ECN Type brokers offer Raw Spread Trading Accounts. Before opening a trading account with an ECN broker, you need to check if the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) regulates them. ASIC is Australia’s financial conduct watchdog. Trading with ECN (Electronic Communication Network) brokers licensed by ASIC guarantees the safety of your funds. Never trade with an unlicensed broker. You might lose all of your funds.

Not all forex brokers in Australia are ECN type.

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Comparison of ECN Brokers in Australia

Forex Broker AUD/USD Spread Minimum Deposit
Visit
Pepperstone

0.24 pips (Raw Spread Account)
$0
Visit Broker
IC Markets

0.17 pips on Raw Spread Account
$200
Visit Broker
FP Markets

0.3 pips on Raw ECN Account
$100
Visit Broker
IG Markets

1.01 pips
$450
Visit Broker


Best ECN Brokers Australia

In this review, we have gathered the best ECN brokers in Australia for you.

  1. Pepperstone – Best ECN Broker in Australia
  2. IC Markets – Australian Broker with Raw Spread Account
  3. FP Markets – Australian broker with Raw ECN account
  4. IG Markets – Largest foreign ECN broker
  5. GO Markets – Best ECN Broker with no inactivity fees
  6. AxiTrader – Best ECN Broker with low trading fees

Now let’s elaborate on these ECN Australian Brokers using key points like regulation, trading fees, trading platform, and pros & cons.

#1 Pepperstone- Best ECN Broker in Australia

AUD/USD Benchmark:
0.24 pips (Raw Spread Account) pips
Trading Platforms:
MT4, MT5, cTrader
Account Minimum:
No minimum deposit

Pepperstone is a safe broker and has been licensed in Australia since 27/01/2010. They have a Raw Spread Account with ECN pricing.


Regulation: Pepperstone is regulated with ASIC. They are licensed with ASIC under the company name Pepperstone Group Limited with license number 414530.

75.8% of retail investors lose their money when trading with this CFD broker

Fees: The table below shows Pepperstone’s spread for their Raw Spread Accounts and commissions for AUD/USD. EUR/USD and GBP/USD.

Currency Pairs Spread Commission (Round-turn per standard lot)
AUD/USD 0.24 pips AUD 7 (for AUD base account)
EUR/USD 0.17 pips AUD 7 (for AUD base account)
GBP/USD 0.59 pips AUD 7 (for AUD base account)

Available CFD instruments: You get to trade 62 currency pairs, 23 index CFDs, 21 dividends for index CFDs, 32 commodity CFDs, 100 ETF CFDs, 600+ share CFDs, 11 dividends for shares CFDs, 22 cryptocurrency CFDs, and 3 currency index CFDs.

Platforms: You can trade with Pepperstone’s Razor Account on MT4 and MT5.

Risk management tools: Pepperstone does not offer guaranteed stop-loss orders but offers negative balance protection.

Funding/Withdrawal: Australian traders can deposit/withdraw funds with credit/debit cards, and bank transfers.
Alternative payment methods such as POLi, BPay, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and Union Pay are available. Withdrawal through bank transfer takes 3-5 business days.

Customer service: You can reach Pepperstone via email and live chat. You can also call their AU toll-free line – 1300-033-375. Their customer support email is [email protected]

Pepperstone Pros

  • Regulated by ASIC
  • Local mobile number is available
  • Their Razor Account is available on both Metatrader platforms
  • No inactivity fee
  • Negative balance protection

Pepperstone Cons

  • Pepperstone charge commissions
  • There is no guaranteed stop loss
  • You cannot access their rollover charges until you download their trading platforms


#2 IC Markets – Australian Broker with Raw Spread Account

AUD/USD Benchmark:
0.17 pips on Raw Spread Account
Trading Platforms:
cTrader, MT4, MT5
Account Minimum:
$200

IC Markets have held ASIC license since 2/01/2007. They are registered with the regulatory body as International Capital Markets Pty Ltd. They also have an Raw Spread Accoutn with ECN pricing.


Regulation: Their license number is 335692. We consider IC Markets a low-risk ECN broker.

74.32% of retail investors lose their money while trading with IC Markets.

Fees: IC Markets’ spreads for AUD/USD, EUR/USD, and GBP/USD are shown in the table below. You can see the commission clearly stated as well.

Currency Pairs Spread Commission (Round-turn per standard lot)
AUD/USD 0.17 pips AUD 7
EUR/USD 0.02 pips AUD 7
GBP/USD 0.23 pips AUD 7

They charge a fixed $6 commission for Raw Spread Accounts on cTrader.

