IG Review 2019

Best FX broker
· 4.5 5 stars · Dec 2018
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IG logo

IG was established in the UK in 1974 and is one of the biggest CFD providers in the world. It is regulated by several regulators globally, including top-tier authorities, like the FCA. IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

IG is considered safe, because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and regulated by top-tier regulators.

IG is primarily a CFD broker. CFDs are usually leveraged products with high risk. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Best FX broker

Recommended for traders aiming for a great and easy-to-use trading platform.

Pros
  • Easy to use web trading platform
  • Helpful and reliable customer service
  • Great deposit and withdrawal tools
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Limited research tools

As a plus

IG's web trading platform is simple and user-friendly. The customer service is helpful and gives relevant answers. Funding or withdrawing money is easy and there are multiple options.

On the flip side

IG's trading fees are high, especially when you trade with lower amounts. The product portfolio is limited and in most countries, it offers only CFD trading. IG has limited research tools.

Compare to other brokers

IG review
Fees 2 stars

IG's trading fees are high and non-trading fees are average. Its financing rate is one of the best.

Pros
  • Low financing rate
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Inactivity fee

IG Fees - a snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock fee High $0.02 per share; min $15
EURUSD fee Low 0.75 pips spread cost
US tech fund fee - -
Inactivity fee Low £12 per month after 2 years of inactivity

To get things rolling, let's go over some broker fee lingo. You need to keep an eye on trading fees, financing rate, and non-trading fees.

We compare IG fees with its peers, XTB and eToro.

Let's start with the trading fees.

Trading fees

IG has high trading fees. This is especially true if you trade smaller amounts, there are high minimum trading fees.

IG has different fee structures for different products:

IG is primarily a CFD broker, so let's kick off with CFDs and Forex.

It is super hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. What we did at Brokerchooser? Instead of quoting long fee tables, we compare brokers by calculating all fees of a typical trade for three assets.  

For the assets we chose cleverly and arbitrarily:

  • Apple, a large US stock
  • Vodafone, a large European stock
  • EURUSD, a popular currency pair

The typical trade means buying a position, holding for one week, and selling it. For the volume we chose a $2,000 position for the stocks and $20,000 for the EURUSD.

This super catch-all benchmark includes spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers.

Here is the verdict. IG has quite high trading fees for stock CFDs, but its forex fees are one of the best:

IG fees benchmarked
  IG XTB eToro
Apple benchmark fee $34.9 $18.1 $1.6
Vodafone benchmark fee $30.7 $24.6 $2.6
EURUSD benchmark fee $12.3 $17.1 $19.1

You might want to dig deeper and check IG trading fee calculations in detail. Let's do so.

Forex fees

At IG, all forex trading fees are built into the spread. IG would not be competitive on spreads only, but when you add financing rate and commissions, it gets low.

Share CFD fees

When you trade with share CFDs, IG will charge a trading commission.

IG Share CFD fees
Share CFDs Commission per trade Minimum fee
USA & Canada    
USA $0.02 per share $15
Canada $0.03 per share CAD 25
Europe / Middle East / Africa    
UK 0.10% £10

Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain

0.10% €10
Denmark 0.10% DKK 100
Norway 0.10% NOK 100
Sweden 0.10% SEK 99
Switzerland 0.10% CHF 10
Greece 0.48% €25
South Africa 0.20% ZAR 100
Asia / Pacific    
Australia 0.10% AUD 8
Singapore 0.10% SGD 15
Japan 0.20% JPY 1,500
Hong Kong 0.25% HKD 100

Stock index CFD fees

It's unique at stock index CFDs that the spreads are different based on the trading hours:

IG Stock index CFD fees
Stock index CFDs Trading hours Usual spread
FTSE 100 07.00-08.00
08.00-16.30
16.30-21.00
All other times
2
1
2
4
Germany 30 08.00-16.30
16.30-21.00
21.00-07.00
07.00-08.00
1
2
5
2
S&P 500 14.30-21.00
21.15-21.30
22.00-23.00
All other times
0.4
1.5
1.5
0.6
Down Jones index 08.00-14.30
14.30-21.00
21.15-21.30
22.00-23.00
All other times
2.4
1.6
9.8
9.8
3.8

