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AuthorBy Chris Cammack
Updated: August 9, 2022

The retail Forex CFD market is a complex space, and the brokers that work within it have different business models, but most of them are known as market maker brokers. The key identifying factor of a market maker broker is that they will take the exposure from any trade on to their own books, i.e. they will use their own liquidity to be the counterparty to your trade.

Some traders are wary of Market Makers because they believe there is an inherent conflict of interest in this business model (trader loses, broker wins and vice versa), but the truth is that they are an integral part of the Forex market, providing essential liquidity and access to a market that would otherwise be out of reach for all but the large institutional traders, such as banks and hedge funds.

It’s also important to note that market makers very rarely set their own prices – that is, they are not true market makers – because their pricing is usually at the mercy of their liquidity partners, who would have already set a price on the interbank market.

We will discuss how market makers operate in detail below, but for now, it is enough to know that well-regulated market makers offer a fair and transparent trading environment for retail traders.

  • AvaTrade - Best Mobile Trading Experience
  • FXTM - Best Copytrading Platform
  • XM - Best Market Maker for Education
  • FxPro - Largest Account Variety for a Market Maker
  • Exness - Market Maker with the Best Trading Account for Beginners
  • markets.com - Market Maker with Best Trading Tools
  • XTB - Market Maker with Best Proprietary Platform

These are the best Market Maker Brokers for 2022

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Broker
Overall Rating
Official Site
Min. Deposit
Max. Leverage (Forex)
EUR/USD - Standard Account
Trading Cost - Standard Account
Currency Pairs
Platforms
Trading Desk
Compare
AvaTrade
4.38 /5
Read Review
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Your capital is at risk
USD 100400:10.90 pipsUSD 955MT4, MT5, Avatrade Social, AvaOptionsMarket Maker
FXTM
4.33 /5
Read Review
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Your capital is at risk
USD 102000:11.50 pipsUSD 1562MT4, MT5ECN/DMA, Market Maker
XM
4.25 /5
Read Review
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Your capital is at risk
USD 5500:11.60 pipsUSD 1657MT4, MT5Market Maker
FxPro
4.29 /5
Read Review
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Your capital is at risk
USD 100200:11.40 pipsUSD 1470MT4, MT5, cTrader, FxProEdgeMarket Maker NDD
Exness
4.12 /5
Read Review
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Your capital is at risk
USD 32000:10.70 pipsUSD 7100MT4, MT5Market Maker
MarketsX
4.64 /5
Read Review
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Your capital is at risk
USD 100300:10.70 pipsUSD 767MT4, MT5Market Maker
eToro
3.69 /5
Read Review
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67% of retail CFD accounts lose money
USD 20030:11.00 pipsUSD 1060etoroMarket Maker
XTB
4.14 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 5500:11.40 pipsUSD 1448xStation5Market Maker NDD

Avatrade – Best Mobile Trading Experience

With regulation across six jurisdictions, Avatrade is one of the most reputable market maker brokers in the industry, offering trading on multiple assets, including Forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, options, bonds, and vanilla options.  Considering the 100 USD minimum deposit, Avatrade’s single account features some of the tightest spreads in the industry, averaging at 0.9 pips on the EUR/USD. As is typical with market makers, no commissions are charged.

Avatrade’s proprietary trading app, AvaTradeGO provides one of the best mobile trading experiences.  Voted Best Forex by the Global Forex Awards, AvaTradeGO allows traders to access trader insights, connect with global trading markets, create watchlists, and view live prices and charts.  Also available in the app is the AvaProtect tool, a state-of-the-art risk management system that protects traders from losses for a limited time. 

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited market analysis
AlertAccepts Tanzanian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.

FXTM – Best Copytrading Platform

Founded in 2011, FXTM is a market maker authorised and regulated by various authorities, including CySEC, the FCA, and the FSC (Mauritius).  FXTM’s trading conditions vary across its three account types but are generally better than most other market makers.  Maximum leverage is up to 2000:1, and variable spreads reach as low as 0 pips on its market execution Advantage Account in exchange for a floating commission of between 0.40 and 2 USD. 

For beginner traders looking to copy professional traders, FXTM offers the FXTM Invest CopyTrading scheme, where traders can copy the Strategy Managers whose risk profiles match their own.  Copy trading is one of the easiest ways to benefit from another trader’s expert knowledge.  Copy traders simply decide on the amount they wish to invest, choose the most appropriate Strategy Manager, and all trades will be automatically copied to the copy trader’s account.  Copy traders receive the same returns on each trade as their strategy manager. 

