To test these Forex brokers, we opened both demo accounts and real accounts, set up the trading software, read the educational material, deposited and traded 100.000 ₦ of our money, and created all kinds of trouble for the customer service teams. Plus we put the withdrawal procedures to the test to see how long it took to process and receive our money. While experimenting with these brokers, we rate the quality of their financial regulation, trading platform choice and read the fine print to get a grasp of the trading conditions and how transparent the broker is with sharing them. 

These are the best Forex brokers in Nigeria for 2021, according to our testing and our research. All the Forex brokers on this list accept Nigerian clients and have local customer support teams. Some of these brokers also have FSRCC regulation, which provides Nigerian traders with local protection from fraud and broker bankruptcy.

These are the best Forex brokers in Nigeria

Last updated on 31 May 2021
Updated 31 May 2021
by Editorial Director Jeffrey Cammackby Jeffrey Cammack
Jeffrey Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Trusted
1
AvaTrade
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.484.48
Min. Spread
0.90 pips
Fx Pairs
50+
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
11110.54.48/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.
2
HotForex
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.494.49
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
51
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
11110.54.49/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.
3
XM
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.384.38
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Fx Pairs
57
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
11110.54.38/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.
4
Exness
Min. Deposit
USD 1
4.124.12
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Fx Pairs
120
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
11110.54.12/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 2000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Exness is regulated by CySEC, FCA, and the FSC.
5
Plus500
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.094.09
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
70+
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
11110.54.09/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Plus500 does not publish their spreads, and thus a cost of trading can not be established. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. Only Plus500 proprietary trading platform supported. Plus500 is regulated by FCA, CySEC, ASIC, and MAS.All information presented is verified as of the date of the review.Most retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
6
Pepperstone
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.614.61
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
80+
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
11110.54.61/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.09 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. Pepperstone Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the DFSA.
7
Axitrader
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.344.34
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
80+
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
11110.54.34/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Axi Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC and the DFSA.
8
easyMarkets
Min. Deposit
USD 25
3.983.98
Min. Spread
0.90 pips
Fx Pairs
103
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
1110.503.98/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.80 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & the proprietary easyMarkets platform are supported. easyMarkets is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSA in Seychelles.
9
CM trading
Min. Deposit
USD 250
3.243.24
Min. Spread
1.50 pips
Fx Pairs
47
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
1110.503.24/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.5 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & Sirix platforms supported. CM Trading is regulated by the FSCA.
10
FXTM
Min. Deposit
USD 10
4.374.37
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Fx Pairs
59
REGULATED BY
Overall Rating
11110.54.37/ 5
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage Flexible. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Leverage offered can vary depending on country of residence, and your trading knowledge and experience. FXTM is regulated by CySEC, FCA, FSCA, and the FSC.

What to consider when comparing Forex brokers

Regulation: Completely invisible and perhaps the most critical aspect, the regulator supervising your trading account serves to keep your money safe. It is not the number of regulatory agencies that govern the activity of the broker that matters, but the quality of regulatory oversight. 

Trading Conditions: Your trading cost should be as low as possible. Brokers should couple trading accounts with transparent documentation on the spreads and execution policy, and a list of all CFD assets available. 

Education Material: Beginner traders should have a coherent and well-structured trading course alongside a demo account. Advanced strategy, webinars, and market research all contribute to the complete learning experience.

Platforms: Though the brokers with the most trading platforms supported usually offer the best trading experience, this is not always the case. Each trader will have a software preference and should be able to use it at multiple brokers. 


  • AvaTrade - Best Mobile Trading Experience
  • HotForex - Highest Leverage for Market Execution
  • XM - Broker with the Lowest Spreads in Nigeria
  • Exness - Best Trading Account Conditions for Beginners
  • Plus500 - Best Unlimited Demo Account
  • Pepperstone - Best ECN Trading Execution
  • Axitrader - Best ECN broker on MT4
  • easyMarkets - Best Risk Management Tools for Beginners
  • CM trading - Largest African Broker by Client Volume
  • FXTM - Best Forex Broker for Beginners in Nigeria

AvaTrade – Best Mobile Trading Experience

Winner of the award for the best Forex broker of 2020, AvaTrade offers Nigerian forex traders a preeminent mobile trading experience. Avatrade spreads are some of the tightest for a commission-free account with a 100 USD minimum deposit – as low as 0.9 pips on the EUR/USD. Maximum leverage is set at 1:400 on MT4 and MT5, which include EA’s, indicators, scalping, hedging, and provides free access to the integrated Trading Central dashboard for both platforms.

The AvaProtect tool available in the mobile app enhanced AvaTrade’s reputation as a client-focused broker, allowing traders to purchase loss protection for a time. Any losses during that time are fully refunded, but any profits are the traders to keep. 

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited market analysis
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.

