Trading in the financial markets carries many risks, which is why you want to give yourself the best chance of your investments being successful. The best way to achieve this is to use the services of a proven and successful broker offering competitive trading conditions.
FP Markets undoubtedly meets these requirements. It is a well-established broker, operating since 2005 and offering its services in some of the most strictly regulated jurisdictions in the world. FP Markets has won numerous awards for its customer service and offers the most advanced trading technology solutions available.
FP MARKETS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Behind the FP Markets brand stands a group of companies serving the broker’s clients in different parts of the world. First among these companies is First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd, provider of Derivatives and Forex trading services regulated by Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC). Australian regulations require financial services providers to meet capital requirements of AUD 1 million, to keep clients’ money in segregated accounts and to follow certain internal procedures including risk management, staff training, accounting and audits.
FP Markets offers its services in some European countries through First Prudential Markets Ltd, a company based in Cyprus and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). The company therefore must comply with all the requirements of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ЕSМА).
These include maintaining a minimum net capital of at least EUR 730 000, segregating clients’ money from the broker’s operating funds in separate bank accounts and reporting clients’ transactions on a regular basis to improve investor protection and promote market integrity and transparency.
ESMA rules also require customers to receive negative balance protection, which also applies to ASIC. But in contrast to Australia, in the EU and the UK, brokers must also participate in guarantee schemes that cover a certain amount of the trader’s investment if the broker becomes insolvent. These guarantees amount to up to 20 000 EUR in the EU and 85 000 GBP in the UK.
The Cypriot subdivision of FP Markets is also registered with the financial regulatory authorities from Germany, Poland and Italy and offers its services in these countries through the domains www.fpmarkets.eu and www.fpmarkets.com/eu. First Prudential Markets Ltd has opted in the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Temporary Permission Regime (TPR) for EEA-based firms, allowing it to continue to offer financial services in the UK after Brexit.
FP Markets (Pty) Ltd is licensed as a Financial Services Provider by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority in South Africa (FSP Number 50926).
The fourth company in the FP Markets group is FP Markets LLC, incorporated in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). While this country has a financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), it does not license or regulate forex and other types of brokers. A number of leading brokers are setting up subsidiaries in offshore jurisdictions such as SVG in order to be able to compete more effectively in unregulated emerging markets in Asia and Africa. In these cases, brand image should serve as a guarantee that best business practices and the highest ethical standards are being followed, despite the lack of regulatory oversight. As evidence of this, FP Markets LLC clients also receive negative balance protection as well as guarantees that their funds are segregated from those of the company.
In late 2023, FP Markets took a significant step toward expanding its presence on the African continent by acquiring a license from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of Kenya. The broker operates in the country through its local subsidiary FP Markets Limited. Kenya not only represents a fast-growing investment market in its own right, but also a financial services hub for a large part of Africa. The robust regulatory controls provide additional security for clients while allowing trading at higher leverage levels than other regulated markets – 1:400.
While FP Markets has a global presence, the broker does not accept as clients residents of jurisdictions where doing so would be inconsistent with local laws and regulations. This includes residents of the US, Japan and New Zealand.
FP MARKETS TRADING SOFTWARE
As you would expect from a leading broker, FP Markets offers a wide range of technology solutions for the trading industry. All clients of FP Markets have access to MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) – the most widely used trading platforms by brokers worldwide. Both versions of the software are available in desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, and a web version that is accessible through an internet browser.
Although it was first launched in 2005, the same year in which FP Markets began operating, MT4 continues to be used by the majority of traders worldwide, with its only serious competition being the newer incarnation of the software, MT5. It was only in 2021 that MT5 managed to overtake MT4 in the number of active users, but MT4 remains the leader in trading volume.
This shows that the platform is still fully adequate to the needs of most traders. MT4 features a host of charting tools and technical indicators, as well as a one-click trading function. But the functionality that has made MetaTrader a market leader is the ability to use Expert Advisor bots for automated trading. These customisable scripts can also be used to back test trading strategies. Here’s what the FP Markets’ MT4 platform looks like:
MT5 offers even more advanced features. It uses 64 bit architecture and has more technical indicators, timeframes, and analytical objects. MT5 also has a built-in economic calendar and market depth option, which features the volume of bids and offers for a financial security at different prices. Here is what the desktop MT5 platform looks like:
FP Markets allows those who prefer MT4 to extend its functionality with a suite of 12 online trading tools that bring its capabilities closer to those of MT5. The so-called Traders Toolbox includes tools like Alarm Manager, Correlations Trader, Correlation Matrix, Market Manager, Tick Chart, Session Map and Sentiment Trader.
Both MT4 and MT5 can be upgraded with the Autochartist Plugin. This is a powerful technical analysis tool that provides real-time trade notifications and analyses via email and mobile applications.
