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6 Best STP Forex Brokers for 2024

By:
Plamen Stoyanov
Reviewed By:
Ola Alder
Updated: Mar 21, 2024

List of Top STP Forex Brokers and Accounts

Top-tier regulation by CySEC and ASIC. Tight spreads. Range of platforms and tools. 1000+ tradable instruments.

Regulated by 7 top-tier regulators. Sophisticated proprietary platform. Over 3 million trading and investing products. Maintains excellent execution standards. Lightning-fast execution under 9 milliseconds.

Top regulation by ASIC and CySEC. Low minimum deposit requirements. Reliable customer support. Range of trading platforms with powerful tools. Comprehensive research content.

Regulated by CySEC. Very tight spreads. MT4 and MT5. Penetrating in-house research content. Supports the seamless Autochartist tool.

Regulated by FCA, CySEC, and ASIC. VPS hosting and Fix API. Dedicated research and educational content.

Regulated by FCA and CySEC. Has ‘best execution policy’. Competitive fees. Diverse instruments.

Understanding STP Accounts in Forex Trading

STP, short for Straight-Through Processing, is an electronic order execution method in securities trading. For retail traders, using an STP account means automatic order execution without a dealing desk’s involvement. The main advantage of No-Dealing-Desk (NDD) brokers, including STP, is faster order execution, with a higher chance of orders being filled at or near the requested price, thereby reducing the risk of negative slippage.

In terms of pricing, STP accounts differ from ECN accounts. While ECN accounts typically have a fixed commission and raw spreads starting from 0.0 pips, STP accounts offer commission-free trading with floating spreads. Psychologically, STP’s single-cost structure might seem more appealing, though it’s not always the most cost-effective choice.

How Did FX Empire Choose the Best STP Forex Brokers?

FXEmpire's Methodology

  • Regulation. We only considered brokers that are regulated by top-tier financial institutions and adhere to the strictest financial requirements ensuring maximum protection.
  • Best execution policy. We prefer brokers that have a ‘best execution policy’, ensuring only the most favorable price quotes are fed to their clients at all times.
  • STP accounts. STP accounts usually offer a combination of commission-free trading and floating spreads. We only looked for brokers that provide the most favorable combinations.
  • Speed performance. We only considered brokers that can ensure fast and precise order execution, with an average execution speed no higher than 100 milliseconds. Additionally, at least two-thirds of all orders have to be executed at the requested price or with positive slippage.
  • Trading software. We selected brokers offering user-friendly platforms with easy learning curves, such as MetaTrader 4&5, which are quite popular among newbies, and lean, sophisticated, and cutting-edge platforms catering to experienced professionals. We also looked for brokers that support the best third-party tools in the industry.
  • Available instruments. We preferred brokers that offer a sufficient amount of tradable instruments from different asset classes to allow traders to exploit different opportunities.
  • Supporting content. We evaluated brokers’ research and educational offerings for comprehensive insights into market trends as well as the scope and applicability of the available content for learning.

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

Now let’s dive into the selected brokers.

Best Overall

Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are leveraged over-the-counter derivative products and carry a high level of risk to your capital. You should only risk capital that you can afford to lose. In certain circumstances, due to fluctuations in market value you may not get back your initial investment amount. You may not only lose your initial investment but you may incur a liability to pay a further amount to cover losses. This means you can lose more money than you have invested.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    8977
  • Fees
    Low

FP Markets was founded in Australia in 2005. It is licensed by top-tier regulation, including CySEC in Europe and ASIC in Australia. FP Markets is globally trusted by both retail and professional traders due to its outstandingly balanced offerings in the industry.

STP Account Features:

  • Commissions and spreads: $0 commissions, spreads from 1.0 pips
  • Value of trade: $11
  • Available trading platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader
  • Best execution policy: Yes

I opened a Standard STP account with FP Markets and was impressed by its fast order execution speeds, which I measured at under 40 milliseconds on average. These ultra-fast speeds are more than suitable for executing a wide range of trading strategies, including high-frequency/short-term trading.

When doing my review, I calculated that trading one lot on the EUR/USD will cost you $11, which meets the industry average. As a whole, I found FP Markets’ spreads on FX pairs and commodities to be low to medium and quite low on CFD shares.

The other thing that stood out to me was the availability of over 1000 instruments from different asset classes. This diversity allows traders to exploit various opportunities on MetaTrader 4&5, which are quite popular among beginners or the professional cTrader platform. What I like about cTrader is that it makes it easier to examine price action behavior in greater detail.

Pros
  • Extremely low spreads on some instruments.
  • Strict regulations.
  • 24/7 customer support.
  • No fees for deposits and withdrawals.
Cons
  • No proprietary platform.

