Best Regulated Forex Brokers of 2023

Since 2011, we’ve traded with and reviewed over 150 forex brokers globally. To find the best regulated brokers for you, we’ve dedicated over 50 hours per broker, exploring more than 250 factors across 9 key areas. We’ve then compared them to identify the top performers in various categories. With decades of combined experience, our team of trading experts provides reliable and trusted opinions.

By: Plamen StoyanovReviewed By: FX Empire Editorial Board
Updated: Sep 19, 2023
Advertising DisclosureListings that appear on this page and/or on this website are of products / companies / services from which this website may receive compensation. This may impact how, where and which products / companies / services we review and write about. This page may not include all available products, all companies or all services.
While we adhere to strict editorial integrity, this page may refer to products from our partners. Here's how we make money.

When choosing a broker, a trader’s first and biggest concern should be finding a trustworthy, well-regulated, and safe partner. But what does that mean exactly? How does one evaluate how well a broker is regulated or how safe is it to trade with?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of regulatory bodies – big, reputable entities and smaller offshore ones. The former, such as ASIC in Australia, FCA in the UK, and CySEC in Cyprus, mandate brokers adhere to stricter policy requirements. Those include segregating client funds, ensuring negative balance protection, capping the maximum leverage allowed, and often but not always having a compensation scheme.

Conversely, offshore regulators have more relaxed requirements, which may not necessarily ensure the same level of protection. However, even big, reputable brokers often seek offshore regulation because it allows them to serve traders globally.

I understand that selecting the right broker may be overwhelming, especially for beginners. However, there’s no need to worry. To assist you in making an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the top regulated forex brokers, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each. Considering the different goals and needs of traders, we have categorized our list to highlight the areas in which these brokers excel. Our guide aims to help you find a trustworthy partner that aligns perfectly with your aspirations and requirements.

List of Top Regulated Forex Brokers

Best brokers for US traders

  • IG (US) – Best Overall in the US
    Member of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). One of the biggest brands in the industry. Multilayered protections. Below-average spreads. Choice of versatile trading platforms. Ultra-fast order execution.
  • Plus500 – Best Futures Trading Platform in the US
    Listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market for Listed Companies. Included in the FTSE 250. Global Market Access. 2800 instruments.

Best brokers for international traders

How Did FX Empire Choose the Best Regulated Forex Brokers?

  • Regulations and protection. We examined the licenses and regulations of each entity operated by a broker. We only considered brokers that provide multilayered protection, ensuring their clients with negative balance protection, segregation of client funds, and compensation scheme.
  • Transparency. We meticulously analyzed brokers’ client agreements and legal documents to identify the most reliable and trustworthy options in the market.
  • Order execution standards. Using our unique methodology to assess the risk of price manipulation, we verified whether brokers have a ‘best execution policy’ and checked their average execution speeds.
  • Competitive pricing. We checked the spreads, swaps, and commissions charged by a broker to determine the competitiveness of its fees. Generally, round-turn commissions of $6 per traded lot and floating spreads from 1.0 pips are considered average for the industry.
  • Diverse account types. We assessed brokers’ minimum deposit requirements, maximum leverage, and maximum traded volume per account type and chose those that offer the greatest variety of account features for the lowest possible cost.
  • Range of markets. We estimated how many instruments and from which asset classes brokers offered considering the flexibility afforded to its clients.
  • Trading platforms and tools. We selected brokers offering user-friendly platforms and feature-rich that can cater both to beginners and experienced traders.
  • Supporting content. We preferred brokers with an extensive variety of third-party and in-house research tools as well as with the scope and applicability of the available educational materials.

Our team of experts has identified each broker’s strengths and weaknesses using FX Empire’s comprehensive methodology. Here’s how we test.

Now let’s dive into the selected brokers.

Best Overall

Start Trading
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 84.69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

FxPro is a household name in the trading industry. The company was founded in 2006 and has obtained licenses from some of the most trusted regulators.

The company capital exceeds a hundred million euros with over 600 million executed orders. FxPro’s average execution speed is less than 13 milliseconds – one of the fastest in the industry. What made a strong impression on me is that FxPro is able to execute up to 7000 orders per second, which is why I consider the broker your best option if you value fast and precise trading. In my estimation, FxPro is ideal for intraday trading and scalping.

FxPro Entities

  • FxPro UK Ltd, regulated by FCA UK, Tier-1, License Number – 509956, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • FxPro Financial Services Ltd, regulated by CySEC Cyprus, Tier-1, License number – 078/07, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • FxPro Financial Services Ltd, regulated by FSCA, South Africa, Tier-2, License Number – 45052, Max. Leverage – 1:400
  • FxPro Global Markets Ltd, regulated by SCB Bahamas, Tier-3, License Number – SIA-F184, Max. Leverage – 1:200

I assessed the transparency of FxPro’s website to be quite high. I did not find any vague or misleading language in the legal documents. I also appreciated that FxPro adheres to the most rigid safety requirements, such as having a ‘best execution policy’.

