5 Best Australian Forex Brokers For 2023
If you don’t know by now, Australia is a highly forex-friendly country. Traders will understand that the trading day starts in the Sydney session Monday to Friday from 17h00 EST.
Therefore, it is befitting to seek the best Australian forex brokers. Here, we uncover the top five. But first, let’s look at the FX regulatory landscape in this country.
Top 5 Forex Brokers in Australia for 2023
|XM||Min. Deposit: $5||Max. Leverage: 1:1000||
||Visit XM XM review|
|AvaTrade||Min. Deposit: $200||Max. Leverage: 1:400||
||Visit AvaTrade AvaTrade review|
|Pepperstone||Min. Deposit: $200||Max. Leverage: 1:500||
||Visit Pepperstone Pepperstone review|
|Plus500||Min. Deposit: $500||Max. Leverage: 1:300||
||Visit Plus500 Plus500 review|
|IC Markets||Min. Deposit: $200||Max. Leverage: 1:500||
||Visit IC Markets IC Markets review|
Regulation for Forex Trading Brokers Australia
All financial services in Australia, including forex brokers, are regulated by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission), an independent commission formed in 1998. ASIC is one of the industry’s most reputable and strictest agencies, hence the increasing number of brokers seeking their regulation.
Let’s look at some of the policies it implements for its member firms.
- A broker needs at least A$1 million in operating capital at all times.
- ASIC mandates the brokers to only work with tier-1 banks to segregate client funds.
- The broker should have a physical office in the country.
- Most of the broker’s clients should be from Australia.
- Leverage for forex is capped at 1:30.
- The close-out of positions applies at a 50% margin rate (the margin call is initiated at 100%).
- Banning of particular inducements like trading bonuses, rebates, and gifts.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the licensing fee, but our research suggests between A$35 000 to A$50 000. Also, most forex brokers in Australia are part of the Investor Compensation Fund, which is insurance for client funds in the event a broker goes under.
Here’s a summary of the key pointers when considering the best forex brokers Australia:
- Trading and other miscellaneous costs should be minimal or as low as possible.
- It should have the widest range of forex pairs and other non-forex instruments to make diversification more convenient.
- Regulated forex brokers in Australia should provide a broad selection of convenient payment options.
- They should have excellent and responsive customer support.
- An ASIC-regulated broker should have a unique selling point or special feature.
Let’s now look at our top Australia forex brokers list.
XM is one of the premier FX brokers Australia, describing itself as a 'big, fair and human broker.' It has won several 'best forex broker in Australia' awards in the last few years. XM broker was formed in 2009 and now serves over 5 million clients in nearly all parts of the globe.
A unique feature with XM is it offers the 'Ultra Low Account,' something that not many forex brokers accepting Australian clients have. This is a cent account where one lot equals 1000 units (unlike a standard account where one lot is 100 000 units).
Such a feature is perfect for investors trading with a smaller capital and is good at preventing major financial losses. Moreover, with a reasonable $5 starting balance, XM is quite beginner-friendly overall when it comes to top forex brokers for Australian traders.
XM only levies swaps, and spreads, as is traditionally the case with CFD brokers. Fortunately, neither of their accounts have commissions. There are no deposit and withdrawal fees with the company (but do note potential ones from your payment processors).
One last thing: a dormancy or inactivity fee applies for any funded accounts with no activity in 90 calendar days, which is $5 monthly.
XM offers 1000 instruments in six asset classes: FX, stocks, precious metals, indices, energies, and commodities.
XM's minimum balance to start trading is $5 (but this could be higher on some payment methods), which you can deposit through Visa/Mastercard/Maestro/UnionPay cards, NETELLER, and Skrill.
The broker offers the widely popular MT4 and MT5 charting platforms, which you can use in a browser, desktop, and mobile versions across Windows, Mac, and Android.
