Pepperstone was founded in Australia in 2010.
The broker is regulated in Australia by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and in the European Economic Area (EEA) by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), as well as the by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). At the same time, it is regulated in Germany by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), in Dubai by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and finally in Kenya by the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA).
EEA traders are protected by the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF), with a maximum coverage of €20,000.
UK traders are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000.
Pepperstone offers two account types that are suitable for both retail and professional traders.
Pepperstone offers market access covering four asset classes and 700 Contract for Difference (CFD) instruments.
Pepperstone customers can trade in CFDs or purchase the underlying asset in classes such as FOREX, indices, cryptocurrencies, and commodities.
Pepperstone offers mostly competitive spreads and commissions across its account types.
Pepperstone customers can access high-quality research and education materials.
Traders can follow and copy the trades of designated top investors on the social trading-enabled platforms.
The Pepperstone Group is independently audited by global top-four audit firm Ernst and Young.
The broker walked away with the “Best Tailored Professional Trading Conditions” prize and the “Best Trading Performance Tools” prize at the 2020 Professional Trader Awards.
Accounts can be funded in 10 base currencies.
The company has taken professional indemnity insurance through Lloyd's of London.
Pepperstone was founded in 2010 and has established itself in a short space of time as a quality online broker with much to like about its service offerings. Headquartered in Australia, the company benefits from strong regulation in key markets and allies this strength with its competitive fees and robust market access to create an attractive proposition.
It uses a selection of quality third-party trading platforms, like MetaTrader4 (MT4), MetaTrader5 (MT5) and cTrader, to cater to traders of all levels. The broker offers traders a solid selection of tradable assets, with access to FOREX, shares, indices, metals, commodities and cryptocurrencies. Pepperstone has two accessible account types, with a minimum opening deposit of 200 units per base currency. The broker offers leverage as high as 500:1, although traders are warned to use this wisely.
As aforementioned, the company is regulated by the ASIC in its home market of Australia, and the FCA in the UK after opening its London office in 2016. As well, Peppertsone is active in the European market and complies with all mandates espoused by the CySEC and the ESMA. The company has also recently expanded its global reach, with regulation in Dubai and Kenya designed to appeal to its MENA and African clientele.
Pepperstone adheres to broker best practice by ensuring that, among other things, customer investments are segregated from company cash. It has a well-regarded 24/5 customer support desk. The broker caters to trading novices, experienced investors, and industry professionals alike. In its own words, it wants to “provide institutional grade trading to the online FOREX trader.”
Its offering is rounded off by strong desktop and Web-based platforms and good educational resources, as well as tight spreads and low fees on its well-planned account types. It confirms our finding that this growing broker has no significant weaknesses.
Who Is Pepperstone Good For?
Pepperstone provides wide access to markets, allowing traders to concentrate on achieving financial success through several asset classes. This makes Pepperstone a good fit for traders of all types. That said, while its market access is solid, it is weighted toward FOREX. The balance of its tradable assets can be called acceptable but unspectacular.
Still, this mid-range market access is complemented by other aspects that could be attractive to traders. Entry-level traders are won over by the competitive fees and low spreads, and sophisticated, high-volume traders are interested in the broker’s advanced trading interfaces.
The two main account types cater to many trading levels, leading to the broker being rewarded by several prize juries for its ease of doing business. At the 2020 Professional Trader Awards, the broker walked away with the “Best Tailored Professional Trading Conditions” gong, and the “Best Trading Performance Tools” prize. Here are some other aspects to consider before engaging with this broker:
Pepperstone offers highly competitive fees with FOREX spreads on major currency pairs as low as zero pips. The broker offers two handy account types and a no-commission account with mid-range spreads, as well as a combined low commission and low-spread account.
The broker tries hard to anticipate trader needs and has produced an offering that is reasonably priced, fast and convenient. The variety of platforms and their levels of advancement mean that traders of all levels will be well looked after. Through aggressive negotiation with partners, the broker can provide good liquidity and tight spreads that are equally available to entry level traders and elite traders alike.
