IG Markets Ltd is an online trading brokerage firm that was pioneered in 1974. It is a subsidiary of the parent group IG group. IG Markets Ltd is registered in England and Wales under the company license number 04008957. IG group (parent company) is among the listed companies in the London Stock exchange and a member of FTSE 250. It is important to note that that IG group owns Nadex and its market capitalization exceeds £3 billion. From that brief preview of IG there isn’t much to worry about this broker.
- A member of the FTSE 250
- Company market Cap of over £3 billion
- Access to over 15,0000 markets
- Bonds, ETFs Cryptos, Options and more
- 1. Spread Betting Trading Offers: Access To Over 15,000 Markets
- 2. Spread Betting Trading Costs: $0.02 Per Share On US Shares
- 3. Accounts: A Variety Of Different Accounts
- 4. Spread Betting Trading Platforms & Mobile Trading: Access To The Ever Popular MT4
- 5. Usability of the Website: IG Has An Easy To Navigate Website
- 6. Customer Support: The Support Service Is IG Is Average
- 7. Methods of Payment: The Variety Of Payment Methods Accepted By IG
- 8. Additional Offers: Demo Trading And Trading Signals
- 9. Regulation & Deposit Protection
- 10. Awards: Awards And Media Reports
- 11. Conclusion: A Wrap Up About IG
Trader Rating Total
up to 1:30
MT4, Broker-owned Software
Yes, available for 8 weeks
1) Spread Betting Trading Offers: Access To Over 15,000 Markets
The trading offers by IG will certainly dwarf other forex brokerage firms’ offers. IG provides traders with access to over 15000 markets. The markets are distributed across a wide variety of options to choose from such as bonds, ETPs, IPOs, sectors, Interest rates, Options, Cryptocurrencies and commodities. The forex pairs are classified into six cadres; Major, minor, Australasian, Scandinavian, exotic and emerging. There are 11 major pairs, 13 minor pairs, 17 Australasian pairs, 12 Scandinavian pairs, 24 exotic pairs and 17 emerging pairs. Under the emerging pairs there are currency pairs which are listed that are not common across many forex brokers; pairs such as TWD Taiwan dollar and MYR Malaysian ringgit among others.
IG options market is advanced since owns North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex) and a visit of their options page you will realise advanced options such as the digital 100 options, futures options, stock index options and share options. Apart from the aforementioned markets, there are indices that cover popular markets in Europe, Asian, Australia, South Africa, North and Central America. There are also over 7500 shares that represents stocks across UK, US, Australia, South Africa and Asia. If you are a fan of popular stocks or penny stocks, you got covered by IG, you will find all those stocks listed on IG list of markets.
- 15000 market choices
- Four cryptocurrencies allowed
- 10 market types including options
2) Spread Betting Trading Costs: $0.02 Per Share On US Shares
IG charges relatively high fees to traders compared to other brokerage firms. The fees becomes exorbitant if you are trading on small scale or on a low bankroll. For instance for the EURUSD the minimum spread is 0.6 which is a bit high compared to other brokers who haven’t the spread for EURUSD at 0. A variable spread is charges for trades related to; Indices, commodity, forex, and bond CFDs but there is no commission. A commission is charged for shares CFDs. A $0.02 commission per share is charged for US shares and $0.03 for Canada shares. For Europe, a commission of 10% is charged per share with the exception of Greece shares with attract a commission of 47.5%. South Africa and Japan shares both have a commission of 20%. Cryptocurrencies attract the highest spread with bitcoin having a spread of 70.
Apart from the fees associated with trading, there are other fees that are charged to customer accounts. There is an inactivity fee of £12 charged to the account balance when an account becomes dormant for a collective period of 2 years. There is a custody fee of £24 which is charged per quarter for customers who hold ISA investment of share dealing as at the end of a particular quarter.
- Variable spreads
- Inactivity fee of £12
- 10% commission for UK stocks
3) Accounts: A Variety Of Different Accounts
IG has three main types of accounts which traders can choose from; CFD account, share dealing account and a spread betting account. The accounts are classified based on the type of asset a trader intends to trade. However, for traders who would want an account with the three mentioned account types there is an option for them.
