Best STP Forex Brokers
Compare live Forex trading accounts from STP brokers, including DMA and ECN STP brokers, in Ireland. Understand how STP brokers work and what this means for you.
Brokers we recommend
We rate brokers across 5 categories and 18 criteria, following a standardised methodology. Here are our overall and category-specific ratings:
* Availability is subject to local laws and regulations.
Note: for brevity, this table only shows the most popular payment methods and regulators. Open a free account with any of these brokers to view funding options available in your country.
- Flexible leverage up to 1:500.
- Trade over 1,000 financial instruments.
- Trade on MT4/5 or cTrader without restrictions.
- Copy trading service is available.
- Customer support is available 24/7.
- No TradingView integration is available for now.
- No investor compensation fund in the event of bankruptcy.
We've traded through this broker's MT5 Raw account and can vouch for its low spreads and reliable trading environment. Its Raw account is designed for day traders and scalpers, and its Standard account will suit all others.
We also like the breadth of instruments available through its platform. You'll find over 70 currency pairs, as well as gold and silver priced in US dollars, euros and Aussie dollars. You can also go long or short on stocks and government bonds through over 40 ETFs.
Its free educational content also sets it apart from the competition. Fund your account to get access to trading signals from Trading Signal and Autochartist. You'll also get access to free trading courses for beginners and experienced traders, weekly webinars and e-books.
- Enjoy flexible leverage up to 1:500.
- Choose between MetaTrader 4 and 5.
- All trading styles and Expert Advisors are allowed.
- Fast execution speeds from its London data-centre.
- Negative balance protection is only available across Forex and precious metals.
- 4XC is regulated in the Cook Islands, a country without an investor compensation fund.
From the outset, 4XC has offered high leverage (up to 1:500) across Forex, gold and silver. It accepts all trading styles on MT4/5 without restrictions. Alternatively, you may open a PAMM account or a copy trading account.
Its customer service agents, available 6 days a week, have always been friendly and professional. So it's perhaps no surprise that 4XC has received several awards commending the quality of its customer service team.
Overall, we would recommend 4XC to anyone looking for a trustworthy broker, especially if you are primarily interest in trading Forex or precious metals on high leverage.
What's an STP broker?
Straight Through Processing (STP) means full integration between all market participants, from liquidity providers to investors and the trading platform. In its purest form, an STP broker aggregate prices in real time from liquidity providers and passes client orders onto them. In practice, this also means there is No Dealing Desk (NDD).
Types of STP brokers
However, Forex brokers tend to apply the term loosely and "STP" can mean different things to different brokers. This article describes common traits and differences between STP brokers and suggests ways to check how your own broker operates.
Number of liquidity providers
STP brokers aggregate prices from banks, financial institutions and other liquidity providers (LPs) in the Forex interbank bank market. The price you see on your end is the best-bid and the best-offer (BBBO) across all quotes. This means the bid could come from Bank A and the ask from Bank B.
STP brokers typically work with more than one liquidity provider. However, circumstances can arise when they only have one. The more liquidity providers your broker works with, the greater the competition and the tighter the spreads.
Fixed or variable spreads
The spread is the difference between the buying and selling price of a currency pair. If you're quoted EUR/USD at 1.2502/05, the spread is 0.0003 or just 3 pips.
STP brokers usually quote variable spreads because the prices they receive from liquidity providers change dynamically over time. The price you're quoted adjusts automatically to reflect the BBBO available from your broker's liquidity providers. Your broker adds his own mark-up to the spread to cover his costs and earn a profit.
However, some brokers can quote fixed spreads instead. This can happen when they have just one liquidity provider. And when they have more, they can achieve this by adjusting the mark-up they apply to the BBBO to ensure that the spreads you see on your end remain the same.
Instant vs. market execution
A regular STP broker fills client orders through instant execution. This means your broker acts as the counterparty to your trades and will hedge these positions with his liquidity providers. This can give rise to re-quotes if your broker has difficulties filling orders at the price you requested. However, instant execution does allow you to enter Stop and Limit Orders at the very same time you open a position, which can help manage your risks.
Other STP brokers offer market execution. When this happens, your broker passes your order directly onto his own liquidity providers. This gives you what is known as Direct Market Access and is one of the purest forms of trading. Liquidity providers will act as the counterparty to your trade and fill your order at the prevailing market price. The downside is that you cannot enter Stop or Limit orders at the time you place an order because the execution price is not known when you click the 'Trade' button.
Is your broker STP?
First, check your broker's website and Order Execution Policy for comments about spreads and execution types. If in doubt, ask your account manager directly.
If your broker offers fixed spreads and instant execution, it's unlikely but not impossible that he delivers Straight Through Processing.
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About the author
I'm Stéphane, a trader and an entrepreneur. My mission with TrustedBrokers is to help you find the right broker for you, whether you're a beginner or a pro. I've personally used and tested the brokers on our service, opening and funding real-money accounts, contacting customer service and placing trades. I started my career in investment banking in London.