IG is arguably the best broker when it comes to security and trust, boasting, as it does, licenses from 10 regulatory bodies, including the all-important FCA from the UK. The company is also a bank and is a publicly traded company in London. It is known for offering more than 10,000 asset classes of currencies, commodities, future contracts, ETFs, indices, cryptocurrencies etc. Further, it has its own state-of-the-art trading platform and offers a relatively low spread.
IG, a comprehensive FOREX broker that offers full access to the currency market and support for 108 currency pairs, is one of the world’s premier Contract for Differences (CFD) and spread-betting brokers.
IG offers four trading platforms through which more than 17,000 assets, spread across 11 categories, are available for trade.
IG is considered low risk. The broker is a publicly-traded company in London, operates a regulated bank, and is authorized by six high trust (tier-1) regulators, three average trust (tier-2) regulators and one low trust (tier-3) regulator.
Deposit and withdrawal options at IG are confined to bank wires, PayPal, credit/debit cards and e-banking deposits for South East Asia (SEA) countries. The minimum deposit is $250 or a currency equivalent.
IG institutes a minimum spread for all its transactions. Its spreads are, on average, at par with direct competitors. IG also offers margin trading for FOREX accounts.
IG uses its large size and international presence to provide traders with relatively competitive pricing across the board, regardless of the product they trade. It particularly shines for its active-trader pricing made available through its FOREX Direct accounts.
For the most savvy traders seeking more significant discounts than those offered in the CFD Account, the Direct Market Access (DMA) account is the better option than the active trader rebates on IG's spread-only pricing.
IG provides an outstanding selection of trading platforms and tools. Functionality is widespread and serves traders of all experience levels. Besides the L2 Dealer and ProRealTime charting platform, IG offers a flagship Web platform, which comes loaded with a rich selection of features
As well as an excellent choice of trading platforms, IG offers clients its IG Client Sentiment Indicator, which displays the long and short positions from IG traders across assets, and can provide valuable insight into pending trend changes if traders understand how to interpret it.
IG provides traders a vast selection of excellent quality market research from both in-house and third-party providers.
IG is a comprehensive FOREX broker that offers full access to the currency market and support for 108 currency pairs, and is one of the world’s premier CFD and spread-betting brokers. IG has operated from the UK since its establishment in 1974 and currently serves more than 235,000 clients around the globe. 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. According to its annual report for the financial year ending May 31, 2020, IG has 1,921 staff and a market capitalization of £2.8 billion. IG offers four trading platforms, from which over 17,000 assets, across 11 categories, are available for trade. This broker caters to retail traders, professional clients and institutional firms. A signatory of the FX Global Code of Conduct, rendering it a trustworthy brokerage, IG is one of the only houses that can accept traders in the US. Given that most established online FOREX brokers shy away from the US market, due in large part to very strict regulatory requirements there, that IG has re-entered that region in 2019 speaks volumes for its commitment to becoming a truly global market leader. IG also offers clients a navigable and well-organized Website, with fully disclosed services and fees, intuitive platform offerings, an unwavering dedication to client education and useful research tools. New traders will love IG’s intuitive desktop and mobile platforms, while advanced traders will revel in the platform’s selection of indicators and charting tools. The broker is best suited to new FOREX traders who are still learning the ropes; traders who prefer a simple, clean interface; and FOREX traders who trade primarily by using a tablet.
Yes, IG is considered low risk. IG is a London-based, publicly-traded company. It operates a regulated bank, and is authorized by six high trust (tier-1) regulators, three average trust (tier-2) regulators and one low trust (tier-3) regulator. IG is authorized by the following tier-1 regulators:
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US.