Best Execution Speed

Trading involves risks. Products and services of Swissquote are only intended for those permitted to receive them under local law.
  • Min Deposit
    $1000
  • Tradable Instruments
    506
  • Fees
    Medium

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. But what impressed me most, even more than its safety and reliability, is Swissquote’s average execution speed of under 9 milliseconds.

I also discovered that because of its access to deep liquidity, Swissquote manages a 98% fill ratio, with less than 18% of all trades resulting in negative slippage. These results are ideal for high-frequency trading, which requires precision and speed.

STP Account Features:

  • Commissions and spreads: $0 commission, spreads from 1.3 pips
  • Value of trade: Standard account $17, Premium account –$14, Prime account $11
  • Available trading platforms: MetaTrader 4&5, Advanced Trader
  • Best execution policy: No

I opened a Forex & CFDs account with the investment bank, which offers over 450 trading and investing products. 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. I particularly liked the fact that explanations of individual instruments and how they function are available directly from the platform, which is quite beneficial for newbies.

Swissquote is one of those brokers that offers excellent services, but it comes at an above-average cost. 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 not for everyone.

Pros
  • Ultra-fast execution speeds.
  • Wide range of trading instruments.
  • Feature-rich platform.
  • Rich and diverse supporting content.
Cons
  • Above-average fees.
  • No best execution policy.

Best for Beginners

Risk Warning: Trading Forex and CFDs carries the risk of losing substantially more than your initial investment and should only be traded with money you can afford to lose. You don't own or have any rights to the assets that underly the derivatives (e.g. the right to receive dividend payments). Ensure you fully understand the risks involved. Trading leveraged products may not be suitable for all investors. Before trading, please take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary. Please consider our legal documents and ensure that you fully understand the risks before you make any trading decisions. General Advice Warning: The information in this website is of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Accordingly, before acting on the advice, you should consider the appropriateness of any advice having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs, and after considering the legal documents. Regional Restrictions: The information or services described in this website is not directed at or offered to residents of North Korea, Japan, United States and some other regions or any other person in any jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local laws or regulations. For more information please contact our support.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    960
  • Fees
    Low

VT Markets is an Australian-based broker that was founded in 2015. The broker affords access to a range of different markets so that you can choose whether to speculate with high-risk/yield assets or lower-risk securities. VT Markets also offers dedicated customer support and has low minimum deposit requirements.

STP Account Features:

  • Commissions and spreads: $0 commission, spreads from 1.2 pips
  • Value of trade: Around $12
  • Available trading platforms: MT4 and MT5
  • Best execution policy: Yes

There are many things in VT Markets’ service that beginner traders can find useful. Traders can benefit from its probing research content that examines the technical and fundamental aspects of price action behavior and also take advantage of the incorporation of Trading Central. The latter is one of the most trusted signal providers in the industry.

I opened an STP account with VT Markets to check its general conditions. With zero commissions and floating spreads starting from 1.2 pips, they generally meet the industry average. Based on my research, trading CFD shares with the broker is most advantageous. I recorded low-to-medium spreads on some of the most popular stocks compared to the industry average.

When opening an STP account, you can choose between MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 – both quite popular among novice traders because of their simple and easy-to-navigate layout. MetaTrader has a decent range of technical indicators and drawing tools and also accommodates copy and automated trading.

Pros
  • Top-tier licensing.
  • Diverse account types.
  • Access to deep liquidity.
  • Excellent research materials.
Cons
  • No webinars.

Best Low Spreads

4.3
Forex margin trading involves substantial risks.
  • Min Deposit
    $25
  • Tradable Instruments
    230
  • Fees
    Low

OCTA is headquartered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and was founded in 2011. In addition to its overseas regulation, the broker has obtained a CySEC license to serve traders in Europe.

STP Account Features:

  • Commissions and spreads: $0 commission, spreads from 0.5 pips
  • Value of trade: $10
  • Available trading platforms: MT4 and MT5.
  • Best execution policy: Yes

OCTA offers a combination of commission-free and swap-free trading and floating spreads starting from 0.5 pips, which I determined to be very competitive. At the time of my review, the spread on the EUR/USD was 1.0 pips, meaning the value of 1 lot trade on the pair equals $10. This is below the industry average for an STP account.

OCTA permits hedging, scalping, and the use of Expert Advisors (EAs) for automated trading. I tested OCTA’s execution quality and assessed the risk of negative slippage to be minimal. I also found out that, on average, trades are executed in under 100 milliseconds.

