central, and MT4 advanced trading tools, and they all worked perfectly. 

Since client support is 24/7, we tried to initiate a chat on the website on a Sunday; the bot was quick but when it transferred to a live agent, we waited 20 minutes before we were connected. It is usually faster on a working day. 

Generally, the trading experience with IC Markets was smooth and everything worked perfectly. 

Conclusion

IC Markets is a regulated broker that has been around for over 15 years and still waxing stronger. It is a regulated brand that has deployed cutting-edge technology to bring about low spreads and swift executions on modern trading platforms. 

When compared to its competitors, IC Markets ranks high because its fees are affordable, it does not have non-trading fees, provides multiple trading tools as well as training resources. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I trust IC Markets?

Yes! The brokerage is over 15 years old and has expanded in technology, coverage, and client base. Most of its reviews are positive as traders are happy with their services. It complies with regulatory standards and is trusted by thousands of traders from all over the world. 

What are some alternatives to IC Markets?

In terms of brokerage experience, technology, size, and services available. Below are some of the brokers that qualify as alternatives to IC Markets: 

  • EightCap
  • eToro
  • IG Markets

IC Markets banned countries?

United States, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Japan, Iran North Korea, and Korea. 

Is IC Markets an ECN broker?

Yes! IC Markets is an ECN Forex Broker. The broker started to bridge the gap between retail and institutional traders because it wanted to provide retail traders with the same liquidity and tight spreads available only to trading institutions. 

It has partnered with more than 25 liquidity providers from which it aggregates its spreads and provides its clients with the best prices. Executions are also routed to the liquidity providers for execution at the best rates. 

Is IC Markets regulated?

Yes, IC Markets is regulated in 4 countries. Its head office is located in Australia where it is regulated by a tier 1 regulator; ASIC. In Europe, it is regulated by the reputable CySEC. SCB regulates its operations in the Bahamas while its global arm is regulated by FSA Seychelles. 

Is my money safe with IC Markets?

Yes, your money is safe with IC Markets because the broker keeps your deposits in segregated accounts which it has opened with the top commercial banks in Australia and Europe. In line with the regulatory provisions, IC Markets audits its accounts to ensure compliance. 

So, if the broker becomes insolvent tomorrow, you will get your money back because it is in a segregated account and will not be used to bail out the broker. 

What is the minimum deposit with IC Markets?

The minimum deposit is $200. This figure is high when compared to competitors. For example, the minimum deposit for Eightcap is $100, eToro is $50 while Oanda and IG Markets have no minimum deposits. 

Written by

Jason Paine is a forex trader, researcher, and tech enthusiast. He is passionate about financial markets and cutting-edge technology. With a dynamic 16-year trading career, he's on a mission to guide fellow traders. Having navigated diverse forex brokers, Jason shares his insights at Brokersway to bridge the gap between traders and the right brokerage.

DisclosureAt Brokersway we're committed to delivering unbiased information. our opinions are our own and are not influenced by the payment we receive from our advertising partners. While we adhere to strict editorial integrity, this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation of how we make money.

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