FP Markets vs IC Markets vs Pepperstone
FP Markets, IC Markets and Pepperstone are three prominent heavyweights in the retail foreign exchange industry, each striving for excellence.
The time has come to take a closer look at these giants and shed light on what they have on offer.
|Brokers under review|
|Account Application Time||1 Business Day||1 Business Day||1 Business Day|
|Minimum Account Balance||100 AUD (Lowest)||200 USD||500 USD (Highest)|
|Trading Platforms||MT4, MT5, Iress||MT4, MT5, cTrader||MT4, MT5, cTrader|
|Account Types||Standard, Raw and Iress ViewPoint, Iress Investor and Iress Trader||Standard and Raw Spread Accounts||Standard and Razor Accounts|
|Range of Markets||10,000+ (Additional Share CFDs via their Iress Platform)||300+ (Additional Futures Products)||500+ (No Futures Products)|
|Trading Spreads/Fees||Low Spreads - Commission per side is 3.0 USD per one standard lot||Low Spreads - Commission per side is 3.5 USD per one standard lot||Low Spreads - Commission per side is 3.76 USD per one standard lot|
|Execution Speed||36 Milliseconds||40 Milliseconds||30 Milliseconds|
|Regulation – Tier 1 Licences||ASIC; CySEC||FSA; AFSL||ASIC; FCA|
|Market Research and Education||9||7||6|
FP Markets, an Australian-based Forex CFD provider, was founded in 2005. The company is a strong competitor in the retail foreign exchange industry, recently celebrating its 15th anniversary.
With headquarters located in the heart of Sydney, FP Markets has grown into a globally-recognised organisation, offering traders access to a broad range of CFD markets, including foreign exchange (Forex) as well as indices, commodities, stocks and more (10,000 + products).
The company also boasts more than 40 international industry awards – voted Best Global Forex Value Broker in 2019. Another plus point with FP Markets is their innovative, user-friendly website.
Founded in 2007, IC Markets is an Australian-based Forex CFD provider, and is, according to the company, the most renowned Forex CFD provider, offering trading solutions for active day traders and scalpers.
Headquartered in Sydney, IC Markets offers clients a wide array of CFD products (232+ products) and an easy-to-navigate website.
When asked about awards, their support service informed us they do not participate in external competitions so have no awards – they stated all their energy goes to their services.
Pepperstone is a Forex CFD provider, founded in 2010, in Melbourne, Australia. The organisation, according to their company website, was designed by a team of experienced traders with a shared commitment to improve the world of online trading.
Pepperstone available instruments, similar to FP Markets and IC Markets, offers clients a wide selection of CFD products (180+ products) as well as an easy-to-use well-presented website.
Pepperstone boasts a number of awards. Most recent are the 2019 Capital Finance International (CFI.co) and 2020 ADVFN International Financial Awards Winner.
Trading Fees and Spreads
They do not charge a commission on their Standard account, though there is a mark-up on the spread by 1 pip.
For their Raw account, specifically Forex or metals, an additional commission is incurred. Commission per side is 3.0 USD per one standard lot, plus a variable spread cost.
Data acquired from their server shows EUR/USD spread to be 0.0 pips on average 64.74% of the time from 01- 05-2020 to 31-05-2020 (available for raw trading accounts only).
According to FP Markets spread table, their raw account offers incredibly tight average spreads with EUR/USD and AUD/USD coming in as low as 0, along with EUR/GBP at 0.2 pips.
The above is associated costs with MetaTrader currencies, not Iress or share CFDs (which incur additional fees/adjustments). Visit https://www.fpmarkets.com/fees-charges/ for more information.
According to the company, IC Markets do not charge commission on standard accounts. Instead they informed us they add a mark-up on a variable spread by 1 pip above the rate received from their liquidity providers.
IC Market’s raw spread account, according to their website, shows the raw interbank spread received from their liquidity providers. On this account they charge a commission of 3.5 USD per one standard lot (per side) for FX and metals.
They state on their webpage https://www.icmarkets.com/sc/en/trading-pricing/spreads spreads can go as low as 0.0 pips on MetaTrader and cTrader raw spread platforms. Data acquired from an independent third-party provider shows their EUR/USD spread to be 0.0 pips on average 95% of the time from 01-07-2019 to 31-12-2019 (available for raw spread trading accounts only).
Commissions for their standard account are built into the spread for all products, similar to FP Markets and IC Markets.