I evaluated FxPro’s fees and found them, on average, very competitive. If you are to trade 1 lot of EURUSD on the seamless cTrader platform, it will cost you around $8, which is way below the industry average.

FxPro affords a broad range of trading platforms – MetaTrader 4&5, its proprietary FxPro Edge, and cTrader. I prefer the latter two because scaling price action up and down is much easier, and they afford greater freedom.

  • Extremely fast order execution.
  • Innovative pricing model.
  • Very low costs on cTrader.
  • Massive instruments offering.
  • Sophisticated third-party tools.
  • Less rigid offshore regulation.
  • Inactivity fee.

Best for Beginners

Start Trading
General Risk Warning: CFDs are leveraged products. Trading in CFDs carries a high level of risk thus may not be appropriate for all investors. The investment value can both increase and decrease and the investors may lose all their invested capital. Under no circumstances shall the Company have any liability to any person or entity for any loss or damage in whole or part caused by, resulting from, or relating to any transactions related to CFDs.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

Exness is a Cyprus-based CFD broker that was founded in 2008. It is regulated in 8 jurisdictions globally and maintains excellent execution standards. I was impressed by its average execution speed of under 25 milliseconds for 80% of trades. And this quality is available against a very low minimum deposit requirement of $200, making it accessible to most rookies.

Exness Entities

  • Exness (UK) Ltd, regulated by FCA UK, Tier-1, License Number – 730729, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Exness (Cy) Ltd, regulated by CySEC Cyprus, Tier-1, License Number – 178/12, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Exness ZA (PTY) Ltd, regulated by FSCA South Africa, Tier-2, License Number – 51024, Max. Leverage – 1:400
  • Exness (SC) Ltd, regulated by FSA Seychelles, Tier-3, License Number – SD025, Max. Leverage – 1:500
  • Exness B.V., regulated by CBC Curacao and Sint Maarten, Tier-3, License Number – 0003LSI, Max. Leverage – 1:500
  • Exness (VG) Ltd, regulated by FSC British Virgin Islands, Tier-3, License Number – SIBA/L/20/1133, Max. Leverage – 1:500
  • Exness (MU) Ltd, regulated by FSC Mauritius, Tier-3, License Number – 176967, Max. Leverage – 1:500
  • Tadenes Limited, regulated by CMA Kenya, Tier-3, License Number – 162, Max. Leverage – 1:500

In my experience, beginner traders need the most reliability, sophisticated services, and enough resources to accommodate their learning curve, and Exness delivers on both. It incorporates the renowned MetaTrader 4&5 platforms, which are quite easy to use. It also has its own Exness Terminal, which I found superior. The proprietary platform supports over a hundred technical indicators and drawing tools and has an extensive range of timeframes and chart types. It thus affords a penetrating overview of price action behavior.

Exness offers commission-free trading and floating spreads from 0.3 pips, which is quite low. And newbies can certainly benefit from such low prices and superior execution technology. Additionally, I assessed Exness' educational content and found it very detailed, covering diverse topics: from the basics of technical analysis to the intricacies of risk management and trading psychology.

  • Rigid regulation.
  • Very competitive pricing.
  • Beginner-friendly accounts.
  • Ultra-fast execution speeds.
  • Not available to retail traders in Europe and the UK.

Best Forex Trading Platform


Start Trading
Losses can exceed deposits, 70% of retail CFD accounts lose money
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

With over two decades of experience in providing trading services, FXCM has established itself as an industry leader renowned for its exceptional range of trading platforms and comprehensive supporting tools. The broker further enhanced the user experience with excellent execution standards. I was impressed by its average execution speed of 18 milliseconds, which ensured precise order filling.

FXCM Entities

  • Forex Capital Markets Limited, regulated by FCA UK, Tier-1, License Number – 217689, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • FXCM Australia Pty Limited, regulated by ASIC Australia, Tier-1, License Number – 309763, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • FXCM EU Limited, regulated by CySEC Cyprus, Tier-1, License Number – 392/20, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • FXCM South Africa Pty Limited, regulated by FSCA South Africa, Tier-2, License Number – 46534, Max. Leverage – 1:400
  • FXCM Markets LLC, unregulated, registered in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Max. Leverage – 1:400

In addition to MetaTrader 4, FXCM also has its proprietary Trading Station and supports the seamless TradingView which is my personal favorite because of its reliability and sophistication.

TradingView supports over 200 in-built technical indicators and drawing tools, as well as multi-timeframe analysis and advanced chart pattern recognition. But what I like most about this platform is its unparalleled flexibility when it comes to manipulating price action and examining it from various angles.

FXCM also provides access to some of the best tools for social trading, such as ZuluTrade and And with its sophisticated platforms, access to deep liquidity, and massive offering of over 3000 instruments, I found its services to be ideal for highly speculative strategies like scalping.

I also measured the average value of 1 lot EUR/USD trade to be around $9, which is below the industry average.

  • Strong regulation.
  • Powerful algorithmic resources.
  • Ultra-fast execution speeds.
  • Unique trading instruments.
  • High inactivity fee.
  • High withdrawal fee.

