Introduction to IC Markets
IC Markets has recently become one of the largest forex trading brokers in the world. At least according to their monthly trading volume. According to its website, IC Markets’ trading volume was a staggering $646 billion in March 2019. At this time, IC Markets trading volumes were higher than all other Forex brokers based on data collected and published by industry publication Finance Magnates.
Does that mean IC Markets cTrader is the best place to trade? What events lead to IC Markets becoming the largest FX CFD provider in the world? Let’s explore in this IC Markets review.
First Impression of IC Markets
We appreciate IC Makers because they are by far one of the cheapest and reliable forex brokers on the market. They are also one of the cheapest cTrader brokers. IC Markets has maintained it’s regulated status in Australia since 2009. Budget brokers often lack robust regulation. IC Markets doesn’t do a lot of aggressive marketing as other brands do. This aversion to marketing keeps operational costs down and enables them to be more competitive in their trading fees. Providing an inexpensive trading platform 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. These factors would certainly drive IC Markets high trading turnover.
The Pros and Cons of Trading with IC Markets cTrader
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 acceptable to cut back on some extras. But what are the extras that IC Markets have cut back? Let’s review the pros and cons of trading with IC Markets cTrader.
The Advantages of IC Markets
Here are some of the primary reasons why we consider it an absolute pleasure to trade on IC Markets cTrader.
- IC Markets offer the cheapest trading commissions and tightest spreads of all well-established cTrader brokers.
- The company offers a good range of deposit and withdrawal methods. Deposits and internal transfers are almost instant. Withdrawals get processed in less than 24 hours.
- There are no commissions on Indices CFD’s. The spreads are reasonable during the Index’s exchange trading hours.
The Disadvantages of IC Markets
As mentioned before, IC Markets offers somewhat of a no thrills approach and the overall experience sometimes feels impersonal. Here are the disadvantages we experienced.
- There are long queues for live chat support. Undoubtedly they have a lot of clients, but waiting times for an agent to reply can reach 20 minutes, and there can be over 100 people in the queue ahead of you.
- The quality of support is not always helpful and is sometimes fragmented. In some cases, support agents don’t understand your problem, don’t read your question correctly, or just can’t help you at all and ask you to contact another department.
- The client zone is old, un-intuitive, and at times confusing. Some of your accounts might be visible in one section and not in another. Everything works pretty well, once you figure out how it should work.
About IC Markets
Like many brokers these days, IC Markets maintains multiple companies and licenses in strategic jurisdictions. Brokers do this to cater to a global client base as well as to navigate a complex regulatory landscape. There are three entities worth mentioning:
IC Markets Australia
IC Markets has been around for a very long time. The company has been locked at the top of Australian broker leaderboard for many years. Recently IC Markets updated their website, and it became a lot more user-friendly. The new site is much clearer about the most important details you need to know before deciding to trade with a broker. However, the client zone has remained neglected, and we believe this affects the experience that clients have.
IC Markets Seychelles
IC Markets is a trading name of International Capital Markets Pty Ltd and is incorporated in Australia (ACN 123 289 109). The company holds an Australian financial services licence with ASIC (AFSL No. 335692). However, the tradename IC Markets is used by an affiliated Seychelles company called Raw Trading Ltd, but trades as IC Markets (SC). The Financial Services Authority of Seychelles regulates Raw Trading Ltd. The firm has the Securities Dealer Licence Number: SD018.
IC Markets Europe
IC Markets has a European presence thanks to its Cyprus base where it seems there is a sizable operation according to Linkedin information. IC MARKETS (EU) LTD is a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) registered with the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver under the Registration Number 356877 and is authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) with Licence No 362/18. Sadly IC Markets Europe doesn’t offer the cTrader platform.
|Year Started Offering cTrader||2013|
|Regulation||Australia (ASIC), Cyprus (CySEC), Seychelles (FSA)|
|Number of Employees||100+|
IC Markets Trading Conditions
As mentioned before, we’re impressed with IC Markets trading conditions. All major forex trading pairs are available across all platforms. The trading commissions are low, margin stop out level is reasonable, and spreads are tight, especially on majors.
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 gives access to CFD stocks. Bonds are only available on MT4 and MT5.
|Trading Condition||IC Markets Australia||IC Markets Seychelles||IC Markets Europe|
|Asset Classes||Forex, Indices, Oil, Metals, Crypto, Futures||Forex, Indices, Oil, Metals, Crypto, Futures||Forex, Indices, Oil, Metals, Crypto, Futures|
|Total Number of Trading Pairs||150+||150+||150+|
|Trading Commissions||$35 per $1 million traded||$35 per $1 million traded||€35 per million|
|Avg Spread (EURUD)||0.0||0.0||0.0|
Accessibility of IC Markets
The new IC Markets website is a vast improvement. However, a lot of renovation could be performed on the client area, and we hope that’s next on the companies to-do list. The client area is the place where you manage your trading accounts and make deposits and withdrawals, so it plays a vital role. The website and client zone is available in many languages.
|IC Markets Australia / Seychelles||IC Markets Cyprus|
|Excluded Countries||USA, Canada, Israel, Iran||USA, Canada, Israel, Iran|
|Deposit Methods||Wire Transfer, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Netteler, Qiwi, Skrill, Union Pay, Web Money, Bpay, FasaPay, Poli||Wire Transfer, Visa, Mastercard, Neteller, Skrill|
|Deposit & Account Currencies||AUD, USD, EUR, CAD, GBP, SGD, NZD, JPY, HKD, CHF||EUR, USD, GBP|
|Social Trading (cTrader Copy):||Yes||No|
|Trading Platforms||cTrader, MT4, MT5||MT4, MT5|
How to Open an Account with IC Markets cTrader
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 contact information 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 final step is to provide your KYC documents. This task is done from inside the client zone and not the registration form. Once your documents are submitted, they are typically reviewed quickly. In our case, we submitted our application on a Saturday, and they were approved on a Sunday. It was not instant, but for a forex broker to do anything on the weekend is impressive.
IC Markets cTrader Product Page
With IC Market’s recent revamp of their website, they made a lot of positive changes, especially concerning how they promote their cTrader product offering. They have a sharp and precise description of the cTrader platform and its advantages for traders, including the cTrader Smart Stop-Out feature. Unfortunately, some more attention could have been 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 excellent 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). It seems the option from oneZero is not targeted at retail traders. To 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. cTrader is the better choice for FIX API trading with IC Markets. It appears that IC Markets has stopped promoting the oneZero FIX API solution.
IC Markets Review Conclusion
There is a lot to be said about the massive volumes generated by IC Markets clients. It strongly affirms the quality of their service. Such immense growth would not be possible without simultaneously retaining clients and acquiring new ones. IC Markets offer somewhat of a vanilla trading experience, but that’s 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 hefty fees that eat into their profits. IC Markets does precisely that. What a lot of brokers haven’t quite grasped is experienced traders don’t care what football team they sponsor, it’s the newbies that do. We absolutely recommend trading with IC Markets cTrader platform.