- Provides cent account
- $5 minimum deposit
- Decent range of base account denominations
- Inactivity fee applies
- No zero-spread account available
Started as AvaFX in 2006 in Ireland, AvaTrade has maintained a world-class trading experience ever since, with increasingly personalised support and more advanced tools. Speaking of the latter, there is a distinct feature with AvaTrade not available with other forex brokers in Australia.
This is called AvaProtect™, a risk money management tool that protects against loss (up to A$1 million) for a particular position over a specific period. AvaProtect™ is only available on AvaTrade's proprietary AvaTradeGO app.
Sadly, the broker doesn't offer any precise details on the real hedging costs, but this is an interesting feature nonetheless.
Another cool thing with AvaTrade broker is that they offer social trading through DupliTrade, ZuluTrade, and its own platform, AvaSocial.
Aside from the expected rollover fees and spreads of regulated forex brokers in Australia, no trading commissions apply. Also, AvaTrade doesn't charge for deposits and withdrawals (but you may be charged from third-party processors).
One drawback with the broker is the inactivity fee of $50 per quarter once three months have passed without any trading activity. AvaTrade charges a further $100 annual admin fee if you go past a year.
With AvaTrade, you can trade forex (including options in forex), commodities, stocks, indices, ETFs, crypto, and bonds. This combines to over 1250 individual securities.
AvaTrade's starting balance is A$100, a reasonable amount when considering the best Australian forex brokers. Yet, the downside is that you can only fund your account with a card or bank wire as a client from this country.
The broker doesn't provide other customary e-wallet options like Skrill and NETELLER for EU and Australian users.
The broker offers the MT4 and MT5 charting platforms on Windows, Mac, and Android operating systems
Copy trading is quite popular these days, so we were more than happy to find this opportunity in AvaTrade. Moreover, you can use AvaTradeGO (also available as a web trader), AvaSocial, and AvaOptions (for FX options) on Android and iOS.
- Many depositing options offered
- Extensive range of traded markets
- Reasonable minimum deposit
- Offers copy/social trading
- High inactivity fee is charged
- Only one account type available
- Limited payment options for Australian clients
Plus500 is a multi-licensed CFD broker from one of the world's technology hubs Israel. Formed in 2008, the company is now a publicly-traded brand on the London Stock Exchange and forms part of the FTSE 250.
If you're looking for a different charting experience away from MetaTrader, Plus500 provides its proprietary trading platform. Among its advanced features are the GSLOs (guaranteed stop loss orders).
This is a unique type of stop loss where you are certain it will close at a set price (even when slippage occurs). Such a feature means you will never lose more than a defined amount. However, you should note that a GSLO comes at an additional cost only if triggered (it may come with a higher spread).
Plus500 prides itself on having no commissions and charges the regular spreads and swaps for their traded markets. It covers most of the payment processing fees but be prepared should you be charged by your issuer or bank.
Lastly, an inactivity fee of $10 monthly applies if you don't log into your account for at least three months.
Plus500 has a wide selection, offering over 2800 instruments covering crypto, forex, indices, commodities, equities, options, and ETFs.
$100 is the lowest starting balance with this broker. You can deposit this amount using a Visa/Mastercard card, PayPal, Skrill, and bank wire.
The company offers its proprietary platform available on Android and iOS.
- Negative balance protection offered
- Wide range of markets
- Provides GSLOs (at cost)
- Reasonable minimum deposit
- Doesn't provide any MetaTrader platforms
- Only one account type provided
- Prohibits expert advisors, scalping, hedging
- Charges inactivity fee
According to a recent study by The Tokenist, Pepperstone has the second-highest daily trading volume among Australia regulated forex brokers (after IC Markets) at $6.7 billion. This capability started when Pepperstone was formed in 2010 in Melbourne.
The broker has grown to serve over 300 000 clients covering retail and institutional niches. Peppersone offers a few distinctive perks. Firstly, it supports multiple charting platforms, namely MT4, MT5, cTrader, and TradingView.
The latter two are much more sophisticated than their rivals, making them suited to experienced chartists. Another advantage, as one of the dominant forex brokers accepting Australian clients, is integrating with several social trading platforms.
