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ECN brokers are Forex brokers with no dealing desk. Instead, ECN’s operate an electronic communications network, connecting traders directly to liquidity providers, often using Straight Through Processing (STP) to achieve high-speed trading. Most Australian ECN brokers have tighter spreads than brokers with a dealing desk but usually charge a commission for their matchmaking service. Because ECN brokers have no dealing desk, they do not profit when traders lose money.

To test these Australian ECN brokers, we opened a live trading account and deposited 350 AUD. As a part of our test, we confirmed their status as ECN brokers by researching the liquidity providers they work with and reviewing their trading costs. These are the best ECN brokers in Australia for 2021, according to our testing and our research.

English

Best ECN Forex Brokers in Australia

Last updated on 9 Aug 2021
Updated 9 Aug 2021
by Editorial Director Jeffrey Cammackby Jeffrey Cammack
Jeffrey Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Trusted
1
FP Markets
Min. Deposit
AUD 100
4.284.28
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
60+
EUR/USD Trading Cost per lot
USD 7
Overall Rating
11110.54.28/ 5
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.10 pips with 6 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & IRESS platforms supported. FP Markets is regulated by CySEC and ASIC.
2
BlackBull Markets
Min. Deposit
USD 200
3.423.42
Min. Spread
0.20 pips
Fx Pairs
31
EUR/USD Trading Cost per lot
USD 8
Overall Rating
1110.503.42/ 5
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.80 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Blackbull Markets is regulated by the FMA & the FSA-Seychelles.
3
Pepperstone
Min. Deposit
AUD 100
4.614.61
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
80+
EUR/USD Trading Cost per lot
USD 6.90
Overall Rating
11110.54.61/ 5
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.69 pips with 0.0 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. Pepperstone is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the DFSA.
4
Admirals
Min. Deposit
AUD 100
4.244.24
Min. Spread
0.70 pips
Fx Pairs
50+
EUR/USD Trading Cost per lot
USD 5
Overall Rating
11110.54.24/ 5
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.50 pips with 0.0 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & MT4 Supreme Edition platforms supported. Admiral Markets is regulated by ASIC, CySEC, and the FCA.
5
IronFX
Min. Deposit
USD 50
3.743.74
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
85
EUR/USD Trading Cost per lot
USD 11
Overall Rating
1110.503.74/ 5
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.10 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. Only MT4 platform supported. IronFX is regulated by CySEC, FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA.
6
Axi
Min. Deposit
AUD 5
4.344.34
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
80+
EUR/USD Trading Cost per lot
USD 12
Overall Rating
11110.54.34/ 5
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Axi Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC and the DFSA
7
IC Markets
Min. Deposit
AUD 200
4.464.46
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Fx Pairs
64
EUR/USD Trading Cost per lot
USD 8
Overall Rating
11110.54.46/ 5
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.10 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. IC Markets is regulated by CySEC and ASIC.
8
Go Markets
Min. Deposit
AUD 200
4.104.10
Min. Spread
0.20 pips
Fx Pairs
50+
EUR/USD Trading Cost per lot
USD 10
Overall Rating
11110.54.10/ 5
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Go Markets is regulated by ASIC.

How to compare Australian ECN brokers

ECN brokers use high-speed communication to find the best pricing available from a pool of liquidity providers in their network and execute trade orders as quickly as possible. The more liquidity providers How many liquidity providers an ECN broker uses varies, and this should always be considered alongside how fast an ECN executes trades, the more liquidity providers an ECN broker has access to, the better pricing the trader will receive. When comparing ECN brokers, always consider:

Trading cost: Australian Forex traders seek out ECNs brokers because of their low trading costs. Trading costs on ECN accounts are a combination of the spread and a commission. Trading costs for one lot of EUR/USD at ECN brokers will range from 6 USD to 18 USD, depending on the broker’s trading conditions. Bear in mind that not all ECN brokers will have lower trading costs than brokers with a dealing desk.

