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Best ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers

Forex brokers regulated by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) must adhere to strict licencing requirements. ASIC is one of the toughest financial regulatory authority in the industry. There are many requirements that brokers has to meet such as: financial sustainability, safe trading environment, operational standards etc.. In case of insolvency ASIC regulated brokers must also be able to provide credit to the general public. Traders funds have to be kept in a segregated account in one of the biggest banks in Australia.

ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers 2020

Here are the best Forex brokers regulated by ASIC:

  1. Plus500 – Best Forex Broker Overall
  2. AvaTrade – Comes in Close Second Place
  3. eToro – Best ASIC Regulated Copy Trading Forex Broker
  4. FP Markets – Best Education and Daily Analysis
  5. CMC Markets – Wide Range of Currency Pairs
  6. Saxo Bank – Good for Exotic Currency Pairs
  7. City Index – Great Research Available

ASIC regulated brokers offer a high level of security, while some of the EU or US restrictions do not apply. Leverage trading isn’t as limited (1:500), scalping and hedging are allowed. However, promotions and bonuses are still restricted.

Due to the strict licencing requirements, ASIC regulated brokers are considered safe. Still, before picking one to trade with, you should consider factors like: fees, commissions, leverage, trading platform, customer service, minimum deposits, withdrawals, education… to name a few.

Plus500 – Best Forex Broker Overall

Featured Image Plus 500

  • Regulated by: ASIC, MAS, CySec, FCA
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • Maximum Leverage: 1:300
  • Platform: Proprietary
  • Trading Desk Type: Market Maker
  • Number of Currency Pairs: 70+
PROS
CONS
Publicly-traded company listed at the London Stock Exchange with more than 10 years in the industry.
Research and educational materials available are fairly limited.
Low trading fees.
User-friendly trading interface for beginners.
Low minimum deposit required to open an account.

AvaTrade – Globally Regulated Forex Broker

AvaTrade Logo
  • Regulated by: ASIC, B.V.I., PFSA, FFAJ, FSCA, MiFID
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • Maximum Leverage: up to 1:400
  • Platform: Proprietary
  • Trading Desk Type: Broker
  • Number of Currency Pairs: 50+
PROS
CONS
Account opening is easy and straightforward
Inactivity fees are fairly high
Deposits and withdrawals are easy
Research tools
AvaTrade Go Mobile App

eToro – Best ASIC Regulated Social Forex Trading

etoro trading platform logo transparent
  • Regulated by: ASIC, CySec, FCA, MiFID
  • Minimum Deposit: $200
  • Maximum Leverage: up to 1:30
  • Platform: Proprietary
  • Trading Desk Type: Broker
  • Number of Currency Pairs: 47

PROS
CONS
Commission Free Stock and ETFs Trading
Forex Fees Can Be a Bit High
Account Opening is Easy
Social Trading/Copy Trading
eToro Mobile App

FP Markets – Tight Forex Spreads

FP Markets Logo
  • Regulated by: ASIC
  • Minimum Deposit: $200
  • Maximum Leverage: up to 1:500
  • Platform: MT4&MT5, Iress
  • Trading Desk Type: Broker
  • Number of Currency Pairs: 60+

PROS
CONS
Forex Fees are Low
No Fixed Spread Accounts
Account Opening is Fast and Easy
Trading Platform a bit Outdated
Deposits And Withdrawals Are Seamless
Multiple Awards

CMC Markets – Great Portfolio of Forex Pairs

CMC Markets Logo

  • Regulated by: ASIC
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Maximum Leverage: 1:30 up to 1:500
  • Platform: Metatrader
  • Trading Desk Type: Broker
  • Number of Currency Pairs: 180
PROS
CONS
Low Forex Fees
CFD offering could be better
Mobile Trading Platform
No Automated Trading
Web Trading Platforms
CFD fees are high for some Indices
Research Tools
Education Tools

Saxo Bank – Great Portfolio of Forex Pairs

Saxo Bank Logo

  • Regulated by: ASIC
  • Minimum Deposit: $200
  • Maximum Leverage: up to 1:500
  • Platform: MT4&MT5, Iress
  • Trading Desk Type: Broker
  • Number of Currency Pairs: 60+

City Index – Great Research Materials

City Index Logo Black

  • Regulated by: ASIC, FCA, MAS
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • Maximum Leverage: up to 1:400
  • Platform: Advantage Trader & MetaTrader
  • Trading Desk Type: Broker
  • Number of Currency Pairs: 60+
PROS
CONS
Great Product Offering
No Margin Trading for Retail Accounts
Backtesting
Desktop Platform
Research Tools

What is the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)?

