FP Markets Review: Complete FX Broker Review
Since 2005, FP Markets has operated as a forex and CFD broker, providing global financial technology services. The broker provides its clients with a varied mix of liquidity and competitive pricing, as well as over 10,000 CFD products, raw pricing, and narrow spreads.
FP Markets is a large Australian broker that allows clients from around the world to trade numerous different assets and markets.
They offer their traders both ECN execution and Direct Market Access (DMA) with CFDs. This allows them to provide a highly refined trading experience with near instant execution and razor thin margins.
However, is FP Markets safe and can you trust them?
In this FP Markets Review, we will give you everything that you need to know about this broker. We will also give you some of the top tips that you need to know in order to make the most trading here.
FP Markets is based in Sydney Australia and was established in 2005. They are the brokerage arm of First Prudential Markets and are located at Level 5, Exchange House, 10 Bridge Street. They also have a regional head office in Beijing and a representative office in Shanghai.
FP Markets has ECN execution on their forex trading accounts with direct connections to liquidity providers. They also offer DMA for their CFD accounts which gives traders access to equity and commodity CFD markets. In total, there are over 10,000 instruments on offer!
All of these factors have helped FP Markets grow exponentially and they currently have over 200,000 clients across the world. They have also been recognised by a number of industry bodies and have won numerous awards from the Investment Trends Reports.
FP Markets takes traders from a number of different regions and countries. They have translated their website into another 11 different languages.
Having said that, there are some regions where they restrict traders. These include the likes of USA, Japan, New Zealand and certain provinces in Canada.
Is FP Markets Safe?
Broker safety is perhaps the number one concern for any trader and as such, it is a big component in our review.
There are a number of things that we look for when determining this but the most important of considerations are regulation, client fund safety and risk management protocols.
Let's take a look into each of these individually.
FP Markets is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and has an AFS licence of 286354. Below is the copy of their business registration:
Regulation by ASIC is considered to be one of the most secure in the world and there are a number of protections that the trader is afforded. In order to have an ASIC regulation, the broker has to meet the following requirements:
- Capital Reserves: Before a broker can be regulated by ASIC, they have to have capital reserves of A$1m.
- Background Checks: There are background checks that need to be done on both the company and the directors beforehand.
- Segregated Accounts: Brokers are required to keep client funds separate from those of their main operations.
- Regular Reporting: There are regular reporting requirements on an annual basis that the broker has to adhere to. These make sure that the broker is well capitalised at all times
Apart from the benefit of knowing that this broker had to clear these hurdles to get their licence, it also helps to know that there is an agency to turn to if you have complaints. ASIC has a consumer reporting arm which can deal with these.
Pro Tip ✔️: In the event of a dispute, contact FP Markets on [email protected] before reaching out to ASIC
FP Markets has a number of other security protocols and reporting standards that they adhere to.
Firstly, all of the client funds are stored in those segregated accounts at the National Bank of Australia. This is a tier one Australian bank which has got strong levels of liquidity.
They also make use of auditing services from BDO. These are well regarded auditors in the broker space and they are able to reconcile the trading books on a regular basis.
Finally, they use some of the top liquidity providers in the industry including the likes of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Citibank. They are connected directly with these providers as FP Markets uses the Equnix datacentre in New York to locate their trading servers.
Assets & Leverage
There are a range of assets that you can trade on FP Markets and they have over 10,000 instruments on offer across their Forex and CFD trading products.
Exactly what asset you can trade will depend on the type of account you have (covered in detail below).
If you have created a standard Forex account then you have access to a number of standard markets. These include the following:
- Forex: Up to 45 FX pairs to trade including all Majors and a number of Minors / EM currencies.
- Metals & Commodities: You can trade Gold and Silver denominated in both USD and AUD. You can also trade WTI oil
- Indices: Numerous global equity markets
- Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin only
So, there appears to be a reasonable range of Forex pairs for you to trade. However, we were quite disappointed to see that you can only trade one cryptocurrency in Bitcoin. If you wanted to trade a greater selection then you could consider IQ Option CFDs.