Commodity CFD fees

Just like at stock index CFDs or forex, when you trade with commodity CFDs, the costs are built into the spreads:

IG commodity CFD fees
Commodity CFDs Usual spread
Spot Gold 0.3
Spot Silver 2
Oil US Crude 2.8
Oil Brent Crude 2.8

Bond CFD fees

When you trade with bonds, the spreads are the only costs you have to calculate with:

IG Bond CFD fees
Bond CFDs Usual spread
German bund 2
Treasury bond 4

Crypto CFD fees

At IG, all crypto trading fees are built into the spread. No trading commission is charged:

IG crypto CFD fees
Crypto CFDs Minimum spread
Bitcoin (USD) 50
Ether (USD) 6
Ripple (USD) 1
Litecoin (USD) 2

Check out our crypto blog post, to learn more about crypto trading.

Smart portfolios

If you invest in IG's Smart portfolios, you will pay a "Total Cost of Ownership" fee, consisting of two components: the cost of the underlying ETFs, the management fee, and the spread costs:

IG Smart portfolios fees
Total value of Smart Portfolio  £0 - £50,000     £50,000 -  £250,000 £250,000 and over
Average ETF costs Avg. 0.20% (range: 0.18-0.22%)
Management fees 0.65% 0.35% 0.10%
Estimated costs of spreads 0.06% 0.06% 0.06%
Total cost of ownership 0.91% 0.61% 0.36%

Stock

This section is only for some residency, like the UK or Australia. IG provides real stocks only for some countries.

IG applies only commission for trading with real stocks:

IG stock trading fees
Market Commission per trade Minimum fee
UK - less than 10 trades £8 £8
UK - more than 10 trades £5 £5
USA $0.02 per share $15
Ireland
Germany
Netherlands
Belgium
Austria
0.1% €10
Australia 0.1% AUD 10

Compare broker fees

Financing rates

If you prefer to hold your positions long, financing costs can be significant. IG's financing rates are low, only XTB can compete with it:

Yearly financing rates
  IG XTB eToro
Apple financing rate 5.8% 6.0% 8.9%
Vodafone financing rate 4.0% 3.1% 8.9%
EURUSD financing rate 2.9% 4.1% 3.7%

Non-trading fees

IG has an average non-trading fee structure. It has no withdrawal or account fee, but there is an inactivity fee:

  IG XTB eToro
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $25

IG does not have deposit and custody fee, but there is a 0.3% currency conversion fee. Currency conversion applies if you trade with an asset denominated in a different currency than your account. For example, if you have a euro account and want to trade with US stocks, you have to calculate with the 0.3% currency fee

IG review
Account opening 4 stars

The account opening process is fast, user-friendly, and fully digital. On the other hand, there is a £250 or equivalent minimum deposit for cards and the sales team is very pushy.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • £250 or equivalent minimum deposit for cards
  • Sales team is quite pushy, reaching out regularly to fund account

Can you open an account?

IG serves clients across five continents and you can open an account from almost anywhere in the world. There are a few notable exceptions: US, Canada and Poland.

We've listed the larger eligible countries below. Note, for the US it is "coming soon", but not yet available.

IG review - Account opening - Supported countries

Minimum deposit

There is no minimum deposit for bank transfer. For card deposit, there is a minimum £250 or equivalent.

Account types

In most countries, you can open only CFD accounts.

If you are from one of the few special countries, you can also trade stocks:

  • UK
  • Ireland
  • Malta
  • Cyprus
  • Australia
  • Some small countries, like Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, etc.

You will need to open a second account for stock trading. There are also tax-efficient accounts in the UK, like ISA or SIPP.

In addition, if you are interested in IG's robo advisory service, i.e. "smart portfolios",  you have to open a separate account.

IG review - Account opening - Account types

How to open your account

Account opening is straightforward and the initial registration only takes five minutes. Registration is followed by fully digital identification. You upload a copy of your ID/passport/driver's license and a proof of residence which can be a utility bill or a bank statement.

IG review - Account opening

It is a nice touch that you can start exploring the trading platform straight after registering and you don’t have to wait for the identification.

During account opening the IG sales team reached out very frequently to deposit and this was a bit frustrating for us.