ASIC was founded in 1998 to replace its predecessor – the Australian Securities Commission (ASC) – after being granted with more far-reaching powers that include overseeing the offering of superannuation, insurance, banking, and financial products to consumers in Australia. ASIC primarily deals with three segments of the financial markets: financial services, consumer credit, and markets.

Financial services: ASIC is in charge of licensing and monitoring the financial service sector in Australia including investment funds, superannuation providers, share issuers, insurers, and the financial derivatives market.

Consumer credit: ASIC regulates the activities of banks, mortgage providers, and credit unions in the country and they are in charge of issuing licenses for these institutions while also enforcing the laws related to lending and other similar practices.

Markets: ASIC monitors the activities of the country’s financial markets and financial institutions such as stock exchanges and market-maker entities. Additionally, they oversee trading activities and brokers registered and operating in the country, issuing licenses to companies seeking to provide their services in Australia.

ASIC acts following the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act of 2001 (ASIC Act).

Some of their key roles are:

  • Oversee the performance and stability of the country’s financial system.
  • Administer the country’s financial law by effectively reducing procedural bureaucracy.
  • Gather, organize, report, and maintain proper records on the activities the organization monitors.
  • Release information to the public about the organizations it oversees for the benefit of the system and as soon as it is practical.
  • Take preventive and corrective action to maintain the stability of the financial system.

The commission is integrated by three to eight members who are responsible for overseeing its activities and their organizational structure includes various key departments such as:

  • Supervision Group – oversees corporate governance affairs.
  • Financial Services – oversees credit, retail, and banking payments along with the insurance industry.
  • Markets – oversees the market’s infrastructure, financial reporting, and auditing matters.
  • Wealth Management – oversees financial advisors, investment managers, and superannuation providers.
  • Financial Services Enforcement – conducts ASIC’s investigations and proceedings related to financial law breaches.
  • Markets Enforcement – conducts and oversees market misconduct investigations for ASIC.
  • Assessment & Intelligence – oversees licensing procedures and misconduct reporting procedures for ASIC.
  • Registry – oversees the process of registering with ASIC.
  • Strategy – develops policies, consumer education materials, data analytics, research, and other similar tasks for the commission.

As of July 2020, James Shipton is the Chairman of ASIC, while the commission’s Chief Financial Officer is Maria Moore (acting), and its Chief Risk Officer is Zack Gurdon.

Forex trading In Australia

Forex trading is an activity that consists of speculating with foreign currency pairs.

A currency pair tracks the value of one currency relative to another. For example, the GBP/USD pair tracks the value of the pound sterling – UK’s official fiat currency – versus the US dollar – the official currency of the United States.

Traders can either take long positions, which profit from upward price movements, or short positions, which benefit from downward price fluctuations, and these trading operations are commonly conducted by using leverage. Leveraged trades are very common in forex trading operations since relative price movements in forex pairs tend to be small, which reduces the chance of making sizable profits if your investment account has a small balance. However, using leverage also brings an additional risk for traders, as relatively small price movements can affect the value of the account significantly and the higher the leverage ratio, the most likely it is that any small fluctuation could end up triggering a margin call, which is a situation where the broker liquidates some of the trader’s positions to offset the losses caused by unfavorable price movements.

Changes in the value of forex pairs are expressed in pips – the smallest unit of a forex pair value – or as a percentage and forex traders usually don’t hold a position for longer than a day, which is the reason why some traders are called ‘day traders’. Additionally, there are also certain holding costs involved if traders maintain their positions for longer than a day.

