Best ECN Brokers

By St├ęphane on 30/09/2023

Trade Forex and CFDs on raw spreads and low commissions through the following list of true ECN brokers. These are our top choices.

Brokers we recommend


4.0 / 5 FXCC

FXCC is a regulated offshore broker with an ECN trading environment. Trade CFDs on over 100 instruments with leverage up to 1:500, only on MT4. FXCC allows all trading styles and EAs.

FXCC is available in Kenya

4.7 / 5 Pepperstone

Pepperstone is an award-winning broker regulated in 7 jurisdictions. Trade over 1,200 instruments on MetaTrader 4, 5, TradingView or cTrader. Pepperstone allows all trading styles.

Pepperstone is available in Kenya
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

4.1 / 5 LiteFinance

Trade CFDs on a wide range of markets on M4/5, with leverage up to 1:1,000 through LiteFinance.com. LiteFinance accepts all EAs and trading styles, including scalping and news trading. Earn up to 2.5% interest on your balance.

LiteFinance is available in Kenya
83% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Other brokers:

Comparison table

Here's how and why rated these brokers, or learn more about our impartial 18-point methodology.

OverallMarketsTrading environmentDeposits and withdrawalsInvestor protectionCustomer service
FXCC 4.0 4.0 4.2 4.4 3.8 3.8
Pepperstone 4.7 5.0 4.8 4.4 4.8 4.7
LiteFinance 4.1 4.0 4.4 4.2 3.2 4.7
RoboForex 4.1 5.0 4.5 3.9 3.2 3.8
Forex (CFD)Cryptos (CFD)*Stocks (CFD)Indices (CFD)Metals (CFD)Energy (CFD)Commodities (CFD)ETFs (CFD)
FXCC 7181262
Pepperstone 96209572312416112
LiteFinance 576613115535
RoboForex 40338400102041001000
MT4MT5Copy tradingcTraderTradingView
FXCC
Pepperstone
LiteFinance
RoboForex
Bank transferDebit cardCredit cardNETELLER *Skrill *BTC (Bitcoin)USDT (Tether)
FXCC
Pepperstone
LiteFinance
RoboForex
AustraliaBahamasBelizeCyprus (EU)NevisSt. Vincent & the GrenadinesUAEUK
FXCC
Pepperstone
LiteFinance
RoboForex

* 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.



4.0 / 5 FXCC

FXCC is a regulated offshore broker with an ECN trading environment. Trade CFDs on over 100 instruments with leverage up to 1:500, only on MT4. FXCC allows all trading styles and EAs.

  • Likes
  • 100% bonus on your 1st deposit (up to US$2,000).
  • Flexible leverage up to 1:500.
  • All MT4 Expert Advisors are allowed.
  • No fees on deposits.
  • No minimum deposit.
  • Dislikes
  • FXCC only supports MetaTrader 4.
  • Withdrawal fees apply across some, but not all, funding methods.
Our take on FXCC

We particularly like FXCC's high leverage (up to 1:500) available across all currency pairs, gold, silver, stock indices and energy products. It offers negative balance protection, for added peace of mind.

Its MetaTrader 4 integration provides a smooth trading experience, with no lags and only minimal slippage. It accepts all trading styles and Expert Advisors, including scalping robots, without restrictions. We look forward to the day when FXCC will support MT5.

As FXCC offers consistently low spreads, it is possible to enter and exit trades several times a day, to take advantage of even small price swings. Its ECN XL account has no commission. However, FXCC will apply a $5 mark-up per lot, per side, if you open an account through us.


4.7 / 5 Pepperstone

Pepperstone is an award-winning broker regulated in 7 jurisdictions. Trade over 1,200 instruments on MetaTrader 4, 5, TradingView or cTrader. Pepperstone allows all trading styles.

74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
  • Likes
  • Trade over 1,200 instruments across many asset classes.
  • Trade on MT4/5, cTrader or even TradingView.
  • All trading styles and EAs are allowed.
  • Wide range of currencies for your trading account.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Dislikes
  • You cannot choose which Pepperstone entity to open an account with. For example, you will need to open an account with Pepperstone's FCA-regulated entity if you live in the UK.
Our take on Pepperstone

We particularly enjoy Pepperstone's integration with TradingView, which makes it possible to open and close positions directly from the charts. This in addition to its support for the popular MetaTrader 4, 5 and cTrader platforms.

Fees are a big factor for any trader. And Pepperstone's competitive spreads and commissions are a significant plus point for us. Its Standard account with low and variable spreads will appeal to all traders. And its Raw account is designed for Forex day traders and scalpers.

Deposits and withdrawals are easy and hassle-free, which is exactly what we look for in a broker. Whenever we've reached out to customer service, we've found their agents to be responsive and attentive.


4.1 / 5 LiteFinance

Trade CFDs on a wide range of markets on M4/5, with leverage up to 1:1,000 through LiteFinance.com. LiteFinance accepts all EAs and trading styles, including scalping and news trading. Earn up to 2.5% interest on your balance.