Available CFD instruments: IC Markets offer a good range of financial instruments. You have access to over 62 currency pairs, 22 commodities, 23 indices, 18 bonds, 18 digital currencies, 1600+ stocks, and 4 global futures.

Platforms: IC Markets offer a Raw Spread Account on cTrader and Metatrader platforms.

Risk management tools: IC Markets do not offer guaranteed stop-loss orders. However, they have negative balance protection.

Funding/Withdrawal: You can deposit/withdraw your funds via credit/debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, Neteller VIP, Skrill, UnionPay, Wire transfer, BPay, Broker to Broker, and POLi. All deposit methods are instant except for bank transfer, which takes 3-5 business days. Withdrawing by bank transfer takes 1 business day. Other withdrawal methods are instant.

Customer service: For enquiries, you can reach IC Markets via live chat. They also have two toll-free numbers: +1300-600-644 and +61 (0)2- 8014-4280. For specialized enquiries, you can contact IC Markets via these emails:

Client Relations: [email protected]
Support: [email protected]
Accounts: [email protected]
Marketing: [email protected]

IC Markets Pros

  • Regulated by ASIC
  • Local mobile number is available
  • Specialized customer service emails
  • Negative balance protection

IC Markets Cons

  • IC Markets charge a commission
  • Inactivity fees
  • No guaranteed stop loss


#3 FP Markets – Australian broker with raw ECN account

AUD/USD Benchmark:
0.3 pips Raw ECN Account
Trading Platforms:
MT4
Account Minimum:
$100

With FP Markets all deposits are processed instantly except for bank transfers and broker-to-broker, which takes 1 business day. Withdrawals are processed within one business day.


Regulation: FP Markets are licensed with ASIC under the name First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd. With license number 286534, they have been licensed in Australia since 21/01/2005. You can trade safely with FP Markets.

71% of retail investors lose their money with this forex broker.

Fees: AUD/USD, EUR/USD, and GBP/USD spreads on their Raw ECN Account are shown in the table below. We included the commissions too.

Currency Pairs Spread Commission (Round-turn per standard lot)
AUD/USD 0.3 pips $6
EUR/USD 0.2 pips $6
GBP/USD 0.4 pips $6

Available CFD instruments: FP Markers offer a wide market range: 63 currency pairs, over 10,000 shares, 6 metals, 5 commodities, 17 indices, 11 cryptocurrencies, and 2 bonds.

Platforms: You can also trade with FP Markets’ Raw ECN Account on MT4 and MT5.

Risk management tool: FP Markets do not offer guaranteed stop-loss orders but there is negative balance protection.

Funding/withdrawal: You can fund and withdraw from your account via Neteller, Skrill, bank transfer, broker-to-broker, cryptocurrencies, and dragonpay. FP Markets support credit/debit cards for AUD deposits.

Customer Service: FP Markets is available via live chat 24/7. Their Australian mobile number is +61 (2) 8252 6800. You can reach them via email at [email protected]

FP Markets Pros

  • Regulated by ASIC
  • No inactivity fees
  • Wide market range
  • Negative balance protection

FP Markets Cons

  • No guaranteed stop loss
  • AUD/USD spread is high
  • FP Markets does not support credit/debit cards for AUD withdrawals


#4 IG Markets – Largest foreign ECN broker

AUD/USD Benchmark:
1.01 pips
Trading Platforms:
MT4, ProRealTime, IG Platform, L2 Dealer
Account Minimum:
$450

IG Markets was extablished & available in market since 1974. They are offering negative balance protection to their traders. They have wide range of trading platforms and their spread start from 0.6 pips on EUR/USD currency pair.


Regulation: IG Markets are regulated with ASIC as IG Markets Limited. They are registered as a foreign company with license number 220440. IG Markets have been licensed since 22/01/2002 and are safe to trade with.

Fees: Charges for AUD/USD, EUR/USD and GBP/USD is shown below

Currency Pairs Spread Commission (Round-turn per standard lot)
AUD/USD 1.01 pips N/A
EUR/USD 1.00 pips N/A
GBP/USD 1.66 pips N/A

Available CFD instruments: IG Markets offer up to 17000 markets. You get to trade over 50 currency pairs, 6 commodities, 8 stock indices, and over 13000 shares.

Platforms: Metatrader 4 is available. IG Markets also offer a mobile trading platform.