Execution quality: A combined metric used to discuss execution speed, slippage and rejection rate, execution quality describes the connection between the broker and the market and will directly impact the level of control a trader has over their positions. The best Australian ECN brokers will have fast execution speeds, which leads to less slippage in pricing between when the order is executed and when it is opened, and less order rejection due to unavailable counterparties. Better execution quality will always produce fewer unintentional losses.

Number of liquidity providers: ECN brokers do not operate a dealing desk and are never counterparty to client trades. Instead, it uses its network to place trades directly with liquidity providers, also called execution venues. The more liquidity providers an ECN broker has access to, the more competition there will be for its client’s trades, leading to tighter spreads and lower overall trading costs. Some ECN brokers will only have a single liquidity provider, which defeats the purpose of an ECN completely – as there is no competition for a trader’s business and trading costs will be higher than they should be. Avoid these types of ECN brokers.

Tradable Assets: A good ECN broker will offer clients a larger number of FX Pairs and other CFD assets to trade. Having a limited set of trading assets can negatively affect the traders, as they would miss out on trading opportunities.

Regulation: Regulators monitor the activities of the broker and the trading desk. Unregulated ECN brokers are dangerous as there is no way of telling if they are ECN brokers without making a deposit and opening a trade. Brokers regulated by the FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia) or MAS (Singapore) have better reputations for enforcement and thus ensure their member ECN brokers strictly follow protocols designed to protect clients and their trades.

Trading tools: Leading ECN brokers will offer traders a free Virtual Private Server (VPS) service, guaranteeing high-quality execution around the clock. Other trading tools offered by the best ECN brokers include indicator packages to assist with automated trading and in-platform market analysis tools such as Trading Central or Autochartist.


FP Markets – Best ECN Broker in Australia

While not a pure ECN broker, FP Markets does provide ECN pricing – it streams its pricing directly from its liquidity providers. This provides its clients with tight ECN spreads but higher quality execution than many true ECN brokers, featuring less slippage or rejections. With average spreads for EUR/USD at 0.1 pips, GBP/USD at 0.2 pips and USD/JPY at 0.1 pips, FP Markets’ Forex pricing is comparable with Pepperstone and other industry-leading ECN brokers. Commission is also low at 6 USD per lot round turn and the minimum deposit is only 100 AUD.

Winner of the 2020 Best Broker in Australia Award, FP Markets supports MT4 and MT5 on 60+ FX pairs, metals, indices and commodities to trade. And with an Equinix server cluster, most trades are executed in under 40 milliseconds, faster than other ECN brokers. This makes FP Markets an excellent broker for scalping and EA trading on the Metatrader platforms.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Good range of accounts
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.10 pips with 6 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & IRESS platforms supported. FP Markets is regulated by CySEC and ASIC.

BlackBull Markets – Best ECN Broker for Pro Traders

For Australian traders looking for a professional-grade ECN/STP broker, BlackBull Markets ticks many boxes. Equinix servers and STP execution prevent slippage and the Institutional Account features spreads down to 0 pips, negotiable commission, and FIX API.

BlackBull Markets offers three account types, the ECN Standard, ECN Prime and ECN Institutional. While the Standard and Prime Accounts offer decent trading conditions, pro traders will be interested in the institutional account, which has a minimum deposit of 20,000 USD and spreads starting from 0.0 pips. 

BlackBull Markets offers free VPS services to any clients who are interested. The only requirements are a BlackBull Markets Prime account and a minimum of $2,000 deposit with 20 lots traded per month.  Bank wire withdrawals are free of charge for Australian bank accounts and take 1-3 days to process. 

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Good for beginners
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • Limited market analysis
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.80 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Blackbull Markets is regulated by the FMA & the FSA-Seychelles.

Pepperstone – ECN Broker with the Tightest Spreads

A world-renowned Australian broker, Pepperstone offers MT4, MT5 and cTrader support, ASIC regulation and two simple accounts with ECN execution. Most orders are executed in less than 50 milliseconds, which is ideal for scalpers and clients who run MT4’s expert advisors.