83% of retail CFD accounts lose money
  • Likes
  • All trading strategies are allowed.
  • Get free daily technical and fundamental analysis.
  • Receive up to 2.5% interest on used funds.
  • Copy trading accounts are also available.
  • Dislikes
  • Withdrawals fees are somewhat high, especially card withdrawals.
Our take on LiteFinance

We have been trading through LiteFinance's ECN account for over 3 years on raw spreads plus a commission of $5 per lot, per side, and we enjoy its unrestricted trading environment.

Their customer service team is responsive, even on weekends. Our withdrawals have always been processed as quickly as possible. However, their withdrawal fees are a bit high, especially card withdrawals.

LiteFinance publishes a lot of educational content in the form of webinars and articles on its blog, often focused on technical analysis. However, you might find yourself lost if you are new to trading.


4.1 / 5 RoboForex

RoboForex.com is an offshore broker based in and regulated in Belize. Access over 12,000 instruments, including real equities and CFDs on Forex, crypto and oil, from a single platform. We were able to start trading in minutes, without ID verification.

58.42% of retail CFD accounts lose money
  • Likes
  • Access 12,000 instruments, including real stocks.
  • Start trading in minutes without ID verification.
  • Enjoy negative balance protection.
  • Dislikes
  • RoboForex is only regulated in Belize.
  • Withdrawal fees across most funding methods.
Our take on RoboForex

RoboForex is an offshore broker you should consider, if you're looking for high leverage (up to 1:2000) across a wide range of asset classes.

We were able to open an account and start trading in under 5 minutes, as RoboForex postpones account verification until you raise a withdrawal request. It's free to fund your account, but pay attention to withdrawal fees across most withdrawal methods.

RoboForex accepts all trading styles and EAs on the MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms. Its trading fees are on par with its competition, and swap fees generally lower. You may also qualify for a complimentary VPS if you trade at least 3 lots per month.

We particularly like its R StocksTrader platform, which allows you to invest in over 12,000 "real" stocks, in addition to CFDs across all other asset classes. If you're a buy-and-hold investor with an interest in stocks, this platform is one you should consider.

ECN trading benefits

Unlike traditional Forex brokers, ECN brokers allow you to trade directly on the Forex interbank market. Experienced traders prefer to trade Forex and CFDs through ECN brokers for a number of reasons, that include:

  • Tight spreads: trade directly on the Forex interbank market with Tier-1 liquidity providers. Competition between market makers and fractional pricing keep spreads as tight as possible. In turn, this makes it easier to profit for small price movements.
  • Execute trades instantly: an ECN broker has no dealing desk and no re-quotes. Trade on live, best executable prices with immediate confirmations. This facilitates trading during economic releases and times of unusual market volatility.
  • Depth of market: see liquidity at every price point in addition to bid offer spreads. Understand where liquidity lies and use these insights to predict short term changes in prices. Depth of market information supports scalping strategies.
  • Trade anonymously: ECN trading is completely anonymous. This helps ensure that the prices you're see are free from bias and reflect market conditions.
  • No conflicts of interest: ECN brokers act as intermediaries rather than market markers. They earn money through commissions on trades; the more you trade, they more they stand to profit. This helps align their interests with yours.

How to compare ECN brokers

Here are three criteria to keep top of mind when searching for the best ECN broker.

Commissions

Most ECN brokers earn money through a commission on trades rather than a mark-up on spreads. This is why they typically quote spreads as lows as 0 pips, also known as "raw spreads". FP Markets is an exception to the rule in that it allows you to choose between a commission-based and a commission-free account.

Their commission is usually expressed in US$ per lot or million US$ traded, and typically applies to each side of a trade. In other words, a $3 commission per lot per side will first apply when you open a position, and apply once again when you close your position.

Liquidity providers

Trading fees aren't the only criteria you'll want to bear in when comparing ECN brokers. You'll also want to check how many liquidity providers they work with. The more liquidity providers compete for your trades, the deeper the market and the tighter the bid/ask spreads. This also provides greater certainty of execution, that you'll come to appreciate when markets are volatile.

However, that information can be hard to come by, as brokers view it as commercially sensitive. Most brokers in our panel work with over 10 such liquidity providers. This is also the case with FXCC, a broker established in 2010 as an ECN-only broker.

Trading platforms

Last but not least, you'll also want to consider trading platforms when comparing brokers. In fact, this could be a major consideration if you already have a library of automated trading scripts. All brokers in our panel support the MetaTrader platform, in its versions 4 or 5. If you're into cTrader, an ECN trading platform with advanced charting and technical analysis capabilities, you should consider opening an account with FPMarkets.com instead.

Is your broker a true ECN broker?

You may have noticed that some brokers use the word 'ECN' liberally for marketing purposes, even though they may not provide a true ECN service. Here's how to tell if your provider is a genuine ECN broker.

Depth of market information

Does your broker provide depth of market (DOM) information? Depth of market shows you the liquidity available for every bid and offer. DOM should be available for every instrument and change dynamically as orders are filled and new orders come to market. It usually appears in a small monitor directly in your trading platform's interface.

Order matching

Traders in an Electronic Communication Network (ECN) can enter competing bids and offers into the platform either inside or outside the spread, and hit one another's orders. You'll know your broker is a true ECN broker if you're able to open a position with a liquidity provider and close it with another, or execute a trade against the bid or offer of another trader through your broker's depth of market monitor.

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Author

About the author

I'm St├ęphane, 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.

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