The forex market is the biggest financial market in the world with nearly $6 trillion in daily trading volumes. The market is open 24/5 as various markets around the world – Asian, European, American – are opened at different hours. However, positions held after 5 pm EST will be considered as if they were held by one entire day and will be charged with the corresponding holding costs accordingly.

Forex traders can profit from anticipating fluctuations in the price of certain currency pair by either taking long or short positions and they can also use trade orders such as stop-loss orders to mitigate the risk of unfavorable price movements.

Forex pairs can be traded directly – spot currencies – or they can be traded via CFDs and some of the most common currency pairs are the EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, and USD/CFH.

Is forex trading legal in Australia?

Yes, forex trading is permitted in Australia. Forex brokers can either be regulated by ASIC directly or they can also be granted permission to operate in the country even though they may not be licensed by ASIC. The most well-reputed brokers are either regulated by ASIC or by at least one top-tier financial jurisdiction such as the UK, the United States, Singapore, or Japan, and ASIC will usually grant them with the possibility of operating in the country as long as they abide by Australian financial laws.

On the other hand, traders in Australia should know that there are tax implications resulting from forex trading, especially for short-term capital gains derived from this activity.

Who is regulated by ASIC?

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission regulates credit services, financial services providers and financial markets.

What is a regulated Forex broker?

Regulated Forex brokers are registered and authorized by financial regulators. To put it simply, a regulated broker means they are safe and legit. Brokers must comply with the all the rules of the financial regulator. Unregulated Forex brokers are not compliant and the regulatory bodies don’t oversee their activities.

Are unregulated brokers safe?

Unregulated Forex brokers are common in the industry. That does not mean they are not safe or illegal. Regulated brokers are legally obliged to face consequences if the don’t follow the rules.

How to open a Forex account if you live in Australia?

Opening an account with an ASIC-regulated Forex broker should not take more than 24 hours. Most brokers nowadays provide the possibility of registering online. The process of verifying your identity may take longer depending on the broker you choose to work with. Forex brokers commonly require a minimum deposit to open an account. Some allow traders to open an account with no balance (minimum deposit).

Meanwhile, the portfolio of Forex pairs offered by brokers varies from one broker to the other. After you have opened your account, you will be able to start taking positions in Forex pairs. You can use the amount of leverage your broker has made available to you when entering the trades. Leverage ratios are commonly expressed as a ratio – X:1 or 1:X, this means that for every dollar you have deposited into the account you can trade X number of dollars by using borrowed funds.

Risks of trading Forex

Forex trading is a risky activity and Australian traders should know that a significant percentage of investor accounts lose money by trading these financial products – whether that is done directly via spot currencies or by using CFDs.

You can lose money due to unfavorable price movements and especially if you fail to place a stop-loss order for your trades. Additionally, there’s a risk that your broker may liquidate some or all of your positions if your balance falls below the minimum maintenance margin.

Also, it is important to know that forex pairs are highly volatile, especially exotic pairs with low liquidity, and even with a stop-loss order in place a trade can generate an unfavorable outcome if the broker fails to execute the order at the stop price due to slippage.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this overview of the best ASIC approved Forex brokers. More information on ASIC, ASIC regulation, and ASIC regulated brokers can be found on each of the websites of the above-listed ASIC regulated brokers or in ASIC’s official website (www.asic.gov.au).

Here are the best ASIC approved Forex Brokers for 2020:

Forex Broker
Detail
Regulation
Official Website
Plus500
Best Forex Broker Overall
FCA, CySEC, ASIC, MAS
AvaTrade
Comes in Close Second Place
Bank of Ireland, ASIC, JFSA, FSCA
eToro
Best ASIC Regulated Copy Trading Forex Broker
CySEC,FCA, ASIC
FP Markets
Best Education and Daily Analysis
ASIC, CySEC
CMC Markets
Wide Range of Currency Pairs
FCA
Saxo Bank
Good for Exotic Currency Pairs
ASIC, ACPR, FINMA, MAS, FCA
City Index
Great Research Available
FCA, ASIC, MAS