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Copy trading accounts
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts Tanzanian 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.

XM – Best Market Maker for Education

XM is a well-regulated market maker with tight spreads on three simple account options known for its excellent education and customer service.  All accounts feature maximum leverage of up to 1:888, negative balance protection, and minimum deposits that start at 5 GBP.  Spreads are as tight as 0.6 pips (EUR/USD) on its Ultra Low Account, and 99.35% of all trades are filled in under a second.  It also has a strict no requotes/no rejection policy, and as such, all trades are filled at the expected price.

XM’s education and market analysis materials are comprehensive, in-depth, and well-structured.  Its research team provides frequent market analysis across all CFD assets in an easy-to-understand manner, highlighting trading opportunities and technical insight.  Impressively, webinars are available from Monday – Friday 05:00 – 15:00 GMT in 19 languages, and the educational videos cover basic, intermediate, and advanced trading concepts. 

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Free deposits and withdrawals
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Wide spreads on its entry-level accounts
AlertAccepts Tanzanian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.

FXPro – Largest Account Variety for a Market Maker

A well-respected regulated market maker broker with no dealing desk intervention, FXPro offers a variety of account choices on four different platforms, including MT4, MT5, cTrader, and its proprietary platform, FxPro Edge.  All accounts feature a minimum deposit requirement of 100 USD and leverage of up to 200:1.  Spreads are relatively wide on the MT4 and FxPro account types, averaging at 1.84 pips on the EUR/USD but averaging 1.65 pips (EUR/USD) on the MT5 account.  Spreads tighten significantly on the cTrader account, down to 0.31 pips in exchange for a reasonable commission of 4.5 USD per lot. 

Most trades at FxPro are filled in under 10 milliseconds, and trades are executed at one of FxPro’s Equinox Data Centres in either London or Amsterdam.  FxPro’s trading servers are co-located and cross-fiber connected with Tier 1 banks that provide liquidity via its proprietary aggregator, Quitox. One drawback for traders considering FxPro is its limited selection of educational and market analysis materials, making it a poor choice for beginner traders.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Great platform choice
  • Tight spreads
Cons
  • Limited education
AlertAccepts Tanzanian 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 DFSA

Exness – Market Maker with the Best Trading Account for Beginners

Founded in 2008, Exness is a market maker offering both market and instant execution on two standard and three professional trading accounts.  Trading conditions at Exness are some of the best in the industry and include a low-cost Cent Account to help beginner traders find their footing.

The Standard Cent Account requires a 1 USD minimum deposit, offers micro-lot trading, spreads as tight as 0.3 pips on the EUR/USD, and unlimited leverage, making it a perfect choice for beginners who want to learn about trading without too much risk.  Customer support is also available 24.7 to help beginner traders with account setup and to assist with any technical queries.  Lastly, Exness provides a comprehensive educational repository, which caters to traders of all experience levels, and includes various guides, videos, and frequent webinars that are available in five different languages. 

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • 24/7 customer service
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Limited market analysis
  • Unavailable in Europe
AlertAccepts Tanzanian 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.

Markets.com – Market Maker with Best Trading Tools

Founded in 2008, Markets.com is a well-regulated market maker offering trading on a wide range of assets, including shares, ETFs, Indices, commodities, Forex, cryptocurrencies, blends, and bonds.  Full support is offered for MT4, MT5, and Markets.com’s award-winning proprietary platform, Marketsx.  An advanced multi-asset trading platform, Marketsx is packed full of features, including over 14 fundamental, technical and sentiment-based trading tools and expert analysis, in addition to in-depth charting and comparison tools. 

Markets.com offers competitive trading conditions on one live commission-free account, with a minimum deposit requirement of 100 USD, leverage of up to 300:1, and spreads starting at 0.6 pips on the EUR/USD.  All traders are assigned a dedicated Account Manager to assist with any queries regarding their account or using the platform, and Markets.com’s responsive customer service is available 24/5 over the phone, via email, or in-platform through its Live Chat feature.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
AlertAccepts Tanzanian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 300:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. MarketsX is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSCA.