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IG review
Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

You have several options to transfer money. The transfer process is user-friendly and fast.

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Not transparent on available base currencies

Account base currencies

IG provides dollar, euro, pound, and also a couple of minor currencies as an account base currency, but IG does not provide any official information. You should contact their customer service if you plan to open an account with a minor base currency.

Why does the account base currency matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged. 

Deposit fee and options

IG deposit fees are free. As at other CFD brokers, there are a lot of transfer options.

  • Bank transfer
  • Credit/Debit card
  • Paypal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Webmoney
Deposit options
  IG XTB eToro
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

The bank transfer can take up to three business days, while transfers from credit and debit cards and electronic wallets arrive instantly. You can only deposit money from sources which are on your name.

IG review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Withdrawal fee and options

IG withdrawal fees are free which is great, compared to other brokers.

You can use the same options as at deposit except PayPal. It's better than at XTB, but worse than at eToro: 

  IG XTB eToro
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes No Yes
Electronic wallets No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $25

Bank transfer can take up to three business days. Withdraw money with credit or debit cards usually take three to five business days. The minimum withdrawal amount is $150 or equivalent. You cannot withdraw money to a MasterCard issued outside the UK. 

We tested the bank transfer withdrawal and received the money within 2 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts on your name.

IG review - Deposit and withdrawal - withdrawal

More funding and withdrawal info

IG review
Web trading platform 5 stars

IG's web platform is great. It is easy to use, has all necessary functions, and can be customized. Even first time users can get familiar with it instantly.

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

IG Platforms to Choose From
Trading platform Score Available
Web 5 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 5 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop - No

You can use IG's trading platform or the third party MetaTrader 4. In this review, we tested IG's own trading platform.

The platform is offered in multiple languages. However, you can't change the platform's language manually, the only way is to open an account at another entity. E.g. if you want to have a Spanish account, you have to open an account at the Spanish IG. 

Look and feel

IG trading platform is the most intuitive and well-designed web trading platforms we have seen.

We have found everything immediately, it is definitely easy-to-use for both experienced traders and the first-time-user.

You can easily customize by dragging and resizing the tabs and can add more workspaces to set your own layouts.

IG review - Web trading platform

Login and security

At the login process, you can set a two-step authentication. For setting the two-step authentication, you have to download a separate application.

IG review - Web trading platform - two step authentication

Search functions

You can search for products in the sidebar on the left. It works as you would expect. You can also browse available investment options by typing manually or looking through the asset class categories.

IG review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can select from several order types and two order terms, although not all of them are available for every tradable instrument and country.

IG review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Order types:

  • Limit order
  • Market order
  • Stop loss order
  • Trailing stop order
  • Guaranteed stop order

This short article can help you if you are not familiar with order types like limit, market, or stop loss.

Order terms:

  • Good-till-date order
  • Good-till-cancel order

Alerts and notifications

Alerts and notification are all there, they can be done in  MyIG -> Settings -> Communication Preferences.

You can choose from multiple alert and trade/deal notifications

  • price alert (prices reach an important level)
  • indicator alert (technical tools reach an important level)
  • economic alert (big economic announcements)
  • automated or manual deal opening/closing
  • automated or manual position editing

Portfolio and fee reports

When you go to your live account dashboard, you can easily see the main performances of your account. On the right tab, you see its history which shows all costs and return. However, you don't have an aggregated view of your sub-accounts. 

Visit web platform page

IG review
Mobile trading platform 5 stars

IG mobile trading platform is easy to use. On the flip side, it misses a two-step authentication.

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Good search function
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login

You can use both IG's own mobile trading platform and the Metatrader4. They are available for Apple and Android devices as well. 

In this review, we tested IG's own platform on an Android device.

Look and Feel

The IG mobile platform was very intuitive, similarly to the web trading platform. It has an okay look, nothing great, but not as good as the web trading platform.

IG review - Mobile trading platform

Login and Security

Unfortunately, you cannot set a two-step authentication which is available on the web trading platform.

Search Functions

Search functions are the same as the great web trading platform. When searching, the assets are categorized. 

IG review - Mobile trading platform - Search

Placing orders

 On IG's mobile trading platform you can use the same order types and order terms like at the web trading platform.