FP Markets also provides Virtual Private Server (VPS) for its clients using MT4 and MT5 platforms. VPS allows automated trading scripts to run reliably 24/7 independent of the trader’s personal hardware and internet connection.
The broker has its own mobile application, FP Markets Mobile App, which allows the trader to make, monitor and review trades, as well as to deposit funds and change leverage levels.
Customers of the ASIC regulated company have access to additional trading software not offered by the other two FP Markets companies. The software in question is Iress. What makes this platform distinctive is the transparent Direct Market Access (DMA) which allows for CFD trading in shares, futures and ETFs without the use of intermediaries. The platform features include sophisticated charting, real-time pricing, access to market heat maps and live streaming news. The highly cutomisable interface allows you to identify high risk market conditions and set alerts for particular order types such as stop-loss orders.
The Iress platform is used with different trading accounts with different trading conditions than MT4 and MT5. In addition, unlike the other platforms, its use is not free – the trader must pay a monthly fee of 55 USD. This fee is waived when a certain amount of trades are executed or commissions generated. Specifically, more than 15 trades or generating commissions of at least 150 USD within one calendar month.
FP MARKETS TRADING CONDITIONS
Creating an account with FP Markets is an easy and straightforward process, and you even have the option to make the initial registration using a Facebook or Google account. The website itself is available in multiple European and Asian languages. The choice of base currency for the account is also wide – AUD, EUR, USD, GBP, SGD, CAD, PLN, and, depending on your location, additional options such as HKD and JPY are available.
FP Markets provides access to a significant number of financial instruments – over 70 currency pairs, 19 major global indices, gold, oil, metals and other commodities, as well as over 10,000 stocks on global exchanges. Clients of the broker are also able to trade in cryptocurrencies and crypto derivatives if this is not prohibited in the relevant jurisdiction, as is the case, for example, in the United Kingdom.
All FP Markets clients using the MT4 and MT5 platforms have a choice of two account types – Standard and Raw. The minimum deposit for both accounts is the same – 50 USD/EUR/GBP for clients of the Cyprus-based First Prudential Markets Ltd or 100 AUD or equivalent for those using the services of the other two companies in the FP Markets group. This makes FP Markets one of the brokers allowing you to start trading with a very low initial investment. The minimum trade size of just 0.01 Lot is also accommodating for beginner and small-time traders.
Both account types use ECN pricing. The difference is in the model in which the trader pays the broker. With a Standard account, there are no commissions and the broker fee is included in the spread. This spread is variable from 1 pip. Trading platforms show a spread of 1.3 pips for the benchmark currency pair EUR/USD.
With the Raw Account, the spread is zero or close to zero, but there is a fixed commission per lot traded. The exact amount of the commission depends on the currency used – 3 USD, 2.74 EUR, 2.25 GBP, 3 AUD/CAD/SGD, 20 HKD or 250 JPY per side.
This means that the trader would pay 6 USD per lot traded if the spread is zero, compared to 13 USD for the same volume using a Standard Account. This makes the Raw Account generally more advantageous when trading non-volatile assets in a calm market environment.
Like all leading brokers offering their services in Muslim countries, FP Markets allows clients to apply for a so-called “Islamic”, or swap-free account. In these accounts, the swaps, or interest charges for maintaining overnight positions, are replaced with an administration fee. This allows the investor to trade without violating the requirements of Sharia Law against interest. In all other respects, the terms for Islamic accounts are the same as for other customers.
Customers of FP Markets who have access to the Iress platform and have chosen to use it have a choice between three account types – Standard, Platinum and Premier. These accounts are obviously intended for professional trading on CFDs. The minimum balance for a Standard account is 1,000 USD, and for the other two account types is 25,000 and 50,000 USD. In addition to the fee for using the platform, there is a brokerage rate. For a Standard account it amounts to 10 USD and 0.1% thereafter and for a Platinum account – 9 USD minimum and 0.09% thereafter. For a Premier account there is no minimum and the rate is 0.08%.
The Iress accounts don’t have a swap-free option.
The most significant difference in trading conditions between CySec- and ASIC-regulated companies and the offshore-based FP Markets LLC is the leverage that can be used by retail traders.
Trading with high leverage creates the opportunity for greater profits. But this comes with a corresponding increased risk of large and sudden losses when market prices change. Most leading regulators limit the leverage that brokers can offer retail traders.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and accordingly all EU regulators, including CySec, limit leverage to 1:30 for major currency pairs, 1:20 for non-major pairs, gold and major indices, 1:10 for other commodities and non-major indices, and 1:2 for cryptocurrencies. For a long time, the ASIC had more relaxed leverage requirements, but from March 2021 the Australian regulator introduced leverage limits identical to those in Europe.