Traders can choose from MetaTrader 4 and 5. The latter version is quite easy to learn, has nearly 100 technical indicators, drawing tools, timeframes, and more, and affords basic technical analysis. However, a drawback of MT5 that I noticed is its lack of a specific instrument search function, forcing users to sift through the entire list of OCTA’s 50 available assets.

Pros
  • Tight spreads.
  • No inactivity fee.
  • No handling fees.
  • No swaps.
Cons
  • No phone support.
  • No share CFDs.

Best Trading Tools

FXOpen Ltd: 60% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider | FXOpen EU Ltd: 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.
  • Min Deposit
    $1
  • Tradable Instruments
    622
  • Fees
    Medium

FXOpen, which was founded in 2005, is a well-established broker with CySEC, ASIC, and FCA regulations. What stood out the most to me is FXOpen’s perspective on market developments. With its penetrating in-house content and multiple trading tools, clients of FXOpen can gain a 360-degree angle.

STP Account Features:

  • Commissions and spreads: $0 commission, spreads from 1.1 pips
  • Value of trade: $11
  • Available trading platforms: MT4, MT5, TickTrader
  • Best execution policy: Yes

With its zero commissions and floating spreads starting from 1.1 pips, FXOpen’s fees meet the industry average. I also calculated that a 1 lot trade on the EUR/USD will cost you $11, which is standard for an STP account.

In terms of its tools, FXOpen supports free VPS hosting and FIX API. These are ideal for automated trading, whose success depends on fast and precise order execution. Traders can also make good use of FXOpen’s research materials, such as news and trading analyses, which I assessed to be timely, well-informed, and practical. FXOpen’s content usually contains technical, fundamental, and psychological breakdowns, giving the reader a balanced overview of the market and what drives it.

As a high-frequency trader, I found FXOpen’s TickTrader suitable for executing a wide range of strategies. The platform supports scalping, hedging, and netting, where you can have multiple positions opened simultaneously and even have contrary positions on the same instrument. The platform also supports robust technical and charting indicators.

Pros
  • Choice of trading platforms.
  • Informative research content.
  • Reliable customer support.
  • Tight spreads on forex.
Cons
  • Poor educational content.

Best MT4

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
    $0
  • Tradable Instruments
    321
  • Fees
    Medium

Founded in 2010 and with offices in Cyprus, UK, South Africa, and Bermuda, IronFX’s services span globally. The derivatives broker is regulated by CySEC, FSCA, and the FCA, ensuring compliance with most safety requirements. I opened an STP account with the broker and found it particularly suitable for beginners wanting to trade on the widely popular MetaTrader platform.

STP Account Features:

  • Commissions and spreads: $0 commission, spreads from 1.8 pips
  • Value of trade: $11
  • Available trading platforms: MetaTrader 4, WebTrader.
  • Best execution policy: Yes

I tested MetaTrader 4’s practicality and how it bodes with IronFX’s service and concluded that it is a good stepping stone for novice traders wanting to learn about technical analysis. This is made possible by its intuitive design and easy learning curve. MetaTrader has 50+ technical indicators, drawing tools, and timeframes, which can be used to study different facets of price action behavior and gauge market sentiment.

What I discovered about IronFX’s fees is that it will cost you $11 to trade 1 lot on the EUR/USD, which meets the industry average. However, the STP account also has floating spreads around 1.8 pips, which is rather high. On the other hand, IronFX has a decent range of CFDs on instruments from different asset classes. And with a minimum deposit requirement of $50, the STP account is quite accessible to all kinds of retail traders.

Pros
  • Solid regulation.
  • Range of account types.
  • Reliable customer support.
  • Low minimum deposit requirement.
Cons
  • High spreads on some instruments.

How to Choose the Best STP Account?

Now it is time to identify the specific factors traders need to consider when searching for the most suitable broker offering an STP account.

How to find a safe broker?

To make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy partner, you need to make sure that the broker 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).
  • Capped leverage. Beginners are especially susceptible to the risk of adverse price fluctuations, which is why the maximum leverage allowed for retail traders is set at 1:30. Anything beyond that can be too risky for inexperienced traders.
  • 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 CySEC participate in the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF), and in the case of a company’s insolvency, traders can be compensated by up to 20,000 EUR. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) under FCA UK protects traders by up to 85,000 GBP.

Read more about Best regulated forex brokers.

How to evaluate if the pricing is competitive?

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.

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.

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

Pick an instrument, say, the EUR/USD. 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 a 1 lot (100,000 units) contract. If the EUR/USD pip value is $10, you can do a simple calculation to determine the value of a hypothetical position on the EUR/USD 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 pips $0 $9
ECN 0.1 pips $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 guide on Best lowest spread forex brokers.