You also have a pretty limited range of commodities to trade and can only trade equity indices on these standard forex accounts. However, if you decide to open a CFD account with DMA, you have more of a selection.
The CFD accounts also give you access to thousands of single stocks that you can buy directly on the exchanges. Below is a short snippet of the assets that you can trade:
In addition to these assets, they also have a number of Index CFDs and DMAs. These cover most of the same markets that the Forex accounts do accept that it is done on a more advanced trading platform (see below).
Given that FP Markets is a CFD and Forex broker, this means that you are trading on margin. You will usually only require a small percentage of the trade position (margin level) to hold a particular notional in trade value.
Trading on the margin means that your position is leveraged and your gains / losses are magnified by a certain factor (leverage factor).
The amount of leverage that you can achieve at FP Markets will depend on the account type that you have as well as the type of assets that you are trading. If you are using the Forex accounts, then the max leverage levels for the particular assets are:
- Currencies: 1:500
- Precious Metals: 1:500
- Index (Excluding CHINA50): 1:100
- Oil: 1:100
- China: 1:50
- Bitcoin: 1:10
Apart from these, you will also have limits based on the size of the deposit and equity balance. For example, with a deposit of $100 and a max equity balance of $100k you are allowed a max of 100:1 leverage. However, with a min deposit of $500 and a max equity of $10,000 you are allowed all the way up to the 500:1 leverage.
Warning ⚔️: Leverage is a double-edged sword and can see you lose a considerable amount as well
In terms of the CFD accounts and DMA assets, the amount of leverage that you can take on will vary on a case by case basis. It will start all the way down at 1:1 and go up to about 200:1. The riskier assets such as the single stock CFDs will have lower leverage levels.
FP Markets Fees & Spreads
When trading with leverage, the volume that you trade is much larger than normal. That means that fees and spreads can eat into your profitability.
Given that FP Markets is an ECN broker and that they offer Direct Market Access, they have some really low spreads on their assets. In most cases, prices are coming straight from the liquidity provider / exchanges.
If you have created a Forex account, the exact fee that you will be charged will differ slightly depending on whether you have created a Standard STP account or a Pro ECN Raw account. Below are the min spreads for a selection of assets for the Standard / ECN (pips):
- EURUSD: 0.7 / 0.1
- EURGBP: 1.1 / 0.2
- NZDSGD: 1.6 / 0.7
- USDZAR: 4.8 / 3.9
- USDJPY: 1.1 / 0.2
- Gold: 0.1 / 0.06
- Oil: 0.05 / 0.05
- UK 100: 1.1 / 1.0
- US Dow Jones: 4.1 / 4.0
These fees are pretty reasonable and are some of the lowest that we have seen. In fact, FP Markets has even won an award for being one of the Cheapest Non-Advisory Phone Brokers in the industry.
Take note though that although the ECN account has lower spreads than the standard, you will have to pay a "lot" commission of $3 per round trip. This is about standard for ECN accounts at other brokers.
You will also have to pay swap fees on positions that you hold overnight. These can be thought of as financing fees that are charged on the basis that you are trading with borrowed money. This can be positive or negative based on the applicable interest rate parity at the time.
Note ✍️: You will be charged a "triple" swap rate on Wednesday night to account for the weekend
If you are trading on the CFD account then the fees and spreads will differ greatly depending on the asset that you are trading. These will all be presented to you clearly on your IRESS platform.
You will also be charged commissions and financing. With this financing fee, they will add / subtract 2%-4.5% on the base rate on a long / short position. You can see more on their fees page.
Most of the trading platforms at FP Markets are free although they will charge you $55 per month if you create an account on IRESS Trader/Viewpoint.
However, if you trade 15 times (with a standard min ticket fee of $10 AUD) or more per calendar month or generate more than $150 in commissions you will get this fee rebated to you and effectively use this platform for free.
You will also have to pay a fee for access to more robust data feeds that come directly from the Equity and Futures exchanges. However, as with the IRESS trader above, these fees will be rebated if you make a certain number of trades a month.
