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The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is the financial regulator of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Central to CySEC’s regulatory policies are segregated bank accounts for client funds, insurance coverage against broker negligence, a compensation scheme of up to €20,000 per account, and a strict capital adequacy ratio requirement to prevent brokers from defaulting because of client’s trades. 

To test these brokers, we verified our live account and reviewed their CySEC regulatory status and complaints history. Beyond confirming the platform choice, minimum deposit, and trading desk type, our test focused on trading conditions, the overall trading cost for clients, withdrawal fees and other fee structures, so traders understand all costs associated with using any specific broker. These are the best CySEC regulated brokers for 2021 according to our testing and our research.

  • XM - Best Education
  • FXTM - Best CySEC Broker for Beginners
  • HotForex - Best Forex Analysis App
  • IronFX - ECN Broker with the Most FX Pairs
  • FP Markets - Best MetaTrader Execution
  • FxPro - Best Trade Execution
  • easyMarkets - Best Risk Management Tools
  • XTB - Best Proprietary Platform

The best CySEC regulated Forex brokers for 2021

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Broker
Overall Rating
Official Site
CYSEC Regulation
CySEC License
Min. Deposit
Max. Leverage (Forex)
Beginner Friendly
EUR/USD - Standard Spread
Cost of Trading
EUR/USD - Raw Spread
Total CFDs
Currency Pairs
Platforms
Compare
XM
4.25 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
120/10
USD 5
888:1
Excellent
1.60 pips
USD 16
0.10 pips
1477
57
FXTM
4.33 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
185/12
USD 10
2000:1
Excellent
1.50 pips
USD 15
0.00 pips
795
62
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
183/12
USD 5
1000:1
Excellent
1.00 pips
USD 10
0.10 pips
1150
53
IronFX
3.74 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
25/10
USD 50
1000:1
Standard
1.10 pips
USD 11
0.30 pips
285
83
FP Markets
4.28 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
371/18
USD 100
500:1
Excellent
0.10 pips
USD 7
0.10 pips
10084
60
IRESS
FxPro
4.29 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
078/07
USD 100
200:1
Excellent
1.40 pips
USD 14
0.40 pips
255
70
FxProEdge
easyMarkets
3.98 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
079/07
USD 25
400:1
Standard
2.00 pips
USD 20
0.70 pips
211
103
XTB
4.14 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
169/12
USD 5
500:1
Excellent
1.40 pips
USD 14
0.90 pips
2045
48
xStation5
FIBO Group
3.50 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
118/10
USD 0
1000:1
Standard
0.60 pips
USD 6
0.30 pips
8079
48

How to compare CySEC regulated brokers

CySEC is a tier 2 financial regulatory agency from Europe. They are a modern and well-funded organization and often the first to make regulatory changes needed to protect would-be traders and maintain fairness in the CFD industry. Generally speaking, CySEC-regulated brokers can be considered safe. Still, some few CySEC-regulated brokers have a history of controversy, and the regulator has only taken limited action on behalf of clients and partners. But it is essential to look at the detail of each broker to find out what differentiates them from each other. When comparing CySEC regulated brokers consider:

Regulation: While your broker is CySEC regulated, your trading account may not be. It is increasingly common for CySEC regulated brokers to onboard clients onto a different license where trading conditions, like leverage, can be increased without the CySEC oversight. While this is not fundamentally bad, the trader should know their trading account is regulated and that CySEC will not enforce their regulations in overseas territories. If you value the regulatory oversight of CySEC, don’t trade that for adjusted trading conditions.

Platform choice: Traders have a wide range of industry platforms to choose from, each with pros and cons. When comparing brokers, always consider the platform options, as unique features or a wide variety of platforms could change your trading experience. 

Trading costs: Every broker will charge for their services, but each will have different pricing models and costs. While ECN brokers will charge a smaller spread combined with a commission based on volume, market maker brokers will charge a wider spread. We compare brokers by looking at what 1 lot of EURUSD costs to trade and would encourage traders to do the same in comparing costs. 

MetaTrader 4 is still the industry standard, but many brokers offer MetaTrader 5 and their proprietary platforms. ECN/STP brokers will often support cTrader as it is built specifically for market execution and only allows for minimal broker interference.

Minimum Deposit: The minimum deposit could change by account type, with higher minimum deposits often linked to better conditions. Always consider the minimum deposit specific to the account type you may open. 

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods: Most brokers accept credit cards and bank transfer payment, and many accept online payments through Skrill and Neteller, and some will also accept Bitcoin. Always check the withdrawal fees before making a deposit. 