Moreover, it is listed on the UK’s FTSE 250 and has signed up to the FX Global Code of Conduct, which establishes a common set of guidelines for good practice in the markets. IG (UK) also ensures that client funds are not co-mingled with corporate funds, in accordance with the UK's FCA client money rules. This ensures that client assets are protected in the unlikely event that IG becomes insolvent by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks. Clients also have additional asset protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), up to £85,000. IG (UK) provides clients a guarantee that they will never lose more than they have in their accounts, via the negative balance protection rules mandated under European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) that went into effect in 2018. Guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLO) are also offered, which mitigate exposure to potentially catastrophic losses in extreme market conditions, such as the 2015 Swiss Franc currency shock. By contrast, IG (US) offers neither negative balance protection nor GSLO. Client funds are not insured by the FDIC or the SIPC. IG's software security is aligned with the best that the industry has to offer. Beyond two-factor and biometric authentication, the user will be logged out of both the Web-based and mobile applications for inactivity. The broker operates a counterparty dealing desk, which is useful for clients, particularly ones with large accounts who wish to trade directly with the interbank system through a dedicated platform.
IG is most appropriate to anyone wanting to trade CFDs. In the US, it is suited to clients who want to trade the FOREX markets. Low spread costs, actionable research, emphasis on customer service and education as well as functional user interfaces put this broker in a great position to compete in the online broker market.
Easy-to-navigate platform that is simple for beginners to master.
Margin rates are easy to understand and affordable.
Mobile and tablet platforms offer full functionality of the desktop version.
Accepts US clients.
Access to more than 100 currency pairs.
Emphasis on education and research.
Regulated by the FCA (UK), as well as the CFTC and the NFA (US).
Offers protection for UK/EU client accounts.
US traders can currently only trade FOREX.
No GSLO for US-based traders.
No account protection for US clients.
Relatively high share-CFD fees.
No copy trading or back-testing integration on IG platform.
Globally, IG offers clients access to an extensive range of offerings spanning a multitude of asset classes. Clients have access to FOREX, shares, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities, Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), bonds, options, industry sectors and interest rates. IG accepts US clients, although only for FOREX.
As noted, IG US LLC is registered with the CFTC and a member of the NFA (#0509630). Additionally, both IG Markets Ltd (#195355) and IG Index Ltd (#114059) are authorized and regulated by the FCA in the UK. These are widely considered to be the preeminent regulatory entities in the world.
Being regulated by reputable, government-backed agencies goes a long way toward establishing a FOREX firm’s credibility. Traders accept the risk that is inherent in markets, but they would like the peace of mind knowing that their funds are not subject to risks outside of those that they are taking, such as counterparty risk. Additionally, UK/EU client funds are held in segregated accounts at tier-1 banks.
IG's educational tools are arguably well above most of the other online brokers that Arincen has researched, and IG's commitment to providing clients with timely and informative research is noteworthy.
IG offers “negative balance protection,” which has become an important feature that most online brokers are offering these days. This is true of its UK as well as EU clients. At the same time, for an additional charge, IG (UK) also offers GSLO, which protects the trader from market gap risk.
IG does not offer negative balance protection for US clients. Thus, a client can lose more than their account balance and end up owing money to the broker. Furthermore, IG does not offer GSLO for its American customers. Additionally, IG does not provide social (copy) trading through its Web-based interface. Moreover, back-testing and automated trading capabilities are only available through third-party applications. Finally, IG's fees for trading share CFDs (for UK clients) are higher than industry standards. Noteworthy Features
Personalized watchlists allow traders to find the currencies they want to trade with IG’s app. Traders can search for currencies or currency pairs by name or symbol, then create a personalized watchlist of the pairs they trade most frequently. When clients open the app, they see their most frequent pairs on the home screen. Real-time alert features: Prefer to trade on-the-go without being stuck to the mobile screen? Set a price alert through the IG app. When the specified price is triggered or the order is filled, the trader receives a convenient push notification.
The range of markets available to traders may vary depending on the IG entity that is chosen. Residents of the UK, New Zealand, Japan and the US must choose their respective local IG entity.
Along with nearly 20,000 CFDs, IG also offers exchange-traded securities (non-CFDs) for UK residents, 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. As aforementioned, IG (UK) offers:
9. Industry sectors.
10. Interest rates.
Conversely, in the US, IG's product line caters solely to spot FOREX trading of over 100 pairs, which are sorted under six categories: Majors, Minors, Australasian, Scandinavian, Exotic and Emerging Markets.
