IG International Review

IG Review

IG, operational since 1974 and regulated by eleven regulators, is listed on the FTSE 250 and has a market cap of $3 billion. In its 47 years, the broker has become the world’s premier CFD broker, excluding Forex (based on published financial statements as of October 2021). Its excellent selection of trading platforms with full support for algorithmic trading, and superb asset selection, make it a primary broker for all traders. It has a competitive pricing environment, which it also maintains for its US offering. I reviewed IG to determine if it deserves the praise it gets for its trading conditions. Should you open an account at IG and take advantage of their product and services portfolio?

Pros

  • Excellent choice of trading platforms and superior asset selection

  • Competitive trading costs with a volume-based cash rebate program

  • Outstanding trading environment for algorithmic trading, including API support

  • Comprehensive educational tools for beginner traders

Cons

  • Limited deposit and withdrawal methods

  • Higher minimum deposit requirement, but within a reasonable demand

IG Overview - The best CFD broker globally with excellent trading conditions

Headquarters

 

UK

Regulation

FCA, CySEC, BaFin, FINMA, DFSA, FSCA, MAS, JFSA, ASIC, FMA, BMA

Established

1974

 

Execution Type

Market Maker/ECN

 

Minimum Deposit

$250

 

Maximum Retail Leverage

1:200

 

Trading Platform(s)

MT4, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, proprietary trading platform

 

I appreciate the range of products and services at IG, covering the entire spectrum of trading needs. IG also writes CFDs if demand exists and is a liquidity provider to other retail brokers. Traders like myself who seek a full-service broker solution with an online broker cost structure will feel right at home at IG.

 

IG Main Features

Retail Loss Rate

70.00%

Regulation

Yes

Minimum Raw Spreads

Not applicable

Minimum Standard Spreads

0.6 pips

Minimum Commission for Forex

Commission-free

Commission for CFDs/DMA

0.10% or $0.02 per side

Commission Rebates

Yes

Minimum Deposit

$250

Demo Account

Yes

Managed Account

Yes

Islamic Account

No

Inactivity Fee

£12 monthly after 24 months of inactivity

Deposit Fee

No

Withdrawal Fee

Third-party

Funding Methods

4

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Regulation and Security

Trading with a regulated broker will limit the potential for fraud and malpractice. I always recommend traders to check for regulation and verify it with the regulator by checking the provided license with their database. IG presents clients with eleven regulated entities.

Country of the Regulator

Name of the Regulator

Regulatory License Number

UK

 

Financial Conduct Authority

FCA Reference Number 195355

Cyprus

 

Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission

License Number 378/19

Germany

Federal Financial Supervisory Authority

BaFin ID Number 10148759

 

Switzerland

 

Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority

Confirmed, but no regulatory license number

Dubai

 

Dubai Financial Services Authority

DFSA Reference Number F001780

South Africa

 

Financial Sector Conduct Authority

FSP Number 41393

Singapore

 

Monetary Authority of Singapore

Confirmed, but no regulatory license number

Japan

 

Japanese Financial Services Agency

Unconfirmed

Australia

Australian Securities & Investments Commission

AFSL Number 220440

AFSL Number 515106

New Zealand

 

Financial Markets Authority

FSP18923

Bermuda

 

Bermuda Monetary Authority

Registration Number 54814

IG maintains an excellent regulatory track record, segregates client deposits from corporate funds, and offers negative balance protection, putting the interests of clients first and not profiting from their losses. I prefer the Bermuda entity, as it provides the best combination of regulation and competitive trading conditions. Regardless of which subsidiary a trader chooses, I can confidently recommend IG, one of the most trustworthy brokers available.

IG Regulators

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Fees

IG does not offer commission-based raw spreads, but the commission-free pricing environment remains among the most competitive with deep liquidity. Forex traders can find spreads starting from just 0.6 pts. It usually applies to the EUR/USD and the USD/JPY, with few exceptions.

Minimum Spread

Commission per Round Lot

Cost per 1.0 Standard Lot

0.6 pips

$0.00

$6.00

Here is a screenshot of the IG proprietary trading account and the MT4 during the London-New York overlap session, the most liquid one, where traders usually get the lowest spreads.

IG Proprietary Trading Platform

 IG MT4 Trading Platform

 

I like that IG offers identical trading costs across all trading platforms. Some brokers try to push their solutions and provide superior pricing. The commission-free Forex spread of 0.6 pips represents a highly competitive cost but only applies to the EUR/USD. The rest of the Forex costs are higher but within a reasonable range. Equity commissions follow established industry averages, and I find the overall pricing environment competitive.

 

One of the most ignored trading costs is swap rates on leveraged overnight positions. Depending on the trading strategy, it may become the most significant fee per trade. I always recommend that traders check them before evaluating the total trading costs.