When it comes to funding your account, there are no fees that are charged on the on the FP Markets side. However, given the payment processors that they use, you may be charged a fee depending on the funding method.
This will also depend on where you are sending the money from as you could incur wiring fees if from another country. Below are the fees that you could pay based on payment methods:
- Bank Wire: If local to Aus, you will not be charged anything. If international, you could pay a $25 inward fee
- BPay: If you are funding with a BPay credit / debit card then you will have to pay 1.6% if paying into an IRESS account
- Credit Card: Deposit fees into an MT4/MT5 are free but you will be charged 1.6% for NAB credit / debit card funding into an IRESS account. This will be 3.18% if funding in foreign currency
- Neteller: If you are funding into an MT4/MT5 then you won't be charged but if you are funding into an IRESS account then you will be charged 4%.
So, it seems that when funding a standard / raw ECN account then you most likely won't be charged a fee although you will be on an IRESS account. There are some payment methods that are fully free and these include the likes of China Union Pay.
Note ✍️: First time credit card deposits are not charged any fee
You should also note that there may be additional fees that intermediary banks or your own bank may charge that could increase the cost of this funding.
Finally, you will be happy to know that there are no withdrawal fees that are charged by the broker.
FP Markets Account Types
As mentioned, there are a number of different accounts at FP Markets. These will differ according to the type of platform that you want to use as well as the assets that you want to trade.
FP Markets has segmented these different accounts into two main categories. These are their "Forex" and "CFD" accounts. The latter gives you Direct Market Access on the IRESS platform whereas the former uses the standard MT5 / MT4 for forex trading.
Let's take a closer look into each of these briefly:
There are two types of accounts that you can open with the Forex account type. These are the Standard and the Raw ECN.
As shown above in the fees, the Standard has slightly higher spreads although there is no commission charged on the lots traded. The Raw ECN gives you access to spreads straight from the liquidity provider but you will have to pay a slight lot commission.
Below are the main differences between the two accounts:
For both of these account types, the minimum trade size that you can put on is 0.01 lots and both accounts give you access to a max leverage of 500:1.
Pro Tip ✔️: Both of these accounts allow you to run EAs and VPSs are available. Combine the two?
CFD Trading Accounts
With these accounts, you get DMA access which means greater order book visibility. However, given that these accounts give you more tech to trade with, there is a higher minimum deposit of $1,000.
There are three different CFD accounts that you can open and these differ according to the minimum deposit amount, the brokerage rate as well as the financing rate. Below are the main differences between the accounts:
The premier account seems to be the best option for the professional traders where financing and brokerage rates on large volume can have a negative impact. However, if you are not that regular of a trader then you should consider the professional or platinum.
Note ✍️: Be sure to trade enough to generate the $55 platform rebate on the professional / standard
With all of these accounts, you get delayed ASX data, free Telephone trades and free use of the standard IRESS Investor.
Finally, for those of you who are conscious of the laws around Sharia finance, FP Markets allows you to open an Islamic account on the MT4 platform. These are adjusted so that swap fees are not included.
If you want to create an account like this then you will have to first open an MT4 account and then get it converted into an Islamic account. This is done by contacting customer service who will switch it over manually.
When the position is held over two consecutive days then you will be charged an administration fee. You can see the full outline of all the fees on their Islamic Accounts page.
FP Markets Demo Account
Why risk your funds at first when you can try a perfectly respectable demo account?
FP Markets gives you the option to open a demo account on each of their platforms. These are non-threatening ways to trade on an account with demo money ($100k) and test out your trading skills.
These demo accounts use exactly the same trading platforms that you will have with the live account so they should replicate the actual trading accounts quite well. In order to create a demo account all you will need is an email address, your name and number.
Note ✍️: Demo accounts can't replicate order "slippage" so be sure to account for this on the live accounts
There are a number of different trading platforms that you can use at FP Markets. These will differ according to the type of account you have and the type of trading you want to do.
Firstly, they have both of the Metatrader platforms. These are third party platforms that are developed by the software company.