IG (UK) also offers a variety of professional and institutional services, well above the industry average. Accounts at all levels can invest for the long term through IG Smart Portfolios, an account basket that includes savings, retirement programs and low-fee ETFs.
Most traders will manage their portfolios from the CFD account type. UK-based clients have the option of a tax-free Spread-Betting Account. Minimum deposit for either account type is $250 or a currency equivalent. IG additionally offers more traditional non-leveraged products, like share dealing, ISAs, IG Smart Portfolios and SIPPs. Account type availability is dependent upon geographical location, and traders may request an upgrade to professional status. Of course, leverage differs based on asset and account classification.
Creating an account with IG is simple and fast, even for those who have never previously opened a brokerage account. You can complete the entire process online, and IG’s intuitive sign-up system will assist you in uploading identity verification documents and linking your bank details to fund your FOREX account. Most users will be able to open an account in a few minutes. The process is simple enough that you can complete it on a phone or tablet.
Number of Assets
Starting from 0.6 pip
Low spread account
Starting from 0 pip
Starting from 0 pip
Deposits and Withdrawals
Deposit and withdrawal options at IG are limited to bank wires, credit/debit cards, PayPal and e-banking deposits for SEA countries. The minimum deposit is $250 or a currency equivalent. Although IG does not levy charges for deposits and withdrawals, third-party fees are generally applicable. A limit of £20,000 in a single day is in place for card transactions.
IG's minimum deposit of $250 or a currency equivalent is higher than many brokers, but still rather low. Traders may start FOREX trading with this amount together with leverage, but equity traders require a significantly higher portfolio balance to commence trading. While the ultimate size depends on the preference and trading strategies of the individual trader, rather than focusing on merely the IG minimum deposit, traders should consider a monthly deposit plan to support their trading goals.
IG's minimum deposit ranks this FOREX broker somewhere in the middle. While some brokers have canceled deposit requirements in recent years, others still have it between £2,000 and £10,000, making IG an affordable entry with a competitive trading environment. Those who genuinely want to build their portfolio, but cannot afford $250 every month, may opt for quarterly, semi-annual, or annual deposits. Creating and executing a plan remains paramount to the success of traders.
IG customer service is available through a toll-free UK phone number from 8 am on Saturday through to 10 pm on Friday. Both prospective and active clients may talk to a company representative through live chat that is available when the platform is open.
E-mail, social media and a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) complete above-average contact options. If all else fails, a well-documented customer complaint procedure should assist in grievance resolution. Online customer support is available in several languages, enhancing IG's appeal to a broader client base. The broker also runs satellite offices to support licensed operations in several regions.
IG (US) offers customer support via telephone (24/5), email or Twitter-client help. Further, the Website's FAQs and support pages are well-organized and informative. Customer support in the US is available by phone 24 hours a day from 3 am Saturday to 5 pm Friday EST. Or, you can send a message to [email protected] to contact IG’s customer support by email. IG offers a variety of phone numbers for its customer support team, so verify which number to call by checking the company’s phone rubric.
Commissions and Fees
Like most other brokers focused on FOREX, IG follows the spread pricing model. IG instituted a minimum spread for all its transactions. Its spreads are, on average, on par with direct competitors.
IG also offers margin trading for FOREX accounts. Margin availability is high, as with most FOREX brokers. Instead of requiring a set dollar amount in your account to access margin trading, IG requires traders to maintain at least a certain percentage of their margin power in their account. Percentage margin requirements vary, depending on base currency and traded currency, with the highest margin requirements being associated with currencies that frequently fluctuate in value.
The EUR/USD displays an average cost of 0.75 pips, pricing it in the middle of the market. Overall, IG spreads are neither expensive nor cheap. Commissions for equity CFDs in the UK and the EU are 0.10% per side, with a £10/€10 minimum, while US charges are $0.02 per share, but at no less than $15. Trades settled over the phone bear a fee of at least £15/€25/$25.
IG trading fees for equities are competitively priced, complementing the excellent trading environment. Trading costs have a direct impact on the profitability of any strategy, but IG's fees are acceptable and strike a fair balance.