XM – Best Education

XM is a CySEC-regulated market maker broker with an excellent repository of educational and market analysis materials.  XM’s educational content focuses on instruction in video format, which is aimed at traders of all experience levels – beginner, intermediate, and advanced.  XM also provides daily interactive instruction via webinars that are available daily from 08.30 – 16.00 GMT, Monday to Friday. Topics range from the basics of Forex trading to learning how to use multiple time frame techniques with real-time simulated trading conditions.  All webinars are hosted by industry expert analysts.

XM also offers competitive trading conditions on four live accounts.  Minimum deposits start at 5 USD on its entry-level account with a spread of 1.6 pips on the EUR/USD, which is wider than other market makers.  Trading costs improve on its Zero Account, with spreads as tight as 0 pips in exchange for a commission of 7 USD round turn.  All accounts offer a maximum leverage of up to 500:1. 

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 888:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.

FXTM – Best CySEC Broker for Beginners

FXTM is the best CySEC-regulated broker for beginner traders.  FXTM provides a world-class education section available for free in 22 languages, in addition to a comprehensive market research and analysis unit.  All materials are well-structured and in-depth and comprise several components, including various guides, e-books, articles on Forex trading strategies, educational videos, seminars, and webinars. 

FXTM also offers three account choices, including a Micro Account with instant execution, and two ECN accounts that execute orders directly to the market.  Spreads start at 1.5 pips (EUR/USD) on the Micro Account, which is wider than other similar brokers, but the minimum deposit requirement is only 50 USD.  Spreads tighten to 0 pips on its Advantage Account in exchange for a commission of 4 USD (round turn) and a minimum deposit requirement of 500 USD.  All accounts offer leverage of up to 1000:1, and traders can use both the MT4 and MT5 platforms. 

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Copy trading accounts
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 2000:1. 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.

Hotforex – Best Forex Analysis App

A CySEC-regulated ECN/STP broker, HF Markets offers trading on multiple assets including Forex, metals, energies, indices, and shares.  HF Markets offers full support for the MT4 and MT5 platforms in addition to numerous trading tools, including Autochartist, VPS services, Premium Trading Tools, and its proprietary HF App.  The HF App helps traders to understand the markets with trading tools and the latest news, updates, and financial analysis. 

The HF App’s analysis tools include Daily Market Analysis, which allows traders to stay on top of market events, a Trading Positions feature, which allows you to track how other traders are reacting to currency and commodity movements, and a Traders’ Board with information on currency movers and live charts of major pairs.  The HF App also allows traders to deposit and withdraw funds, apply technical indicators, copy trade, and create watchlists. 

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.00 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.

IronFX – ECN Broker with the Most FX Pairs

An ECN/STP broker, IronFX is regulated by many top-tier authorities, including CySEC.  It offers a wide range of tradable assets, including metals, indices, commodities, futures, shares, and over 80 Forex pairs.  With a wide variety of account types and execution choices, traders can decide on the spread/commission structure that best suits their strategy.   

Spreads start at 0 pips on the EUR/USD on the absolute zero accounts in exchange for a high commission of 18 USD per lot traded.  Traders can also choose to trade on the Fixed Spread accounts, which offer spreads starting at 2.2 pips on the EUR/USD, but with no commissions.  Leverage is up to 30:1 on all accounts, and all accounts offer trading on IronFX’s wide range of currency pairs. 

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.30 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. Only MT4 platform supported. IronFX is regulated by CySEC, FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA - FSP:45276.

FP Markets – Best MetaTrader Execution

FP Markets is a leading CySEC-regulated CFD broker offering trading on both the MT4, MT5, and IRESS trading platforms.  In addition to providing super-fast execution speeds over a dedicated fibre-optic line, it offers versions of the platforms for alternate operating systems, including Mac OS and WebTrader.  Traders also have access to institutional-grade liquidity from multiple execution venues, with no price manipulation, no dealing desk intervention, and no requotes or rejections.

Trading conditions at FP Markets are generally excellent, with tighter than average spreads on two live accounts.  The commission-free Standard Account offers spreads starting at 1.0 pips on the EUR/USD and spreads as tight as 0 pips (EUR/USD) on its Raw Account in exchange for a commission of 6 USD (round turn) per lot. 

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Good range of accounts
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.10 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & IRESS platforms supported. FP Markets is regulated by CySEC, ASIC and BVA FSC.

FXPro – Best Trade Execution

FxPro is a leading CySEC-regulated market maker broker with no dealing desk intervention.  With full support for the MT4, MT5, and cTrader platforms, FxPro provides low latency, fast execution on four account types.  Most trades are filled in under ten milliseconds, and trades are executed at one of FxPro’s Equinox Data Centres in either London or Amsterdam. 