Best for Professional Traders

Start Trading
Trading involves risks. Products and services of Swissquote are only intended for those permitted to receive them under local law.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

Swissquote holds an impressive 7 licenses from top-tier regulators. Additionally, the bank, which was founded in 1996, is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, underscoring its reliability. I opened a Forex & CFDs account with the investment bank offering over 450 trading and investing products and was impressed by the overall transparency of the website.

Swissquote Entities

  • Swissquote Bank Ltd, regulated by FINMA Switzerland, Tier-1, License Number – Not Specified, Max. Leverage – 1:100
  • Swissquote Ltd, FCA UK, Tier-1, License Number – 562170, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Swissquote Asia Ltd, regulated by SFC Hong Kong, Tier-1, License Number – AZV127, Max. Leverage – 1:20
  • Swissquote Financial Services (Malta) Ltd, regulated by MFSA Malta, Tier-1, License Number – C57936, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Swissquote Ptd. Ltd, regulated by MAS Singapore, Tier–1, License Number – Not Specified, Max. Leverage – 1:20
  • Swissquote Bank Europe Ltd, regulated by CSSF Luxembourg, Tier-1, License Number – B00000324, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Swissquote Capital Markets Ltd, regulated by CySEC Cyprus, Tier-1, License Number – 422/22, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Swissquote MEA Ltd, regulated by DFSA Dubai, Tier-2, License Number – FD001438, Max. Leverage – 1:30

What makes Swissquote the best choice for professional traders and sets it apart from our other picks is its lightning-fast execution speed of 9 milliseconds, coupled with a 98% fill ratio and only 18% of all trades resulting in negative slippage. If you are a scalper or intraday trader looking for precision, I can guarantee Swissquote will deliver the Swiss quality you are looking for.

I tested Swissquote’s Advanced Trader platform and found it to combine the efficiency of a professional-grade platform with the easy-to-navigate layout of more conventional platforms. However, I ascertained that Swissquote’s fees exceed the industry average. With floating spreads starting from 1.1 pips on its Prime account, and a minimum deposit requirement of $50,000, Swissquote’s superior services are better suited for traders with bigger account balances.

  • Ultra-fast execution speeds.
  • Superior proprietary platform.
  • Over 3 million trading and investing products.
  • Listed on the Swiss stock exchange.
  • Deep supporting content.
  • No ‘best execution policy’.
  • High trading costs.

Best MT4

Start Trading
FX and CFDs trading involves a high risk of loss
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

Errante is a CFD broker that was founded in 2019. A relative newcomer, Errante is quickly establishing itself as a reliable partner to beginners interested in MetaTrader. The broker maintains good execution standards, publishes periodic execution quality statements, and has a ‘best execution policy’. but does not state its average execution speed.

Errante Entities

  • Notely Trading Ltd, regulated by CySEC Cyprus, Tier-1, License Number – 383/20, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Errante Securities (Seychelles) Ltd, regulated by FSA Seychelles, Tier-3, License Number – SD038, Max. Leverage – 1:500

I opened a Standard account with the broker and estimated its fees to be, generally, above average. However, the values of a hypothetical 1 lot EUR/USD trade on its Premium and VIP accounts – at $10 and $8, respectively – are very competitive.

Errante gives access to 50+ technical indicators and drawing tools on MetaTrader 4. From my experience, most beginners like to learn technical analysis on MT4 because of its simplistic, albeit rugged, design and easy learning curve. On the other hand, I find it difficult to examine price action behavior on MetaTrader because scaling it up and down is not particularly easy.

  • Diverse account types.
  • Copy and social trading.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • Limited scope of research materials.
  • No third-party tools.

Best for Tradable Instruments

Start Trading
This material on this website is intended for illustrative purposes and general information only. It does not constitute financial advice nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Commission, interest, platform fees, dividends, variation margin and other fees and charges may apply to financial products or services available from FP Markets. The information in this website has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the information in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs before making any decision about whether to acquire or dispose of any financial product. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are derivatives and can be risky; When trading CFDs you do not own or have any rights to the CFDs underlying assets. FP Markets recommends that you seek independent advice from an appropriately qualified person before deciding to invest in or dispose of a derivative. A Product Disclosure Statement for each of the financial products available from FP Markets can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into transactions with us. First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 16 112 600 281, AFS Licence No. 286354). FP Markets is a group of companies which include, First Prudential Markets Ltd (registration number HE 372179), a company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC License number 371/18, Registered Address: Griva Digeni, 109, Aigeo Court, 2nd floor, 3101, Limassol, Cyprus. FP Markets does not accept applications from U.S, Japan or New Zealand residents or residents from any other country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to those local laws or regulations.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

FP Markets was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Australia. It has a couple of top-tier licenses and maintains excellent execution standards. The broker has a ‘best execution policy’, publishes regular execution quality statements, and achieves an average execution speed of under 40 milliseconds.

