IG Review Of One Of The Top-Rated Spread Betting Brokers In The UK
IG has one of the most attractive FX brokerage accounts in the market that offers a host of trading features and direct market access to some of the major financial markets in the world. IG depends on its 40 years of expertise in the market to offer financial products that are suited to different categories of traders, after having introduced its services to the general public as early as 1974. The broker is popularly advertised as a spread betting and CFD broker, that offers a multitude of trading instruments from several major financial markets from around the world.
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- Website: www.ig.com/uk/
- Support: +44 207 633 5510
- Cannon Bridge House
- 25 Dowgate Hill
- EC4R 2YA
IG has its main establishment in the UK but has also expanded to other regions by setting up offices in 15 different locations spread over 5 continents. IG has a substantial presence in Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and the US, thereby catering to a fair share of the retail trading market. IG regulation is primarily supervised by the FCA of the UK, the CFTC & the NFA of the US, the ASIC of Australia, and the FSB of South Africa. The broker has other representative offices in Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Luxembourg, Geneva, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and Ireland, which are all regulated by the respective regions’ primary regulatory agencies. IG has indeed ticked all the checkmarks for prospective clients that are looking to open a Forex trading account at the world’s largest regulated Forex broker. IG serves more than 150,000 customers across the world and transacts an average of $500 million worth of volumes on a monthly basis. Due to the sheer size of the company, IG manages around 1500 employees in its offices in different parts of the world. IG is listed as one of the top companies in the FTSE 250 list, with an estimated net market capitalization of close to £3 billion. In this IG broker review, we attempt to scrutinize the company’s services to see if they are indeed worthy of your consideration.
IG Accounts & Market Access Information
IG offers both standard as well as direct market access (ECN) accounts, which allows traders to invest in Forex, commodities, CFDs, shares, indices, bonds, futures, interest rates, bitcoins, options, and other ETFs. An IG trading account also allows traders to indulge in the world of spread betting, which is considered to be a tax-free alternative to Forex trading. Spread betting is entirely exempted from taxes or stamp duties in the UK, which is perfect for investors looking for cost-effective trading solutions. Apart from the traditional markets, IG also provides binary options trading that enables traders to make fixed profits by betting on the direction of a trend. IG accounts can be accessed by making an initial deposit of $200, which can be paid either through a credit/debit card, wire transfer, or other e-payment processors. Unfortunately, there isn’t any IG bonus, aside from the refer-a-friend bonus, which works as a reward-based points system for referring friends to IG. These reward points can be redeemed for gifts and electronics or other promotional materials provided by IG through their seasonal offers. It is not a surprise that the broker has shied away from deposit bonuses, primarily due to its regulatory status and the numerous complications that may occur within the broker-client relationships owing to the bonus terms and conditions. The maximum IG leverage is 1:200, which is reserved for Forex trading. All other instruments can be traded with a higher margin requirement, which essentially means that the leverage changes according to the type of the financial instrument. Shares and Indices trading are offered lower leverage, while spread betting and binary options are leveraged products that have a fixed leverage according to the asset traded. Since the broker provides direct market access through ECN protocols, the IG spreads start from 0.6 pips, with the average spreads hovering around the 1 to 2 pips mark. Direct market access also has a commission, which varies from $10 to $60 per million traded. The commissions and other costs decrease with an increase in the lot size, thereby providing additional incentives for larger traders and institutional investors to transmit large orders through the IG platform.
IG Trading Platforms & The Trading Environment
IG has spent an enormous amount of resources into offering the most extensive variety of IG platforms for traders to access the markets according to their choice. IG has provided the MT4 as the standard for the Forex traders but has designed other advanced platforms for both mobile and desktops. Traders can choose between desktop, mobile, and web-based interfaces according to their preferences, which is available for IG mobile devices as well. Smartphones and tablet users account for a significant percentage of IG traders, and the broker offers support for iOS, Android, and Windows devices. Since the MT4 platform is more commonly used as a market maker platform, IG chooses to offer the L2 dealer interface for offering direct market access. The L2 dealer has excellent connectivity, and along with built-in VPS server access, IG platforms are simply the best trading platforms in the retail FX trading market. IG also takes care of its customers by offering live support around the clock, and by resolving trader issues as soon as they receive them. Strict regulations from the different regulators help in keeping the broker in line with a standard code of conduct, which further improves trader confidence. All client funds are treated properly and are held in segregated accounts, which are done to satisfy the licensing conditions stipulated by the leading regulators. IG is an excellent broker for Forex trading, but there are a few major concerns. Traders are bound to be confused by the sheer number of financial instruments on offer, and it may end up disastrous for new traders. The standard trading conditions might also alienate a few traders, but overall, IG should be able to provide a high-quality trading environment for most traders.