Pepperstone offers two accounts, both with tight floating spreads and ECN execution. The Standard Account is commission-free and the average spread on the EUR/USD is 1.09 pips. The Razor Account charges a commission of 7 AUD round turn but the average spread on the EUR/USD is 0.09 pips – about as close as traders can get to true market prices as possible.

Pepperstone also offers a package of Smart Trader Tools for MT4, a suite of 28 expert advisors and indicators to help improve trade execution and management. In addition, all traders users will get access to Autochartist – a powerful pattern recognition plugin that automatically identifies trading opportunities based on price trends.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Great platform choice
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
    AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.69 pips with 0.0 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. Pepperstone is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the DFSA.

    Admirals – Best ECN Broker for Education

    Admirals offers two ECN accounts on the MT4 and MT5 platforms with tight spreads, low commissions and low minimum deposits. In addition, Admirals offers all traders world-class education and free Trading Central access.

    Admirals Markets offer two ECN accounts on MT4 and MT5. The Zero.MT4 account has spreads from 0 pips with commission varying between 1.8 to 3.0 USD per lot. The cost of trading 1 lot of EUR/USD with the Zero.MT4 account is 5 USD round turn, which is at the lower end of what similar ECN brokers can offer. Admirals’ MetaTrader Supreme edition for both MT4 and MT5 offers improved trading widgets, charts, and indicators when compared to standard MetaTrader. 

    Admirals has an excellent education suite, starting with the free Zero to Hero program where beginners can learn to trade in 20 days. The accompanying webinars Admiral publishes are detailed and helpful, and the overall onboarding experience is welcoming, responsible and genuinely educational. With intermediate and advanced trading education for experienced traders and access to Trading Central delivering trading insights, quality learning material is front and centre for all clients.

    Pros
    • Well regulated
    • Excellent education
    • Wide range of assets
    Cons
    • Expensive withdrawals
    AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.50 pips with 0.0 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & MT4 Supreme Edition platforms supported. Admiral Markets is regulated by ASIC, CySEC, and the FCA.

    IronFX – ECN Broker with the Most FX Pairs

    IronFX is a well-regulated global broker with a wide range of account types, a great value micro account and over 80 tradeable currency pairs. Offering 6 different account types overall, IronFX has three excellent ECN/STP accounts for traders of all experience levels. 

    The No Commission account offers ECN execution but no commission, spreads are unusually wide on this account though, starting at 1.7 pips. ECN traders will be more interested in the Zero Spread and Absolute Zero accounts, both with spreads starting at 0 pips. All accounts will benefit from access to IronFX’s huge range of currency pairs. For beginners who want an ECN account on the MT4 platform, and experienced traders looking for exotic pairs and market execution, IronFX stands out in the industry. 

    Pros
    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    Cons
    • Expensive withdrawals
    AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.10 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. Only MT4 platform supported. IronFX is regulated by CySEC, FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA.

    Axi – Best ECN broker on MT4

    Built by traders, for traders, Axi is an ASIC and FCA regulated ECN broker with full MT4 Support, great trading tools and simple account options

    Axi provides the leadings ECN MT4 experience offering a range of tools for MT4, where the highlight is the MT4 NexGen plugin. MT4 NexGen offers a sentiment indicator, a correlation trader, a more intuitive terminal window, and an automated trade journal. In addition, Axi’s pricing model connects to over 20 liquidity sources, so traders experience fewer slippages and requotes. Spreads on the Pro Account start at 0 pips (with a 7 USD commission).

    Apart from MT4 NexGen, traders at Axi have access to a range of tools. These include AutoChartist, the powerful automated technical analysis tool, and PsyQuation, an AI diagnostic that tracks your trading style and coaches you into more profitable trades. VPS hosting is also available, along with all the trading algos you wish to install to your MT4.

