As an early pioneer in offering contracts for difference (CFDs) and spread betting, IG was founded in 1974 and has grown to be a global leader in the online trading industry. IG is a London-based public company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 250 (LON: IGG).
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- Comprehensive trading and research tools powered by real-time exchange data.
- Publicly traded and licensed in major regulatory jurisdictions across the globe.
- Competitive commission-based pricing and spreads on forex.
- Broad range of markets, currency pairs, and multi asset CFDs (including cryptocurrencies).
- May incur exchange and subscription fees
- Dormant account fees
- Retail clients can’t trade forex on interbank
- No copy/social trading platform
There are only 2 types of trading accounts at IG–a standard account for ordinary traders and a premium account or high net worth traders. The standard account has a minimum trade of $1 and the maximum per option is $300.
They also offer a complete trading solution for corporate and institutional clients, complete with easy access to over 10,000 markets, direct market access solutions, 24-hour technical support, transparent charging and tiered margining.
IG also offers advanced traders a DMA account. This is suitable for those looking to trade market depth with algorithms and traders looking to participate in the pre-market and post-market auctions. By trading shares with DMA traders get execution into multiple liquidity venues, including broker and MTF dark pools, dedicated market makers, exchange and MTF-lit trading venues.
IG offers an excellent variety of platform choices and API interfaces, starting with the industry standard MetaTrader 4. No MetaTrader 5 is available but clients can upgrade to the ProRealTime advanced charting platform for free as long as they meet modest monthly trading activity requirements. The web based IG Trading platform features basic risk management tools, including price alerts and stop losses. It also streams Reuters news and ProRealTime charts, including the ability to split charts into multiple time frames.
Higher-end clients can attach their own software or a Bloomberg terminal through a well developed API interface. They can also trade CFD shares and forex through L2 Dealer, which provides direct market access (DMA) that bypasses IG’s dealing desk. Forex Direct service on that platform requires that clients have professional designation under ESMA rules. There’s no additional charge for this service other than exchange fees.
IG uses its size to provide traders competitive pricing across the board, regardless of the product being traded, and shines for its active trader pricing available through Forex Direct accounts.
£250 is the minimum account deposit. They offer an aggressive rebate program for large forex volume as well as volume discounts for UK share traders. Margin and overnight lending rates are competitive. Accounts get charged steep monthly fees after two years of inactivity. The broker offers no fixed spreads or trading account tiers through the main site, other than retail vs.professional designation, but IG Smart Portfolios and a dedicated institutional site round out an impressive account listing.
Credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, Debit)
Bank wire transfers
Highly raved by traders online, IG is a pretty good forex broker that offers a straightforward set-up, competitive pricing a good range of product offerings and a sophisticated trading platform.