Then, they have a few different versions of the IRESS platform. This is a trading platform that was developed in Australia and used by a number of other brokers. This is the platform that gives you Direct Market Access.
Let us take a deeper look into each of these platforms.
MT4 & MT5
The MT4 platform is the most popular third-party trading platform currently on the market. It is used by countless brokers around the world and is well known to traders.
At FP Markets, this MT4 platform is available on both the standard STP account as well as the raw ECN account. This means that you can trade all of those Forex account instruments that we mentioned above on this platform.
So, what is so good about the MT4?
Well, this platform was developed by traders for traders and has extensive functionality. You have a plethora of charting functionality as well as a range of technical analysis indicators and studies.
The MT4 platform is also compatible on a number of operating systems. These include Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. The MT4 platform has also been developed so that it could be run online in a browser.
The MT4 platform also has its own programming language where you can code your own Expert Advisors (EAs). These are trading algorithms that you can develop to trade automatically for you. This is the MQL4 coding language that is pretty easy to understand.
FP Markets also does offer their traders the MT5 platform. This is a slightly upgraded trading platform that has more charting functionality. It also has other goodies like an economic calendar and market depth chart.
The main reason that traders may move to this platform is because it gives them the opportunity to trade other markets such as equities. However, given that FP Markets has the IRESS platform, you should rather use this as it gives you access to more markets.
Moreover, given that the MT4 is much more popular than the MT5, it is battle hardened and time tested. You are better suited to trade on this platform than on the MT5 for now.
This is the flagship trading platform available at FP Markets. This will allow you to connect directly with the exchanges in order to buy the shares that we mentioned above. You can also trade Forex and EFTs on it.
The IRESS is available to those traders who have the CFD accounts. There are three different types of platform and they are the IRESS Investor, the IRESS trader and finally the IRESS viewpoint.
The IRESS investor is the entry level platform at FP Markets. This is more for those traders who employ a buy-and-hold strategy and don't need the latest charting and data feeds. This is also free on all CFD accounts.
One step up from this and you have the IRESS Trader / Viewpoint. These have a great deal more functionality and you can conduct more thorough technical analysis. Some of the additional features include:
- Advanced order management
- Access to full Market depth
- Real time, dynamic market data
- Module linking
- Advanced charting
- Ability to trade pre and post market auctions
- Live streaming news
So, if you are a trader that is quite active and is looking for additional tools to supplement your trading then upgrading to the Viewpoint or Trader is probably your best bet.
Of course, this will cost you extra given that you are getting live data straight from the exchanges. They cost $55 a month however, you can earn this back as a rebate if you trade a certain volume on the exchange (see above).
As with the MetaTrader platforms, IRESS is available on PC, Mac, through your web browser or on your mobile.
FP Markets Mobile Apps
If you are going to be away from your PC then you will no doubt want to make use of the mobile apps on offer.
Unfortunately, there is no app that will allow you to administer your account at FP Markets. So, if you need fund your account, withdraw or make any changes in the admin panel then you will have to do this through their online portal.
However, you can make use of both the MT4 and MT5 mobile apps that have been developed by MetaTrader. These are available in both iOS and Android and are one of the most downloaded trading apps in the world. Combined, there are over 12m downloads for the two apps.
These apps give you a great deal of functionality that is just not available on other apps. This includes mobile charting, order management, technical studies and other useful indicators.
- Track portfolio and holdings
- Enhanced charting
- Live dynamic pricing
- Advanced order management
So, should you trade on mobile?
Well, we would prefer using a PC or web platform. This is mainly because of the shortcomings of mobile trading including higher latency and less functionality. It is much harder to chart effectively on such a small screen.
Deposit / Withdrawal
If you wanted to start trading on a live account at FP Market, then you will need to fund it. Funding your account is pretty easy and you will head on over to the "funding section" within your account management.
Once there, you will have to select a method to fund. There are a range of these that are available and they include wire transfers, web wallets, credit cards and a number of other local payment options. The full list of these is below:
The quickest method from the above would be to use one of the web wallets like Skrill, Neteller, or through a credit / debit card. A wire transfer could take 2-3 days especially if sent from overseas.