    Pros
    • Low minimum deposit
    • Wide range of assets
    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    Cons
    • Poor customer service
    • Limited demo account
    AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Axi Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC and the DFSA

    IC Markets – Best ECN Broker for Beginners

    IC Markets is rare amongst ECN brokers, as it provides a welcoming environment for beginner traders. IC Markets offers an archive of structured course material, detailed independent market analysis, and expert-led webinars. IC Markets also provides excellent 24/7 technical support for the MT4 platform and more general queries.

    IC Markets offers two Raw Spread Accounts and a Standard Account, all with variable spreads, on the MT4 platform. The Raw Spread Accounts charge a small commission of 3.50 USD, but spreads are often down to 0 pips, averaging 0.1 pips on the EUR/USD pair. The Standard Account charges no commission but spreads start at 1 pip. IC Markets pricing relies on 25 different liquidity providers ensuring deep liquidity and some of the lowest spreads in the industry.

    Pros
    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • Great platform choice
    Cons
    • High minimum deposit
    • Limited market analysis
    AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.10 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. IC Markets is regulated by CySEC and ASIC.

    GO Markets – ECN Broker with the Best Trading Tools

    GO Markets was founded in 2006 and was the first Australian MetaTrader broker. Though it only offers two account options, the GO+ Account offers ECN trading with tight spreads and a low commission of 3 AUD. GO Markets offer full support for MT4 and MT5 and offers a series of Expert Advisors (EAs) to enhance the platforms called MT4/MT5 Genesis. 

    GO Markets’ suite of ECN trading tools includes a free VPS service, Autochartist, Trading Central and myfxbook copy-trading. GO Markets works hard to keep low-latency trading, reliable customer service and stable platforms at the core of their offering.

    Pros
    • Fast and free withdrawals
    • Wide range of assets
    • Excellent market analysis
    • Innovative trading tools
    Cons
    • High minimum deposit
    • No swap-free account option
    AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Go Markets is regulated by ASIC.

    What are ECN Brokers?

    ECN brokers connect traders to a network of liquidity providers, unlike Market Maker brokers which operate a dealing desk and take trades on to their own books.

    ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network. An ECN broker sits at the centre of this communication network, like a spider in a web. In Australia, the other members of the network are liquidity providers like AA rated Australian banks, hedge funds and other brokers.

    Every time a client places a trade with an ECN broker it collects prices from the members of this network and presents the trader with the tightest spread it could find to fulfil the volume requirement. Because the liquidity providers in this network are competing for your trade, ECN brokers have very tight spreads which can approach 0 pips.

    Do ECN Brokers Charge a Commission?

    Most Australian ECN brokers do not make any money from the spread. Instead, they will charge a commission for every trade, which is their fee for routing your trade to a liquidity provider in their network. Traditional brokers (Market Makers) have wider spreads because they charge their fee in the spread.

    Are ECN Brokers Expensive?

    No, ECN brokers are not expensive to trade with and most ECN brokers have a lower cost of trading than the industry average. Even so, some of the best market makers in Australia (such as IG Markets or AvaTrade) will have trading costs as low as the best ECN brokers.

    Is there a Conflict of Interest when Trading with an ECN Broker?

    Australian traders may prefer to trade with ECN brokers because there is no conflict of interest between trader and broker. Most market maker brokers will trade against their clients in their role as the counter-party, which means the broker makes money when their clients lose. 

    Because ECN brokers only act as an intermediary for a trade, they do not make money when traders lose. In fact, the reverse is true. Over time, successful traders pay more in commission to an ECN broker, so ECN brokers want their clients to be profitable.

    Happy Trader

    Do ECN Brokers have Slippage and Requotes?

    ECN Brokers have a higher risk of slippage and requotes. Because ECN brokers rely on liquidity providers to match their client’s trades, these trades are not always posted instantly. This can be a problem at times of high volatility – usually after a large event or data release – or at times of low liquidity – such as when most of the markets are closed.  This also means that the market can move past your stop-loss orders, and your losses may exceed your expectations.

    What Trading Platform can I use with an ECN Broker?

    ECN Brokers usually offer MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) or cTrader. The best ECN brokers will offer all three platforms.