These include MetaTrader, Myfxbook, and DupliTrade. So, whether you're looking to trade manually or with the help of experts, Pepperstone has something for you.
Pepperstone levies spreads and swaps for their standard account across all markets. It also doesn't apply funding and withdrawal fees but warns that payment intermediaries may have charges.
Their 'Razor' or zero spread account has a lower spread and a fixed commission per round turn of A$7. Luckily, Pepperstone doesn't have an inactivity fee.
Being that Pepperstone is one of the best Australian forex brokers, it's no surprise their market selection matches this. They allow clients to trade over 1000 CFDs covering FX (including FX indices), crypto, indices, equities, and commodities.
While Pepperstone doesn't have a strict minimum, it recommends starting with at least A$ 200, which is still a fair figure. You can fund this amount via VISA/Mastercard card, bank wire, POLi, BPay, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, and UnionPay.
You can use cTrader and TradingView across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS operating systems. MT4 and MT5 are also available on these operating systems, except the latter.
- Provides raw spread account
- Social trading access available
- Numerous account base currencies offered
- Compatible with various charting software
- Plenty of payment options provided
- Inactivity fee applies
- Negative balance protection available only for EU and UK clients
The same study from The Tokenist found that IC was the largest FX broker globally by daily trading volume at $18.9 billion. IC Markets is also one of the oldest (started in 2007) in this Australia forex brokers list.
This company has long been respected for having the tightest spreads in the industry. It also offers a zero spread account for even lower spreads. IC Markets is an excellent choice for those seeking deep liquidity, broad asset selection, low trading costs, and accessible trading platforms.
Besides the expected spreads and swaps on the standard account, IC Market applies a commission on their zero spread account of $3.50 per lot per side.
As a worthy option among the best Australian forex brokers, you can trade currencies, commodities, stocks, indices, bonds, and crypto. This results in a selection of over 2200 symbols.
The minimum deposit with IC Markets is A$ 200, which you can deposit via Visa/Mastercard card, PayPal, NETELLER, Skrill, UnionPay, and bank transfer.
On IC Markets, you can trade on MT4, MT5, and cTrader on Windows, Mac, and Android. iOS only supports cTrader and not the MetaTrader platforms.
- Offers zero spread account
- Plenty of depositing options provided
- Numerous account base currencies available
- No inactivity fee applies
- No negative balance protection
Which broker is good for beginners in Australia?
We feel XM is the most beginner-friendly in our Australia forex brokers list. This is because they provide a cent account and have a much lower starting balance ($5) compared to the others. Both of these qualities match what newbies seek in a broker. It also provides the familiar MetaTrader platforms, which are super easy to use.
Do I have to pay tax on forex earnings in Australia?
Yes, any profits made using forex brokers for Australian traders are subject to tax deductions. The Australian Taxation Office categorises currency trading into investing and trading.
The former notes any profits from positions held for over a year, while the latter deals with short-term speculation with trades held for less than a year. The amount of liable tax will depend on each trader's tax bracket.
Which forex broker is best in Australia?
Based on features, Pepperstone offers more and is, hence, the best. One benefit is how many trading platforms it supports, from the easy-to-use ones like MT4/MT5 to more sophisticated ones like TradingView.
Also, they provide a good choice of payment options and provide a zero spread account which you don't find with many brokers. IC Markets is a close second, in our opinion.
Which broker gives the highest leverage in Australia?
All forex trading brokers Australia offer a maximum leverage of 1:30, a sharp drop from the previous offering. The strictness is due to concerns of retail traders over-leveraging and losing money in the markets.
ASIC implemented the reduction into effect in March 2021, along with mandatory negative balance protection and tighter margin call/stop-out levels.
What is the best trading account in Australia?
The standard account (available with all forex brokers accepting Australian clients) is sufficient for most traders. If you're a beginner, you may consider the cent account from XM. The zero spread accounts offered by Pepperstone and IC Markets are best for trading exotic pairs and high-frequency traders like scalpers and those using robots.