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The Ultimate Guide to

Choosing a Broker

Not sure which broker is right for you?

Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. In this guide, you’ll learn:


Part 1

Why Choose
For FMA?

scored best in our review of the top brokers for fma, which takes into account 120+ factors across eight categories. Here are some areas where scored highly in:

  • + years in business
  • Offers + instruments
  • A range of platform inc.
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Tight spreads from pips
  • Used by 0+ traders
  • Offers demo account
  • 0 languages

offers one way to trade. If you wanted to trade NZDUSD

The two most important categories in our rating system are the cost of trading and the broker’s trust score. To calculate a broker’s trust score, we take into account a range of factors, including their regulation history, years in business, liquidity provider etc.

have a trust score, which is . This is largely down to them being regulated by , segregating client funds, being segregating client funds, being established for over

Trust Score comparison

Trust Score
Year Established
Regulated by
Uses tier 1 banks
Company Type Private Private Private
Segregates client funds

The second thing we look for is the competitiveness of the spreads, and what fees they charge. We’ve compared these in detail in part three of this guide.

Part 2

Who is (& Isn’t)
Suitable For

As mentioned, allows you to trade in one way: .

Suitable for:

  • Spread Betting
  • CFD Trading
  • Forex Trading
  • Social Trading

Not Suitable for:

To trade with , you’ll need a minimum deposit of $. offers a range of different account types for different traders including a , .

Finally, isn’t available in the following countries: . They do not offer islamic accounts .

Part 3

A Comparison of vs. vs.

Want to see how stacks up against and ? We’ve compared their spreads, features, and key information below.

Spread & fee comparsion

The spreads below are illustrative. For more accurate pricing information, click on the names of the brokers at the top of the table to open their websites in a new tab.
Fixed Spreads
Variable Spreads
EUR/USD Spread
GBP/USD Spread
USD/CAD Spread
USD/JPY Spread
DAX Spread
FTSE 100 Spread
S&P500 Spread

Comparison of account & trading features

Base currency options
Funding options
Micro account
ECN account

Part 4

Financial Markets Authority (FMA)

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) are the Crown entity within New Zealand responsible for the regulation of financial services and capital markets. Guided by the requirements of the 2013 Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMC Act), the independent agency regulate securities exchanges, and key people/organisations within the industry, such as brokers. They act in a supervisory capacity, using a risk-based approach to oversee the activities and operations of registered and licensed firms and individuals.

History of the FMA

Formed in 2011, the FMA took over the role of regulator from predecessor, the Securities Commission of New Zealand, as public confidence in the regulator was undermined following the failure of several New Zealand finance companies and poor performance in the financial markets.

In 2008, New Zealand entered recession when various factors, including the global financial crisis, local drought, and weaker trading and production conditions, all caused the economy to deteriorate. Although it began to grow again in 2010, this growth was modest. An overhaul of the existing regulatory system was undertaken resulting in the formation of the FMA as the industry regulator in 2011. The role of the new regulatory watchdog was to rebuild confidence in financial market activity, as well as use its supervisory and regulatory powers to mitigate the risk of similar damage to the economy reoccurring.

The Financial Markets Conduct Act passed in 2013 strengthened the regulatory framework within the financial services industry. The act introduced standards which are recognised internationally, incorporating elements from top regulators such as the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), and the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). Where New Zealand was previously a haven for foreign finance firms with insufficient capital and poor operational standards, the current requirements ensure that only the most robust and financially stable firms are granted permission to carry out regulated activities in the country.

Regulatory Objectives

With the aim of promoting “fair, efficient and transparent financial markets”, as set out in the FMC Act 2013, FMA have identified the following objectives:

  • governance and culture

  • capital market growth and integrity

  • sales and advice

  • investor decision making

  • conflicted conduct

  • effective front line regulators

  • FMA effectiveness and efficiency

These key areas were identified by the Strategic Risk Outlook 2017, and this risk management framework determines the focus of the FMA’s operational requirements. The framework is reviewed on a continual basis by the leadership team, and the Audit and Risk Committee are responsible for oversight of the process. The Board receive quarterly updates regarding the risk management framework and operational risk register.

The FMA’s Functions

Supporting the framework are functions, which shape the FMA’s approach to governance. These include monitoring and supervision, policy and guidance, investigations and enforcement, education and information, and licensing. These functions all have the key objective of promoting healthy and informed participation in the financial markets from businesses, investors and consumers.

Role of the FMA in the Forex/CFD online trading industry

The financial products covered by the FMC Act include derivatives, equity securities, debt securities and managed investment products. As such, Forex and CFD brokers fall within the scope of the legislation, and are required to seek a licence from the FMA, permitting them to conduct regulated activities.

As a licensee, derivatives issuers are required to comply with: Financial Reporting Obligations, keeping thorough accounting records and lodging audited financial statements with the Companies Office; Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) obligations; Derivatives Investor Money requirements, ensuring client money is segregated and held on trust, with thorough records maintained; and Supervision requirements, whereby licensed firms will be subject to the risk-based monitoring conducted by the Financial Markets Authority.

Other standard conditions for FMA firms applying for a licence include net assets of $1M or 10% of their average revenue; a robust management structure, with allocated resources for compliance and risk management; appropriate onboarding standards for new clients; and internal risk and client margin management.

Advantages of Using an FMA Regulated FX Broker

The stringent standards that are required of FMA regulated Forex and CFD providers ensures that the safety of their clients is of the highest priority in their operations. In order to be authorised by the FMA, the broker needs to be able to demonstrate sound business practises; and brokers who fail to meet the requirements are not granted a licence. If already registered, they could have significant penalties imposed on them, including having their licence suspended or even revoked. This acts as a deterrent for those who would otherwise have strayed from the rules.

The regulation therefore provides traders with the confidence and peace of mind that their provider is acting in their best interests, which could not be guaranteed when dealing with an unregulated broker.


The regulatory reforms that have been undertaken within New Zealand in recent years, including the introduction of an all-encompassing regulatory body, the Financial Markets Authority, and the legislation brought about in the Financial Markets Conduct Act in 2013, have brought New Zealand into line with some of the world’s most trusted and credible regulatory regimes.

For traders operating in New Zealand, this has allowed their confidence in the system and in their brokers to be restored. Providers now fall within a regulatory framework that is capable of identifying and penalising malpractice and abuse, ensuring the protection of consumers and clients.

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