XTB – Market Maker with Best Proprietary Platform

XTB is a well-regulated market maker with no dealing desk that uses straight-through processing (STP) execution.  All trades are automatically sent to its parent company, X-Trade Brokers DM, its liquidity provider, and trades are executed without any dealing desk intervention. 

Support is only offered for XTB’s proprietary platform, xStation 5, which has won many awards for its superior functionality and fast execution speeds.  With a user-friendly and intuitive design, it allows traders to accurately track market movements.  It also offers powerful charting tools, one-click trading, real-time performance statistics, and a trader’s calculator. 

XTB offers trading on two live accounts with competitive trading conditions. The commission-free Standard Account offers spreads starting at 0.5 pips on the EUR/USD, 0.7 pips (EUR/USD) on the Islamic Account.  A commission of 10 USD per lot is charged on the Islamic Account, and leverage is up to 500:1 on both account options.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Good for beginners
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
AlertAccepts Tanzanian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.40 pips on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & xStation platforms supported. XTB Group is regulated by CySEC, FCA and the IFSC

The Forex Market and Market Makers

In order to better understand how and why market makers operate the way they do, we need to understand how the Forex market works.

The vast majority of Forex trading takes place in the interbank market, trillions of dollars in currencies move between the major banks in this market on a daily basis (6.6 trillion USD per day is the 2019 estimate). It is in this space where the market is made; the prices set here, between the members of the interbank market, will be the basis for pricing in the lower volume sections of the Forex market, including the retail CFD market.

It is fair to say that the primary market makers in the Forex market are the members of this interbank market. They effectively set the rules for everyone else to play by – including market maker CFD brokers.

How do Market Makers Work?

Like all Forex brokers, market makers will offer you a bid and an ask (buy and sell) price on currency pairs, this price will be mostly set by the pricing of the currency pair on the interbank market. As market makers will be taking exposure to the risk associated with the trade (i.e. will be counterparty to the trade) they will also charge a mark-up fee on both the buy and sell prices.

The difference between the buy and sell prices is called the spread and is how market makers make most of their money. Think about it as the fee charged by the broker for creating the liquidity needed to make your trade. Most market makers will also hedge the trades they take on with a member of the interbank market, thus protecting themselves from losses – this is especially true in cases of large volume retail trades.

Market makers may also make alterations to the pricing on pair based on other factors:

  • Current exposure – a broker’s risk management team may dictate changes in pricing if they believe they are holding too many trades in one direction on a pair
  • The dealing desk’s views on future price movement – if the broker believes the GBP is overpriced against the USD, this will affect the pricing offered
  • Volume – as mentioned above, market makers will protect themselves when taking large volume trades, so will often insist on wider spreads and less leverage in these cases.

Market Makers vs ECN Brokers

Market makers are distinct from the other form of retail Forex CFD brokers, known as ECN (Electronic Communication Network) brokers. Instead of making a market and exposing themselves to the trading risk of their clients, ECN brokers act as a middleman between the trader and the members of their networks. Rather than being the counterparty to trades, ECN brokers will match trades against the best available price from their network of possible counterparties.

Because ECN brokers take no risk exposure from the trade and sit at the centre of a web of ruthless supply and demand forces, spreads are generally very tight and trade execution speeds are often much quicker. But ECN brokers will charge commission on every trade they match – making them an expensive proposition for smaller account sizes.

Should I Trade with a Market Maker?

As mentioned at the top, many traders are wary of working with market maker brokers, as they feel that there is an inherent conflict of interest in the business model. While it is true that a market maker will never quote prices that are going to damage their business, they will always have to offer a fair price – they cannot alter the pricing too much one way or the other before they open themselves up to arbitrage risk (the risk of traders making a profit by trading the discrepancies in pricing).

Furthermore, market makers in Europe, the UK and Australia will have strict requirements placed on them by regulators committing them to ensuring best execution of trades. Under this rule, it is illegal for market makers to skew trades to damage a client’s position.

If you are trading with a well-regulated market maker, the only real discussion to be had when considering trading through them or not is the style of broker you prefer. If you want tighter spreads and can afford commission on your trades, then an ECN broker may best – but for many retail Forex traders, this will be an unreasonable expense. It is also worth noting that many market maker brokers also offer very tight spreads and excellent all-round trading conditions.

How We Rate Market Maker Brokers

When we consider which market maker brokers are suitable for recommendation, we always look at the same factors. Each of these factors has the potential to radically alter your trading experience, and it is especially important for new traders to have trading conditions good enough to learn without being wiped out.