Guaranteed stop premiums are charged an additional 0.30% fee for equity CFDs, and an additional 1.2 pips mark-up in the EUR/USD. While each asset comes packed with extra charges, IG is fully transparent about them. Overnight financing costs may be obtained directly from inside the trading platforms. Additional charges include a DMA fee for select assets, ProRealTime Charts of £30 per month, costs related to live price data feeds, a £50 account documentation fee (where applicable), an inactivity fee of £12 per month and a 0.50% currency conversion fee. DMA Account (Forex Direct) For the most savvy 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. Forex Direct, a commission-based offering, is available via the DMA Account and provides traders access to the L2 Dealer platform. The DMA Account requires only a £1,000 minimum, and uses a tiered pricing scale based on the trader's previous month's trading volume. There is a “commission” charge that becomes active when one is trading CFDs, but it is added to either side of the market spread, and there is an actual commission for every share-CFD trade. Further, IG (UK) charges a premium for GSLO that is activated only if that order is triggered, and there are other extras and third-party charges that are clearly documented on IG’s UK Website. The minimum spread for the majors on IG's US platforms starts at 0.8 pips, and the advertised average spread ranges between 0.9 (EUR/USD, USD/JPY) to 5.4 (GBP/CAD). As is normal in the FOREX industry, clients are charged swap fees, using tom-next rates, on positions that they hold overnight, which may be subject to currency conversion charges if they trade in a currency other than the account's base currency. Two hundred and fifty units in the base currency is the minimum account deposit globally, which translates to $250 for US accounts and, per CFTC regulations, the highest leverage available to US clients is 50:1. For European customers, the comparable figure is 200:1. Traders reaching certain volume thresholds are eligible for rebates, of which there are three rebate tiers ranging from 5% for at least $100 million in monthly trading volume to 15% for $500+ million in monthly trading volume.
Platforms and Tools
IG provides an excellent selection of trading platforms and tools. Functionality is widespread and serves traders of all experience levels. In addition to the L2 Dealer and ProRealTime charting platform, IG's proprietary Web-based platform comes loaded with a vast selection of features. IG’s desktop trading platform is easy to use and intuitive. Bid and ask prices are clearly laid out side-by-side for faster comparisons. You can open, close and edit your positions with just a few clicks, and you can even set automatic stop-loss and profit-taking orders to further streamline your trading. If you trade more than one currency pair, you can also create multiple workspaces and move through tabs with just a few clicks. IG’s quick and intuitive desktop charting platform runs on lightning-fast HTML 5, allowing you to create workstations as you need them and trade directly from your chart of choice. IG’s quick search feature allows traders to look for currencies by name or symbol. The platform currently supports a variety of order types, ranging from market orders to trailing stop orders. IG’s platform also offers an array of indicator and charting tools for intermediate traders, and traders can place multiple indicators and annotations on a single chart. Two-factor authentication is available for enhanced security. You can also enable price alert notifications from your desktop. You will find a wide selection of charting and platform tools and quick workspace tools. IG Web platform charting: The default charts within the platform feature 30 optional studies and advanced functionality, such as adding up to four alerts on any of 11 supported indicators. In addition to five chart types, there is also a tick chart, which not all brokers offer. Lastly, trading from the chart with an integrated trade ticket shows risk/reward ratios and allows you to drag any stops/limits with great precision. IG offers the MT4 platform and its L2 Dealer platform, where FOREX Direct DMA is available for share trading. ProRealTime charts: More advanced charting with nearly 100 indicators and automated strategies is available in the ProRealTime platform, a third-party platform exclusively offered by IG in the UK. ProRealTime costs £30 per month, unless you make at least four trades during each calendar period. IG (UK) also offers clients with larger accounts the capability of trading CFD shares and FOREX through L2 Dealer, which provides DMA that bypasses IG's dealing desk. The FOREX Direct service on that platform requires that clients have professional designation under ESMA rules. There is no additional charge for this service, other than exchange fees. IG Live: This broker’s streaming market coverage is available together with analytics, alerts and signals. More than 86 million trades were executed in 2019 with an average speed of 0.014 seconds. ProRealTime fully integrates well with the Webtrader and enables professional traders to automate their trading strategies. It facilitates market analysis with over 100 indicators and presents additional custom indicators. IG claims to be the only UK-based broker to offer ProRealTime, and this charting tool is an outstanding enhancement to the IG platform for CFDs. Furthermore, IG supports the retail-favorite MT4 trading platform. It allows full automation of trading strategies, and the broker provides a range of add-ons, which are generally required to utilize the full functionality of this trading platform. Traders may take advantage of 18 unique indicators beside the Autochartist. L2 Dealer, the IG platform that handles DMA trading, may come at an additional cost for live price feeds. In addition to an excellent choice in trading platforms, IG Markets offers clients its IG Client Sentiment Indicator. The platform displays the long and short positions from IG traders across assets, and it can provide valuable insight into pending trend changes if traders understand how to interpret it.