FP Markets Entities

  • First Prudential Markets Ltd, regulated by CySEC Cyprus, Tier-1, License Number – 371/18, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • First Prudential Markets PTY Ltd, regulated by ASIC, Australia, Tier-1, License Number – 286354, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • FP Markets LLC, unregulated, registered in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Max. Leverage – 1:500

FP Markets offers more than 800 CFDs on instruments from different classes, both high-yield/high-risk assets, and lower-risk securities. We deem FP Markets best for instruments due to its access to deep liquidity, very low minimum deposit requirement, and incorporation of the iRESS platform.

I tested the platform, which offers access to over 10,000 global shares and has over 100 technical indicators and drawing tools, and found it ideal for stock traders. They can also benefit from FP Markets’ competitive pricing. The broker charges a $6 round-turn commission per lot on its Raw account and affords spreads starting from 0.0 pips. With an estimated value of trade (1 lot EURUSD) at $7, FP Markets’ trading costs are below the industry average.

  • Excellent execution standards.
  • Range of accounts and instruments.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • No inactivity fee.
  • No proprietary platform.

Best for Cryptocurrency Trading

Start Trading
Our products are traded on margin and carry a high level of risk and it is possible to lose all your capital. These products may not be suitable for everyone and you should ensure that you understand the risks involved.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

IronFX was founded in 2010 and provides a range of trading solutions to high-frequency crypto traders. It has a couple of top-tier licenses underpinning its trustworthiness. I also assessed its execution standards to be acceptable. The broker complies with best execution guidelines and publishes regular execution performance reports.

IronFX Entities

  • Notesco Financial Services Ltd, regulated by CySEC Cyprus, Tier-1, License Number – 125/10, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Notesco UK Limited, regulated by FCA UK, Tier-1, License Number – 585561, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Notesco (SA) Pty Ltd, regulated by FSCA South Africa, Tier-2, License Number – 45276, Max. Leverage – 1:400
  • Notesco Limited, unregulated, registered in Bermuda, Max. Leverage – 1:1000

IronFX offers more than 300 instruments, 32 of which are cryptocurrencies, that can be traded on the broker’s WebTrader platform as well as on the renowned MetaTrader with over 50 technical indicators and drawing tools and supports automatic trading via its Expert Advisors (EAs) feature.

With regards to IronFX’s trading fees, I checked the parameters of its Standard account and discovered that it supports commission-free trading and floating spreads from 1.8 pips. This combination is slightly above the industry average.

  • Diverse account types.
  • Multiple crypto CFDs.
  • Top-tier regulation.
  • High spreads for some instruments.

Best Low Spreads

Start Trading
Trading Derivatives carries a high level of risk to your capital and you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. Trading Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, and seek independent advice if necessary. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into a transaction with us. Raw Spread accounts offer spreads from 0.0 pips with a commission charge of USD $3.50 per 100k traded. Standard account offer spreads from 1 pips with no additional commission charges. Spreads on CFD indices start at 0.4 points. The information on this site is not directed at residents in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

IC Markets was founded in 2007, holds a couple of top-tier licenses, and offers a broad range of tradable instruments from different markets including FX pairs, commodities, CFD shares, indices, and more.

IC Markets Entities

  • IC Markets (EU) Ltd, regulated by CySEC Cyprus, Tier-1, License Number – 362/18, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • International Capital Markets Pty Ltd, regulated by ASIC Australia, Tier-1, License Number – 335692, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Raw Trading Ltd, regulated by FSA Seychelles, Tier-3, License Number – SD018, Max. Leverage – 1:500

IC Markets offers commission-free trading and floating spreads from 0.6 pips on its Standard account and raw spreads from 0.0 pips plus a $6 round-turn commission per lot on its Raw account type. I also assessed that a typical value of trade on both account types – $7 and $7.5, respectively – stands below the industry average. Hence, I concluded that IC Markets has one of the most competitive pricing models in the industry.

I clocked IC Markets’ execution speed in under 66 milliseconds, which is better than the industry average. The broker also publishes regular execution quality statements and has a ‘best execution policy’. I thus determined IC Markets’ execution standards to be suitable for both high-frequency and high-volume trading.

Traders can choose between the popular MetaTrader 4&5 and cTrader platforms. The latter has lower commissions, a more intuitive design, and is generally more feature-rich. What I also like more about cTrader is that it gives me greater flexibility to scale price action up and down.

  • Fast execution speeds.
  • Very low trading fees.
  • Free VPS.
  • Reliable 24/7 customer support.
  • No third-party tools.

Best Forex Trading App

Start Trading
71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

AvaTrade is a multi-regulated broker with top-tier licensing and a diverse offering of instruments from different asset classes. The broker offers CFDs, futures, and options, allowing you to hedge against adverse volatility and exploit different trading opportunities.

AvaTrade maintains good execution standards – the broker has all the necessary documentation but does not state its average execution speed. All of these factors make AvaTrade suitable for traders wanting to practice tight risk management.