HotForex – Highest Leverage for Market Execution

Regulated by the FCA, CySEC and the FSCA, HotForex provides No-Dealing Desk STP execution for all trades. Client’s trades are posted directly to the market, and leverage is flexible up to 1000:1 on the Micro Account where the minimum deposit is 5 USD. Spreads are reasonably tight for the industry, starting at 1 pip even on the Micro Account.

HotForex devotes a section of its website to detailed market analysis for beginners and professionals and trading tools; these include daily market news, trade analysis, and outlooks. Trading calculators and economic calendars are also available for reference outside of a trading platform, and customer support is available 24/5 from toll-free local phone number to assist.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.

XM – Broker with the Lowest Spreads in Nigeria

XM is one of the most regulated market makers in the Forex industry and stands out for leading trading conditions, account choice, execution speed and a wide range of CFD assets available on both the MT4 and MT5 platforms. Hedging, scalping and algorithmic trading are all permitted.

With a minimum deposit of 50 USD, traders can open the XM Ultra Low Account, where spreads start at 0.6 pips with no commission charged. All accounts also benefit from having access to XM’s no-requotes execution policy, and 99.35% of XM orders are executed in less than one second, making XM one of the fastest executors of trades in retail Forex trading.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Dealing desk
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.

Exness – Best Trading Account Conditions for Beginners

Exness’ Standard Cent Account is for new traders who want a live Forex trading account with good trading conditions and a low minimum deposit. The Standard Cent Account requires a 1 USD minimum deposit, has micro-lots unlocked, and spreads as low as 0.3 pips. The only disadvantages to this account are that traders will only be able to trade currency and metals, plus MT5 is not supported. 

More experienced traders will rather Exness’ ECN Accounts, with their 200 USD minimum deposit and raw tight spreads and commission of 7 USD per lot round trip. Exness’ also has an automated instant withdrawal system, with free withdrawals to e-wallets.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • 24/7 customer service
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Limited market analysis
  • Unavailable in Europe
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 2000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Exness is regulated by CySEC, FCA, and the FSC.

Plus 500 – Best Unlimited Demo Account

Plus500 is a leading CFD provider, driven mainly by an easy-to-use mobile platform and appealing trading conditions. The Plus500 demo account is unlimited, meaning it will never expire and available using the mobile app and the web browser. Mobile trading apps are often poor shadows of desktop trading platforms, however, the Plus500 app has the same functionality as the web platform, which is intuitive and feature-rich, meaning traders can use the app’s advanced order types, sentiment indicators and price alerts on the move.

Spreads are fixed at Plus500 but are reasonably tight with a 0.8 pip spread on the EUR/USD (April 16th, 2021) and no commission. Deposits and withdrawals are free, and there are zero fees for rolling over your position. Plus500’s customer service team is available 24/7 via WhatsApp and Live Chat for traders who appreciate customer service on weekends and evenings.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Limited account options
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Plus500 does not publish their spreads, and thus a cost of trading can not be established. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. Only Plus500 proprietary trading platform supported. Plus500 is regulated by FCA, CySEC, ASIC, and MAS.All information presented is verified as of the date of the review.Most retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.

Pepperstone – Best ECN Trading Execution

Pepperstone is the leading Australian ECN/STP Forex broker. Most trades on Pepperstone have execution in less than 30ms, which is ideal for scalpers and clients who run expert advisors. Both accounts offer market execution with some of the tightest spreads in the industry – the Razor Account has spreads from 0 pips for the EUR/USD and 7 USD commission. Furthermore, Pepperstone supports all three major trading platforms – MT4, MT5 and cTrader.

Pepperstone’s award-winning, 24-hour support provides the foundation for its excellent customer service, where personalised assistance is available via several methods. For beginners interested in ECN trading, Pepperstone’s also has one of the better education sections offered by a market execution broker.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Great platform choice
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
    AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.09 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. Pepperstone Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the DFSA.

    Axi – Best ECN broker on MT4

    Axi only offers support for the MT4 platform. This singular focus allows them to offer the best ECN MT4 experience with the help of the MT4 NexGen plugin that includes an advanced sentiment indicator, a correlation trader, a more intuitive terminal window, and an automated trade journal. Apart from MT4 NexGen, traders at Axi have access to a range of tools, including AutoChartist and PsyQuation – an AI diagnostic that tracks your trading style and coaches you into more profitable trades. VPS hosting is also available, along with all the trading algorithms which install on MT4.

    The ECN trading conditions come from Axi’s pricing model, which connects to over 20 liquidity sources, so traders experience less slippage and requotes than with a broker with a singular source. Spreads on the Pro Account start at 0 pips with a 7 USD per lot commission, and the leverage maximum is 1:500 for non-European and Australian traders.