Note ✍️: Third party transfers are not allowed. Make sure it is coming from an account in your name
Withdrawals are a bit more involved than the deposits. Firstly, you will have to complete their KYC requirements in order to verify your identity.
You will also need to complete a withdrawal form where you will give them your banking details. You can withdraw with many of the same options as the funding above including through a card, a wire and Neteller.
Note ✍️: If you funded by card, this amount will be refunded to you followed by the remainder through a wire
As is the case with the funding of the account, they can only make a payment to an account in your name and there are no third-party transfers.
Customer support is one of those things that can either make or break your trading experience. This is why it is such an important criterion for us.
FP Markets has a number of options for you to reach their customer service. The first of these is through a standard email address. This is their support email at [email protected].
Yet, perhaps your best bet to get a prompt response to your query is through their live chat function. They are able to answer your questions immediately and are also available in over 12 languages.
We actually tried out the live chat and were able to get through to someone almost instantly. We spoke to numerous different agents in our interactions and they were all very clued up on the brokerage and their products.
For those of you who prefer to speak on the phone, there are a few telephnone numbers that you can reach out to. Their Australian number is available on +61 2 8252 6800. They also have a number in China on 400 166 0012.
We called the Australian number and we were dealt with immediately. Note that telephone dealing is also possible for those clients that hold a CFD accounts at FP Markets.
Pro Tip ✔️: Before reaching out, you may want find the answer to general questions in the FAQ
All of this active customer support does not come as a surprise to us. This is because FP Markets received the best customer service award from Investment Trends magazine.
FP Markets Education & Research
It is always nice to see when a broker throws in educational material which can help to augment your trading experience. You know what they say:
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime
FP Markets is no exception in this regard. They have a host of educational and research material that you can make use of.
These are written resources that are positioned at multiple different levels of experience. They are short and sweet explanations of a number of concepts in Forex and CFD trading. They have the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced trader guides.
They are also easy to navigate and cover a range of different topics from the fundamentals of global markets to the intricacies of order management and technical analysis. They are relatively easy to navigate and work through at your own pace.
Moreover, these guides are free to use and do not require you to even have an account. You can head over to the information centre right now and take a look at them.
Of course, in addition to these educational guides, you also have a standard glossary with a comprehensive collection of terms. You can peruse this if you are unclear about anything.
If you would prefer to watch some videos in order to learn about the markets then FP Markets has a bunch of them as well.
These videos are guides that are well narrated and take you through the basics of charting and technical analysis. Up until 2017, they also used to run a number of daily market updates on these videos.
Unfortunately, they have not updated these since 2017 so some of the market analysis may be stale. This does not mean that you won't be able to get value from it. Many of the disciplines that they talk about are still applicable in today's markets.
These are additional resources that could help supplement the basic guides. They are in Ebook form which means that you can also download them for offline use or print yourself some copies.
Note 📚: Although these EBooks are free, they will require an email address
We downloaded one of the Ebooks and found it to be quite well written and comprehensive. The standard Ebooks at FP Markets are the following:
- Avoid CFD Mistakes Guide
- 3 Essential Strategies Forex Strategies
- Spotting Opportunities in Volatile Markets
- Technical Analysis
- Fundamental Trading
If this was not enough, they also have a more involved online trading specific Ebook course. These look into specific markets including Forex, Stocks and CFDs.
These guides will help your ongoing trading and analysis. They take a look at the markets from both a fundamental and technical perspective.
Firstly, you have your daily market updates. These are short research pieces that will give you updates on what is happening. From these, you can also drill down into the more specific markets that you would like to cover. Overnight reports are published so that these are in your inbox the moment you wake up.
You can also take a look at all of the previous research that should be available in the archives. Below are a collection of some of the categories of some of these reports:
While most of these are quite up-to-date, the webinars section is a bit dated. We would hope that FP Markets could update this sometime in the future so that they can compete with other brokers that have this.
Finally, you also have a standard Economic Calendar. This is available on for free on the website and will give you a breakdown of some of the most consequential economic news that is coming in the week.