For their MT4 razor account, commission for a trading account based in USD is 3.76 USD (7.53 USD round turn) per one standard lot. Their MT5 razor account commission, however, is 3.50 USD (7.00 USD round turn). They also state cTrader’s 7-unit charge per standard lot refers to the first currency (the base currency) displayed of the pair being traded. For example, NZD/JPY = 7 NZD per lot traded. This value is then converted to your account currency at market rates.
During liquid times, they claim spreads can go as low as 0 pips on the EUR/USD via their Razor account.
Trading Platforms – Account Types
FP Markets provides its traders with MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), as well as the Iress platform, a comprehensive active trader platform. This broker also provides its clients three additional trading platforms, Iress ViewPoint, Iress Investor and Iress Trader.
FP Markets has two account types for both MT4 and MT5: Standard and Raw.
All aforementioned platforms offer mobile trading solutions, both for iOS and Android. FP Markets offer demo accounts for all platforms, but if left inactive for 30 days the accounts will be archived.
RANGE OF MARKETS:
IC Markets offer clients MT4 and MT5 platforms, as well as cTrader, a specifically designed platform for high- speed execution.
This broker provides two types of accounts: Standard account and a Raw Spread account. Both accounts are available on MT4 and MT5. For cTrader, only the raw spread account is available.
MT4/5 and cTrader also come with mobile trading solutions: iOS and Android.
According to this broker, they offer demo accounts for all platforms, with no inactivity limits/fees imposed.
RANGE OF MARKETS:
Like IC Markets, Pepperstone offer MT4/5 and cTrader trading platforms.
Pepperstone offer two types of accounts: Razor and Standard accounts. According to their support service, the Razor account is popular with scalpers; the Standard account, however, is popular for those wanting a simpler account, and for beginners. Both accounts are available on MT4, MT5 and cTrader.
Similar to FP Markets and IC Markets, Pepperstone’s platforms come with mobile trading solutions, both for iOS and Android, and offer demo accounts for all platforms. MT4/5 demo accounts with Pepperstone expire automatically after 30 days unless you have a live account and request them to set it to non-expiry. cTrader demo accounts do not expire if they are logged into at least once every 30 days.
RANGE OF MARKETS:
Through FP Markets, clients can access leverage up to 1:500 on Forex pairs and precious metals. This broker provides a reasonably detailed webpage here https://www.fpmarkets.com/uk/leverage/ showing you their leverage rates for specific products, how leverage works and the maximum equity balance.
IC Markets offers flexible leverage options ranging from 1:1 to 1:500.
We were unable to find any webpage detailing specifics.
Their website states:
If you are a FCA-licensed client you can trade with up to 1:30 leverage as a retail trader. Professional clients can trade up to 1:500.
The average order execution time between the trade being received, processed and confirmed is 36 milliseconds.
FP Markets was rated by Investment Trends as the Best for Quality of Trade Execution 2019.
The average execution speed is around 40 milliseconds. They state as they’re located nearby their liquidity providers, they offer competitive speed.
Trade execution is from as low as 30 milliseconds and orders are always executed at the best available prices at the time the order is received. This is according to their support team.
Regulations and Licences
FP Markets is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
IC Markets are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of Seychelles.
They also hold an Australian financial services licence (AFSL) No. 335692. In addition, IC Markets holds a Securities Dealer Licence No SD018.
Pepperstone is licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Pepperstone UK is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Pepperstone AE is authorised and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services (DFSA) Authority.
Pepperstone Markets is authorized and regulated by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB).
Contact – Customer Service
With respect to customer service, each broker takes a similar approach,
providing phone support, a dedicated support email and an online chat facility.
All three brokers offer a support page; the majority of general questions are answered here.
Market Research – Educational Content
A dedicated Trader’s Hub is available with FP Markets.
In-depth daily technical and fundamental analysis can be accessed for free via separate pages, covered by industry experts. The broker also provides a detailed Weekly Technical Market Insight, including analysis of the US dollar index.
What’s also particularly impressive is their Black and White Technical report which looks at detailed pattern structure in various markets – this is a weekly report. Also weekly, FP Markets provides Currency Point, a video- based review of the week, presented by industry expert Evan Lucas.
In terms of Educational content, FP Markets deliver a number of articles via their Trading Knowledge page. What’s more, for newer traders, the broker provides dedicated eBooks loaded with information and a handful of video tutorials.
