DEGIRO has focused on being the low-cost online stockbroker for the European Economic Area (EEA). IC Markets, on the other hand, has excelled as a low-cost forex and CFD broker based out of Australia. Comparing these two brokers is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, but they do have some similarities. As for which is better, it will depend on your needs as an investor or trader.
Investing involves risks. You can lose (a part of) your deposit. We advise you to only invest in financial products which match your knowledge and experience.
Trading Derivatives carries a high level of risk to your capital, and you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Trading Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved and seek independent advice if necessary.
DEGIRO is a banking conglomerate and traditional stockbroker with 2 million+ customers. IC Markets has 180,000+ active traders on its forex and CFD platforms and is considered the largest and best such broker in Australia. Both brokers are credible and reputable with a dominant background in the trading market.
DEGIRO, with Dutch origins in Amsterdam, opened its doors for business in 2013. It is a stockbroker in the purest sense and turned the stockbroker fee model in Europe on its head by nearly eliminating all fees and commissions and offering very tight spreads. Its parent company, flatex AG, recently acquired the firm to enhance its stockbroker positioning in Europe. It has completed the merger and also operates a bank. A large plus is that flatex AG is traded on the SDAX exchange in Germany. It is also now the largest online stockbroker in the EEA.
IC Markets was launched in Australia. Founded in 2007, it focused primarily on the forex market, but now also offers CFDs in a variety of financial instruments. Like DEGIRO, its mission is to be a low-cost provider. It has built a deep network of liquidity providers, such that it can offer what appear to be professional-level spreads to retail clients. It complies with regulatory oversight from ASIC, as well as with the FSA in the Seychelles and the SCB in the Bahamas. In March 2022, trading volumes reached $1.11tn, which may be a record in the forex trading platform world.
With DEGIRO, you might feel like you are dealing with a bank-owned stockbroker, and you are. Account openings are free, and no minimum deposit is required. Funding, however, can only be by direct deposit or wire transfer. Conversely, IC Markets operates in the forex/CFD broker mode. Its minimum deposit is $200, and it provides 15 convenient funding options.
DEGIRO’s path to prominence was a result of its wholesale slashing of fees and commissions in the retail stockbrokerage business. The firm provides access to 50+ global stock exchanges, but some of these may have pass-through fees, which DEGIRO is also obliged to pass through. There are no fees for account openings, deposits, withdrawals, or inactivity over a period of dormancy.
IC Markets follows a similar fee model in that there are no hidden fees or fees for opening an account, making a deposit or withdrawal, or failing to trade over a specified period of time. There are overnight fees (a standard in the forex industry), and banking intermediaries may also assess fees, which neither IC Markets nor DEGIRO can control.
DEGIRO offers tight spreads and zero commissions on the buying or selling of stocks. It does not offer CFDs or support retail forex trading. IC Markets offers institutional-level pricing in its spreads, along the lines of a small commission and near-zero spreads, the forex industry model. Traders may also opt for a Standard account, where competitive spreads are supported for traders with smaller volumes.
DEGIRO does not offer leverage, but you may buy stocks on margin, 5% and below, depending upon the equity in your account balance. IC Markets does offer leverage, but levels are dependent upon local regulatory guidelines – i.e., 30:1 for major forex pairs in the EEA or as high as 500:1 in foreign jurisdictions.
DEGIRO offers a single standard trading account. IC Markets offers three account categories – a Standard account for traditional account pricing and two high-volume pricing models – one for its MT4 platform and one for its cTrader platform offering with a slight cut in the commission.
DEGIRO has an award-winning proprietary trading platform, which is fine for trading its various product offerings. You will not find a demo system or forex trading, unless you are a professional trading options and futures. IC Markets offers popular platforms from respected third parties. The broker’s clients can choose between MetaTrader product offerings or go with cTrader and its apps, supplied by Spotware Systems Ltd. This ECN/STP shop offers the best of trading worlds for all traders, including automated ones, along with free demo systems.
DEGIRO offers a ‘Buy-and-Own’ portfolio, including shares, ETFs, leveraged products, bonds, options and futures, along with access to 50+ global exchanges. IC Markets supports the trading of 61 currency pairs and CFDs for 2,000 items, including stocks, indices, commodities, bonds, futures and cryptocurrencies.
IC Markets offers a free demo account, but DEGIRO does not.
Both DEGIRO and IC Markets have a lot to offer, but each operates in a separate sector of the brokerage community. Both are heavily regulated and have achieved great success with their respective business models. DEGIRO, however, is a stockbroker, and IC Markets has focused on the forex and CFD trading market. Each is a worthy business partner, but your definition of ‘better’ will depend upon your future needs for trading or investing.