Regulation

Regulators ensure that market makers host a fair and transparent trading environment, all the while conducting strict auditing oversight and ensuring client fund protection. Brokers that are regulated by more than one major regulator are considered more trustworthy.

The major regulators are:

These international regulators are respected for their commitment to consumer protection, strong oversight and swift enforcement of sanctions on fraudulent brokers. They also all publish warning lists of unauthorised firms, so it is worth checking these before signing up with a broker. The FSCA in South Africa is also seen as an excellent regulator, if not in quite the same class as those listed above. 

All market makers regulated by one or more of these regulators will be a fair and secure firm to do business with.

Trading Conditions

It is important to choose a market maker with the trading conditions that will support your trading strategy. Think about how much leverage you want to have available; keeping it low (100:1 or less) is a good idea if you are still learning how to trade. Also, consider what account currencies are supported by the broker and what currency pairs you want to trade, you do not want to be spending a fortune in conversion fees.

Other trading conditions to consider will be how tight the spreads are on the currency pairs you will want to trade, and what other assets are available that you may want to trade. Most Forex brokers will also offer CFD trading on commodities (such as oil, gas, etc.), precious metals (gold, silver, etc.), indices (FTSE, DAX, NYSE) and cryptocurrencies.

Account Types

Consider the different account types on offer at your broker, most market makers offer swap-free Islamic accounts, and all will offer demo accounts to practice with – the best demo accounts are unlimited and exactly simulate the real market.

Other popular account types are copy trading and social trading accounts. These will allow you to copy successful traders, who will then take a cut of your profits. A similar idea is the PAMM (Percentage Allocation Money Management) account, which is a pooled money operation, where the members of the money pool can choose what proportion of their account they want to allocate to a certain trader.

Trading Platforms

It is important to carefully choose a trading platform and find a broker that supports that platform. MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is a safe choice as it’s the industry standard and there is a multitude of online tutorials, though it is gradually being replaced with MetaTrader 5 – which has a more modern look and feel and has many features missing from MT4.

Market makers will not offer cTrader, as this is an ECN-only platform, but many will have their own in-house platforms, most of which are designed with new traders in mind so are easy to learn and have a more intuitive layout.

Broker Fees

We always check for additional broker fees that may be charged and so should you.

Market makers generally make their money from the spread, but some will also charge additional fees to further boost their profits. The most common charge is withdrawal fees, and it is good practice to always ask your broker if and how much they charge for withdrawing from your account. Generally, withdrawals fees are cheaper or non-existent when using online payment systems (such as Skrill) are used for funding your account.

We always highlight any extra fees charged by brokers in our reviews and will penalise brokers with extortionate fees.

Customer Service

Customer service is in your native language is important and many brokers offer full support in multiple languages. The best customer service will be available by live chat, email, messaging apps and over the phone. Many brokers will also offer a call-back service, so you do not have to make expensive international calls.

Good market makers offer customers support 24 hours a day, Monday-Friday and a rare few will also offer weekend service. If you are new to Forex trading you will want a broker with responsive technical support and customer support representatives with an in-depth knowledge of their products and platforms.

Education and Research

Forex education is especially important for new traders, many of the larger market maker brokers offer excellent structured Forex courses for beginners and a few will also have courses covering more advanced topics, like strategies and indicators. If you want to be a successful Forex trader you will never stop learning, so having a broker with excellent educational resources will essential.

Alongside educational support, a good broker will also have an in-house research team offering insightful market analysis on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Some market makers will leave market analysis to third-party companies such as Trading Central or TradingView – while these applications are both very useful, we find that brokers with their own analysis teams often provide better market research ideas and more useful information for new traders.

Final Word

Market makers are often unfairly blacklisted by many members of the Forex CFD trading community; the truth is that well-regulated market makers are an essential part of the Forex market. By committing themselves to be counterparty to any trade they provide much-needed stability, both in terms of liquidity and in terms of market function.

With the current regulations in place, it is also impossible for market makers to work against their clients – even if they wanted to ruin their reputation and open themselves up to arbitrage in this fashion.

It is worth noting that while well-regulated market makers are trusted members of the Forex market and essential for its function, there are many unregulated (or very poorly regulated) market makers that do not behave as ethically. Therefore, it is critical that you always trade with a market maker you trust – one that has a good track record and has oversight from a major regulator.

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

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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