    MT4 is the most popular trading platform in the world and is famous for its automated trading via trading robots and signals, but it does not natively support share CFD trading.

    MT5, on the other hand, does support share CFD trading, has a wider range of chart tools and lines than MT4 and has a more sophisticated back-testing facility.

    cTrader is an ECN-only platform with a more modern interface than either of the MetaTrader platforms, cTrader also features automated trading through custom-made cBots and indicators. 

    Most ECN brokers will not offer their own trading platforms and prefer to support one or more of the third-party platforms listed above. 

    What are the Minimum Deposits at ECN Brokers?

    The last thing to be aware of with ECN brokers is that they generally require a larger minimum deposit – setting up and maintaining an ECN brokerage is an expensive business and traders will be charged more as a result. ECN Brokers require higher minimum deposits.

    Should Beginner Traders use an ECN Broker?

    Serious beginners should not be afraid of using a good Australian ECN broker. ECN brokers have a reputation for being more complex and less beginner-friendly than market maker brokers: ECN trading costs are more complicated to calculate, ECN spreads are always variable and can fluctuate wildly at times, ECN trades are more susceptible to rejections and requotes, and ECN brokers tend to require higher minimum deposits and provide less Forex education. All these things can put some beginner traders off, but ECN brokers usually offer lower ongoing trading costs and some of the best Australian ECN brokers will have excellent Forex education and low minimum deposits. 

    Which is the Best ECN Broker in Australia?

    Axi is the best ECN broker in Australia. With competitive pricing on raw spreads, high liquidity, and fast execution Axi won our Award for Best ECN Broker of 2020

    Axi

    Axi also has a detailed and well-structured course for beginners and leading market analysis for all clients. Axi combines exceptional ECN trading conditions with world-class regulatory oversight. Read our full Axi review here.

    All Australian Brokers with ECN Trading Accounts

    Here is our list of all ASIC-regulated brokers with ECN trading accounts that we have reviewed – sorted by overall score. 

    Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
    Broker
    Overall Rating
    ASIC License
    Regulators
    Min. Deposit
    Cost of Trading
    Trading Commission
    No. of FX Pairs
    Compare
    4.61 /5
    Read Review
    414530
    AUD 100
    USD 6.90
    From 7 USD / lot - Razor Account
    80+
    4.46 /5
    Read Review
    335692
    AUD 200
    USD 8
    7 USD / lot - Raw Spread Account
    64
    4.34 /5
    Read Review
    318232
    AUD 5
    USD 12
    7 USD / lot - PRO account
    80+
    4.28 /5
    Read Review
    286354
    AUD 100
    USD 7
    6 USD / lot - RAW Accounts
    60+
    4.23 /5
    Read Review
    403863
    AUD 50
    USD 10
    Fees Included in Spread
    65
    4.18 /5
    Read Review
    424700
    AUD 5
    USD 12
    7 USD / lot - ThinkZero Account
    40
    4.10 /5
    Read Review
    254963
    AUD 200
    USD 10
    6 USD / lot - GoPlus+
    50+
    3.93 /5
    Read Review
    385620
    AUD 200
    USD 8
    $7 per 1 lot
    46
    3.78 /5
    Read Review
    428901
    AUD 200
    USD 14
    On ECN Accounts
    40
    3.74 /5
    Read Review
    417482
    USD 50
    USD 11
    Zero Accounts
    85

    What is the difference between an ECN Broker and a Market Maker Broker?

    When you place a trade with an ECN broker, the counter-party to your trade will be a liquidity provider from the broker’s network. When you place a trade with a market maker broker, the broker themselves will be the counterparty to your trade. Market Makers create an artificial market for their clients – hence the name.

    Market Makers are also known as dealing desk brokers, as all trades will be filled at the rates set by the broker’s internal dealing desk.  This business model, which means a market maker will always profit from their clients’ losses, generates an inherent conflict of interest that many traders are cautious of.