Traders who deal with currency pairs, commodities, indices and stocks for CFDs are given the option to choose between a standard account, mini account and a DMA account. The standard account normally place trades in 100,000 lots and has a predetermined fee/spread while the DMA adopts a lower fee/spread and a commission since the prices are provided by liquidity providers. For instance for the standard account the spread for the EUR/USD is 0.6 pips while the same trade attracts a spread of 0.2 pips plus a commission while dealing with a DMA account. The Mini account is almost similar to standard account only that the lots traded are in 10,000 lots. IG doesn’t offer micro lots which are ideal for traders with deposits less than USD2500. Apart from the live trading accounts, there is a demo account with is free to open and has virtual funds up to $10,000.
- Demo account available
- Variable spreads
- Mini accounts available
4) Spread Betting Trading Platforms & Mobile Trading: Access To The Ever Popular MT4
IG uses two platforms for trading; an in-house trading platform and the MT4. The MT4 is a reputable platform that almost every broker use to provide traders with access to the market. What differentiates what IG offers in terms of MT4 is that IG doesn’t rely on 3rd party bridges implying that order execution is pretty fast. IG MT4 has a record of a downtime of 0.05% for a period of the last 12 months. As part of an add-on service to their customers who use MT4, IG offers a free VPS for expert advisors, free autochartist access and 18 bespoke apps. Examples of these apps include; alarm manager and Freehand drawing indicator.
The custom trading platform that is inbuilt is called the ProRealTime platform. You might have had an issue with past in-house software but you can’t doubt the 44 years of experience that IG has amassed in the CFDs industry. Their trading platform is a representation of the level of professionalism that this broker has. Their tailor made trading platform has a customizable layout that allows traders to save layouts, move windows and edit columns. The platform allows traders to manually set watchlists, set price alerts and perform one click trading.
The two platforms can be accessed from both IOs, PC, Mac, and android devices.
- Flexibility in accessing the platforms
- Free VPS
- Fast execution speeds
5) Usability of the Website: IG Has An Easy To Navigate Website
IG has a clearly structured website. The core focus on the website is about their markets. The website is filled with loads of information about their markets. It has eight menus with five out of the eight menus all talking about their trading instruments. The website is cool with no flashing colours, pop ups or distracting promotions. From the first impression you will realise that the broker is not interested with luring customers to sign up rather they are focussed on providing quality brokerage service. Navigation on IG website is easy since most of the information is either found on the menu or the submenu. There are three menus that talk about fees, trading platform and about us.
Other important information that you will find on IG website is the legal information surrounding their business. This information is found on the bottom section of their website. That section contains the registration details of IG and terms and conditions information. There is a search button on the website that is useful and helps at arriving at a particular information without browsing so much on the website. Well it can be said that this website is easy to navigate for new users and existing users of this website find it extra easy to search for information.
- Nice and easy interface
- Drop down submenus
- No pop ups or distracting promotions
6) Customer Support: The Support Service Is IG Is Average
Customer support is provided in five languages; Portuguese, English, German, French and Spanish. However, there is a limitation to their customer service since there is no live chat. Lack of live chat is a serious let down to its business and an inconvenience to its customers.
Other methods that you can contact their customer service support is through email ([email protected]) and telephone support +442078926181 or +442078926180 for new and existing customers respectively. There is no VIP support services and all support is provided on equal grounds irrespective of the deposit amount. A further disappointment is that the telephone numbers provided are not toll free, therefore, your service provider will charge you some amount. Credit goes to their customer service personnel who are outstanding in their service and will respond to your requests effectively and close requests in a short time span. In case you happen to be near their 17 satellite offices you can also contact them and will close your issues immediately. On their website there is a section for help and support and here you can get access to frequently asked questions (FAQ) and at least you can get solutions to your queries prior contacting them. There is an option for following them on social media channels e.g Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus in case and you can always post a question to them.
- Lack live chat
- No VIP support
- Support available in five languages
7) Methods of Payment: The Variety Of Payment Methods Accepted By IG
IG uses three payment methods; debit/credit card, bank transfer and mobile apps. The accepted debit cards are maestro, electron, solo and Visa Delta. Credit cards accepted are Visa and MasterCard. In order to use a prepaid card you will need to contact IG team in order to register your card details with them. On average the processing time for using cards is instant and there are no transaction cost whatsoever involved.
You can also opt for bank transfer. Bank transfer will require you to have the account numbers of IG which are provided on their website. They have three bank account a sterling account, a US dollar account and a Euro account. To avoid conversion charges charged by banks, it is better to transfer to one of their account that has a similar currency. Bank transfer doesn’t attract transaction charges, though, funds takes up to three business days to reflect.