    Pros
    • Low minimum deposit
    • Wide range of assets
    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    Cons
    • Poor customer service
    • Limited demo account
    AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Axi Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC and the DFSA.

    easyMarkets – Best Risk Management Tools for Beginners

    easyMarkets is a well-regulated market maker offering trading on shares, cryptocurrencies, metals, commodities, indices, and over 103 Forex pairs.  Founded in 2001, easyMarkets was the first broker to introduce negative balance protection and guaranteed stop-loss.  Since then it has introduced other innovative risk management tools, including dealCancellation, which allows traders to cancel a losing trade within a specific period of time, easyTrade, allowing traders to set the maximum amount they are comfortable risking, and Freeze Rate, a unique tool which allows traders to freeze the prices they see. 

    Trading conditions are comparatively poor at easyMarkets, with spreads starting at 1.90 pips on the EUR/USD on its commission-free entry-level account.  Spreads tighten slightly on its Premium account, down to 1.40 pips on the EUR/USD in exchange for a high minimum deposit of 2000 USD.  VIP account-holders can access spreads as tight as 0.9 pips on the EUR/USD, but the minimum deposit on this account is 10,000 USD. 

    Pros
    • Well regulated
    • Wide range of assets
    • Innovative trading tools
    Cons
    • Limited platform choice
    • Limited account options
    AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.80 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & the proprietary easyMarkets platform are supported. easyMarkets is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSA in Seychelles.

    CM Trading – Largest African Broker by Client Volume

    With over 1 million clients worldwide, CM Trading the largest African broker. A. minimum deposit of 250 USD, negative balance protection, personalised customer service, and fixed spreads on a range of assets with EURUSD spreads from 1.5 pips.

    Winning awards for its innovation, CM Trading has developed its CopyKat copy trading system, and the Guardian Angel automated feedback tool. This system provides traders with market trends and automated feedback on a trader’s behaviour, optimising strategies and assisting in preventing errors.

    Pros
    • Good for beginners
    • Great customer support
    • Copy trading accounts
    Cons
    • Expensive withdrawals
    • Local regulation only
    AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.5 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & Sirix platforms supported. CM Trading is regulated by the FSCA.

    FXTM – Best Forex Broker for Beginners in Nigeria

    While FXTM’s Standard Account has a minimum deposit of 100 USD and spreads starting at 1.3 pips, FXTM also offers a Cent Account with a 10 USD minimum deposit but only slightly wider spreads, starting at 1.5 pips and could be more appealing to the beginner. Comparatively, the FXTM Invest CopyTrading scheme is one of the best in the industry, where traders with little experience can choose a Strategy Manager whose risk profile matches their own, and copy the trades.

    FXTM has a large volume of training material, including videos, webinars, and a searchable glossary of new vocabulary to help new traders get started. An additional set of videos covering analysis topics and more detail on chart reading techniques is available for experienced traders. FXTM are one of the few brokers with weekend support, allowing new traders to get set up outside of the working week.

    Pros
    • Good for beginners
    • Excellent education
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit
    Cons
    • Expensive withdrawals
    AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage Flexible. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Leverage offered can vary depending on country of residence, and your trading knowledge and experience. FXTM is regulated by CySEC, FCA, FSCA, and the FSC.

    How to Compare Forex Brokers

    Though most brokers might appear to be similar at first, they are quite different once you dig a little deeper. To make an effective comparison, our research team judges every Forex broker by the same standards. This makes it easier to spot the poor-quality brokers and makes it easier for you to compare them. The main areas we look at are:

    • Regulation: Your funds will only be safe with properly licenced brokers
    • Cost: What kind of fees you will be charged by a broker
    • Trading Conditions: How a broker’s business model will affect your trading experience
    • Customer Support: How well does a broker treat its clients who need help
    • Trading Platforms: What kind and how many trading platforms does a broker offer

    We also look at a few other things, but these are the most important to consider when choosing a Forex broker. We will go through each of these areas in more detail and then jump into a few FAQs.  This is who we consider to be the best Forex brokers in Nigeria.

    If you have any questions after reading through this guide, please get in touch with us in the comments at the bottom of the page or via our contact page.

    1. Regulation: How to Avoid Scam Brokers

    The single most important aspect of judging a Forex broker. Regulation ensures the security of your funds and offers protection against fraud, broker manipulation and broker bankruptcy.

    Simply put, your broker must be regulated.

    Some traders believe that unregulated brokers are rare, but sadly this is not the case. Unregulated brokers will often claim to be regulated, so you should always check what they say is true. We know that unregulated brokers like to contact people on Facebook and via messaging apps, so be especially careful if this happens.

    Checking a broker’s regulatory status is a similar process for all the major regulators and only takes a couple minutes (and could save you a lot of money and heartache!)

    In this section we will have a brief look at the most common regulators in the Forex industry and how to find out if a broker is regulated. Once you are finished reading this section you will be able to check if a broker is licenced with all the following regulators:

    • The Nigerian Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC)
    • The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
    • The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
    • The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)

    South African Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA)

    The South African FSCA is well-regarded but is not considered one of the best international regulators. Many African traders like to work with FSCA regulated brokers as this provides local protection and requires the broker to have a local office and local bank accounts.