AvaTrade Entities

  • Ava Capital Markets Australia Pty Ltd, regulated by ASIC Australia, Tier-1, License Number – 406684, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • DT Direct Investment Hub Ltd, regulated by CySEC Cyprus, Tier-1, License Number – 347/17, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Ava Trade Japan K.K., regulated by FSA Japan, Tier-1, License Number – 1574, Max. Leverage – 1:25
  • Ava Trade EU Ltd, regulated by CBI Ireland, Tier-1, License Number – C53877, Max. Leverage – 1:30
  • Ava Capital Markets Pty Ltd, regulated by FSCA South Africa, Tier-2, License Number – 45984, Max. Leverage – 1:400
  • Ava Trade Middle East Ltd, regulated by FSRA, Abu Dhabi, Tier-2, License Number – 190018, Max. Leverage – 1:400
  • ATrade Ltd, regulated by ISA Israel, Tier-2, License Number – 514666577, Max. Leverage – 1:100
  • Ava Trade Markets Ltd, regulated by FSC British Virgin Islands, Tier-3, License Number – SIBAL/13/1049, Max. Leverage – 1:400

AvaTrade’s multiple trading apps allow you to stay on top of your trading on the go. I downloaded AvaOptions and checked its usability. I found it quite easy to navigate and to learn.

I also checked how much it will cost you to execute a 1 lot trade on the EUR/USD and measured the value of such a hypothetical trade at $9. This is below the industry average. AvaTrade's competitive pricing and the ability to implement tight risk management on the go make it an excellent choice for risk-averse traders.

  • Offers options trading.
  • Diverse account types.
  • Good range of instruments.
  • Multiple trading apps and tools.
  • Average execution speed not listed.
  • Compensation scheme not available on all entities.

Best for US Traders

Start Trading
74% of retail CFD accounts lose money
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

Established in 1974, IG has been operating for nearly half a century and has become one of the most recognizable and trusted names in the financial industry. The company is headquartered in London and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), attesting to its stability and security.

IG (US) Entities

  • IG US LLC is a registered RFED with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Tier-1 regulator) and a member of the National Futures Association, License Number – NFA ID 0509630, Max. Leverage – 1:50.

In 2019, the industry leader expanded its operations in the US. The IG US LLC entity is licensed and regulated by top-tier authorities in the country (CFTC and NFA). I checked its legal documents and assessed that it adheres to the highest standards of transparency. IG may cover any negative balance incurred by you, and it ensures ‘best execution.’

I also discovered that all trading fees, except for the rollover, are built into the spread. IG’s floating spread starts from 0.8 pips and varies across instruments from different asset classes. Generally, I evaluated its fees to be below the industry average.

Additionally, I was impressed by IG’s average execution speed of 15 milliseconds. This performance is the result of IG’s DMA (Direct Market Access) execution model and access to deep liquidity.

IG’s proprietary platform is highly customizable and suitable for high-frequency trading. It features multiple analytical tools and charting solutions. It was quite easy to scale up and down price action.

  • One of the biggest brand names in the industry.
  • Tightly regulated in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Has a best execution policy.
  • Competitive fees.
  • Versatile platforms.
  • Above-average inactivity fee.

Our Methodology

Here at FX Empire, we have pioneered a unique methodology for evaluating Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives brokers worldwide. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive picture of a broker’s pros and cons so that our readers can make informed decisions. We understand their need to choose the best partner for their particular goals and needs.

Our team of dedicated professionals is working continuously to improve our system and keep it up-to-date with current market trends. We test each broker systematically by employing over 250 variables across nine categories:

  • Trust
  • Fees
  • Account Types
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Platforms and Tools
  • Deposits and Withdrawals
  • Customer Support
  • Research
  • Education

We strive to be as objective as possible, which is why our rigorous examinations are devoid of any personal bias as much as possible. We review the licenses of all the subsidiaries of a broker and check the fine print in the Client Agreement. The reliability of a broker is further determined based on the regulation, fees, and general transparency of the website.

We collect essential information by opening a live account with a broker entity and testing its services in real time. We measure the spreads, swaps, and commissions on its most popular account type and compare our findings to the industry average.

We also test the functionality of the available platforms, the number and types of tradable instruments, the reliability of customer support, and the quality of the research and educational materials.

For this guide, we only considered brokers with an overall score of 4+ that are regulated globally and obtain a couple of top-tier licenses. We made sure the brokers comply with most safety requirements, such as ensuring negative balance protection, segregation of client funds, capping the maximum allowed leverage, and providing a compensation scheme. Additionally, we preferred brokers that maintain good execution standards.

We abide by our strict guidelines for editorial integrity based on the objective standards we have set for our reviews. You can read more about our review process here.

Meet Our Writers

The team of forex and CFD analysts and editors at FXEmpire is composed of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists. Our experts have been published on leading financial websites such as Investopedia and Forbes. In addition, they all have extensive trading experience.

Get to Know Our Authors

Dan Blystoneauthor

Dan Blystone began his career in the trading industry in 1998 on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later Dan gained insight into the forex industry during his time as a Series 3 licenced futures and forex broker. He also traded at a couple of different prop trading firms in Chicago. Dan is well-equipped to recommend the best forex brokers due to his extensive experience and understanding of the brokerage industry.