As with most indicators, knowing what they identify about an asset and how to use that information as part of a well-developed trading strategy remains the difference between profits and losses.
Though the IG Sentiment Indicator as a stand-alone analysis tool may not deliver results, it can help traders spot divergences between the existing trend and client positioning, which often leads to directional changes in price action. For example, if the asset is in a corrective phase, but clients start building long positions, it may suggest that a trend reversal is pending.
It is up to the trader to decide if and how they want to use the IG sentiment indicator, but IG provides it, which can become part of an existing trading strategy. The sentiment indicator may assist in narrowing the list of assets, and given the more than 20,000 available at IG, any tool is welcome.
As previously noted, transforming the MT4 trading platform into a more powerful trading platform are 18 add-ons that were developed by IG. Without the add-ons, the MT4 would otherwise represent a sub-standard offering. A VPS service provided in partnership with Beeks further supports automated trading. Although monthly cost of £50 is relatively prohibitive, placing it out of range for most retail traders. IG offers it at no charge on account balances over £5,000.
Third-party service Autochartist adds more value to manual traders as it integrates with the MT4 trading platform. It is an automated chart recognition tool, scanning for trading opportunities and sending alerts. It assists manual traders in the analytical process, providing a broader range of possibilities.
IG has gone above and beyond what most other brokers currently provide in order to ensure that its traders operate from a competitive trading environment. APIs also support advanced trading solutions developed by institutional clients and FinTech companies to connect to IG. This broker heavily supports algorithmic trading across all platforms through various applications. Traders who prefer a more traditional approach can take advantage of IG Smart Portfolios, which is the broker’s managed portfolio.
IG provides homegrown mobile apps for iOS and Android that also are able to be loaded onto tablets. Basic features include customized watchlists, price alerts, and technical charting. While the “Trade” menu lacks sophisticated conditional orders, UK clients can place GSLOs. Despite IG apps still lacking customization, they offer Face and Touch ID security and are more advanced than the industry standard MT4.
The IG Community site has active forums and numerous trade picks through forum entries and blog posts. Meanwhile, @IGSquawk on Twitter contains thousands of tweets from IG dealers sharing news and client sentiment. There is no dedicated or third-party social platform and the broker site contains no client positioning data for CFDs, FOREX, or spread bets. However, IG's Client Sentiment at DailyFX.Com provides useful FOREX positioning data, updated in real-time.
Quick to mast and easy to use, the mobile platform mirrors desktop compatibility. IG’s mobile app does not cut any corners and allows you to place advanced and multi-step orders, just like on the desktop platform. Nevertheless, the app does not offer two-factor authentication or Touch ID for enhanced security, something advanced traders will certainly seek.
IG's mobile app includes such features as alerts, an economic calendar, sentiment readings and watchlists, including detailed market information for each instrument, all packed within a well-designed layout. Watchlists automatically sync with IG's Web platform.
Charting: IG's mobile app is also loaded with 20 drawing tools, 30 technical indicators and 16-time frames to select from across five chart types, including tick charts.
Research: In the IG Mobile app, research is limited to news headlines from Reuters, signals from Autochartist and PIA First.
Educational videos: For educational content, IG offers a separate standalone mobile app called IG Academy.
