Introduction to IC Markets cTrader
IC Markets has recently become one of the largest forex trading brokers in the world according to their monthly trading volume turnover. According to their website, IC Markets trading volume in March 2019 was a staggering $646 billion. In this month, IC Markets volumes were larger than all other FX brokers according to data collected by an industry publication called Finance Magnates. So what exactly leads to IC Markets becoming the largest FX CFD provider in the world?
We like IC Makers because they are by far one of the cheapest forex brokers on the market. They are also the cheapest cTrader broker in the business. Not only is it affordable to trade with IC Markets, but the company is also regulated in Australia. Budget brokers usually lack solid regulation behind them. Having low commissions doesn’t just attract a lot of traders looking to pay less on their trades, it also attracts traders who are using expert advisors or trading bots, especially ones with scalping strategies. This would be a key contributor to their very high turnover.
IC Markets doesn’t do a lot of aggressive marketing as some other brands do. This aversion to marketing clearly keeps their operational costs down and allows them to be more competitive in their trading fees. It certainly seems like their business model is working for them.
The Pros and Cons of Trading With IC Markets
Like with any budget company, it’s all about working with economies of scale to ensure the business model works. As long as the core service works flawlessly it’s absolutely fine to cut back on all the extras. But what extras have IC Markets cut back on. Let’s look at the pros and cons in this IC Markets cTrader review.
The advantages of IC Markets
Here are the key reasons for why it’s an absolute pleasure for us to trade on IC Markets cTrader.
- The cheapest trading commissions and the tightest spreads out of all of the early adopters of the cTrader platform. The only other broker which we have seen come close is Tradeview Forex.
- Consistently stable pricing and good trading conditions.
- A wide range of payment methods is available, including specific local methods.
The Disadvantages of IC Markets
As mentioned before, IC Markets offers a no thrills approach and the overall experience sometimes feels a bit impersonal. Here are the disadvantages we experienced.
- Long queues for live chat support. Undoubtedly they have a lot of clients, but waiting times for support can reach 20 minutes.
- The quality of support is not great. Sometimes support agents don’t understand your problem, don’t read your question properly, or just can’t help you at all and ask you to contact another department.
- The client zone is confusing, hard to use and not very intuitive.
IC Markets has been around for a long time and has been at the top of the leaderboard of Australian brokers for almost as long. Recently IC Markets updated their website and it became a lot more user-friendly. The new website is much clearer about the important points you need to know before you start trading with a forex broker. However, the client zone has remained neglected and this really affects the experience that clients have.
IC Markets is a trading name of International Capital Markets Pty Ltd which is incorporated in Australia (ACN 123 289 109) and holds an Australian financial services licence with ASIC (AFSL No. 335692). However, the name IC Markets is also used by an affiliated Seychelles. IC Markets (SC) is regulated by the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles with a Securities Dealer Licence Number: SD018.
|Year Started Offering cTrader||2013|
|Regulation||Australia (ASIC) – Since 2009|
Seychelles (FSA) – Since 2019
|Number of Employees||100+|
|Previous Noteworthy Sponsorships||None|
|Banking Partners||Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Nab|
More about IC Markets
IC Markets Trading Conditions
As stated before, we are very impressed with IC Markets trading conditions. All of the major forex trading pairs are available on all platforms, trading commissions are low, margin stop out level is reasonable and spreads are really tight. IC Markets offer three trading platforms in total, these are cTrader, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. While the trading conditions do not differ between IC Markets cTrader and the other platforms they offer, there is a difference in what trading instruments are available. For example, MetaTrader 5 is the only platform which offers CFD stocks and Bonds are only available on MT4 and MT5. IC Markets cTrader basically revolved around a forex offering.
|Asset Classes on cTrader||Forex, Metals, Indices and BTC/USD|
|Asset Classes in Total||Forex, Metals, Commodities, Indices, Crypto, Bonds and CFD Stocks|
|Trading Pairs on cTrader||79|
|Trading Pairs in Total||221|
|Trading Commission||$30 per million|
|Stop Out Level||50%|
Accessibility of IC Markets
The new IC Markets website is very good, however, a lot of improvement could be made to the client area and we really hope that’s next on their to-do list. The client area is the place where you manage your trading accounts and make deposits and withdrawals. And as you might expect, the website is translated into a number of languages.
|Countries Excluded||USA, Canada, Israel, Iran|
|Deposit Options||Wire Transfer Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Netteler, Qiwi, Skrill, Union Pay, Web Money, Bpay, FasaPay, Poli|
|Deposit Currencies||USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD NZD, JPY, CHF & CAD|
|Withdrawal Fees||AUD20 for Wire Transfers (Free inside Australia)|
You Pay Cost Price for Other Payment Methods
|Social Trading (cTrader Copy)||Yes|
Opening an Account with IC Markets
We’ve already commented that the client zone is very much outdated. However, the registration forms for creating a new live or demo account were given a complete makeover along with the website.
Once you submit your personal details and select your prefered trading platform in the registration form, you will be taken to the IC Markets client zone where you will notice the difference.
The next step is to provide your KYC documents. This is done from inside the client zone and not the registration form. Once documents are submitted, they are reviewed pretty quickly. In our case, we submitted documents on a Saturday and they were verified on a Sunday. Not instant, but for a forex broker to do anything on a weekend is pretty impressive.
IC Markets cTrader Product Page
With IC Market’s recent revamp of their website, they made a lot of positive changes, especially with regard to how they promote their cTrader product offering. They have a strong and clear description of the cTrader platform and its advantages for traders, including the cTrader Smart Stop-Out feature. Unfortunately, some more attention could be paid to cAlgo (cTrader Automate) and web and mobile version of cTrader product pages. There is even a dedicated page for the IC Markets cTrader Raw Spread Account.
cTrader FIX API Trading
Kudos to IC Markets for promoting this awesome cTrader feature. They offer both cTrader FIX API trading and OneZero FIX API trading options. They clearly define the benefits of trading with FIX API and the differences between the two options. Essentially, cTrader FIX API is available for everyone, without any minimum requirements (thanks to those smart guys at Spotware). The option from oneZero, is not targeted at retail traders it seems. The get access to the oneZero FIX API it requires you to commit to $100 million of monthly trading volume and a minimum balance of $50,000. Sounds like cTrader is the better choice for FIX API trading with IC Markets. Unfortunately, it looks like this page has been removed from the English version of their website. We are waiting for clarification from support on this matter.
IC Markets Conclusion
There is a lot that can be said for the massive volumes generated by IC Markets clients. It says a lot about the quality of their service, such immense growth would not be possible without simultaneously retaining clients and acquiring new ones. IC Markets is very vanilla, but that’s totally ok because there are no deadly flaws, in fact, quite the opposite. Traders want to trade on well-known trading platforms that well maintained and have reliable pricing and execution without fees that eat into their profits. IC Markets does exactly that. What a lot of brokers haven’t quite grasped is traders who don’t care what football team they sponsor, it’ the newbies that do. We certainly recommend trading with IC Markets cTrader platform.