Jitan Solankiauthor

Jitan Solanki is a professional trader, market analyst, and educator. He day trades major currency and index markets and focuses on swing trading US equities and commodities. A qualified Market Technician, Jitan also works with trader education and brokerage companies on various projects. These include market analysis, live trading events, and broker reviews. As an experienced trader and educator, Jitan brings all his qualities in action when reviewing and recommending brokers.

Plamen Stoyanovauthor

Having been a retail trader since 2013, Plamen has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges that novice traders face today. His expertise is swing trading and day trading with a heavy emphasis on psychological and fundamental analysis. Plamen’s favourite trading instruments include FX majors and gold. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Relations. Plamen's broad experience has equipped him with the expertise to recommend the best forex brokers.

Vladimir Zernovauthor

In more than 15 years of trading in the financial markets, Vladimir dealt with a wide range of brokers and financial instruments. His career as a day-trader at a proprietary trading firm goes back to 2007. Later, Vladimir turned to longer time frames and became an independent trader and analyst managing his own portfolio. Using his experience, he helps traders find the best broker in his reviews.

How to Choose a Well-Regulated Broker?

In this part, I will outline what traders need to consider when looking for a trustworthy broker.

How to Verify if a Broker is Regulated?

There are several things you can do to verify if a broker is regulated and by which regulatory body. When you open a broker’s website, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the entity’s legal name. This is where it is stated who the regulator is. You need to look for a reference/licensing number, which you can then use to verify the entity by going to the regulator’s own website and checking its registry of authorized entities.

You also need to assess a broker’s transparency in relation to order execution and whether it can be trusted not to manipulate price action. You need to check whether the broker has a ‘best execution policy’, publishes regular quality execution statements, and states its average execution speed.

How to Check Broker’s Protection Level?

To find a trustworthy partner, make sure that the broker’s entity you choose is tightly regulated and complies with all industry safety requirements.

I have broken down the most important safety mechanisms to look for in a broker below:

  • Segregation of client funds. Brokers must keep their clients’ funds in separate bank accounts from the ones used for their corporate capital. This is crucial for mitigating the risk of accounting errors.
  • Negative balance protection. Negative balance protection means that a trader’s losses cannot exceed their account balance. This protection is indispensable when trading high-risk instruments, such as Contracts for Difference (CFDs).
  • Limited market exposure. Limiting market exposure protects traders against adverse price fluctuations. That is why most top-tier regulators cap the maximum leverage allowed at 1:30, whereas less strict regulators can allow leverage as high as 1:2000.
  • Compensation scheme. Depending on the jurisdiction where a broker is situated, a compensation scheme may also protect its clients against the company’s credit risk and liabilities. For instance, brokers regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) participate in the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF). In the unlikely event of the company becoming insolvent, traders can be compensated by up to 20,000 EUR. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) – under The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom – protects traders by up to 85,000 GBP.

Check out our dedicated guides on best CySEC-regulated brokers and best FCA-regulated brokers.

What Protections do Regulators Mandate?

I have broken down all the essential safety requirements you can expect with a broker that is licensed and regulated by either of the following entities:

Regulator Country Tier Segregated Funds Negative Balance Protection Compensation Scheme Maximum Leverage
FCA UK 1 Yes Yes Up to GBP 85,000 1:30
CySEC Cyprus 1 Yes Yes Up to EUR 20,000 1:30
FINMA Switzerland 1 Yes No Up to CHF 100,000 1:100
FSA Japan 1 Yes No No 1:500
CBI Ireland 1 Yes Yes Up to EUR 20,000 1:30
FSCA South Africa 2 Yes No No 1:400
ASIC Australia 1 Yes Yes No 1:30
CSSF Luxemburg 1 Yes Yes Up to EUR 25,000 1:30
MAS Singapore 1 Yes Yes No 1:20
DFSA Dubai 2 Yes Yes No 1:30
SFC Hong Kong 1 Yes No Up to HKD 500,000 1:20
MFSA Malta 1 Yes Yes Up to EUR 20,000 1:30
FSC Mauritius 3 Yes No No 1:500
FSA Seychelles 3 Yes No No 1:2000
CBC Curacao and Sint Maarten 3 Yes No No 1:500
FSC British Virgin Islands 3 Yes No No 1:500
CMA Kenya 3 Yes Yes No 1:400
SCB Bahamas 3 Yes Yes No 1:200

Why do Execution Standards Matter?

A broker may have many top-tier licenses, but that does not necessarily guarantee the fast and precise order execution performance that you may require or expect. There is also the risk of price manipulation with less reputable companies where the broker might engage in fraudulent activities, such as driving the price down to hit your stop-loss orders. To protect yourself, you need to look for several things:

  • Best execution policy. Found in a broker’s legal documents, the best execution policy is a legal mandate that the broker will provide its clients with the most favorable price quotes under prevailing market conditions.
  • Quality execution statements. Also found in the legal documents, these statements underscore a broker’s execution performance on a yearly basis. You can find information pertaining to a broker’s execution venues, the number of trades that were executed with positive or negative slippage, and so forth.
  • Average execution speed reports. More reputable brokers would also state what their average execution speed is, as recorded in the execution statement for the previous year. This is important, especially if you are a high-frequency trader because it will inform you what kinds of strategies can be used with a given broker.

