IG is a trading name of IG Markets Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales under number 04008957 and IG Index Ltd (a company registered in England and Wales under number 01190902). The registered address is at Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London EC4R 2YA. IG Markets Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under number 195355. IG Index Ltd is also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, under Register number 114059. In 1974 IG Index was first established, to enable clients to trade gold as an index rather than the commodity itself. The company became IG Group in 2000 and is now one of UK’s top 200 firms, listed on the FTSE 250.
Is IG a Scam?
We like to be fair towards all the brokers we review (although some of them are not fair to traders) so we have this section on all our reviews. However, in this case, it is almost useless because I don’t know how a brokerage with roots back in 1974 and regulated by the FCA can be a scam. But I could be wrong so I recommend you to personally review this broker before you invest. In case you’re based in the USA, choose NADEX.
Update October 2016: We like to revisit periodically the brokers that we review to bring you new information (if it exists) and to make sure our reviews are up to date, especially regarding the “Scam” question. It’s safe to say that nothing has changed in this regard and IG’s name cannot be associated with the word “scam”.
Editor’s Note – Why IG DOESN’T Suck in 50 Words
Hmm, 50 words… that’s tough because I need like 1000 to describe all the reasons why IG doesn’t suck. Basically, it’s the best you can find in a brokerage. IG is the sister brokerage of NADEX and both are part of IG Group Holdings, a company with a global presence, member of the FTSE 250 with a market capitalization of £2.7 billion. I think it’s safe to say they will not hunt your money. They have enough.
Why IG Sucks in 50 Words
If you want to trade with a brokerage you can trust – and I mean really trust – then you will have to put in some work to learn to use IG’s platform, which is not newbie friendly, to say the least. The amount of features is mind-boggling but actually this is not a bad thing in my book (in fact I consider it a positive); however, I know that it will be difficult for a new trader to get used to it because it’s not as easy as 1,2,3.
Should I Open an Account with IG?
IG in its current form offers CFD and Forex trading since 2003, which means they already a bunch of steps ahead of others brokers. In fact, comparing IG with most of the newer CFD, FX and Crypto brokers is almost unfair because IG seems to be in a league of its own. If you like to see smiling girls and hip guys welcoming you on the home page, limousines and 100% bonuses, risk-free trades and “insured” trading, this is not the place for you. This is the real world, where trading involves risk, you don’t receive gifts from your broker and if you lose a trade – guess what – you lose money. Nobody will lie to you telling you will receive back the money that you’ve lost in the market.
So you won’t get any of the above, but what will you get? Well, for one thing, you are not trading against the house because IG actually passes on your order and they have no interest to steal your money. They make money from spreads and commissions. Oh, and speaking of spreads… have you ever wondered why some brokers don’t charge a spread? How do they make money? They bet against you. If you lose, they win and if you win, they will find a way to keep your money. But enough about others, let’s keep talking about IG:
A new trading platform has been recently introduced, called L2 Dealer. This can be used for CFD trading, share trading and ISA accounts and gives the trader access to Level 2 order book that shows the full depth of the markets (lists all bids and offers that have been placed in the market). It is primarily a DMA (Direct Market Access) platform. The classic platform can still be accessed in the usual manner.
If you are serious about trading then you should choose a serious partner and IG is in my opinion that partner. They are a professional brokerage/exchange house and they’ve been doing their job since ’74. I wasn’t even born then so I can imagine they must know what they’re doing. It is not the best brokerage for a newbie but it is probably the best for a trader.
People will always find something to complain even when it comes to the best brokers and IG is no exception. They have quite a few complaints over the internet but most of these are about slippage and delayed entries, a fact which makes me believe that their Forex offerings are not as stellar. Also, some spread betting clients have complained about the way IG handled things on January 15, 2016 (the day when the Swiss National Bank removed the floor on EUR/CHF). We cannot vouch for the authenticity of these complaints.
IG Regulatory Announcements and Warnings
It comes as no surprise the fact that IG fully complies with all regulatory authorities in the territories where they operate. We couldn’t find any Warnings issued by such authorities and furthermore, we must note that IG Markets Limited is registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) under ABN 84 099 019 851 and registered in New Zealand with the Financial Service Providers Register under number FSP18923.
IG doesn’t offer first deposit bonuses, risk-free trading and they won’t give you tickets to concerts if you deposit more money. As I said, this is the real world.
Their preferred way of sending money to you is by credit card and this usually takes about 2 to 5 days. Wire transfers of more than 100 pounds are free and are made the same day (15-pound fee applies if you withdraw less than 100). The same day! That’s something, isn’t it?
Wire transfers within the UK (CHAPS) are made the same day. BACS payments take between 3 to 5 working days. International payments may incur a withdrawal fee.
Charts, professionalism, same day withdrawals, hundreds of markets to trade on, extensive market insights from professional analysts, video market insights and they even offer a tool that allows you to keep a Trading Diary online. Compared to the classic brokers, I think everything is an extra with IG.
IG now offers Saturday and Sunday Trading.
User Friendly 15/20
The website is not very user-friendly for the simple reason that it is very complex and has a ton of features so you will spend a lot of time going through all of them. The platform can be a bit difficult to get used to, but again this is because it offers a lot of features and this shouldn’t be regarded as a bad thing. More than 20 languages available.
They have introduced a new platform, which in my view is easier to use, faster but still complex and with tons of features. The new platforms have a live news feed and a Twitter feed (focused on financial news of course).
Range of Markets and Spreads 16/20
They offer literally hundreds of markets on which to trade on, ranging from stocks to indices, commodities, Fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies and a few Specials. Their crypto assets are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, EOS, Stellar and Neo. Spreads vary according to market conditions but are almost always very competitive. Spreads for cryptocurrencies are lower than with most other brokers.
Deposits and Withdrawals 17/20
Deposits can be made via debit cards, credit cards, wire transfers and more recently, PayPal. IG does not accept payment cards where the holder is a US resident. Withdrawals are made via debit/credit cards and wire transfers. Credit card limits are 20,000 GBP daily. Both deposits and withdrawals are fast and secure.
Fees and Support 18/20
There are no commissions for opening an account (which is normal for any broker) but you will pay an inactivity fee of 12 pounds on the first of each month for accounts that have been inactive for 2 years or more. Support is pretty straightforward and you will not get any cheap sales tactics like: “we have a special offer, just for you, just today” (note that some versions of the website do not offer live chat in that respective language – depending on region).
Website Extras 16/20
Considering the “Extras” section that you’ve read in the main part of this review, I believe IG markets definitely deserves 20 points out of 20. However, some of the extra features might be hard to understand and use by the regular trader.
IG Overall Ratings 82 + Regulated (+3) = 85/100