FP Markets holds regular webinars and has begun growing its presence on Telegram and Twitter, providing daily news and analysis.
The company also provide clients access to various trading tools, including Autochartist and the Trader Toolbox. According to their support team, these features are available on both demo and live.
IC Markets offer an Information Hub.
In-depth daily (and weekly) technical and fundamental analysis can be accessed for free with this broker.
Regarding educational content, IC Markets offer 101 articles for FX trading, Technical and Fundamental analysis, risk management, trading psychology and trading plan. The Forex trading 101 section is regularly updated with detailed articles.
According to their support team, they do not offer webinars.
Their presence on social media, in particular Twitter, is relatively impressive. Like FP Markets, they regularly air market events and display technical charts.
IC Markets offer traders free access to Autochartist as well as Trading Central, both on live and demo accounts.
From what we could find, Pepperstone do not have a dedicated technical and fundamental analysis page, similar to that of FP Markets and IC Markets.
Chris Weston, head of research, along with a few other analysts, are regularly active. You can sign up to Weston’s Daily Fix, a service that delivers market news to your inbox prior to the European session getting underway.
As for educational content, they provide a number of clear and detailed articles, labelled beginner to advanced. This was a nice touch we thought as newer traders know where to begin. Pepperstone also regularly hold webinars, largely focused on technical analysis from their FX Evolution team.
Autochartist is provided by this broker along with Smart Trader Tools, a suite of expert advisor tools, including sophisticated alarms and broadcast facilities, with up-to-date market data.
It can take up to 1 business day for your account to be approved. Demo account access is available immediately.
FP Markets need proof of ID and proof of residence. As ID they accept a passport, National ID card or driving license. As proof of residence they accept a utility bill or a bank statement issued in the past 6 months.
For corporate accounts, FP Markets require proof of identity and proof of residence for all directors and beneficial owners. They also require the certificate of incorporation and memorandum of articles of association. If the beneficial owner is another entity, they will also require additional documentation. You can reach out to their onboarding team (email@example.com) for more information.
The minimum deposit for an MT4/5 account is 100 AUD, or currency equivalent. The minimum deposit for the Iress platform is 1,000 AUD, or currency equivalent.
Restricted countries, according to FP Markets, are the US, Japan and New Zealand, or residents from any other country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to those local laws or regulations.
Account verification usually takes a few minutes but can take a couple of hours in some cases, according to their website. Demo account access is available immediately.
In terms of documentation, for live trading accounts, IC Markets require an ID document (National ID card, passport or driving license) and recent proof of residence (utility bill or bank statement) that shows your name and address. For corporate accounts, they state the following is required:
1. Copy of your company’s constitution or articles of incorporation.
2. Certificate of Incorporation.
3. Details of directors and shareholders.
4. Company proof of address (utility bill or bank statement no older than 3 months).
5. All proof of residence documents must be no older than 90 days.
For more information, check out: https://www.icmarkets.com/sc/en/company/aml-policy
IC Markets allows clients to open an account with as little as 200 USD or currency equivalent.
US Japan and New Zealand are listed as restricted countries. For other countries, see this link: https://www.icmarkets.com/sc/en/company/aml-policy.
For retail clients, account opening should be complete within 1 business day. For company or trust account applications, however, Pepperstone claim account opening can take up to two business days. Demo account access is available immediately.
To have your account approved by Pepperstone, you’ll need one form of photo ID (such as a driver’s licence, passport, National ID or electoral card) and one form of secondary ID such as a utility bill or bank statement issued within the past 6 months, to verify your address.
For corporate accounts, under the ASIC regulation, according to their support staff, Pepperstone require the Certificate of Incorporation/Registration and either a Certificate of Incumbency, Articles of Association or Company Extract. These documents must contain the following details – company name, company number, registered office address, list of directors and beneficial owners. In addition, they require two of the following ID documents from all Directors and Shareholders of the company: passport, driver’s licence, National ID, bank statement or utility bill (the last two should be dated within the last six months). For more information: https://pepperstone.com/en-gb/support/does-pepperstone-offer-company-or-corporate-trust-accounts/.
Pepperstone recommend a minimum deposit of 500 USD or equivalent. However, they do not appear to enforce a minimum deposit. According to their support team, the majority of clients deposit around 200 USD.
United States, Japan, India, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and Saudi Arabia.
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