Precision and speed of order execution are also likely to be enhanced when a broker provides Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. As a rule of thumb, look for brokers that can accommodate ultra-fast order execution speeds of no more than 100 milliseconds.

Read more about best brokers with VPS.

Based on my experience as a high-frequency trader, I know how important quick and precise order execution is for implementing intraday strategies, such as scalping. I’ve also experienced price manipulation by less reputable brokers, so I can appreciate just how important to adhere to rigorous execution standards.

If a broker maintains a ‘best execution policy’, regularly publishes execution quality statements, and demonstrates an average execution speed below 50 milliseconds, it can be praised for its ‘excellent execution standards’.

How to Assess if Broker’s Trading Fees Are Competitive?

A broker may have several account types, each with different pricing mechanisms. The question is, how to know which one is best fitted for your particular style of trading? I will answer this question by providing an example with two distinct accounts, one STP and the other ECN:

The biggest difference between STP and ECN accounts, apart from the execution model, is the pricing mechanism. Usually, STP accounts afford commission-free trading and floating spreads, whereas ECN accounts have fixed commissions and raw spreads (typically starting from 0.1 pips). At first glance, the former sounds more favorable because you only have to pay one cost – the spread – rather than two.

Read more about Best STP forex brokers and Best ECN forex brokers.

Many brokers recognize the psychological significance of this sort of thinking and seek to exploit it by raising the spreads on their STP accounts to the point where they are no longer the more competitive option. I will now demonstrate how to do a quick test for yourself to evaluate the competitiveness of a broker’s ECN and STP accounts.

Pick an instrument, say, the EURUSD. Suppose also that the spread on the pair is 0.9 pips on a broker’s STP account and 0.1 pips on its ECN account. There is also a $6 commission for trading 1 lot (100,000 units) contract. If the EURUSD pip value is $10, you can do a simple calculation to determine the value of a hypothetical position on the EURUSD executed on both account types. The formula is the value of a trade = spread x pip value + commission. When we pop in the above values, this is what we discover about our hypothetical broker:

Account Type Spread Commission Net Cost
STP 0.9 $0 $9
ECN 0.1 $6 $7

This is just a hypothetical example, but hopefully, it illustrates how more can be less in trading. So it’s worthwhile evaluating the costs of a broker you consider opening an account with for yourself before doing so. And if you are still uncertain, you can always check out our database of reviews to sort out the most competitive brokers.

Check out our list of best lowest spread forex brokers.

How to Choose a Trading Platform?

A trading platform is your window into the market. It allows you to observe price action behavior and study potential opportunities for placing orders. Technical traders use a platform’s array of indicators, drawing tools, and other features to examine various price patterns, changes in volatility, liquidity, and so on in order to gauge the most favorable times to enter or exit the market.

The best platforms are also the most versatile ones. They include a wide spectrum of technical indicators, such as Fibonacci retracement levels, oscillators, trend-based and range-based indicators, and others, as well as drawing tools, such as trend lines, channels, wedges, etc. They are also the ones that allow you to easily scale price action up and down.

The retail industry’s most popular platforms, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, have established themselves as benchmarks for simplicity and reliability over the years. While they offer a decent range of technical indicators and drawing tools for multi-timeframe analysis, their rugged design becomes evident when compared to newer and sleeker platforms. Although MetaTrader is suitable for beginners, those seeking more advanced trading capabilities may require a sophisticated platform.

Read more about best MT4 brokers and best MT5 brokers.

In response, some brokers have developed their own proprietary platforms, which offer convenience and additional features not found in MetaTrader. These platforms allow for instrument search by asset class, easy scaling of price action, and execution of complex box orders. Ultimately, the choice of the best platform for you boils down to a trade-off between simplicity and practicality.

Check out our dedicated guide on best forex trading platforms.

What to Avoid When Choosing a Broker?

Here is a quick rundown of some of the most important things to avoid:

  • Unregulated brokers. Trading with an unregulated broker exposes you to a higher risk of fraud or unethical business practices, as they are not bound by any regulatory standards or rules. Additionally, in case of any disputes or if the broker goes bankrupt, there might be no legal recourse or compensation schemes available to recover your funds.
  • Lack of client protection. Avoid brokers that cannot ensure more than two of the following: segregated funds, negative balance protection, compensation scheme, and maximum leverage for retail traders no bigger than 1:100
  • Low execution quality. Try to avoid brokers that cannot ensure more than two of the following: best execution policy, regular quality execution statements, and average execution speed under 100 milliseconds.
  • High spreads and commissions. Sidestep brokers with floating spreads from 1.8 pips or above on STP accounts and with round-turn commissions above $7 on ECN accounts.

How to Avoid Forex and CFD Scams?