Risk management tools: IG Markets offer guaranteed stop-loss orders and negative balance protection

Funding/withdrawal: You can deposit/withdraw your funds using any of these three methods: credit/debit card, PayPal, and bank wire transfer. Deposits are processed within 3 business days. Credit/ debit card withdrawals take 2-5 business days. Bank withdrawals can take 1-3 business days.

Customer Service: For account opening, you can contact +61 3 9860 1799 or [email protected] If you are an existing client, you can call +61 3 98601734.

IG Markets Pros

  • Regulated by ASIC
  • Negative balance protection
  • Guaranteed stop loss order
  • No commission
  • Over 13,000 stocks

IG Markets Cons

  • High inactivity fees
  • No MT5 trading platform
  • Spread is high


What is an ECN Broker?

An ECN broker is a type of broker without a dealing desk. When you place a trade, you are either buying or selling. An ECN broker takes your trades and connects your order to buyers or sellers in the market. Computerized systems are used to connect your orders to buyers or sellers. These systems also provide current ask and bid prices. They are programmed to show the highest bid prices and lower ask prices. This means you get to buy or sell a currency pair at the best prices available.

Dealing desk brokers are the opposite of ECN brokers. They typically take the opposite side of your trades. This means they sell to you when you place a buy order and vice-versa. If they do not do this, your trades are passed on to a market maker. This can lead to slow trade execution.

With an ECN broker, you get speedy trade executions, favorable spreads, and a flat commission rate.

ECN Broker vs Market Maker

A forex broker can be either an ECN or a market maker. The two are different. ECN brokers do not operate a dealing desk. They connect your trades directly to buyers and sellers in the market through computerized systems. These systems provide current and best bid and ask prices. They offer you the highest bid prices and lower ask prices so you buy or sell a currency pair at the best prices available.

Market makers operate a different system entirely. They purchase large positions from a liquidity provider and requote the bid and ask price to traders. Market makers quote these prices intending to make money off the bid-ask spread. Most times, the prices quoted are not favorable to traders.

In addition, Market Makers offer fixed spreads. Unlike ECN brokers, they control the bid and ask prices of trading instruments. So they are able to keep it fixed. ECN brokers give your direct market access (multiple buyers and sellers) via computerized networks so their spreads are variable.

How to identify an ECN broker?

ECN brokers connect you to buyers and sellers without being intermediaries. It is not enough for forex brokers to refer to themselves as ECN brokers. As a trader, you should do your due diligence to confirm if a forex broker is truly ECN. Here are a few things to check for confirmation:

1) An ECN broker will disclose clearly if they are a true ECN. You can check their terms and conditions, FAQs, or even speak with them. You must see a clear disclosure.

For example, Pepperstone on their FAQs page mentions that they consider themselves to be an ECN Broker as they don’t operate any dealing desk.

Pepperstone ECN Broker

2) An ECN broker offers variable spreads. Fixed spreads are a pointer that a forex broker is not a true ECN. It is Market Makers that offer variable spreads. Since ECN brokers quote prices from liquidity providers, their spreads cannot be fixed. In addition, ECN pricing targets securing the best price quotes for you. This is another reason ECN brokers cannot have fixed spreads. Look at this image about ECN pricing from FP Markets

FP Markets ECN Pricing

You can see as stated that they target offering competitive prices. Because of this, spreads will always fluctuate.

3) Check the forex broker’s slippage performance. If only negative slippages affect their clients’ trades, they are not ECN. Why is this important? Negative slippage means that your trades are executed at worst price levels compared to your chosen price level

4) You should also check for restrictions on the number of orders you can place. True ECN brokers let you place as many trades as possible. There is no restriction on lot sizes. A good way to confirm this is to download the forex broker’s platform. If you place more than 5 standard lots trade and it is rejected, then you are not dealing with a true ECN broker.

5) True ECN brokers allow you to place your “stop-loss” and “take profit” orders at any price you desire. Non-ECN brokers tend to set restrictions on where you maximize your profits or limit your losses. Here is an example from IC Markets:

IC Markets No Restriction

6) Apart from clear disclosure about being ECN or not, true ECN brokers operate the no-dealing desk (NDD) model. Forex brokers state this clearly in their clients’ agreement by the forex broker. You can check the FAQs or speak to customer support.

Technically, a forex broker might not be ECN but offer account types with similar conditions, which include raw spreads and low commissions. You should look out for these conditions.