At FxPro, each account type is associated with a different platform.  On the MT4 and MT5 accounts, spreads average at 1.84 pips and 1.65 pips on the EUR/USD, respectively which is higher than other similar brokers.  Spreads tighten significantly on the cTrader account, averaging at 0.31 pips on the EUR/USD in exchange for a commission of 9 USD round turn per lot traded.  FxPro also employs a dynamic leverage model which adapts according to the volume traded.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Great platform choice
  • Tight spreads
Cons
  • Limited education
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.40 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5, cTrader and FxPro proprietary trading platform supported. FxPro Group is regulated by FCA, CySEC, FSCA, and the SCB.

easyMarkets – Best Risk Management Tools

A CySEC-regulated market maker broker with no dealing desk intervention, easyMarkets is one of the most innovative brokers in the industry.  easyMarkets was the first broker to introduce negative balance protection and guaranteed stop-loss. 

The easyMarkets trading platform provides unique, innovative, and advanced trading features that help traders reduce their losses. These features include easyTrade, which allows traders to set the maximum amount they are comfortable risking, dealCancellation, which allows traders to cancel unfavourable trades within one, three, or six hours after a trade is executed, and Freeze Rate, a unique tool allowing traders to freeze the prices they see. 

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Wide range of assets
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
  • Limited account options
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 2.00 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & the proprietary easyMarkets platform are supported. easyMarkets is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSA in Seychelles.

XTB – Best Proprietary Platform

XTB is a CySEC-regulated STP broker that offers trading on multiple trading instruments, including Forex, indices, commodities, stock CFDs, and cryptocurrencies.  Following a recent decision to move away from MT4, XTB only offers support for its proprietary award-winning proprietary platform, xStation 5.  It offers many of the trading features found in MetaTrader4, introducing sentiment data directly into the platform, powerful charting tools, one-click trading, and real-time performance statistics. 

XTB only offers trading on a single commission-free market execution account with no minimum deposit requirements, leverage of up to 500:1, and spreads that start at 0.80 pips on the EUR/USD which is tighter than other STP brokers. 

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Good for beginners
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
AlertAccepts Nigerian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.40 pips on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. xStation5 platform supported. XTB Group is regulated by CySEC, FCA, the DFSA, and the IFSC

Broker Regulation and Why it’s Important

Regulators are essential in all financial markets because they set the rules that guarantee a level playing field. They also enforce those rules by requiring members to submit regular reports and have independent audits, most good regulators will also have an investigations department and will conduct unannounced visits to regulated companies to ensure day-to-day operations are compliant. Regulators also have the power to impose penalties on members, including fines, sanctions and even revoking a company’s operating licence, thereby putting them out of business.

What is interesting about the Forex market is that there is no legal requirement for brokers to be regulated. CFD Forex trading is an Over the Counter (OTC) derivatives market – this means that there is no central exchange and no overall regulator with oversight for the market.

Having a wholly unregulated market is a bad idea and leads to massive consumer fraud, as happens on a smaller scale in regions with poorly regulated local Forex industries. Instead of having a single regulator, countries and regions regulate the brokers who reside in their territory. As each regulator has different abilities and priorities, Forex regulation is not uniform, and brokers must abide by different rules depending on which country/countries they are legally resident.

What is CySEC?

CySEC is the financial regulatory agency of Cyprus. It was founded in 2001 and when Cyprus joined the EU in 2004 CySEC became part of the pan-European MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive). MiFID is an EU law the harmonises regulation for financial services across the member states, allowing for financial firms registered in one state to essentially have a “passport” to operate in all the other EU states.

In terms of the Forex industry, this means that any Forex broker registered in Cyprus can market to, and accept business from, all EU citizens.

As the Cyprus financial regulator, CySEC has many crucial obligations in the financial sector – most of them outside the Forex industry – these are:

  • To review applications for and provide operating licenses to supervised financial companies – and revoke these if necessary.
  • To supervise and regulate the operation of and all transactions on the Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • To carry out all necessary investigations in view of the exercise of its duties under the law as well as on behalf of other foreign competent Authorities.
  • To impose administrative and disciplinary sanctions provided by the law.
  • To issue regulatory Directives and Decisions.
  • To cooperate and exchange data and information with foreign supervisory authorities.