Scammers rely on the gullibility of traders. A common tactic fraudsters employ is to promise quick and easy profits at no risk to the trader. Often scammers would use labels that closely resemble the brands of real and legitimate companies. That is why regulators like the FCA have registers where traders can read about such fraudulent companies pretending to be others.

The best and easiest way to protect yourself is to make sure you work with a trustworthy and transparent broker. You can find a comprehensive list of reliable brokers by jurisdiction here.

Another important consideration is online safety. Be cautious about where you leave your personal information. Registering your details on suspicious pop-ups that promise enormous profits could lead to your contact information landing on a scammer’s dialing list. Remember, no licensed broker would make unsolicited cold calls.

The next time you get contacted out of the blue with promises of becoming the next Warren Buffet, you must remember that you are most likely speaking to a scammer. I am of the opinion that nowhere is the “if something sounds too good to be true…” saying more accurate than in the world of trading. That is why you should do your due diligence before opening an account with any broker.


A regulated forex broker is supervised and licensed by a financial authority, ensuring adherence to certain rules designed to protect investors. They offer transparency, segregation of clients' funds, dispute resolution, and adhere to risk management practices. Thus, trading with a regulated broker provides security against fraudulent practices.
Forex brokers are overseen by various regulatory bodies depending on the country they are based in. For instance, brokers that are located in Cyprus will be regulated by CySEC, brokers located in the UK will be regulated by the FCA, Australian brokers by ASIC, and so on.
The licensing info of a broker is usually displayed at the bottom of the main page. Additionally, you can check the Legal Documents section on the broker’s website.
Regulated forex brokers offer enhanced investor protection by adhering to rigorous standards for financial transparency, fair trading practices, and risk management. They secure client funds in segregated accounts and provide official channels for dispute resolution, creating a safer and more secure trading environment against potential fraud and unethical practices.
Top-tier regulators enforce stringent standards, including deposit protection schemes, fund segregation, and rigorous financial and ethical norms, along with formal dispute resolution mechanisms. In contrast, offshore regulators may have less strict requirements, which might increase risk for traders. Therefore, although not all offshore-regulated brokers are unreliable, trading with a broker regulated by a top-tier body generally offers more robust investor protection.
The exact criteria for obtaining a regulatory license can vary depending on the specific regulatory body. To obtain regulatory licenses, brokers typically need to demonstrate capital adequacy, segregate client and operational funds, and pass fit and proper tests for key personnel. Additionally, they must present a clear business model, implement effective risk management, maintain a robust operational setup, and commit to transparency and full disclosure. These standards ensure the broker's integrity and protect traders' interests.
Yes, you can generally trade with a regulated broker even if you reside outside of their regulatory jurisdiction. Many regulated brokers accept clients from around the world. However, there may be some restrictions based on the regulations in your home country. Some countries may have restrictions on forex trading or specific rules on trading with foreign brokers.
Regulated brokers often have higher operating costs due to compliance with regulatory standards, and these costs can sometimes be passed on to traders in the form of higher fees and commissions. However, this is not always the case. The fees and commissions charged by brokers can vary widely, depending on factors like their business model, market strategy, and the specific services they offer. Some regulated brokers might offer competitive pricing despite their higher costs, in order to attract clients.
It’s possible but highly risky and generally not recommended. Unregulated brokers lack oversight and accountability, offering no client protection or formal dispute resolution, and they may engage in unethical practices. The potential risks with unregulated brokers typically outweigh any short-term benefits like lower costs.
Based on our findings, Exness’ service is most tailored for beginners thanks to its intuitive proprietary platform, commission-free trading options, and rich collection of educational content.
With its superior execution standards and a broad range of platforms and instruments, we found Swissquote best for professional traders.
Yes, most regulators allow trading with crypto CFDs.
Technically, it is possible, but it's practically challenging for individual retail traders. Brokers provide access to the forex market and connect buyers and sellers on an international level, providing the necessary trading platform, tools, and leverage options.

About the Author

Having been a retail trader since 2013, Plamen has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges that novice traders face today. His expertise is swing trading and day trading with a heavy emphasis on psychological and fundamental analysis. Plamen’s favourite trading instruments include FX majors and gold. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Relations. Plamen's broad experience has equipped him with the expertise to recommend the best forex brokers.

Why you can trust FX Empire

At FXEmpire, we strive to provide unbiased, thorough and accurate broker reviews by industry experts to help our users make smarter financial decisions.

Read more

Why you can trust FX Empire

FXEmpire was founded in 2011, making us one of the first forex broker review sites. You can trust FXEmpire because of our thorough and unbiased review process. With over a decade of experience, we have a team of industry experts who conduct rigorous tests to ensure our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Our reviews are designed to bring clarity and confidence to the process of choosing a broker, and are based on objective criteria and measurable data. Our editorial team is composed of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists, who ensure that our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Additionally, our review system is based on 9 core categories and over 250 distinct variables, which ensures that all aspects of a broker are considered before giving a final rating. So, you can trust FXEmpire to provide you with honest and informative reviews that will help you make an informed decision on which broker will best enable you to reach your financial goals.