Let us show you how to find them. We will be using Pepperstone as an example:

Step 1) Enter on your browser pepperstone.com/en-au/. You should arrive at the picture below

Pepperstone Australia Website

Step 2) Click on pricing, then select “spreads, commissions, and swaps”. Scrolling down the page, you will find Pepperstone’s Razor Account with raw spreads and low commissions.

Pepperstone Spread

Shown below is the commission for Pepperstone’s Razor Account

Pepperstone Commission

Apart from looking out for Raw Spread Account types, you can also calculate trading costs to confirm if it is high or low. For example, trading a standard lot of AUD/USD on an AUD base currency account will cost only AUD 8.7. Here is how you can calculate the cost:

Currency pair: AUD/USD
Spread: 0.17
Lot size: 1 standard lot
Lot value = AUD 10 per point
Round turn commission: AUD 7
Trading cost = (Lot value x Spread) + round turn commission
= (10x 0.17) + 7
= 1.7 + 7
= AUD 8.7

Finally, you can also speak with customer service via their different contacts. It could be live chat, email, or local phone number. Below is the screenshot of a live chat.

IC Markets Live Chat Support

How We Compared the Best ECN Brokers in Australia

1) ASIC Regulation: Before choosing an ECN broker, you need to be sure the broker is regulated with ASIC. The safety of your funds is only guaranteed if your broker is regulated. ASIC assigns a unique AFSL number to all brokers which can be found on the broker’s website. You can verify this number on ASIC’s website to determine of your broker’s regulation is valid.

Here is how you can determine this using FP Markets as an example. First, go to the Australian version of the broker’s website and scroll down to the footer. You will find the broker’s registered name and AFSL number. Look at the illustration below

FP Markets Home

From the image above, you can see that FP Market’s registered name is First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd. Their AFSL number is 286354.

The next step is to verify if these details are the same as the details on ASIC’s register. You do this by visiting ASIC’s professional register. Enter the AFSL number (from the broker’s website), select the ‘Australian Financial Service License’ register, and select ‘current’ under status. Here is a picture of this step

Searching ASIC rehgister

After you have done this, click ‘search’. The full regulation details of the broker will be displayed as shown below

FP Markets ASIC License

From the image above, you can see that the name and the AFSL number correlate with what we found on FP Markets’ website. You can repeat these steps for any ECN broker in Australia.

2) Overall fees with ECN account: You must know the total fees involved with a broker. Spreads, swaps, and commissions are trading fees you need to pay attention to. They affect your final profit and loss over a period of time. There could also be non-trading fees like currency conversion fees, deposit/withdrawal fees, and inactivity fees.

These fees vary for different brokers. Some brokers do not have them. Reach out to your ECN broker’s customer support to know about their fees.

3) Platforms: Metatrader 4, Metatrader, and cTrader are popular trading platforms. Your preferred broker should offer them. It is important to check if these platforms are available as PC software and mobile phone apps.

PC software gives you a full outlay of price movements. However, you might have to check your trades on the go. This is why you must have these trading platforms as apps on your phone.

4) Range of CFD Instruments: You should be able to trade as many instruments as you desire. Beyond currency pairs, you should check if your broker offers commodities, metals, stocks, etc. You get exposed to different markets and trading instruments when your broker has a good range of markets.

5) Deposit/Withdrawal methods: Transaction speed varies with deposit/withdrawal methods. Bank transfers usually take the most time. Deposit/withdrawals through Skrill and Neteller are faster. Transaction fees also vary. This is why your broker must give you various options for deposits/withdrawals.

Before choosing a funding or payment method, you should check if there are extra fees that come with it. Banks and e-wallet providers have their own independent fees. However, your broker might also add their own fees so it is important you check it.

FAQs on Best ECN Brokers in Australia

What does ECN mean?

ECN means Electronic Communication Network. An ECN broker offers Direct Market Access & there is no dealing desk.

Are there ECN brokers in Australia?

Yes. There are ECN-type brokers in Australia. A few regulated forex brokers Pepperstone, IG Markets, FP Markets, and IC Markets offer Raw Spread Account with low spread.

Who is the best ECN broker in Australia?

According to our review, Pepperstone, IG Markets, FP Markets, and IC Markets are reputable ECN brokers in Australia. They are regulated with ASIC and offer an ECN-type account.

How do I Identify a true ECN broker?

You should look out for important factors such as; no dealing desk model (NDD), variable and Raw spreads, no order restriction, and so on. Ask the broker if you have doubts.

The most important is to trade with a regulated broker to ensure that your funds are safe.

Pepperstone is the #1 Rated ECN BrokerVisit