'Top 10' Biggest Forex Brokers For Australian Traders
There are 100’s of forex brokers worldwide but which ones are the biggest and the best?
Below compares the biggest forex brokers based on market cap both in Australia and then worldwide and explores their strengths and weaknesses.
Largest Australian Forex Broker
Pepperstone is one of Australia’s newer forex brokers established in 2010 but since then it has gained rapid popularity due to their Razor account which combines low spreads, fast execution speeds and ‘no negative balance protection’. This combination of factors have allowed the company to win:
- 1st Prize In Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Rising Star – 2013
- 1st Prize in BRW Fast Starters List – 2014
2) IC Markets
IC Markets was founded in 2007 in Sydney and has become one of the biggest forex brokers for the same reason as Pepperstone; low spreads, fast execution speeds provided through no dealing desk. The broker offers both MetaTrader 4 and cTrader forex platforms and trades can be filled from 1 micro lot to 1,000 lots.
ThinkForex started offshore but in 2012 moved their headquarters to Sydney, Australia with full regulation. In 2012 they were awarded MENA’s fasted growing broker award in the Middle East & North Africa. Their growth can be attributed to them sharing partnership with Equinix (the same used by IC Markets and Pepperstone) and excellent customer service/training package.
The clickable comparison table shows some of the biggest Australian forex brokers which once clicked on shows all the factors from spreads to execution speeds that should be considered when choosing the best forex broker for your needs.
Largest International Forex Brokers
1) Easy Forex
Easy Forex is the global leader in forex for those new to currency trading or risk adverse. The broker was founded in 2003 and now provides it’s currency services in over 160 countries across the world. It offers over 170 currencies, metals and commodities to trade and is Aussie & CySEC certified. Offices are located in Sydney, Shanghai, Warsaw, London and Limassol. The broker is popular because they offer:
- Fixed spreads (so forex traders know their broker fees)
- Guaranteed stops (which means that their brokers don’t lose more than the stop loss amount set when trading)
- Personal support with your own account service manager to assist you with trading currencies
- Personal analyst to help you with trading strategies and market information
Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) is a NYSE listed forex broker popular in Europe and North America. It is regulated in Australia but also has New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris licenses as well. In 2014 it won the investment trends award for best research tools and education materials. In the March 2015 quarter the company reports an adjusted revenue of $98.8 million and EBITDA of $14.5 million making it one of the biggest Forex brokers in the world. The company has some of the lowest spreads worldwide but does charge commissions that range from AU$3.00 to AU$6.00 per 100k traded. This could be viewed at the higher range considering Pepperstone charge a flat AU$3.50 commission on their Razor currency pairings.
OANDA is an Canadian based forex broker with a global presence. In Australia they have a subsidiary that is locally certified. Their core focus is customer satisfaction and client servicing with both areas won in the investment trends 2014 awards. The key combination of an open and transparent culture, low spreads and fast execution has led to it’s worldwide growth. The broker focuses on the MetaTrader 4 platform and offers a fast API into this MT4 interface.
Gain Capital Holdings (trading as forex.com) like FXCM is a NYSE-listed company and as of June 30, 2015 the company has total assets of $1.641 billion. The company is regulated by the SEC, is authorised to operate in Australia and in four other jurisdictions across the globe. The company offers FOREX trader Pro and MetaTrader 4 with 50 currency pairings offered for either trading platforms. The company has competitive spreads and price improvement technology to provide forex traders with value for money. It is perhaps the biggest Forex broker in the world by market cap.
5) Plus 500
Plus500 Ltd is listed on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of AU$855M. Our headquarters are based in Israel. The offices in UK, Australia and Cyprus are subsidiaries. Plus500AU Pty Ltd, ACN 153 301 681, AFSL # 417727, issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is authorized to issue these products to Australian residents. Derivatives issuer licence in New Zealand, FSP #. 486026 authorises us to issue these products to New Zealand residents. Plus500AU Pty Ltd, is also an authorized Financial Services Provider in South Africa, FSP 47546. You do not own or have any rights to the underlying assets. Please consider the Disclosure documents available on Plus500’s official websites. As the below diagram highlights, the broker has grown rapidly over the past five years and offers no commission trading and advanced trading tools when opening a new account.
6) CMC Markets
CMC Markets is one of the oldest forex brokers founded in 1989 as Currency Management Corporation. The broker has it’s own unique ‘next generation platform which differentiates itself from all the brokers on this comparison. They also offer low spreads and fast execution speeds through their platform. CMC Markets is also well known because of their education programs which also include stockbroking and CFD areas.
7) GO Markets
GO Markets combines personal customer service with a MetaTrader 4 platform that uses five decimal place system meaning they offer fractional spreads. The personal account manage is the key draw-card for this broker and helped it win the AFR Smart Investor Blue Ribbon.
Below shows how IC Markets was considered one of the best forex brokers when we combined factors although Pepperstone is recommended for those who want the added protection of ‘no negative balance’ which means you can’t lose more than your deposit.