The broker Website can sometimes show a lack of thorough maintenance by carrying out-of-date information. This relatively minor inconvenience can be overcome. The broker does not accept US traders, although this does not disqualify it, as many online brokers shy away from the US market because of regulatory hindrances.
The company does not offer negative balance protection for clients living outside the UK and the EEA. Without these protections, clients stand to lose more than they invest with this broker. The broker’s product portfolio is tilted toward FOREX, meaning that those on the lookout for a truly diverse range of asset classes and market access may have to look somewhere else.
Is Pepperstone Safe?
Pepperstone has implemented enough safeguards for it to be considered relatively safe. The broker is regulated by tier-one bodies in the form of the ASIC and the FCA. Although FCA rules are more well known in trading circles, particularly its partner agency the FSCS that offers investor protections of £85,000, the ASIC is not to be taken lightly. The Australian regulator requires member brokers to comply with stringent capital requirements, implement internal risk management procedures, and conduct key activities like rigorous staff training.
The broker is also regulated by the tier-one CySEC, which looks after the interests of traders in the EEA region. As mentioned above, the company is also regulated by BaFin in Germany and the DFSA in Dubai. Continuing in the expansion of its regulatory footprint, in 2020 the firm opened its doors in Africa under Pepperstone Market Kenya Ltd. It gained a CMA license from Kenyan authorities soon thereafter.
The company has taken the extra step of arranging for professional indemnity insurance through Lloyd's of London. In another show of operating good faith, the Pepperstone Group is independently audited by global top-four audit firm Ernst & Young.
The company is noted for its stellar performance on the awards scene, even though it is a relative newcomer. Pepperstone has received 17 reputable awards, which is a testament to its emphasis on innovation, platform usability and safety. It has quickly gained a reputation as a secure, high-quality broker.
Under ESMA rules, EEA clients, including those in the UK, are entitled to negative balance protection. Trading platforms should be set to deploy automatic stop-out systems in order to eradicate the chances of traders finding themselves with negative balances. Non-UK, EEA, and Australia clients do not receive negative balance protection from this broker. These clients have every reason to feel vulnerable.
The broker offers excellent Website and platform functionality. It operates two-factor authentication (2FA) with access to mobile accounts, although it stops short of using biometric authentication for its mobile app. Overall, the broker has installed several safeguards that should put trader’s minds at ease.
Offering of Investments
The company puts a lot of effort into its FOREX trading product. This is evidenced by a handsome number of currency pairs. UK clients have access to spread betting across key financial markets. This is typically an appealing proposition for UK traders as it offers tax-free profits with low commissions. It is, however, not applicable in any other market besides the UK.
Users of the two Pepperstone accounts can trade every instrument on the broker’s product platform. Traders can go long or short on these CFDs. Here is a list of instruments on offer by this broker:
60+ FOREX pairs.
16 index CFDs.
60+ share CFDs.
12+ commodity CFDs.
Five cryptocurrency CFDs.
Three currency index CFDs.
Advantages of Trading
Pepperstone has kept its accounts simple and offers traders the choice between one of two account types. Its technology-driven account types are split as follows:
Standard Account: The broker recommends this account for new traders. This zero-commission account claims to have institutional-grade Straight Through Processing (STP). Spreads on this account are low, but still high enough to counteract the lack of commissions.
Razor Account: The broker notes this account is an excellent choice for scalpers and algorithmic traders. Spreads are consistently thin and start from as low as zero pips. Commission is chargeable on this account.
The accounts are well-structured and offer an obvious point of difference for entry-level traders and elite traders. In the hyper-competitive world of bonuses, promotions and perks, we found that this broker’s account offerings suffered from a lack of enticing add-ons to catch the eye of high-rolling mega traders.
The broker uses its growing footprint to secure competitive interbank pricing and deep liquidity from high-quality providers. Scalping and hedging are allowed. Besides the two account types, there are sub-accounts that need a mention:
Swap-Free Account: This interest-free account comes with zero commission and STP spreads.
Active Trader Account: Spreads are available from as low as zero pips. High-volume traders are the primary beneficiaries of this account and will appreciate the discounts on the applicable commission rates, depending on how much they deposit and the trading volumes they achieve. Qualifying traders can get access to attractive rebates based on the number of trades they conduct. Customers should know that rebates only apply for FOREX trades performed on the Razor Account.