Because of this, retail clients of Cyprus and Australia-based companies can trade with leverage up to 1:30. However, those using the services of the SVG-based subsidiary are allowed to trade with leverage up to 1:500. Since FP Markets provides negative balance protection for all its clients, the risks of highly leveraged trading are somewhat mitigated. But you still need to approach with caution and an understanding of the potential negatives.
It is still possible to trade high leverage even if you fall under the regulation of the ESMA and ASIC if you are classified as a professional trader. In order to apply for such status, you must meet certain conditions. ESMA regulations assume that you meet two of the following conditions – have an investment or financial instrument portfolio equal to or greater than EUR 500,000; have professional experience in the financial industry of at least one year; to have carried out significant trades at a frequency of more than 10 per quarter.
FP Markets clients in Europe who have professional trader status can trade at significantly higher leverage, reaching 1:500 for major and most minor currency pairs. All other financial instruments can also be traded at a higher leverage, with the exception of cryptocurrencies, where the leverage remains at 1:50. It should be borne in mind that the professional trader agrees to trade at his own risk and waives the protection of the investment guarantee fund and the right to apply to a financial ombudsman.
Clients of the ASIC regulated division of FP Markets must also meet high requirements to obtain professional status. One option is to meet the wealth criteria – net assets of at least 2.5 million AUD or gross annual revenue of at least 250,000 AUD for the last two years. Another option is to have significant trading experience plus net assets of 500,000 AUD, or to have worked in a professional position in the financial sector for at least one year. This allows you to trade all currency pairs and gold with 1:500 leverage, major indices with 1:200 leverage, commodities with 1:100 leverage, shares with 1:20 leverage and cryptocurrencies with 1:5 leverage.
Another important difference between regulated and offshore brokers is that the latter can offer bonuses, promotions and prize games – practices banned by all leading regulators. However, FP Markets’ offshore company does not offer bonuses and promotions, indicating a commitment to homogenize services for all clients.
In addition to providing everything you need for professional trading, FP Markets facilitates the entry of beginners into the world of investing in the financial markets. FP Markets offers a fully functional Demo Account, which allows traders to get familiar with online trading and learn about trading fundamentals such as base currency, FX pairs, charting tools, and volatility. With a Demo account the client can develop trading strategies without making an initial deposit or being exposed to trading risks. Traders can then upgrade to a Live Account with a low minimum deposit of 100 USD.
Novice traders can gain knowledge and experienced traders can expand their knowledge further thanks to the wide range of educational materials on the FP Markets website – video courses, webinars, podcasts, platform tutorials, eBooks and technical and fundamental analysis. Traders also have access to convenient assistance tools such as economic calendar and forex calculator.
For traders who lack experience, confidence or simply enough available time, FP Markets offers the Copy Trading service, also known as social trading. This allows you to follow and copy the trades of top-performing traders of your choice. Thus, the copiers benefit from the insight of experienced investors without the need to develop their own trading plan. People with a successful trading record can in turn become providers.
FP MARKETS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
In terms of payment methods, FPMarkets has provided its customers with the widest possible choice. Alongside standard methods such as credit-debit cards and bank transfer, popular e-wallets such as Neteller, Skrill, PayTyrst88, FasaPay, Volt, Sticpay, and PerfectMoney can be used, as well as a host of region-specific methods such as Rupee Payments, DragonPay,PayLivre, Rapyd, Rapid, PlusDebit. Even broker-to-broker funding is supported.
This variety allows traders to use virtually all of the world’s leading currencies, such as USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, JPY, CAD, CHF, as well as a number of national currencies, such as HKD, NZD, SGD, CZK, PLN, MYR, IDR and VND, to fund their account. FPMarkets is also one of the legitimate brokers that allows you to deposit and withdraw funds via cryptocurrencies.
FP Markets does not charge any internal fees for deposits or withdrawals. The broker even covers bank transfer fees of up to 50 USD for deposits greater than 10,000 USD.
If the original deposit was made by credit/debit card or wire transfer, FP Markets’ Terms and Conditions require that the funds withdrawn be returned to the original source. Funds will only be returned to an account in the same name as your FP Markets Trading account.
Whether you are just entering the world of financial markets or are an experienced investor, FP Markets is undoubtedly one of the brokers that provide you with all the tools you need to succeed.
Licenses from some of the world’s leading regulatory institutions and a strong brand reputation ensure transparency, integrity and protection of client rights and assets. A wide range of trading and utility software allows you to customize and optimize the trading experience according to your needs and preferences. Combined with competitive trading opportunities, all of this ensures that your performance in the financial markets is not hindered or limited, but facilitated and enhanced by your broker. Simply put, FP Markets is one of the safest and most solid choices you can make as a retail or professional trader.