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IC Markets market maker as of August 2023

Your expert
Adam N.
Fact checked by
3w ago
Personally tested Personally tested
Data-driven Data-driven
Independent Independent

Is IC Markets a market maker?

No, IC Markets is not a market maker, it does not have its own dealing desk. As a client of IC Markets, your orders will be routed directly to liquidity providers/the market.

Key features of IC Markets services
💰 Forex commission per lot $3.50 commission per lot per trade
💰 Forex commission class Low
💰 Withdrawal fee $0
💰 Inactivity fee No
💸 Minimum deposit $200
🗺️ Deposit methods Bank transfer, Credit/debit cards, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Visa Direct, SafeCharge, Transact365, eCommPay, CardPay, Bpay, FasaPay, Poli, RapidPay, Klarna
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
📋 Read more Check out the IC Markets review for 2023

Data updated on November 16, 2023

My key findings in a nutshell
Adam Nasli
Financial Wizard | Forex • Algo Trading • Market Analysis

I've thoroughly tested IC Markets services with our analyst team by opening a real-money account and these are my most important findings:

  • IC Markets is not a market maker, it does not operate its own dealing desk.
  • If you have an account at IC Markets, your trades will be routed to liquidity providers or directly to the market.
  • Non-dealing desk brokers typically quote lower spreads but may charge a commission.
  • The most typical order execution types used by non-dealing desk FX brokers are ECN and STP.

If you are looking for the best non-dealing desk brokers that offer ECN accounts, search no further. Our analyst team compiled a top list of the best non-dealing desk brokers worldwide offering ECN routing by analyzing more than 500 data points for each broker and testing their services with a live account.

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IC Markets is not available in the United States
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What is a market maker broker?

A market maker broker, also referred to as a dealing desk broker, plays a vital role in facilitating trading in financial markets, such as stock exchanges, foreign exchange (forex) markets, and cryptocurrency exchanges.

The primary function of a market maker broker is to provide liquidity to the market by creating a market for a particular financial instrument, thereby ensuring that there are always buyers and sellers available.

A market maker broker quotes its own bid price and ask price. The bid price is the price at which the broker is willing to buy the instrument, and the ask price is the price at which they are willing to sell it. The difference between the two prices, known as the spread, represents the market maker's profit margin for facilitating the trade.

The spread is essentially the cost traders pay to their broker for the convenience of executing trades.

Market makers provide continuous quotes for various financial instruments throughout trading hours. This means that they are always ready to buy or sell, regardless of whether there are active buyers or sellers from other traders.

When a trader wants to buy or sell a financial instrument, they can execute the trade directly with the market maker broker if they have a trading account at the broker. If the trader accepts the market maker's ask price, the trade is executed at that price. If the trader wants to sell, they can do so at the bid price offered by the market maker.

What is the difference between a market maker and a non-dealing desk broker?

The primary difference between a market maker and a non-dealing desk broker lies in their roles and functions within financial markets. Here are some crucial aspects of their activities.

Differences between dealing desk and non-dealing desk brokers
Dealing desk Non-dealing desk
Stands ready to buy and sell specific financial instruments at all times, creating a market for those instruments Has no specific obligation to provide liquidity like market makers
Operates its own dealing desk Does not operate its own dealing desk
Its clients trade with their own broker Routes buy and sell orders directly to the network of liquidity providers/interbank market
Applies its own fixed spreads Applies market spreads
Does not charge commission May charge commission
Costs typically less transparent Cost more transparent
Potential conflict of interest with own clients as the market maker might take the other side of client positions No potential conflict of interest as non-market makers do not trade against their clients

Data updated on November 16, 2023

Some non-dealing desk brokers offer Direct Market Access (DMA) trading, which is the practice of placing trades directly in the underlying market.

A DMA broker provides traders with direct access to the order books of various financial markets, allowing them to interact with those markets in real time. DMA enables traders to place orders directly into the market without the need for intermediaries.

DMA brokers are commonly used by institutional traders and advanced retail traders who seek to execute orders with maximum transparency and control. Traders with DMA access can view market depth, place orders directly in the order book, and potentially interact with other participants in the market.

What is an ECN and STP broker?

Non-dealing desk forex brokers typically use two main order execution types:

  • ECN (electronic communication network) and
  • STP (straight through processing).

ECN routing refers to the practice of electronically routing trade orders to different ECNs to achieve the best possible execution for those orders. ECNs are electronic platforms that facilitate trading by matching buy and sell orders from various market participants, including institutional investors, traders, and market makers.

ECN routing aims to ensure that orders are executed efficiently and at the most favorable prices available in the market.

The broker, who has access to multiple ECNs and other trading venues, evaluates the order to determine the best way to execute it. This evaluation includes factors such as order size, price, and market conditions.

The main advantages of ECN routing are:

  • price transparency
  • best execution
  • reduced spread
  • liquidity.
ECN accounts are available at IC Markets.

STP routing is used to facilitate a seamless and automated processing of trade orders from initiation to execution, settlement, and confirmation. STP aims to eliminate manual intervention and reduce the risk of errors that can occur in the trade lifecycle.

The main advantages of STP routing are:

  • efficiency
  • accuracy
  • risk reduction
  • cost savings
  • transparency.

Some forex brokers use both types of order execution, however, the most common practice is to have one of the two.


Does IC Markets offer 'best execution' for my orders?

Most top-tier regulators, including the SEC in the US, ASIC in Australia and the FCA in the UK, require brokers to execute orders on terms most favourable to the client. In deciding how to execute orders, the entities of IC Markets overseen by a regulator that requires best execution, have a duty to seek the best execution that is reasonably available for customers' orders. That means the broker must evaluate the orders it receives from all customers in the aggregate and periodically assess which competing markets, market makers, or ECNs offer the most favorable terms of execution.

Can I direct my trades at IC Markets?

IC Markets is a non-dealing desk broker. If you are a client of IC Markets and want to direct your trade to a particular exchange, market maker, or ECN, you may be able to contact your broker and ask them to do this. Note that some brokers may charge for that service. Several non-dealing desk brokers offer active traders the ability to direct orders to the market maker or ECN of their choice.

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Further reading

Author of this article

Adam Nasli

Financial Wizard | Trading • Safety • Market Analysis

I bring extensive financial expertise as one of BrokerChooser's earliest team members. Personally, I tested nearly all 100+ brokers on our site, opening real-money accounts, executing trades, assessing customer services, and providing firsthand assessment. My professional background includes roles in the banking sector and a degree from Central European University, where I teach finance. My passions lies in in-depth research of the financial industry, building trading algorithms, and managing long-term investments.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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