Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG offers traders the ultimate package of excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, competitive pricing, and an extensive list of tradeable products. This fantastic all-round experience makes IG the best overall broker in 2021.
Top Takeaways for 2021
Here are our top findings on IG:
- Founded in 1974, IG is publicly traded (LON: IGG) and regulated in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading. All jurisdictions considered, IG ranks as the most trusted forex and CFDs broker in our 2021 Review.
- IG is the ultimate forex broker, finishing 1st Overall in our 2021 ranking. Alongside finishing third for Platforms and Tools and second for Research, IG finished Best in Class (top 7) for Offering of Investments (19,000+ tradeable instruments), Commissions and Fees, Education, Mobile Trading and Professional Trading.
- While IG also offers MetaTrader and premium MT4 add-ons from FX Blue, only 76 tradeable instruments are available. No question, IG’s flagship platform is the better choice between the two.
Is IG Safe?
IG is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. IG is a publicly traded company, operates a regulated bank, and is authorised by six tier-1 regulators (high trust), three tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust). IG is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Learn more about Trust Score.
Offering of Investments
The range of markets available to you may vary depending on the IG entity that you choose. Residents of the UK, New Zealand, Japan, and the US must choose their respective local IG entity.
Alongside nearly 20,000 CFDs, IG also offers exchange-traded securities (non-CFDs) for UK residents (IG UK share dealing review), Germany, and Australia to access international stock exchanges. Furthermore, in addition to forex options, IG offers exchange-traded Turbo warrants as part of Spectrum, its Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) in Europe.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g., buying Bitcoin). IG does not offer crypto derivatives in the U.K. to retail traders.
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to IG clients.
Commissions and Fees
IG uses its size to provide traders competitive pricing across the board, regardless of the product you trade, and shines for its active trader pricing available through its Forex Direct accounts.
CFD account average spreads: For mini and standard size contracts, typical spreads during the main trading session from Midnight to 9 pm (0000 – 2100, GMT+1 time) averaged 0.745 pips in August 2020. It is worth noting that just like with other brokers, spreads during low-liquid times are higher than normal, averaging 1.39 pips at IG in August 2020, during the 2100 – 0000 (GMT+1) session.
CFD account active trader rebates: For volume traders who qualify as professionals under EU rules, IG offers pricing discounts via its active trader rebate program. This program provides three tiers. In tier one, if you transact over £50M worth of forex volume per month, then 10% of the spread is rebated. Meanwhile, if you trade over £300M per month, then as much as 20% is rebated. To put this in context, 20% off of 0.745 pips (August 2020 data from main trading sessions) would have resulted in an all-in cost of just 0.596 pips, which is very competitive.
DMA account (Forex Direct): For the savviest traders seeking more significant discounts than what is offered in the CFD account, the DMA account is the better option than the active trader rebates on IG’s spread-only pricing. This commission-based offering, Forex Direct, is available via the DMA account and provides traders access to the L2 Dealer platform. The DMA account requires just a £1,000 minimum and uses a tiered pricing scale based on the trader’s previous month’s trading volume.
DMA account average spreads: With average spreads of 0.165 on the EUR/USD for the 12 weeks ending March 19th, 2019, the all-in spread is 1.3 pips using the base tier of $60 per million for traders that do less than $100M per month. Traders that do over 1.5 yards (billion USD in volume) see their per-side commission drop to $10 per million ($20 round-turn), resulting in an effective spread of 0.165 + 0.20 = 0.365 pips, using the 2019 data.
Execution method: Forex Direct streams from interbank liquidity providers where IG acts as an agency broker and doesn’t add on any additional spread. Instead, IG adds a commission to each trade you make (similar to IC Markets, FP Markets, or FOREX.com‘s DMA account). Finally, in the CFD account, users can switch between the execution method via the available order types, depending on if they want to force open a trade with potential slippage, compared to orders that can be rejected if the price is no longer available.