Research and Development
IG provides traders a vast selection of excellent, quality market research from both in-house and third-party providers. News and Market Analysis: IG's research tools include such staples as streaming news from Reuters and an economic calendar. Advanced tools include a customizable screener for various asset classes, including CFDs on global stocks, FOREX and cryptocurrencies. Demonstrating innovation, content is even personalized with the new "Recommended News" section that tailors headlines based on your account traits. There are also numerous streaming videos from Reuters and IGTV, with multiple videos daily covering global financial markets. IG integrates Autochartist and PIA First into its platform, allowing traders to view trade signals generated by automated pattern-recognition and technical analysis. These trading ideas conveniently enable a trader to copy them with a single click, which pre-populates the trade ticket window. Premium research from Real Vision TV is provided at IG for free to traders who deposit at least $500, and Real Vision research is available for those with $5,000 or more on deposit. IG powers DailyFX, a blog-style news Website that provides IG's clients with news content and various research tools. Finally, IG Community, a recently launched social network resembling an advanced forum, brings together more than 80,000 users. There is also a timeline, comparable to a social network, showing such members' actions as new joins, follows, and comments on threads.
IG's educational tools are superior to any of the other online brokers that Arincen has researched. An extensive trader's library, spearheaded by the impressive “IG Academy,” will get beginners up to speed quickly, while seasoned practitioners will find advanced trading strategy articles quite useful. A robust roster of online Webinars (between 30 minutes and 60 minutes in length) covers topics from platform walk-through to upcoming trade opportunities. IG Academy's course is designed to cover material for people at different levels of the trading spectrum, and it succeeds in delivering on this ambition. Clients can also access courses and articles through the handy IG Academy mobile app.
DailyFX: With eight trading guides for beginners, five advanced guides, and written materials in a course designed with progress tracking, DailyFX has a good array of educational content. In addition to educational content are 17 beginner articles, and support is also available for additional languages.
IG Academy: There are eight courses organized by experience level, where each one provides multiple chapters, with quizzes incorporated throughout, creating an interactive experience. The chapters with video content and lesson summaries are noteworthy.
Videos: In addition to numerous archived content and playlists on its various YouTube Channels, IG provides multiple Webinars per week. Its in-house staff covers educational topics live, such as the Technical Analysis Masterclass. Even archived Webinars are organized by experience level, making it easy to quickly find what is needed. IG Community: As noted in the research section earlier, the IG Community produces content that is curated by IG, and this includes educational articles. For example, there are traders sharing their personal views, such as regarding any past trading failures and successes. Native newsfeed: IG’s desktop trading platform includes a native newsfeed, complete with a variety of articles and current happenings related to the currency chart being viewed. All educational materials are free, although traders will need to be logged into their IG account to start using them.
Final Thoughts on IG
Retail FOREX and CFD traders who want a trusted, low-cost broker with brilliant tools, research and access to nearly every global market (over 20,000 tradable assets) will find that IG is a fantastic choice.
IG is an excellent choice for both small traders and market professionals, with competitive spreads, thousands of trading instruments, and state-of-the-art news, research and educational materials. At the same time, clients can choose from a variety of platform options and are able to easily upgrade as their accounts build equity. Further, professionals will appreciate the DMA offering that bypasses the dealing desk.
Further, being a NFA/CFTC/FCA-regulated broker lends credibility and underscores IG's commitment to being a global broker. That said, the inconsistency in not offering negative balance protection and GSLOs in the US is a bit disconcerting, given that the former gives clients peace of mind while the latter offers a viable risk management tool in volatile market conditions.
Overall, IG has a proven track record of being a reputable and highly competent entity worldwide. Also, its recent re-entrance into the US online FOREX broker market should be seen as a boon for American customers.
IG in Brief
IG is arguably the best broker when it comes to security and trust, boasting, as it does, licenses from 10 regulatory bodies, including the all-important FCA from the UK. The company is also a bank and is publicly traded in London. It is known for offering more than 10,000 asset classes of currencies, commodities, future contracts, ETFs, indices and cryptocurrencies, etc. Further, it has its own state-of-the-art trading platform and offers a relatively low spread.
The team at Arincen collected more than 120 pieces of data covering in excess of 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:
Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.
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:
Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.