Usually, MT4 traders can easily access swap rates from their platform by following these steps, but IG does not provide this information:

1. Right-click on the desired symbol in the Market Watch window and select Specification.

2. Scroll down until you see Swap Long and Swap Short.

IG Contract Specifications

The only aspect I dislike about IG is the lack of transparency concerning swap rates. It provides examples listing a 0.8% admin fee for Forex transactions and a 2.5% levy on equity trades. IG also charges a 0.50% currency conversion cost where applicable. Traders may pay a range of additional fees, depending on their trading requirements. After 24 months of inactivity, a £12 monthly inactivity cost applies.

IG Additional Trading Costs

 

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What Can I Trade?

Traders at IG have access to the best CFD selection compared to all brokers. I like the breadth of assets and that IG can write CFDs based on demand.

IG maintains a massive market range with over 17,000 markets (Forex, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, futures, options, and other markets) and around-the-clock trading, including more 24-hour indices than any provider and extended hours trading on US shares which traders won't find anywhere else. Forex traders have 99 currency pairs plus three currency pairs for weekend trading, while IG maintains 700+ ETFs and 17,000 equity CFDs, among hundreds of other assets covering all asset classes.

Asset List and Leverage Overview

Currency Pairs

102

Cryptocurrency Pairs

10

Commodities and Metals

47

Index CFDs

100+

Equity CFDs

17,000+

Bonds

17

ETFs

700+

Options, Futures, and Synthetics

27+

Maximum Retail Leverage

1:200

Maximum Pro Leverage

1:200

IG Leverage

Most international traders have access to maximum leverage of 1:200 throuogh the Bermuda subsidiary. All other IG regulators limit it to between 1:20 and 1:50.

IG Trading Hours

Asset Class

From

To

Cryptocurrencies

Sunday 00:00

Friday 22:00

Cryptocurrencies

Saturday 04:05

Saturday 24:00

Forex

Monday 00:00

Friday 24:00

Forex

Sunday 22:00

Sunday 24:00

Commodities

Monday 00:00

Friday 24:00

European CFDs

Sunday 22:00

Friday 22:00

US CFDs

Sunday 22:00

Friday 22:00

I recommend the following step for MT4 traders to access trading hours:

1. Right-click on the desired symbol in the Market Watch window and select Specification.

2. Scroll down until you see Sessions.

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Account Types

All international traders get the same CFD account from a minimum deposit of $250 or a currency equivalent, which I recommend for most traders. UK-based clients can benefit from the tax-free spread betting account. They also have access to traditional long-term investments via share dealing, IG Smart Portfolios, ISAs, and SIPPs. Overall, the trading conditions in all IG accounts are competitive, and I can highly recommend them for traders and investors alike.

IG Account Types

IG Account Types

IG Demo Account

IG offers permanent demo accounts, with no time limit. The back office allows traders to add new accounts and manage them identically to live ones, including demo deposits. I think IG has done an excellent job with its demo accounts and grants traders flexibility to create them like their desired live account choices.

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Trading Platforms

One of the reasons IG is an award-winning broker is due to their best-in-class platforms, and they have been recognized multiple times by the industry for the high level of service and technology. Traders have an excellent choice of trading platforms at IG, including its proprietary web-based one, ProRealTime, MT4, and L2 Dealer. This broker has a best execution and transparent policy, and continuously invests in faster and more intelligent execution technology. I like that IG upgrades the MT4 trading platform with 18 add-ons plus the Autochartist plugin. I recommend L2 Dealer for DMA CFD trading. Manual traders who want a powerful, lightweight solution can trade using the proprietary trading platform.

Overview of Trading Platforms

MT4

Yes

MT5

No

cTrader

No

Proprietary Platform

Yes

Automated Trading

Yes

Social Trading / Copy Trading

Yes

MT4/MT5 Add-Ons

Yes

Guaranteed Stop Loss

Yes

Negative Balance Protection

Yes

Unique Feature One

API Trading

Unique Feature Two

Autochartist

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Unique Features

One of the best features at IG, besides its competitive core trading environment, is API trading. It allows me to connect my advanced trading solutions to the IG infrastructure, a defining benefit as an algorithmic trader. Another feature I find beneficial for all active traders is that IG writes CFDs if demand exists.

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Research and Education

IG does an excellent job with its in-house research, featuring high-quality written and video content. Expert support and continuous seminars and courses are available for pros and beginners alike. I recommend traders check it out, as there are many relevant market observations. Technical trading signals by Autochartist complement the published material. Another service I think many traders can benefit from are the IG trading subscriptions. The proprietary web-based trading platform also features free trading signals.

I think the IG Academy is one of the best educational tools for beginner traders. It is well-structured and consists of courses and live sessions. I highly recommend the eleven courses, structured in numerous lessons with a quiz, for new traders. The webinars complement the trading courses, and IG also offers various educational articles.