This is a simple process. Clients need only enter their email address into the Website and select a password to begin. The application process is fast and secure. As is normal, traders will need to confirm their identity via the appropriate documentation. Once approved, you can fund your account using the broker’s affordable funding methods and start trading.
The broker offers a 30-day demo trading account that is open to potential clients. The account comes with £50,000 of virtual cash and allows traders to trial and perfect their strategies with a relatively long practice window. You can access this account via the MT4 or cTrader platforms, depending on with which platform you are more comfortable.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Pepperstone clients can deposit funds in one of 10 base currencies drawn from the AUD, the USD, the GBP, the JPY, the EUR, the CAD, the NZD, the CHF, the SGD and the HKD. Withdrawals are carried out from the secure client area. If the withdrawal request is actioned by 9pm GMT, it can be processed on the same day. Accepted deposit methods are:
Bank wire transfer.
The company keeps its fees competitive by not charging withdrawal or deposit fees, although third-party carriers can charge their own fees, as is normal. There is no conversion fee for clients who fund their trading accounts in the same currency as their bank account. Bank transfers can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant. Traders can only deposit funds from accounts in their name.
The broker offers high quality 24/5 customer support over a chat service or via phone. Traders can also access the company’s helpful social media accounts, like Twitter, which act as information alert systems. Moreover, traders get account managers to help them make the most of their trading experience.
Australian clients who feel the need to do so can visit an office in Melbourne. All other clients can get equally helpful responses over virtual channels, such as phone, email and chat. The broker’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section comes in handy in case there is congestion over the other channels.
Commissions and Fees
Pepperstone makes a clear attempt at fee and commission transparency. There may be issues around the execution of that transparency as the information is not always well-laid out, but the broker does its best to present a side-by-side cost comparison. At the time of review, we could not find any information on inactivity fees and can only assume that there are no such fees charged.
Quotes on spreads are procured from 22 major banks, showing the broker’s commitment to finding the best possible rates for its clientele. In periods of good liquidity, spreads on major currency pairings have dropped to zero pips, giving the broker the reputation of having some of the lowest fees in the online trading world. The broker also works hard to ensure that traders in its home base can enjoy attractive spreads on the AUD versus major currencies like the EUR and the USD.
On balance, we found the fee structure to be very competitive for this broker. It fits well within the industry average. Traders with low starting capital can find a home here. New traders can select the Standard Account that concentrates on having low FOREX spreads that start from 0.7 pips on the EUR/USD, but no commission.
More experienced traders could go with the Razor Account that has average spreads on the EUR/USD of 0.09 pips, but with commission included. Other instruments, such as indices, commodities and crypto assets, have either straight spreads or a combination of lowish spreads plus commissions.
All traders can expect to pay swap fees on overnight positions. The broker indicates these rates are set against the regional interest rate for the instrument, besides its fixed charge of 2.5%. The broker also offers a no-swap Islamic account that attracts a fee after two days of being held.
Pepperstone offers leverage up to 500:1. Traders should know that they can lose money quickly at these extreme levels of leverage and they are cautioned to trade carefully, especially as this broker does not offer negative balance protection to traders outside the UK, EEA and Australia.
Leverage varies depending on where the account is held and on whether you qualify as a professional or retail client. Clients in the UK, Europe, Australia and Dubai will have to work with a maximum leverage of 30:1. By contrast, professional clients in other markets can access leverage as high as 500:1.
The broker encourages clients to manage their risk by carefully, choosing the best position size for their situation. The company helpfully and responsibly asks traders to not risk over 1-5% of their capital on any single transaction. In soon-to-be-active legislation, traders in Europe using MT4 or MT5 accounts from June 2021 must post a margin of 50% on the hedged section of all instruments. This will not affect traders using cTrader.
Platforms and Tools
The broker has provided a range of tools to enhance the trading experience. It does not have its own proprietary platform, but clients are well served by tried and tested industry favorites, such as MT4, MT5 and cTrader on desktop, Web and mobile.