    Currently, most well-regulated market makers are well regarded in the industry, despite the conflict of interest, and they go to great lengths to ensure their clients are not being unfairly treated. These would be brokers like IG Markets, FxPro, AvaTrade, XM and eToro

    But, Market Maker brokers are not a common choice for experienced Forex traders in Australia. Traders are limited to trading with one counter-party who is always trading against you and never on the open market with dynamic spreads.

    However, if you do want instant execution of your trades and you don’t want to pay a commission, a trusted market maker is a good idea.

    How to Identify an ECN Broker?

    There are a few ways to check: ASIC-regulated ECN brokers will describe their execution model in their legal documents, ECN brokers will always have variable spreads, ECN brokers will not have any trading restrictions (trade size, stop-loss limits, scalping or hedging bans), and traders with an ECN broker will experience both negative and positive slippage.

    Read the Broker Agreement

    All regulated brokers are required by law to publish a Client Agreement and Order Execution Policy stipulating their execution methods. Some ECN brokers will also act as Market Maker in certain circumstances, so this is not always a foolproof method of determining a broker type. See below for an extract from Pepperstone’s execution policy showing that they are an ECN broker.

    Pepperstone Order Execution

    Check that Spreads are Variable

    ECN’s offer tight spreads and charge a commission per trade, and the spreads will also be variable. Fixed spreads are only offered by Market Makers, as they are not taken from a live and dynamic market. Below you can see that Axi publishes its live spreads on its website, these are variable and are taken from their network of liquidity providers.

    Axi Spreads

    Look for Trading Restrictions

    ECN brokers will never restrict your trading methods or trade size. This means that all automated trading, scalping, hedging and large order sizes (anything of 5 lots or over) will all be allowed. If a broker restricts any of these then it is not an ECN broker.

    A good example of a broker with these restrictions is Plus500, a well-known market maker:

    PLus500 Restrictions

    Slippage will be Positive and Negative

    Slippage is the difference between the execution price and the order price at the time the order is submitted for execution. Slippage is a normal aspect of trading with ECN brokers, particularly for orders of a larger size and during times of thin liquidity and/or volatile market conditions.

    Slippage can both positively and negatively impact your trading position. If you find that you are only experiencing negative slippage, then your broker is not using an ECN execution method. Another well known ECN broker is FxPro, which is dedicated to full transparency and always publishes its slippage statistics, see below for its 2019 figures:

    FXPro Slippage

    Summary

    So, while ECN brokers do not have the inherent conflict of interest present with market makers, commission will always be charged on your trades. ECN accounts will also require a higher minimum deposit – putting them out of reach for many beginner traders.

    Are ECN brokers objectively better than market maker? This is not necessarily the case. All brokers we work with are trustworthy and well-regulated and broker choice is always down to personal preference. Whether you go with an ECN broker or a market maker, if you choose one from our list of the best in South Africa you will be in good hands.

    FAQs

    What is the difference between an ECN Account and a Standard Account?

    ECN Accounts will have tighter spreads than a Standard Account, but you will have to pay a commission per trade. Standard Accounts will not have any commission, but spreads will be wider.

    How do ECN Brokers Make Money?

    ECN Brokers make money by charging traders a commission per trade. Because they pass pricing on directly from their liquidity providers, they do not charge a fee in the spread.

    Which is better, ECN Brokers or ECN/STP Brokers?

    ECN/STP brokers are better because they will have less slippage and a faster execution speed than a pure ECN broker.

    STP (Straight Through Processing) is the method of the transaction – with STP your order is sent directly to the counterparty through the Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol. The FIX protocol decreases trade execution time, reduces slippage, and ensures that traders get the best available pricing.

    The STP protocol can be used by market-maker brokers as well as ECN brokers, and some brokers use a hybrid formula, where they will sometimes be the counterparty, and other times use an external liquidity provider. While this does lead to less slippage, it does mean that some trades will have a conflict of interest.

    In most cases choosing a hybrid broker is the best way to go, as they will give you the most options.

    Forex Risk Disclaimer

    Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

    Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

    Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

    Our Methodology

    Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

    With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

    In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

    All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

    References

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    Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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