IG Academy

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Customer Support

Customer support at IG is available from Saturday 8 am through Friday 10 pm GMT. Traders may call or e-mail, but I recommend the FAQ section first, as it answers most questions. IG explains its products and services well, and I believe most will never require customer support. A forum is also available, but the absence of live chat is notable, as it only appears during the live account opening process. I like the phone trading service, which is excellent in times of emergencies.

IG Support

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Bonuses and Promotions

IG has a three-tier volume-based cash rebate program. The first tier requires a nominal trading volume of 25 million or 250 lots for a payout of $5 per 1 million, resulting in a cashback rebate of $125. It is not one of the most competitive offers in the industry, and I recommend traders read and understand the terms and conditions associated with it before taking it up.

IG Volume-Based Rebate Program

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Opening an Account

While the IG account opening process is fast, two sections collect unnecessary information, often due to regulatory data collection mandates. Traders can fill them out at will without verification, making them pointless. New traders must verify their accounts according to KYC/AML stipulations. A copy of the ID and one proof of residency document generally completes this step.

Minimum Deposit

The minimum deposit at IG is $250 or a currency equivalent, higher than most brokers but within a reasonable demand.

Payment Methods

IG offers bank wires, credit/debit cards, PayPal, and FPS Hong Kong. It is a relatively limited selection, and not all methods are available to all traders.

Accepted Countries

IG accepts traders from Australia, the UK, South Africa, Singapore, and Malaysia, with a local presence except for Malaysia, and from most other countries.

IG Account Opening Form

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Deposits and Withdrawals

IG does not charge internal deposit or withdrawal fees but implements a minimum withdrawal amount of $100 unless the account balance is lower. Most international traders must use credit/debit cards or bank wires, which rank among the most expensive and time-consuming, especially for withdrawals. The process is hassle-free from the back office, but I dislike the lack of options, the most significant drawback at IG.

IG Deposits

IG Withdrawals

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General Information

Company Information

  • Broker's Name : IG
  • Headquarters : Cyprus
  • Regulation : CySEC, DFSA, FINMA, FMA, JFSA, ASIC, BaFin, FCA, CFTC, FSCA

Account Information

  • Type of Broker : 35,38
  • U.S. Clients Allowed :
  • Minimum Deposit : $250
  • Maximum Leverage : 1:200
  • Commissions / Spreads : both
  • Account 1 : CFD
  • Account 2 : Spread Betting
  • Account 3 : DMA
  • Demo Account :
  • Islamic Account :
  • Segregated Account :
  • Managed Accounts :
  • Deposit Options :
  • Withdrawal Options :

Instruments Traded

  • ETFs :
  • CFDs :
  • Commodities :
  • Metals :
  • Stocks :
  • Oil :
  • Gold :
  • Binary Options :
  • Indices :

Trading Platforms

  • Type of Platform : MetaTrader 4, Proprietary platform, Web-based, Other
    • Platform Languages :
      • English
    • OS Compatibility :
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • Mobile
      • Web
      • iPhone
      • iPad
  • Trading Signals :
  • Charting Package :
  • Market Analysis :
  • Chart Trading :
  • Automated Trading :
  • Scalping :
  • Hedging :
  • Mobile Alerts :
  • E-mail Alerts :
  • Trailing Stops :
  • Guaranteed Stop Loss :
  • Guaranteed Limit Orders :
  • Guaranteed Execution :
  • One-click Execution :
  • OCO Orders :
  • Interest on Margin :
  • Web-based Trading :
  • Mobile Trading :

Customer Support

    • Website Languages :
      • English
      • Norwegian
      • Other
      • Swedish
      • Dutch
      • Portuguese
      • Russian
      • Japanese
      • German
      • French
      • Italian
      • Arabic
      • Spanish
      • Danish
  • Support Hours : 24/5
  • E-mail Support :
  • SMS Support :
  • Chat :
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Bottom Line

I like the trading experience at IG as it features competitive trading costs, a broad range of trading platforms with API trading support, and the best CFD selection in the industry. Adding to the appeal at IG is deep liquidity and fast order execution, making it an ideal choice for all traders. Completing the product and services portfolio are quality research and one of the best educational platforms for beginner traders. I like IG, as it offers demanding traders the tools required to increase trading opportunities and profits. IG caters to retail traders and institutions alike, and the sole real drawback for me is the limited payment processors. Overall, IG is one of the best brokers.

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FAQs

Is IG safe?

IG has existed since 1974, is a publicly traded company in the UK, and has an excellent track record. Therefore, IG ranks among the safest brokers globally.

Is IG a good broker?

IG is one of the best brokers operational today, with a competitive trading environment, quality research, and a superb educational platform.

Is my money safe with IG?

IG segregates client deposits from corporate funds and complies with twelve regulators. It has no access to money deposited by clients and has an excellent capital ratio.

Is IG regulated?

IG has twelve regulators and fully complies with all rules and regulations.

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