Why liquidity matters?

The deeper the liquidity pool that a broker has access to, the better the order execution conditions it can serve its clients. That is why traders (especially professionals) should always check the speed and quality of order execution. The easiest way to do that is to see whether the broker has a ‘best execution policy.’ It means that the company is committed to providing the best price quotes, given the underlying market conditions, when an order is placed.

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 hosting.

You can confirm a broker’s performance by going to the Legal Documents section of its website and opening its latest execution statement/review. Keep in mind that not all brokers are mandated by their regulators to post such reviews yearly. However, the ones that do are more likely to afford you precise order execution and diminished risk of negative slippage.

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 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.

In addition to these components, when looking for a suitable platform, you must also look for efficiency. Ask yourself: Does the platform facilitate easy and rapid order placement through one-click trading? Does it support algorithmic trading via Expert Advisors (EAs)? Can it handle market, limit, and stop orders? These factors, and more, contribute to a platform’s overall effectiveness.

The most popular retail platforms in the industry are MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Over the years, the two have become the benchmark for simplicity and reliability. The two entries in the popular franchise have a decent range of technical indicators and drawing tools and afford multi-timeframe analysis.

Check out our dedicated guides on best MT4 brokers and best MT5 brokers.

However, despite MetaTrader’s easy learning curve, its rugged design becomes apparent when contrasted against newer and sleeker platforms. In my estimation, MetaTrader is a good choice for newbies wanting to learn the ropes, but to take your trading to take it to the next level, you may need something more sophisticated.

The answer of some brokers is to develop their proprietary platforms. The advantage of most such platforms is their convenience. The ability to search for instruments by asset class, scale price action up and down with ease, or execute complex box orders are benefits you cannot find in MetaTrader. To summarise, the question of choosing the best platform for you is one of simplicity vs practicality.

Here are our picks of Best forex trading platforms.

What is the difference between ECN, STP, and Dealing Desk brokers?

Dealing Desk (DD), Straight Through Processing (STP), and Electronic Communication Network (ECN) refer to different types of brokers in the forex trading industry. The main differences among these types of brokers lie in how they execute trades, how they make money, and the potential for conflict of interest. Here’s a simple breakdown of each:

  • Dealing Desk (DD) brokers, also known as Market Makers, provide liquidity for their clients by taking the opposite side of their trades. They create an internal market for their clients and set both the bid and the ask prices. Some traders may be wary of potential conflicts of interest with DD brokers, as they may stand to profit from their clients’ losses.
  • Straight Through Processing (STP) brokers send their clients’ orders directly to the interbank market, where they are matched with the best available bid and ask prices. STP brokers make money by adding a markup to the spread obtained from their liquidity providers. They do not take the other side of their client’s trades, which reduces the potential for conflict of interest.
  • Electronic Communication Network (ECN) brokers provide a transparent trading environment by linking traders with various liquidity providers, such as banks, hedge funds, and other traders. Orders are matched on a network with the best available prices. ECN brokers charge a fixed commission for each trade rather than a spread markup. Read more about best ECN forex brokers.

What to Avoid When Choosing an STP Account?

There are two discernable characteristics of an STP account you must consider – the execution model and the pricing mechanism. I have summed up what to avoid below:

  • Brokers that do not monitor their execution performance regularly. Execution quality summaries are important because they ensure the broker stays committed to meeting certain performance standards. In these reports that can be found in the legal docs section of a broker’s website, you can read about the broker’s execution venues, the average speed of execution, and more. Accordingly, the risk of poorer performance and even price manipulation is greater with a broker whose regulator does not mandate to carry out such tests regularly.
  • Brokers that do not have a ‘best execution policy’. Best execution is a legal mandate compelling brokers to provide their clients with the best possible price feeds under prevailing market conditions. It could be that a broker is capable of even delivering ultra-fast execution speeds of under 40 milliseconds. Still, without such a policy in place, there are no legal repercussions for them if they choose not to go above and beyond. Like the case with execution quality summaries, the best execution policy ensures just that – execution quality.
  • Brokers that take longer than 100 milliseconds on average to execute an order. Since STP brokers operate without a dealing desk, the risk of negative price requotes is somewhat diminished. However, the longer it takes for a broker to fill your order, the likelier it is for the spot price of the underlying to change. This could result in negative slippage, which is why a proven track record of a broker averaging execution speeds of less than 100 milliseconds is so vital.
  • STP accounts with floating spreads starting from 1.2 pips or higher. As I argued above, there is a peculiar psychological oddity when thinking about the total costs of your typical ECN account and the costs of a typical STP account. It is easy to assume that STP accounts have a more competitive offering because they lack a fixed commission. However, their competitiveness could be decreased if the floating spreads are too high. That is why, as a rule of thumb, you should avoid STP accounts that have floating spreads starting from 1.4 pips.