    Checking if a broker is regulated by the FSCA is easy. The FSCA offers a search tool for all authorised Financial Service Providers (FSPs) here: https://www.fsca.co.za/Fais/Search_FSP.htm.

    This is what the search window looks like:

    FSCA Search

    The best way to use this search function is to input the brokers FSP number, which they are legally required to display at on their website.

    For instance, here is Khwezi Trade’s FSP notice and number at the bottom of its webpage:

    KhweziTrade FSP

    You will notice that Khwezi Trade is not the name of the Financial Services Provider regulated by the FSCA, but is actually Khwezi Financial Services. This is quite common as brokers are often part of a larger financial company. It does mean that searching by broker name using the FSCA’s search tool can be quite tricky, so use the FSP number if you can.

    Using this information from Khwezi Trade’s website we can then search the FSCA database. Here we can see that Khwezi Financial Services is indeed an authorised FSP:

    KhweziTrade FSP Entry

    We can also see that Khwezi Financial Services is approved to offer derivative instruments. This is important as all Forex CFD trading is derivative trading.

    Khwezi Products Approved

    Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)

    The Australian financial regulator has an excellent global reputation and is continually active in combatting broker fraud and manipulation. Many of the most respected Forex brokers in the world are Australian, and ASIC is an important part of their reputation for trustworthiness.

    Checking a broker’s regulatory status with ASIC is a very similar process to the South African FSCA’s, the ASIC search tool can be found here: https://connectonline.asic.gov.au/.

    Unfortunately, detailed information on each company in the ASIC database is only available via purchase. See below for Pepperstone’s ASIC entry:

    Pepperstone ASIC Entry

    Like the FSCA, all ASIC regulated brokers are required to publish their ASIC licence on their homepage. We have had a few reports of unregulated brokers claiming to be based in Australia and using the names of regulated financial companies, so it is always best to check thoroughly.

    UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

    The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is seen as the best financial regulator in the world. It’s no surprise that their search function is the easiest to use and the most thorough, you can access it here: https://register.fca.org.uk/s/.

    Like other major regulators, all brokers with an FCA licence are required to publish their FCA reference number on their website, here is AxiTrader’s FCA number at the bottom of their website:

    AxiTrader FCA Number

    Like Khwezi Trade in South Africa, AxiTrader is the trading name of a larger financial group, in this case, the FCA licence holder is AxiCorp Limited. Using the FCA reference number, we can search the FCA’s database of registered companies and find AxiCorp Limited’s entry:

    AxiTrader FCA Entry

    Notice that the FCA also warns of unregulated brokers that are attempting to use AxiCorp’s identity to scam unwary traders.

    Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)

    CySEC is the foremost regulator in the EU and Cyprus has a long history of regulating online Forex brokers. As a European regulator, all brokers with a CySEC licence must abide by the EU’s MiFID II legislation. Among other things, this requires limits on leverage and the removal of trading bonuses.

    CySEC’s broker search tool functions much like the FCA’s and all CySEC licenced brokers are required to publish their licence number on their website. CySEC’s database and search tool can be found here: https://www.cysec.gov.cy/en-GB/entities/investment-firms/cypriot/

    Below, we can see the entry for AFX Capital Markets, which went bankrupt last year and is suspected of several wrongdoings, including using client money to cover operational costs.

    AFX Capital Markets CySEC Entry

    CySEC make it clear that AFX Capital Market’s licence has been suspended. A clear sign not to trust a broker.

    Other Regulators

    There are many other small regulators around the world, and Forex brokers will hold licences with them to avoid the restrictions placed on them by ASIC, CySEC and the FCA.

    Commonly seen small regulators include the Seychelles FSA, the Mauritius FSC, the St Vincent and Grenadines FSA, the Belize IFSC and the Bahamas SCB. While being regulated by one of these smaller regulators does not mean that a broker is bad, it does mean that traders are not as well protected.

    The best and most trustworthy brokers are regulated by at least one of the three major regulators (FCA, CySEC, ASIC) or the FSCA. It is common for brokers to have multiple regulators, one for each region in which they operate. A good example of this is FXTM, below is a screenshot from the bottom of their website:

    FXTM Regulation

    We can see that FXTM and its subsidiary companies are regulated by CySEC, the FSCA, the FCA and the Mauritius FSC. This allows FXTM to offer its services to traders all over the world.

    IOSCO Investor Alerts Portal

    There is one final tool which you might find useful. The International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) maintains a list of every investor warning issued by every regulator in the world, and this is available here: https://www.iosco.org/investor_protection/?subsection=investor_alerts_portal

    This list contains a huge number of entries so the easiest way to search is using the keyword option, see below:

    IOSCO Search

    We recently had a question from a trader regarding a broker called RedfordFX, they had contacted him out of the blue and he was suspicious. So, let us run a search for this company using the IOSCO keyword tool.