IG review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

The mobile platform's alert function lags behind the web trading platform's similar function.

You can set only price alerts. You have to go to the asset you want to set an alert on. After, you have to add the price level and the message.

Visit mobile platform page

IG review
Desktop trading platform

There is no IG desktop trading platform If you prefer desktop-based platforms, you can use the MetaTrader4.

IG review
Markets and products 3 stars

At IG, most clients can only trade with CFDs and forex. There are many-many CFDs. UK and some other clients can also trade with shares.

IG is primarily a CFD and forex broker. However, you can also trade stocks if you are from a few countries, like the UK.

To learn more on CFDs, read our CFD trading tips.

CFDs are usually leveraged products with high risk. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

At IG, you can trade with many-many products on a lot of markets. This is exceptional compared to others. There are ten times more stock CFDs at Ig than at XTB, another CFD broker. 94 currency pairs are also very high, same with commodity CFDs. You can trade with 6 cryptocurrencies, which is also a broad offer.

CFD products and markets
  IG XTB eToro
Forex - number of currency pairs 94 48 47
Stock index CFDs 68 34 13
Number of stock CFD 10,500 1,600 1,300
Number of ETF CFDs 1,900 87 83
Commodity CFDs 47 21 6
Number of Bond CFDs 13 - -
Cryptocurrencies 6 16 14

When trading CFDs and FX leverage, it is important to have control of your leverage. At IG, unfortunately, you cannot set the leverage level it is fixed on the maximum allowed by the regulator.

You can also trade with options on some CFDs: major stock indices, commodities, and currencies. This is not a wide offering. 

For the full list of IG index, forex, and commodity options check their website.

Compare product portfolios

Stock and ETF

You can trade with stocks if you are from:

  • UK
  • Ireland
  • Malta
  • Cyprus
  • Australia
  • Some small countries, like Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, etc.

IG will give you access to a lot of markets compared to other primarily CFD brokers. 25 stock markets and ~1,700 ETFs are a good variety. 

Stocks and ETFs
  IG XTB eToro
Number of stock markets 25 17 13
Number of ETFs 2,000 80 80

IG Smart portfolio 

IG Smart portfolio is only available if you can access stocks. IG Smart portfolios are iShares ETF portfolios managed by BlackRock. This is basically a robo-advisory service, e.g. automatically managed low-cost portfolios.

IG review
Research 3 stars

IG has great and user-friendly charting tools. On the other hand, there are no recommendations or fundamental data available.

Pros
  • Good quality news flow available
  • Good interactive chart
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No fundamental data available
  • No/limited set of analytic tools

IG provides most of its research tools only in English. If you change the platform language, some of its, will change.

Recommendations

You won't find any recommendations based on detailed analysis. You will find a trading signal feature which recommends you to buy or sell based on technical indicators. It is provided by third-parties, like the Aurochartist or PIA First.

IG review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental Data

Fundamental data is not available. 

Charting

IG's charting tool is great. You can add several technical indicators, make your own drawings and trend lines and set alerts based on technical indicators. You can also save the charts.

IG review - Research - Charting

You can add more sophisticated charting tools by ProRealTime, a third-party. These charting tools are free of charge if you trade at least four times a month. Otherwise, it is £30 per month.

News Feed

IG has a pretty good news function that is powered by Thomson Reuter's. You can get the news directly from the web platform. There is no separate news function on the mobile platform but you can find related news of one financial instrument. 

The economic calendar is really easy-to-use. You can filter for macro events, company earnings, etc. The function is approachable from both web and mobile platforms.

IG review - Research - Economic calendar

More research info

IG review
Customer service 5 stars

24/7 customer service, giving fast and relevant answers. It is available via live chat, phone and email too. The representatives are well prepared.

Pros
  • Live chat available
  • Fast support
  • Relevant answers
Cons
None

You can reach out IG's customer service by:

  • live chat
  • telephone
  • e-mail

The e-mail service and the live chat are available 24/7 which is really good. Most brokers do not provide support on the weekends.

The customer support is usually available in English, but other languages, like German or Spanish are also available. 