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.

Check out our guide on Best FCA-regulated forex brokers.

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. In my opinion, 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.

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 regulated by top-tier regulatory bodies and complied with most safety requirements. Due to the nature of STP accounts, we selected brokers that support fast and precise order execution and have competitive pricing mechanisms.

We evaluated the competitiveness of the prices by calculating the value of trade of a hypothetical 1 lot (100,000 units) position on the EUR/USD pair for each account, where the pip value is $10 (spread x pip value + commission = trade).

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 BlystoneBroker Analyst

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 SolankiBroker Analyst

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 StoyanovBroker Analyst

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 ZernovBroker Analyst

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.

An STP (Straight Through Processing) account is a type of account offered by Forex brokers that allows for direct market access with minimal interference from the broker. The main advantage of an STP broker is that there is no dealing desk intervention, which means there is no potential conflict of interest between the broker and the trader.
When a trader places a trade, the STP broker sends this trade directly to its liquidity provider, which is typically a large bank or another financial institution. The broker makes money by adding a small markup to the spread provided by the liquidity provider, rather than by taking the opposite side of the trader's position. STP brokers typically offer faster execution speeds and less slippage. However, spreads may be slightly higher than with an ECN broker, where traders are dealing directly with the interbank market.
A liquidity provider is a large financial institution, such as a bank or a hedge fund, that offers to buy or sell large quantities of specific assets at specified prices. These institutions act as market makers, providing "liquidity" to the market by facilitating buying and selling, thereby helping to maintain market efficiency. When an STP broker receives a trade order from a trader, the broker passes the trade directly onto one of their liquidity providers who then completes the trade.
The minimum deposit requirement to open an STP account varies from broker to broker. Some brokers may require a few hundred dollars to open an STP account, while others might require a larger initial deposit, potentially several thousand dollars.
Spreads on STP accounts can either be fixed or variable, with major currency pairs often having spreads as low as 0.1-0.7 pips under normal market conditions. Some STP brokers include their fees within the spread, offering commission-free trading, while others charge a commission, typically ranging from a few dollars to $10 or more per lot. However, these conditions vary among brokers, making it important to check each broker's specific terms.
The number of open positions or the volume of trades that can be maintained on an STP account largely depends on the specific policies of the broker and the capacity of their liquidity providers. Many brokers do not explicitly limit the number of positions you can have open at one time or the volume of trades you can conduct. However, it's essential to note that there may be practical limits due to factors like the available balance in your trading account and the margin requirements for each position. To find details on a particular broker's offering, refer to the accounts comparison page on the broker’s website.
Yes, STP accounts support automated trading. However, in most cases, ECN accounts are better fitted for automated trading.
It depends on the particular broker’s offering. The most popular asset classes include FX pairs, commodities, CFD shares, indices, and cryptocurrencies.
Average execution speeds vary depending on the broker and the breadth of its liquidity pool. Traders should avoid brokers that cannot support execution speeds below 100 milliseconds.
Yes, almost all brokers offer demo accounts.
Yes, typically, scalping and hedging strategies are allowed on STP accounts, but this can depend on the broker's specific policy. As STP accounts offer direct market access and typically have fast execution speeds, they can be well suited to scalping. However, some brokers may have restrictions on scalping, so it's important to check. Many brokers also permit hedging on STP accounts. However, it's crucial to note that while hedging can reduce risk, it can also limit potential profits and may involve additional costs.
Each broker’s funding methods vary, though the most common ones include wire transfers, bank/credit cards, e-wallets, and more. Please refer to your broker’s website for detailed instructions.
Every major retail platform, including MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, is STP-compatible.
Yes, if they are part of your broker’s offering.
STP accounts directly send trades to liquidity providers, offering tighter spreads and charging a commission per trade, thus providing more pricing transparency. In contrast, Standard accounts may not provide direct market access, and brokers can set their own spreads, often wider but typically without a separate commission. However, specifics can vary among brokers.
An STP account can indeed be suitable for beginners as they offer direct market access, more transparent pricing, and typically faster execution, which are all beneficial features for traders. The spreads are generally lower than standard accounts, but there may be a commission on trades. However, beginners should note that some STP brokers may require higher minimum deposits than standard account brokers. Also, the cost structure of spreads plus commissions might be a bit more complex to understand initially compared to all-inclusive spreads in standard accounts.

About the Author

Plamen StoyanovBroker Analyst

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.

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