    IOSCO RedfordFX

    As you can see, the CNMV (the Spanish financial regulator) released a warning about RedfordFX on August 3, 2020. Obviously, not a broker to trust!

    If you are concerned about a broker for whatever reason, do check this database before you part with any funds.

    2. How Much Does It Cost to Trade Forex?

    Forex trading is famously low-cost, but Forex brokers still charge fees for their services. The most obvious fee is the spread (the difference between the buy and sell price) and some brokers also charge a commission per trade. But brokers also charge rollover fees, and some charge deposit and withdrawal fees. Finally, there is also the minimum deposit to consider.

    To have a good idea how much it will cost you to trade with a broker you will need a clear understanding of these fees and how they will affect your profits.

    The Spread

    The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price of a currency pair and is measured in pips (the smallest amount by which a currency can change). The lower (or “tighter”) the spread, the less of your own money you will be spending when you trade.

    All good brokers will publish their spreads for all the currency pairs they offer. A good example is AvaTrade’s product information sheet below:

    AvaTrade Spreads

    Here we can see that AvaTrade’s spread on the EUR/USD is 0.9 pips. Avatrade also publishes the exact buy and sell price for each currency pair as well as the daily change in the price of each currency pair. You will also see the leverage and margin listed, which we will discuss later.

    Now that we know what AvaTrade’s spreads are, let us have a look at IG Markets’ spreads so we can compare the two.

    IG Markets has floating spreads which means that they can get lower or higher (“tighter” or “wider”), depending on market movements.

    IG Markets Spreads

    IG Markets also presents us with more information than AvaTrade did, but the figure we are interested in is the Average spread (00:00-21:00) for the EUR/USD.

    We can see that the average spread on the EUR/USD for most of the trading day is 0.86 pips, not much of a difference with the 0.9 pips at AvaTrade. But we can also see that sometimes spreads are as low 0.6 pips, which is quite a gap. What we can say from this research is that both AvaTrade and IG Markets are good brokers with tight spreads.

    When researching a broker, you want to make sure that they publish their spreads and that the spreads are low for the currency pairs you want to trade. If you find a broker that does not publish its spreads, or does not publish its spreads in detail, you should be instantly suspicious.

    Brokers that do not publish their spreads often have something bad to hide and brokers with wide spreads are often just greedy.

    Brokers with wide spreads or unpublished spreads are marked down in our reviews.

    Commission

    Another fee that brokers can charge is a commission per trade. Known as ECN brokers, these brokers provide direct market access and will have incredibly low spreads (sometimes as low as 0 pips). The commission varies between brokers, but the cost is usually between 4-7 USD per 100,000 USD traded.

    Some brokers will offer both standard accounts (with no commission and a wider spread) and ECN accounts (with a commission and a tight spread).

    A good example of this is Tickmill, let’s have a look at their account types:

    Tickmill Commission

    As you can see, the Tickmill Classic Account charges no commission, but spreads start at 1.6 pips. But the Pro Account has spreads starting from 0 pips (no difference between the buying price and selling price) but commission is charged at 2 USD per side per 100,000 traded (2 USD for opening the position and 2 USD for closing the position, so 4 USD in total).

    If you decide to trade with an ECN account, you will want a low commission (like Tickmill’s above) and an average spread close to 0 pips.

    ECN brokers who charge more than 7 USD total commission and have average spreads over 0.3 pips should be avoided and we mark them down in our reviews.

    Rollover Fees

    The rollover fee or swap rate is a small fee charged by brokers for holding a trading position overnight and is usually charged at 17:00 EST (New York time). This fee is based on the interbank interest rate for each currency in a currency pair. Sometimes these interest rates can work in your favour and you will gain interest on your position rather than be charged by the broker.

    All brokers will charge rollover fees, they are an inescapable part of trading and can only be avoided by opening and closing your trades on the same day.

    Deposit and Withdrawal Fees

    The best brokers will charge no fees for deposits and withdrawals, and the worst brokers use them as major cash-making operations. Instead of charging a flat fee, some brokers will charge a percentage of the amount, which can get expensive if you are planning on making large deposits and withdrawals.

    Most brokers will charge no fees for transactions via online payment systems like Skrill, Neteller or Ozow. Credit and debit card transactions are also often free, but bank wires will usually be charged by your bank for both deposits and withdrawals. 

    One of the best Forex brokers when it comes to deposits and withdrawals is FxPro. In the screenshot below you can see that FxPro charges no fees for deposits and withdrawals – though processing times vary depending on the method.

    FXPro Deposit and Withdrawal

    Beware of brokers who charge large amounts for withdrawals. The most infamous example is eToro, who used to charge 25 USD for every withdrawal. They have now reduced this to 5 USD per withdrawal, but this is still expensive compared to eToro’s competitors.

    eToro Withdrawal Fees

    When you are looking for a new broker, always make sure to check the fees for deposits and withdrawals for your preferred payment method. Just because a broker charges fees does not mean that they are bad, but it is always something to be aware of.

