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Best ECN Forex Brokers

May 09, 2022
Last modified June 08, 2022

The Electronic Communication Network (ECN) method of executing trades is one of the most transparent methods of trading available to retail traders. This is because ECN brokers allow the trader to get access to the actual pricing of currencies as set by the big banks (who function as liquidity providers), while also displaying the orders of the trader in the market.

This is in contrast to the market making system where pricing and order fulfilment is handled internally by the market maker’s dealing desk. So the ECN brokerage provides a non-dealing desk environment which allows the trader to trade against other traders and the banks, and not the broker itself.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Best ECN Forex Brokers

Here are the best ECN forex brokers.

  • IG - 9.7/10 Overall
  • Saxo Bank - 9.5/10 Overall
  • CMC Markets - 9.4/10 Overall
  • Interactive Brokers - 9.2/10 Overall
  • TD Ameritrade - 8.9/10 Overall
  • FOREX.com - 8.7/10 Overall
  • XTB - 8.7/10 Overall
  • City Index - 8.7/10 Overall
  • Swissquote - 8.5/10 Overall
Overall Rating
9.7 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
£250.00
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.828 (September 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.365 (May 2020)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1974
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses7
Tier-2 Licenses2
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)19537
Forex Pairs (Total)100
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)32
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
9.5 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$2,000
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.8 (August 2020)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.6 (August 2020)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1992
Publicly Traded (Listed)No
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses6
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)40000
Forex Pairs (Total)182
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)62
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
9.4 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.73 (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - ActiveN/A
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1989
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses5
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)11927
Forex Pairs (Total)158
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)86
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
9.2 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.6 (From 09/25/21 - 10/02/21)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.6 (From 09/25/21 - 10/02/21)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)No
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1977
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses8
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)7400
Forex Pairs (Total)91
BitcoinNo
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingNo
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)127
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.9 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.26 pips (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.26 pips (August 2021)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)No
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1955
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tier-2 Licenses0
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)0
Forex Pairs (Total)73
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingNo
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)360
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.7 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$100
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.1 (US August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.1 (US August 2021)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1999
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)5500
Forex Pairs (Total)91
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingNo
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)139
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.7 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.9 (Q3 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.9 (Q3 2021)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded2002
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses1
Tier-2 Licenses3
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)10000
Forex Pairs (Total)49
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)39
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.7 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
£100.00
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.1 (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.1 (August 2021)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1983
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses3
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)12000
Forex Pairs (Total)84
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)139
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.5 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$1000
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard-1
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active-1
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1996
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)466
Forex Pairs (Total)78
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)49
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Advantages of ECN Brokers

The ECN system ensures the full transparency of pricing and trade executions since everything is fed from the liquidity providers to the trader (pricing and trade execution) and from the trader back to the liquidity providers (trade orders), without any interference from the broker.

In addition, the direct market access (DMA) technology which provides access to pricing from several liquidity providers ensures that there are no re-quotes and execution as the order price is virtually guaranteed.

Some of the further advantages of ECN Brokers are:

  • Traders have a choice of what bid and ask prices to use for their orders, since the pricing is being provided by not just one, but several liquidity providers.
  • All trading strategies including scalping are accepted on ECN platforms because ECN brokers make more money the bigger the deal flow and not from winning or losing the trades of customers.
  • ECN brokers are able to fill larger orders as trades are routed to several liquidity providers and not just a single buyer/seller.
  • By having access to the Order Book, it is possible for traders on the ECN platform to visualize the bids and ask prices at which other market participants are trading. This will provide some idea as to where the order flows are going and provide some insight into the future direction of the market for a currency pair.

Challenges of Using an ECN Brokers

One factor that traders have to contend with is the cost of ECN trading. ECN brokers will generally charge a commission on every trade placed and it is only economical for larger trades and higher frequency traders as compared to the market maker model of only charging a spread markup.

Liquidity requirements are also high with ECN trading since the trader is dealing directly with the liquidity providers. Unlike the market maker model where the market makers provide liquidity intervention on behalf of traders, the responsibility of meeting the liquidity requirements in the ECN model rests solely on the trader. As such, the account opening capital requirement for an ECN account can be much higher.

Some of the other challenges facing ECB Brokers include:

  • Traders have to contend with variable spreads (spreads can widen in an instant when volatility is high) and also have to pay commissions for trade entry and trade exit.
  • Minimum trade sizes tend to be much larger and due to the commission charge when entering and exiting a position, it is not as viable for smaller trades.
  • To get the best prices, clients will have to meet minimum trade requirements. This is generally not a problem for traders who meet certain conditions and benefit from the lower prices.

ECN Brokers Conclusion

There are several brokers that provide both market making and ECN trading models. There are brokers that are exclusively ECN brokers, and others which work exclusively as dealing desk market makers.

As a general rule, ECN brokers are suitable for traders who can meet the capital requirements and want a trading platform with generally superior trading conditions.

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Forex Risk Disclaimer

There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more.

About the Author

Marcus Taylor

BrokerNotes was founded in 2014 by Marcus Taylor, founder and CEO of Venture Harbor, a venture studio in Oxford that develops innovative online tools & technology across a range of sectors.


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