Most traders will know this instantly recognizable platform. The bespoke Pepperstone version is customizable, and traders can get access to Expert Advisors (EA). With the combined knowledge of third-party Autochartist and EAs, traders can use powerful indicators to identify trades with a high chance of success. They can also backtest their strategies.
The system offers a user-friendly interface, where traders can improve their performance with the help of 85 pre-installed indicators. Traders can spot market trends and make information-rich decisions according to strategies that are based on movements spotted by pattern recognition tool Autochartist. There are also 28 additional Smart Trader Tools to complement the charting tools.
Traders can go short or long, implement and run code, and get the benefit of faster processing and custom indicators with MT5. As with MT4, traders on MT5 can use the advice of EAs and the many indicators from Smart Trader Tools and Autochartist. Traders who are used to cutting-edge functionality and market-leading analysis tools will get the most benefit from MT5. With rapid processing speeds, hedging of positions, and an built-in economic calendar, traders can maximize their chances of success.
This platform boasts a sleek design that replicates an institutional trading environment. It is an easy-to-use platform with advanced customization tools and superior order capabilities. Traders can manage slippage and order fills with intuitive and responsive features. Advanced traders can use tools such as rapid entry and execution.
There is a comprehensive set of analysis and educational resources to help traders make better decisions. Clients using this platform will also get access to EAs and indicators. The platform is perfect for both new and advanced traders. It has a detailed trade analysis feature designed to study your strengths and weaknesses. The extensive range of indicators will help traders make faster and more informed decisions.
Social Trading Partners
Pepperstone is also making moves into the social trading space. Traders can get access to a range of social trading tools that have been made available by the broker. One such tool is Myfxbook, which is an automated analytical package that is not only a trading account, but also a social community.
Another useful aid is Autotrade, which is an automated system derived from Myfxbook. This account-mirroring tool helps traders replicate trades of the most successful traders. Traders can also use RoboX, which is a feature that correlates their personal trading profile with a large algorithmic database to build bespoke trading packages for the trader.
Traders seeking to get in on the social trading game could also use MetaTrader Signals, where traders can copy trading operations in real time. They can close trades and perform other helpful actions like updating stop-loss positions. Traders can also diversify their portfolios and create multiple trading strategies.
DupliTrade is yet another helpful social trading tool where traders can enjoy advanced automatic mirroring that allows them to trade different assets by copying the trades of selected traders. However, it is not free. Clients will need a minimum deposit of AUD$5,000 to get access to DupliTrade’s portfolio.
Pepperstone clients can easily trade on the move. The company’s platforms are available on Windows and Mac OS for desktop, and iOS and Android for mobile trading. The broker prides itself on being able to anticipate and fulfill the needs of its clients. Traders can trade according to their individual preferences on any of the trading platforms and their helpful add-ons.
Research and Development
Pepperstone offers good market analysis that fares well against industry standards. It has a helpful “Market News” section that captures the day’s breaking events. It keeps traders in the know about developments around the world that could affect the performance of their assets. The “Daily Fix” and the “Economic Calendar" are additional tools that give traders as much insightful information as possible.
The trading charts section of the broker’s research section gives a helpful view of economic indicators around the world. There is also a useful list of the trader’s in-house analysts who all have impressive resumes that give weight to the advice they supply their clients. The broker's Twitter feed is also very active and features high-quality, informative and easily accessible information targeted at clients who don’t have time to study the Website.
Pepperstone’s Website contains several helpful sections, such as:
Learn to trade FOREX.
Learn to trade CFDs.
FOREX trading course.
Each resource is well structured and detailed. They follow a simple design, and traders can get a feel for where they are in their learning journey through helpful naming conventions like beginner and expert. Some brokers dump their educational material haphazardly, but not this broker.
The educational area is filled with tutorials, many archived and live Webinars, and an impressive list of trading guides. Every instrument is comprehensively covered. Also, common terms like slippage, hedging and margin are covered as well. The broker has made painstaking efforts to link the information to in-house support options, such as trading platform comparisons and account-financing procedures.