    Brokers that charge high fees or take a long time to process withdrawals are marked down in our reviews.

    Minimum Deposit

    Aside from the fees listed above, most brokers will also require a minimum deposit to open a live trading account. For some brokers this will be 1800 Naira, for others, it may be 40.000 Naira or even 80.000 Naira where larger deposits unlock improved trading conditions. 

    A good example of this improvement in trading conditions with higher minimum deposits is the HotForex accounts structure:

    HotForex Accounts

    As you can see, with each increase in minimum deposit there is some benefit. From Micro to Premium you have can have more simultaneous open orders. From Premium to Zero Spread you have a sharp drop in the spread and another increase in open orders.

    What level of minimum deposit you are comfortable with is a very personal choice.  But it is unfair for a beginner trader to be expected to part with large amounts of money to open an account when they are just starting out.

    We do not mark down brokers for having accounts with higher minimum deposits, but we do think it is important for beginner traders to have an account that is not too expensive to open. 

    3. Trading Conditions: Not All Forex Brokers Are Created Equal

    Apart from the spread, there are several other trading conditions which will affect your trading experience. One of the most important to consider is the leverage offered by a Forex broker.

    Leverage is how much you can borrow from a broker to make a trade; this is a risky but necessary aspect of Forex trading. Leverage also directly affects the margin, or the amount of your own money you must risk when opening a trading position.

    Other trading conditions to consider are the broker’s execution method and speed, the base currency of your trading account, what assets are available to trade and whether scalping and hedging are allowed.

    Leverage: Risky Business

    Leverage is money borrowed from your Forex broker to increase the size of a Forex trade. Leverage is essential in Forex trading because the movements of the market are too small to make a decent profit unless you place thousands of dollars on each trade.

    Leverage is always presented in a ratio format, such as 30:1, 100:1, 300:1, etc. With 300:1 leverage if you put 10 USD of your own money into a trade you can borrow 300 times that amount and your actual trading position will be 3000 USD.

    While this does mean you can make large profits with little investment, it also means that you can quickly lose more than your original investment.

    You are still personally responsible for the full amount of your trade (all 3000 USD of it!) and if you cannot cover your losses, the broker will take any unused money in your trading account to do so. If this is still not enough to cover your losses, you may end up owing your Forex broker money, unless they offer negative balance protection.

    In the example below, we can see the amount of leverage OctaFX offers changes depending on which account you have and which asset you are trading. Notice that cryptocurrencies have exceptionally low levels of leverage, this is because they are so volatile that the risk involved is extremely high for both the trader and the broker.

    OctaFX Leverage

    Because using high leverage significantly increases risk, some regulators like CySEC and the FCA now restrict leverage to 30:1 in Europe and the UK. Brokers in the EU and the UK are also required to offer negative balance protection.

    In Nigeria there are no restrictions on leverage and negative balance protection is not mandatory, so it is important to be careful. Always check with your broker that they provide negative balance protection before you start trading.

    Maximum leverage varies among brokers. When you are thinking about signing up with a broker, you want to see that they offer enough leverage to make Forex trading profitable, but not so much that it is dangerous. If a beginner trader opens an account with 5 USD and 1000:1 leverage, it is likely they will lose all their money very quickly.

    There is a fine line between sufficient and excessive leverage and the best brokers will restrict high leverage to experienced traders or those with larger account balances. A good example of this kind of responsible behaviour is Blackstone Futures, a South African Forex broker with a track record of supporting their traders. At Blackstone Futures, maximum leverage for new traders is 100:1, and will only be increased after a trader has a history of responsible trading.

    Execution Speeds and Execution Methods: Market Makers vs ECN and STP

    Execution speed is how fast a broker will place your trade and is often linked to execution method. Many brokers will offer instant execution, thus preventing changes in price while your trade order is processed (slippage) or the rejection and return of your trade order (re-quotes).

    Brokers who offer instant execution are known as market maker brokers. When you trade with a market maker broker, they do not place your trade on the Forex market, but instead, act as counter-party to your trade. While there is a conflict of interest in this business model (because when a trader loses, the broker profits) market makers take their prices from the large banks and regulation prevents them from manipulating market data.

    Brokers who offer market execution are either ECN (Electronic Communication Network) brokers or STP (Straight Through Processing) brokers. ECN brokers operate as a hub for a network of liquidity providers and will automatically find the best price for your trade from the members of their network. STP brokers have more control over which liquidity provider to use and generally have faster execution speeds. Some market execution brokers are hybrid ECN/STP brokers, though this is rare.

    All types of market execution brokers can often suffer from both slippage and requotes, especially in times of high market volatility or low market volume. The best market execution brokers have invested in expensive infrastructure and have multiple liquidity providers to prevent this.