The live chat was fast and mostly relevant. For example when we asked about trading fees, the customer service described how IG charges commission, provided a link to the fee table on IG's page, but did not describe overnight fees. e-mail answers arrived very quickly and the answers were all right. Phone support was fast and relevant. A bit pushy to make us open a new account.

Contact customer service

IG review
Education 5 stars

IG offers good educational functions. You can use a demo account, enroll courses, sign up for webinars or watch educational videos.

Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
  • Demo account
Cons
None

At IG you'll have more options to educate yourself:

  • demo account
  • online courses
  • webinars
  • educational videos
  • trading glossary

Most of the educational tools are available through IG academy. You have many options to practice and the quality is also great.

IG review - Education

Visit education page

IG review
Safety

IG is regulated by several financial authorities globally, including top-tier regulators, like the UK FCA. IG Group, the parent company of IG, is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Pros
  • Listed on stock exchange
  • Well disclosed financial information
  • Regulated by top-tier regulators, like FCA
Cons
  • Negative balance protection not available

IG is a UK broker established in 1974 serving clients from all over the globe. Is IG safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes south and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

IG operates in several countries with different entities. This matters because the entity you are a client at, defines the amount of protection you get.

Most of the Europeans clients are eligible for FCA's protection scheme up to £50,000. This is significantly higher than the usual €20,000 protection amount in Europe.

IG legal entities
Client Protection amount Regulator Legal entity
Most of the Europeans country £50,000 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

IG Markets Limited

Switzerland CHF 100,000 Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) IG Bank S.A
Singapore No protection Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) IG Asia Pte Limited
Japan No protection Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) IG Securities Limited
South Africa No protection Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) IG Markets South Africa Limited
United Arab Emirates No protection Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) IG Limited

IG provides negative balance protection.

Background

IG dates back to 1974. It is the oldest online broker on Brokerchooser. The longer the track record, the better. It means the company was able to manage financially through tough times.

IG Group, the parent company of IG is listed on the London Stock Exchange, which increases the transparency, as it has to publish financial statements regularly and can be easily accessed on their site.

Being listed, being regulated by the FCA are all great signs for IG's safety.

Filter the brokers by investor protection

IG review
Bottom line

IG is one of the biggest and most reliable CFD brokers. It is regulated by several financial authorities around the world. IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

IG has the best web trading platform Brokerchooser tested. Its customer service is professional and relevant. The deposit and withdrawal conditions are also great.

The biggest drawback is the fee structure. It is quite pricey especially when you trade lower amounts. IG's product portfolio is limited to CFDs, however, in the UK and some other countries, stocks are also accessible. 

It is quite easy to test IG's first class trading platform since there is no minimum funding for bank transfer and you can easily open a demo account. 

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IG logo

IG was established in the UK in 1974 and is one of the biggest CFD providers in the world. It is regulated by several regulators globally, including top-tier authorities, like the FCA. IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

IG is considered safe, because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and regulated by top-tier regulators.

IG is primarily a CFD broker. CFDs are usually leveraged products with high risk. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Best FX broker

Recommended for traders aiming for a great and easy-to-use trading platform.

Compare to other brokers

Overall 5 stars

Pros
  • Easy to use web trading platform
  • Helpful and reliable customer service
  • Great deposit and withdrawal tools
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Limited research tools

Fees 2 stars

Pros
  • Low financing rate
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Inactivity fee

Account opening 4 stars

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • £250 or equivalent minimum deposit for cards
  • Sales team is quite pushy, reaching out regularly to fund account

Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Not transparent on available base currencies

Web trading platform 5 stars

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Mobile trading platform 5 stars

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Good search function
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login

Markets and products 3 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Forex
  • CFD
  • Crypto
  • Equities for UK clients
  • Robo-advisory type of service in the UK

Research 3 stars

Pros
  • Good quality news flow available
  • Good interactive chart
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No fundamental data available
  • No/limited set of analytic tools

Customer service 5 stars

Pros
  • Live chat available
  • Fast support
  • Relevant answers
Cons
None

Education 5 stars

Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
  • Demo account
Cons
None

Safety

Pros
  • Listed on stock exchange
  • Well disclosed financial information
  • Regulated by top-tier regulators, like FCA
Cons
  • Negative balance protection not available

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager

METHODOLOGY

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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