Top Tip ✔️: If you have the MT5 or IRESS Viewpoint, you will have an economic calendar on the platform
FP Markets has included a range of other helpful tools that could help improve your trading experience.
Some of these are free while others are paid services. However, in most cases, if you are able to trade a certain minimum amount then FP Markets will reimburse you these funds.
These are add-ons that you can use on the MT4 platform. In order to get access to these, you will need to fund your account with a minimum of A$1,000.
These are essentially tools and apps or "extensions" that you can install on your MT4 program. Below is a collection of all these added tools:
If you wanted to use one of these then we would encourage you to read the in-depth guides and manuals that FP Markets have compiled for you. They have also put together a collection of videos tutorials that take you through these tools.
So, should you consider these tools?
Well, if you were thinking of funding an account with over $500 then it could make sense to fund an additional amount just to get access to these tools. They will help by making your analysis that much easier.
PAMM / MAMM
This is more for Money Managers or those who are thinking of using Money Managers. PAMM / MAMM accounts allow the manager to trade numerous different client accounts at the same time as they are linked up.
FP Markets provides these money managers with a number of features including lightning fast execution from the MAM Master to the MAM sub accounts. They also have access to all of the account types, order types, trading parameters and the ability to alter these parameters in real time.
Given that FP Markets offers true ECN liquidity, it allows these money managers to execute these trades much more quickly and with some of the lowest spreads. Of course, low spreads and fast execution for the manager benefits the end client as well.
Pro traders will know the inherent benefits that come from using a Virtual Private Server (VPS). These allow for low latency execution from a server that is located nearby the exchange servers.
FP Markets has an arrangement with two VPS providers. These are Traders Co and Becks FX which are well regarded providers in the Forex industry. If you come through FP Markets, you will get a discount rate.
These providers connect their servers directly to those used by FP Markets. FP Markets holds their servers at the Equinix datacentre in New Jersey which is used by all the High Frequency Trading firms in New York.
Top Tip ✔️: If using another VPS provider, make sure it is located close enough to the NJ data-centre
If you wanted to hire a VPS, this will cost you about $25 a month. This is actually worth it if you think about the increase in trade execution speed you garner from using a professional machine.
What We Didn't Like
While there were numerous things that we liked at FP Markets, there are a few areas of improvement that we think they need to work on.
Firstly, the high $1,000 minimum on the DMA account may be a barrier for some traders to get on board. This could be unfortunate for those traders who wanted to trade a selection of their single stock equities.
We also found that the fees that you have to pay on deposits into the CFD IRESS accounts are quite high. For example, 1.6% on Visa cards for AUD funding and 3.18% for other currencies. They could find it hard to compete with other brokers in Australia such as Axi Trader.
Secondly, in terms of cryptocurrency assets, you can only trade Bitcoin. This is really substandard and every other broker that we have covered have at least a minimum of 4 crypto assets to trade.
Lastly, FP Markets does not provide some very important risk management tools. These are Guaranteed stops and negative balance protection.
Without guaranteed stops, the market could gap through your stop levels and without the negative balance protection, you could be sent into debt on a large market swing. If these are an important consideration for you then you can check out Plus 500.
Regulated CFD Brokers ⚖️
Our FP Markets review found the broker to be a high quality one. They have some of the lowest spreads on their Forex ECN accounts and the Direct Market Access on their CFD accounts is amoung the best.
Moreover, they have top quality execution with advanced trading technology on three separate platforms. Great customer service, numerous trading tools and education resources.
Indeed, it is not just our review that has found them to be a great broker but also by others in the industry. FP Markets has won a number of awards in the categories of trader satisfaction, trade execution, education material and a few more.
Yes, there are a few things that we think they need to improve. But they appear to be a receptive broker that are open to suggestions from their traders.
So, should you use FP Markets?
We would encourage you to do your own research, but based on this review, they should be a strong contender for your broker of choice.
Warning ⚡:Trading with leverage is very risky. Make sure that you take adequate risk management steps when entering positions
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.