    One such is broker is XM, an STP broker famous for its high-speed execution. XM never offers requotes, despite offering market execution only:

    XM Execution Policy

    While we do not mark brokers down in our reviews for their execution method, we always mention it as many traders have a strong preference for either market execution or instant execution.

    Base Currency: USD or NGN?

    The base currency, also called trading account currency, is the currency that your money in your trading account will be held in. The most common base currency is the US Dollar (USD). Many brokers will also offer Euro (EUR) or Pound Sterling (GBP) accounts too.

    Some brokers have a wide range of base currency options. The Micro Account at IronFX has no less than 11 base currencies to choose from:

    IronFX Base Currencies

    But in Nigeria, one of the questions you should ask is whether a broker offers Naira (NGN) as a base currency.

    The advantages of having NGN as base currency in Nigeria are:

    • You will not have to pay any broker conversion fees when sending money from your local account
    • You will not have to pay any conversion fees that your bank or credit card may charge when making a fund transfer or withdrawal
    • Brokers with NGN accounts usually use Nigerian bank accounts, so withdrawals and deposits are much faster and often happen instantly.

    While we do not mark brokers down in our reviews for not having NGN accounts, it is something we will highlight as we know how important it is for Nigerian traders.

    Trading Assets: It is not always about Forex

    In principle, the number of currency pairs you could trade is only limited by the number of currencies in the world. The reality is that most Forex brokers only offer a small portion of these. But it is important that a Forex broker offers you a real choice. A good Forex broker will offer at least 50 different Forex pairs to trade.

    Many Forex brokers are also multi-asset brokers, especially the larger ones. This means that you can also trade other financial instruments such as cryptocurrencies, equities, commodities, precious metals, indices, and bonds.

    We think that a good Forex broker should have 50+ Forex pairs to trade and those that have less will be marked down in our reviews. We also mark down brokers who do not offer at least a few other financial instruments to trade.

    Hedging and Scalping

    A Forex scalping strategy is where a trader seeks to profit from rapid price changes in a short period. Scalping opportunities are usually created when significant unexpected news events happen, or when the equity markets open. A scalper, a trader who employs a scalping strategy, enters and exit trades several times a day, and closes all trades on the day they were opened. Not all brokers allow scalping, but those that do must have fast execution.

    Hedging is protecting yourself against adverse price movements that would affect open trades and is a form of insurance. Direct hedging is a common strategy, where a trader buys a currency pair and then sells the same pair at the same time. Not all brokers allow hedging on their platforms, but most market execution brokers do.

    4. Customer Support

    Having a Forex broker with great customer support is crucial. It is one of those things that you hope you never need; but when you do need it, it must be easily available, fast, and genuinely helpful. When your money is on the line, you need your problem fixed as soon as possible.

    The best Forex customer support will be available 24 hours a day (Monday-Friday) via live chat, telephone, messaging services and email. It is also important that a broker has great IT support, as setting up a trading platform can be tricky for new traders. Many new traders cannot find the time during the workweek to get set up, so weekend support can be invaluable but is rare.

    Nigerian traders also value having local customer support – not least because some local customer support teams can assist in Yoruba, Ibo, and Hausa. 

    Aside from local customer support, we also highly rate brokers that offer 24-hour support and weekend support.

    5. Platform Choice

    Brokers will always offer you a trading platform to access the Forex market. Some brokers have their own software, but many use programs like MT4MT5 or cTrader that you can download to your computer or mobile phone.

    One of the brokers with the widest range of platforms is IC Markets, which offers MT4, MT5 and cTrader across all devices:

    IC Markets Platforms

    MetaTrader 4 is the most common Forex trading platforms however, its older interface and complex setup make it less accessible to beginners. MetaTrader 5 and cTrader, on the other hand, have a more modern interface and are easier for beginner traders to set up.

    If you are an experienced trader with a particular software choice in mind, or if you are a beginner seeking to learn more about platform options, we have put together a list of the best Forex trading platforms for traders and the brokers that support them.

    All brokers have mobile trading apps, and some will have developed proprietary apps, but a vast majority rely on the MetaTrader app for IOS and Android.

    We know that Forex traders value choice and when we judge brokers, those with a full range of platforms will be rated higher in our reviews.

    6. Other Things to Consider

    So, we have looked at Regulation, Fees, Trading Conditions, Customer Support and Platform Choice – but there are a few other things to think about when choosing a broker.

    • Brokers for Beginners: Some brokers are better than others for beginners. The best brokers for beginners will have clear and practical educational material, insightful market analysis and top-notch customer support. Some brokers will also offer one-on-one training, live webinars and real-world seminars.
    • Demo Accounts: It is important for beginner Forex traders to also have a demo account that will not expire, so you can be completely comfortable with the market and the trading platform before you start trading with your own money.
    • Swap-Free (Islamic) Accounts: Islamic accounts, or swap-free accounts, are an optional trading account type which allows Forex traders to be compliant with the principles of Sharia law. In Sharia law interest is prohibited, so swap-free accounts do not pay or earn overnight interest (rollover fees) on open positions.
    • Managed Accounts: Some brokers will operate a managed account for you, but this is rare. There are independent money managers who can manage your account while they are trading for themselves. It is vital that you read our article on managed accounts and understand the minimum deposit requirements and additional risks involved when trading CFDs.