Pepperstone is growing fast, and for good reason. It is a broker that sticks to what it is good. It has prioritized its home base of Australia while placing significant focus on its UK and EEA operations. It has a wealth of FOREX trading tools, which is to be expected as this is the broker’s main asset class.
The broker is well-regulated. It goes to reasonable lengths to protect trader funds. It has good market access, even if it is weighted toward FOREX as already established. Its tools and platforms will serve novice traders and sophisticated, future-looking traders alike.
It is reasonably transparent about its fees; and by most estimates, Pepperstone offers fees that are at the lower end of the market. Its add-ons and broker help tools, such as indicators and market analysis, are possibly its strongest point.
It has a powerful research section with well-designed and filled with easy-to-follow educational material. Its customer service desk is available 24/5 and is manned by helpful staff. This is a broker that can be trusted and that will serve its core clientele well.
Pepperstone is a fast-growing broker with emphasis in Australia, the EU and the UK. It is regulated in these key areas and abides by the regulatory standards as directed. This includes carefully safeguarding client funds.
The broker is well served by competitive fees and powerful and diverse platforms. Its broker help tools, such as advanced indicators and charting, will attract new and experienced traders alike. Its social trading offering is packed with helpful tools that are well-placed to drive the broker into the future as social trading continues to grow.
The broker offers deep liquidity and attractive fees backed by powerful partners who can facilitate competitive rates because of their size and scale. Traders will feel catered for by the deep educational material and helpful tools.
Pepperstone in Brief
Pepperstone is a sound choice of broker for traders looking for a dependable and low-cost partner that combines attractive pricing with excellent platforms, responsive customer service and a wealth of educational materials. The company is safe and has been consistently recognized for its excellent service, platforms and security.
The team at Arincen collected over 120 pieces of data covering in excess of 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:
1. Companies’ Websites.
2. Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.
3. A survey questionnaire (referred to here as Survey “1”) we had sent to the companies invited to participate in the exercise.
We have identified 12 criteria for our assessment, each containing several aspects and carrying its own relative weight. These include licensing, deposits and withdrawals, number of assets etc.
Afterward we validated the data by:
1. Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.
2. Survey number “2,” in which we asked these companies’ customers for important feedback and past experience.
The next step saw us evaluate and rank each company, relying on the hard work of 15 Arincen employees. We were very careful in ensuring the most accurate assessment possible, including taking into account different languages, as well as the various mobile-app operating systems, e.g., Apple, Samsung etc.
To add credibility to our research project, we sent a final and third survey (referred to here as Survey “3”) to enable participating FOREX companies evaluate our own research and whether it accurately reflects the realities on the ground. We were fortunate enough to receive a mark of 9.9 out of 10! We have kept to a minimum the margin of error, which stood at a measly 1%.
Where is this broker regulated?
This broker is regulated by tier-1 (high trust) bodies in the form of the ASIC in Australia, the UK’s FCA, and CySEC in Cyprus. The broker is also regulated by BaFin in Germany and the DFSA in Dubai.
In what other ways does this broker protect me?
The FSCS offers investor protections of £85,000. Under ESMA rules, EEA clients, including those in the UK, are entitled to Negative Balance Protection.
Which countries does this broker serve?
The broker accepts clients from all over the world, but US clients are not accepted.
Does this broker offer Cryptocurrency trading?
Yes. Pepperstone offers five cryptocurrency CFDs.
Does this broker provide any extra offerings?
No. This broker’s account offerings do not have enticing add-ons to catch the eye of high-volume traders. However, this can change at any time, and traders should keep an eye on the broker’s Website for any new bonuses and promotions.
How do I fund my account?
Accepted funding methods are: bank wire transfer, credit/debit cards, Skrill and Neteller.
Which trading platforms does this broker offer?
The broker does not have its own proprietary platform, but clients are well served by tried-and-tested industry favorites, such as MT4, MT5 and cTrader on desktop, Web and mobile.
How can I access customer service?
The broker offers high quality 24/5 customer support over a chat service or via phone. Traders can also access the company’s helpful social media accounts, like Twitter, which act as information alert systems.