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Best STP Forex Brokers

May 09, 2022
Last modified May 10, 2022

What is Straight Through Processing (STP) and Why is it Significant?

Newcomers to compare forex brokers and CFDs trading may well have come across the terms Market Maker and Straight Through Processing (STP) in relation to how brokers provide price quotes on the tradable markets they offer. What does STP mean and what its significance to traders when it comes to either choosing a broker or the type of account, with brokers that offer different price quote options to their clients.

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 Straight Through Processing (STP) Forex Brokers

Here are the best straight through processing (STP) forex brokers.

  • IG - 9.7/10 Overall
  • Saxo Bank - 9.5/10 Overall
  • Interactive Brokers - 9.2/10 Overall
  • TD Ameritrade - 8.9/10 Overall
  • XTB - 8.7/10 Overall
  • Swissquote - 8.5/10 Overall
  • eToro - 8.4/10 Overall
  • FXCM - 8.3/10 Overall
  • IC Markets - 8/10 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
9.2 / 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
$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
8.5 / 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


Overall Rating
8.4 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$10-$200
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 (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active-1
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded2007
Publicly Traded (Listed)No
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses2
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)3056
Forex Pairs (Total)47
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)66
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)No
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.3 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
Starts from $50
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 - Standard1.4 (Q2 2020)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.1 (Q2 2020)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1999
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses3
Tier-2 Licenses3
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)276
Forex Pairs (Total)42
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)57
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 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$200
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.62 (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.62 (August 2021)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded2007
Publicly Traded (Listed)No
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses1
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)3583
Forex Pairs (Total)61
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes
Proprietary PlatformNo
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)30
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


Understanding the significance of STP is best achieved within the context of how it differs from a Market Maker price quoting system. As such, it makes sense to explain both and their advantages and disadvantages.

Price Quotes in CFDs Trading

When a trader takes a CFD position they, in theory, buy a financial instrument at a close approximation to its present market price. There is a buy and a sell price, referred to as the bid and ask price and the small difference between the two is the "spread". This is where the entity on the other side of a trade makes their money.

However, the reality is that the situation is not quite as simple as that. There are actually two main ways in which different brokers arrive at the price offered on CFD markets that can be traded on their platforms & Market Maker and STP. Each has pluses and minuses for traders.

Market Makers

Some CFD brokers have a Market Maker quoting model, which can also be referred to as a Dealing Desk (DD). In this model, it is the broker themselves that offer traders the bid and ask prices on a given CFD. The pricing provided should closely reflect the actual market price though can, in theory, slightly diverge. By how much a MM broker's pricing can differ from the underlying market is determined by their financial regulator.

Generally, MM brokers will try to offset the trading position of one client against that of the other, under the presumption that there will be long and short trades held simultaneously by different traders using the broker. If this is not possible the next recourse is to hedge the risk with an external liquidity provider. However, the most important quality of taking a trading position with a MM broker is that the broker takes the other side of the trade. This means that if the trade goes in favour of the trader, the MM broker loses it, though in theory they will have hedged this loss.

Many traders consider trading with MM brokers to be an inherent conflict of interest and generally undesirable. This is a bit of a misconception and most MM brokers, particularly those under the regulatory regime of a strong regulator such as the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), offer a fair market price. There are also a number of advantages for traders which result from the greater control that MM brokers have. These include:

However, there are also disadvantages such as:

  • The potential for a conflict of interest.
  • Spreads are generally wider in comparison to STP broker quotes.
  • Slippage and requotes are more common.
  • Bigger positions may be declined if the broker doesn't have the liquidity to take on the risk.

Straight Through Processing (STP)

In its wider application in financial services, STP means information electronically processed by one party to begin a settlement process does not need to be re-entered by subsequent recipients of that information along the sequence of events.

Within the specific context of online trading, STP price quoting means that the broker, unlike in the case of a MM broker, does not take the opposite side of their clients' trades. The broker facilitates the matching of the trade position with a counter-party in market, which is made up by liquidity providers and other financial institutions. The bid and ask prices quoted to traders are those of the main market.

In an STP brokerage model it makes no difference to the broker whether a trader wins or loses a trading position. The broker makes its money purely from commission charged on each trade, which reassures many traders of transparency and a lack of any potential conflict of interest. The main advantages to the trader of trading with an STP broker are:

  • No potential for a conflict of interest with the broker.
  • Tighter spreads.
  • Requotes and slippage rare.
  • Larger trade positions can be taken.

Disadvantages include:

  • Micro-lots are not available so significantly larger trading capital is required for effective risk management.
  • Spreads are less consistent and may widen considerably during particularly volatile periods on a financial market.
  • The broker charges commission so each trade placed is more expensive.

Should I choose a Market Maker or Straight Through Processing Broker?

As is probably clear by now there is no black and white answer to this question. However, as a general rule of thumb, the lower costs and the option to trade micro-lots means that MM brokers are the better option for beginner traders who will work with less capital and take smaller positions. The advantages of STP brokers outweigh the higher cost of using them when more valuable trade positions are taken. As such they tend to be the preferred option for more experienced traders working with bigger trading accounts.

Many of the bigger brokers now offer both MM and STP trading accounts in recognition of this divergence in the benefits and drawbacks to the two models.

Which Regulated Brokers Offer STP

XMbroker that is regulated by a reputable regulator as they will be supervised and monitored to ensure that they are acting in accordance with the highest standards when it comes to their client services.

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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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