How CySEC protects Forex traders

Most Forex brokers in Europe are based in Cyprus and are subject to CySEC’s regulations, so it follows that many millions of Forex traders are directly impacted not only by CySEC’s rules but also by how well they enforce them. The most important regulatory benefits for customers of a CySEC-regulated broker are as follow:

  • Segregated Funds: All trader funds are kept in a segregated trust account which the broker cannot access. This prevents the broker from using trader funds for operational purposes. It also ensures that in the case of broker bankruptcy, trader funds can be returned.
  • Capital Adequacy: CySEC requires all regulated brokers to hold enough capital to meet the capital adequacy ratio requirement. This decreases the likelihood of broker failure in the event of significant losses.
  • Reports and Auditing: Because brokers are required to submit regular financial compliance reports to CySEC, it is very difficult for brokers to hide any wrongdoing. Similarly, because these brokers are also subject to independent audits and visits from CySEC investigators, any malfeasance will be exposed.
  • Compensation Fund: All CySEC-regulated brokers are required to join the Investor Compensation Fund Scheme. Under this scheme, traders are liable for compensation up to 20,000 EUR in the case of broker bankruptcy.
  • Insurance Coverage: CySEC demands that all licenced brokers maintain insurance coverage of at least 1.5 million EUR for losses resulting from negligence.
  • Transparency: CySEC expects to have a complete overview of all products that a broker is planning to offer, and that these products are the same as the products offered to clients.

These protections are enshrined in regulatory law and brokers who are found to be in contravention are penalised and can even have their operating licence removed altogether.

A useful resource for traders, CySEC hosts an up-to-date list of brokers that are legally allowed to operate in their jurisdiction, if you are concerned that a broker may be operating illegally, check CySEC’s regulated entities list.

CySEC also publishes warnings on unregulated brokers operating illegally, many illegal brokers will often disguise themselves as regulated brokers so it is important to check here if you are concerned.

CySEC and ESMA: Restrictions on Trading Conditions

In March 2018, the European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA – a EU taskforce which examines EU-wide financial risk) announced new regulations on all CFD trading in the EU; these regulations were a directive at the supranational level – meaning that all EU members were required to abide by the regulations and enshrine them in domestic law.

Cyprus, as an EU member state, must also abide by this new set of regulations and all CySEC-regulated brokers will have the following restrictions as a result:

  • Leverage Restriction: Maximum leverage of 30:1 on major currency pairs, 20:1 on all other pairs, 5:1 on equities, 2:1 on cryptocurrencies
  • Negative Balance Protection: All brokers must guarantee negative balance protection for all traders
  • No Bonus: All bonuses, promotions or any other type of trading incentive are banned
  • Margin Call: Brokers will be required to close a client’s open positions when the account equity reaches 50% of the required minimum margin by all open positions.
  • Risk Warning: All brokers will be required to display a standard risk warning showing what percentage of clients lose money with them.

While traders and brokers were unhappy with the restriction on leverage, industry experts agree that the new ESMA regulations protect traders from making huge losses without critically damaging broker profits.

CySEC vs FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority is the United Kingdom’s financial regulator and is generally upheld as the best and strictest national regulatory authority in the world. Most good brokers will be regulated either by CySEC, the FCA or sometimes both.

On paper, there is little difference between CySEC or FCA regulation – though the licencing fee for CySEC brokers is only 7,000 EUR, compared to 25,000 GBP for the FCA. Aside from that, both regulators require segregated accounts, membership of a compensation fund and have high capital adequacy standards. All brokers regulated by both authorities will have the same leverage restrictions and other constraints required by the ESMA regulation – though whether this continues to remain the case once the United Kingdom leaves the EU remains to be seen.

The differences between the two regulators are mainly anecdotal, while the FCA is seen as unimpeachable when it comes to protecting consumers and being tough on brokers, many traders complain that CySEC is too broker-friendly and that it gives away operating licences too easily. CySEC also has a history of being easy on badly behaved brokers, with industry commentators noting that fines being levied by CySEC tended to be smaller than those handed out by other EU regulatory organizations.

But since 2016, CySEC has made sweeping changes to both the registration and regulation processes of all registered entities. Changes include more transparency regarding existing listed entities, tougher fines and regular unannounced onsite visits from CySEC investigators to check compliance. This has led to a surge in broker suspensions and license revoking and CySEC is gradually losing its image as a light-touch regulator.

Conclusion

As the regulator with the most EU registered brokers, CySEC has a critical role in the Forex industry and millions of traders rely on their ability to ensure a fair trading environment.

While in the past, this ability has been questioned, currently CySEC is seen as a leader in the Forex regulatory world and brokers with CySEC regulation should be considered safe and secure places for trading.

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 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

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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