PayPal is the only e-wallet allowed. While IG might have their own personal reasons for using PayPal alone, it would have been convenient if they would accept more e-wallet options such as Skrill, Giropay and others. Ewallets are common across Europe and the fast transaction speed are an attraction to many traders. Funding your IG account using PayPal is free.
- Limited e-wallet options
- Zero transaction costs
- Mobile payment allowed
8) Additional Offers: Demo Trading And Trading Signals
IG has an unmatched educational section that has loads of information enough to grow a rookie trader to the levels of a professional trader. IG has an academy that has three divisions; online course, live session and an academy. To get access to any of their three educational centre you will require to login. The academy section has tutorials arranged in three levels; beginner, intermediate and advanced. There are live session (webinars) and on the academy website there is a calendar showing all the information about the upcoming webinars.
There is an economic calendar that is different from the regular economic calendars found on other broker’s websites. IG economic calendar is split into 5 sections; macroeconomic events, company earnings, dividend payment, stock split and IPOs. There is a filter and you opt to pick news that pertain a particular stock. You can also filter news by country. This is important for technical traders especially in tracking news pertaining a specific item that has news coming from a specific country.
IG customers are provided with a real time news feed from Reuters and twitter feed from reliable news sources. The feeds are integrated into IG platform and therefore you will not need to switch windows while searching for information. There is an IG community whereby traders can share ideas, earn badges from contributions and build a credible profile in the community.
- Free educational content
- Free webinars
- Integrated real time news feeds
9) Regulation & Deposit Protection
IG is regulated by 7 different regulatory bodies that are spread out in different jurisdictions. UK entity is regulated by the financial conduct authority (FCA). FCA gives traders a protection amount of £50,000. The Switzerland entity is regulated by Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority and customer have an insurance sum of CHF100, 000. Other jurisdictions that have IG entities regulated are; Singapore, Japan, USA, South Africa and UAE. For these five jurisdictions their regulators do not give customer protection in case of insolvency of IG entity and traders will bear the full loss.
Binary bets are different from CFDs even since the practice of binary betting is regulated by the gambling commission and the latter doesn’t offer any payment protection. It is important to know that IG doesn’t offer negative balance protections and in case of excess volatility in the market your account balance can be swiped out and run into a negative balance. IG website is protected against external attacks, its website has a secure connection. Traders’ funds are held in separate accounts from reputable banks such as Barclays and Lloyds therefore, there is no chance IG can use traders’ money to pay creditors or use for lien. In case one of the banks goes into liquidation, IG clients have an insurance cover under FSCS of up to £85,000.
- Multiple Jurisdiction protection
- Insurance protection of £50,000 for Europe customers
- Secure website connection
10) Awards: Awards And Media Reports
IG has received many award from industry players and in the year 2017 alone, they received 7 awards such as best CFD provider in the shares awards, best multi-platform provider awards by ADVFN. From previous years the trend has been the same for IG. Recognition and scooping of these awards can be attributed to their dedicated approach of making their services better. On IG website the awards published are about their accolades for the year 2017. Honestly, it would have been tedious and distracting to have all their awards displayed. All the same if in the year 2017 they scooped 7 awards there more awards that IG have scooped in the previous years that archived and it is only prudent to showcase only the latest awards for benchmarking purpose.
Well, everything about this online broker seems to be well thought a having the customer mind in place before development. For instance their range of trading platforms are well customized to suit the needs of every trader. Therefore it is expected that customer will be ever satisfied with the trading platform as a result you expect IG to be taking home awards in this category year after year. This doesn’t apply to trading platform alone, there are other more features about IG that definitely make it outstanding from other forex brokers.
- Multiple awards
- Recognition by different players
- Year after year awards
Conclusion: A Wrap Up About IG
IG has positioned itself as a leader in the CFDs, spread betting and binary options market. It has leveraged its business on its strong market capitalization of over £3 billion and investment in cutting edge technology to present its customers with a service mix that is above the current market offers. As mentioned in the article, there are areas of improvement that are necessary. However, that solely lies with IG management since their business approach might be that of targeting institutional investors and therefore trading with low volumes might not be appropriate with this broker since in the first place they don’t accept micro lots. Other aspects about IG are excellent from the wide range of market instruments that they have, educational segment among other areas.
Multiple entity regulation and money protection is a nice measure that IG has taken. This give the customer confidence in settling for a broker. Credit goes to the entire IG team for assembling a nice platform and service support system whereby professional traders can have a humble time dealing with the CFDs market.
- regulated broker
- Free demo account
- over 15,000 markets
- Inactivity fee