    FAQs

    What is the best Forex broker in Nigeria?

    The best brokers in Nigeria are AvaTrade, FXTM and XM. AvaTrade is a great all-round broker with low fees and tight spreads. FXTM is trusted by thousands of traders across Africa and has a great range of account types. XM has great customer support and education for new traders.

    I am a beginner trader, what should I look for in a broker?

    As a beginner trader, choose a broker with an unlimited demo account, as this will give you the opportunity to practice before making a deposit. Limited demo accounts usually expire after 1-3 weeks, which is not enough time to learn how to profit from CFD trading.

    Beginner traders should get educational support when starting, and each broker varies significantly in what material they provide. The minimum you should accept is some general videos and articles, but some brokers have invested in creating small trading universities that include video material as well as live webinars hosted by experts.

    Each of our reviews has a section on the educational content to help beginner traders decide the best path forward.

    Which is the best Forex brokers for beginners?

    The Forex broker for beginners is XTB.  Customer service is available 24/7 with both one-on-one mentoring and dedicated account managers provided for new traders. Educational material is excellent and is presented via XTB’s Trading Academy, which is both well-structured and clear. Finally, minimum deposit requirements are low, and spreads are tight.

    How do you trade Forex in Nigeria?

    To trade Forex in Nigeria you will need a trustworthy Forex broker, which you can find here at FX Scouts. Before you start trading, you should open a demo account with the broker so you can gain experience with the Forex market and with the broker’s trading platform. Once you have gained enough experience you will need to deposit funds with the broker via bank transfer or a payment system like Ozow or Neteller. Once your live account is funded, you will be able to start trading.

    Is Forex trading legal in Nigeria?

    Yes, Forex trading is legal in Nigeria and you can trade with any Forex broker in the world.

    How do I know I can trust a Forex broker?

    Four things should be considered when determining if a broker may be trusted – regulation, trade execution method, client funds management, and industry recognition of their achievements.

    The more major regulators the broker group is regulated by, the more oversight the group has. The number of regulators overseeing their processes gives a strong indication of the level of trust the government regulatory agencies have in them.

    The execution method of trades is another component because if the broker profits from your loss – as is the case with market maker brokers – this can be seen as making the broker less trustworthy.

    This is more of a concern if fewer major regulators regulate a market maker. Therefore, a heavily regulated market maker is considered more reputable than one with lesser regulation. It is noteworthy that some market makers have strong reputations and lots of client resources.

    Most regulators require strict processes to keep client funds safe. This process includes placing client funds in segregated accounts at major banks in the local jurisdiction. Segregated bank accounts that are audited every evening means that client funds are protected against any bankruptcy.

    Industry awards are given to brokers from journalists, financial watchdog organisations and their peers. While it can be argued that these award ceremonies are biased, they remain the best gauge industry recognition.

    Do brokers trade against you?

    If the broker is a market maker, then they are the market and will be trading against you by being the counterparty to your trade to create the liquidity you need. Since a vast majority of trades by retail traders are lost, a market maker is making money in most client trades. DMA brokers do not have any conflict of interest and do not trade against you.

    How do brokers make money?

    Market Makers will make money only from the spread – the difference between the buying and selling price of the currency pair. Since a Market Maker will become the counterparty to any trade, they will also make money when clients lose trades.

    DMA brokers will make money from a tight spread and a commission, which is calculated on a per lot amount.

    How to deposit with a broker?

    Each broker is going to have different deposit methods, but all will have a deposit by credit/debit card and bank transfer option. Most brokers will also accept Neteller or Skrill, which are favoured by many traders because deposits and withdrawals are instant and usually free.

    Some will accept regional payment methods, but local deposit methods have not yet been adopted in Nigeria. On occasion, brokers will accept Bitcoin deposits, and PayPal in addition to standard currency.

    Which broker should I choose?

    Traders have different requirements of Forex brokers, and thus there is no single best choice. This is how we compare them, and we offer insight into your choices. At the top of this article, there is a list of those that we believe are the best brokers for traders based on their reputation, platform, trading conditions and resources available to beginners.

    How can I report scam brokers?

    If you believe you have been scammed by your broker, the first thing to do is warn others and tell your story.  We have a report a scam broker form which we use to gather information so that we get the word out.  If you have been scammed, please complete the form.

    Forex Risk Disclaimer

    Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

    Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

    Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

    Our Rating & Review Methodology

    Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

    With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

    In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

    All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

    References

    These documents were used in the inspiration, research and data collection for this article.

    Featured Brokers

    Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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