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%. To learn more on how we came up with the evaluation, please click here.
Where is IG regulated?
IG is a London-based, publicly-traded company. It operates a regulated bank, and, as aforementioned, is authorized by six tier-1 regulators (high trust), three tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust).
IG is authorized by the following tier-1 regulators:
The Japanese FSA.
The Swiss FINMA.
The UK’s FCA.
The CFTC in the US.
Furthermore, it is listed on the UK’s FTSE 250 and has signed up to the FX Global Code of Conduct, which establishes a common set of guidelines for good practice in the markets.
In what other ways does IG protect me?
IG (UK) also takes steps to ensure that client funds are not co-mingled with corporate funds, in accordance with the UK's FCA client money rules. This ensures that client assets are protected in the unlikely event that IG becomes insolvent by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks. Clients also have additional asset protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) of up to £85,000.
IG (UK) provides clients with a guarantee that they will never lose more than they have in their accounts via the negative balance protection rules mandated under the ESMA that went into effect in 2018. GSLO are also offered, which mitigate exposure to potentially catastrophic losses in extreme market conditions, like the 2015 Swiss Franc currency shock. By contrast, IG (US) offers neither negative balance protection nor GSLO. Client funds are not insured by the FDIC or the SIPC.
IG's software security is aligned with the best that the industry has to offer. In addition to two-factor and biometric authentication, the user will be logged out of both the Web-based and mobile applications for inactivity.
The broker operates a counterparty dealing desk, which is useful for clients, especially those with large accounts, who wish to trade directly with the interbank system through a dedicated platform.
Which countries does IG serve?
A host of countries, including the US. IG is best suited to anyone wanting to trade CFDs. In the US, it is suited to clients who want to trade the FOREX markets. Low spread costs, emphasis on customer service and education, actionable research and functional user interfaces put this broker in a great position to compete in the online broker market.
Does IG offer Cryptocurrency trading?
Yes. Clients have access to FOREX, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, bonds, ETFs, options, industry sectors and interest rates. IG accepts US clients, though only for FOREX.
Does IG provide any extra offerings?
IG (UK) also offers a variety of professional and institutional services, well above the industry average. Accounts at all levels can invest for the long term through IG Smart Portfolios, an account basket that includes savings and retirement programs, as well as low-fee ETFs.
How do I fund my account?
Deposit and withdrawal options at IG are limited to bank wires, credit/debit cards, PayPal and e-banking deposits for SEA countries.
Which trading platforms does IG offer?
IG provides an outstanding selection of trading platforms and tools. The functionality is widespread and serves traders of all experience levels. Besides the L2 Dealer and ProRealTime charting platform, IG's proprietary Web-based platform comes loaded with a vast selection of features.
Moreover, IG supports the retail-favorite MT4 trading platform. It allows full automation of trading strategies, and the broker provides a range of add-ons, which are generally required to unload the full functionality of this trading platform. Traders may take advantage of 18 unique indicators beside the Autochartist. The L2 Dealer, the IG platform that handles DMA trading, may come at an additional cost for live price feeds.
How can I access customer service?
IG customer service is available through a toll-free UK phone number from 8am Saturday through 10pm Friday. Both prospective and active clients can talk to a company representative through live chat that is available when the platform is open. E-mail, social media, and a comprehensive set of FAQs round out above-average contact options. If all else fails, a well-documented customer complaint procedure should assist in grievance resolution.
Online customer support is available in several languages, which enhances IG's appeal to a broader client base. The broker also runs satellite offices to support licensed operations in several regions.
IG (US) offers customer support via telephone (24/5), e-mail or Twitter-client help. Additionally, the Website's FAQs and support pages are well-organized and informative. Customer support in the US is available by phone 24 hours a day from 3am Saturday to 5pm Friday EST. Alternatively, you can send a message to [email protected] to contact IG’s customer support by e-mail. IG offers a variety of different phone numbers for its customer support team, so verify which number to call by checking the company’s phone rubric.
Adrian Ashley is a seasoned business and finance writer. With a corporate career spanning over 20 years, he has developed deep experience in such diverse areas as investing, business, finance, technology and macroeconomics.