The forex and CFD markets have been fast-growing markets over the past two decades but for the past few years, the essence of regulation in the forex markets has become significant to ensure the safety of funds for traders and a transparent market for all participants. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, also known as ASIC, is one of the most reputable regulators in the industry among brokers and traders. In this article, we will explain all you need to know about ASIC and list the best ASIC-approved brokers in Australia.
What is ASIC?
ASIC stands for the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, which is the financial regulatory body in Australia. Founded in 1998, ASIC is responsible for overseeing the activities of financial services and financial markets in Australia, including but not limited to the forex and CFD market. ASIC regulated brokers are favored by traders due to the strict rules for broker regulation but also the availability of high leverage ratio and the elimination of FIFO rule.
What requirements must brokers meet to be ASIC regulated?
Getting an ASIC license is a long process that takes a long time (a minimum of 6 months) and requires companies to meet strict criteria to be considered safe for retail clients. Some of the main requirements to be approved as an ASIC regulated broker include:
Best ASIC Regulated brokers
As you can imagine, there are different brokers for different purposes. There are many ASIC regulated brokers out there but we have selected brokers that provide their clients with an edge over other trading platforms. On the list below, each broker is best for a different type of trading strategy and has a unique feature that differentiates it from other brokers in the industry.
eToro - Best ASIC Regulated Broker
For several reasons, eToro is our top choice when it comes to top ASIC regulated brokers. To start with, eToro is the largest social trading platform in the world with more than 4.5 million registered users, meaning it is also the most effective social network for trading. Although the spreads are not the lowest in the industry, the eToro CopyTrading feature is really brilliant. Basically, you can copy trades of up to 20 different top traders at any one time.
Furthermore, eToro offers a leverage ratio of up to 1:400 for retail and professional clients in Australia applied on a wide range of instruments, particularly stocks from different exchanges. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced trader, eToro’s unique trading platform can be quite beneficial for you as it is intuitive and easy to use.
Min deposit: $200
Max leverage: 1:400
Trading platform: eToro’s proprietary social trading platform
Regulation: ASIC, CySEC, and FCA
- eToro is the largest social network in the world
- Offers the CopyTrading and the CopyPortfolio social trading features
- Traders can trade with a leverage ratio of up to 1:400
- Does not support the MetaTrader4
- eToro charges an inactivity fee
Plus500 - Best ASIC Regulated Broker for Beginners
If you are looking for a broker that has a wide range of CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, and ETFs, then Plus500 is the broker of choice for you. With more than 2000 instruments, plus500 has created one of the most easy-to-use and liquid trading marketplaces.
Among the main advantages of Plus500 are its proprietary user-friendly trading platform, the high selection of products, and the leverage ratio of up to 1:300 for Australian traders. The bottom line, Plus500 is the best ASIC regulated brokers for those looking to make their first steps towards online trading.
Min deposit: $100
Max leverage: 1:300
Trading platform: Plus500 WebTrader
Regulation: ASIC, CySEC, and FCA
- Plus500 is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the symbol LSE: PLUS
- Offers more than 2000 tradable instruments across various markets, including options
- A user-friendly and intuitive trading platform
- Plus500 does not offer many advanced trading tools
- Does not offer risk management as a built-in function
Markets.com - Best Trading Platform for Day Traders
We chose Markets.com as the best trading platform for scalping and day traders due to its extensive range of fundamental, technical, and market sentiment tools. These can be significant for day traders looking to get in and out of trades quickly and effectively. The broker offers the Bloggers’ Opinions tool which is an outstanding feature that enables users to get access to the opinions of 50,000 financial bloggers and get a general idea of the sentiment in the markets. In addition, In addition, Markets.com offers the following trading tools categorized by technical, fundamental, and sentiment:
- The Hedge Funds Confidence tool – Sentiment
- Insider Trades – Sentiment
- Analyst Recommendations – Sentiment
- Trader Trends – Sentiment
- Acuity News Alerts & Acuity News Trading Sentiment – Sentiment
- Real-Time Signals – Sentiment
- Related Instruments tool – Technical
- Advanced Charting package – Technical
- Financial Commentary – Fundamental Advanced Alerts – Fundamental
- Thomson Reuters Stock Report – Fundamental
- Dow Jones News on Marketsx – Fundamental
The bottom line, Markets.com has a great platform for market research and advanced trading tools. Moreover, the broker offers the popular MetaTrader4 as well as the MetaTrader5.
Min deposit: $100
Max leverage: 1:300 (Australia & other regions), 1:30 (UK and European Union0
Trading platform: MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5, and Marketsi platform
Regulation: ASIC, FCA, CySEC, FSCA, FSC, and BVI
- A great broker for scalping and day traders
- Huge range of advanced trading tools
- Markets.com offers fixed and variable (floating) spreads
- High overnight (rollover) rates
- Limited language support
AvaTrade - Best ASIC Regulated Broker for Automated Trading
If you are looking for a broker that specializes in automated trading, AvaTrade is the right choice. Apart from being ASIC regulated broker, AvaTrade offers you to mirror or copy the trades of others by using some of the best trading signals providers that include the DupliTrade, ZuluTrade, and MQL5 Signals Service. AvaTrade also supports expert advisors trading bots for MetaTrader4 and MetaTrader5.
AvaTrade allows you to open a trading account with an initial deposit of $100 AUD and a leverage ratio of up to 1:400.
AvaTrade operates in Australian under Ava Capital Markets Australia Pty Ltd which is licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (License No.: 406684).
Min deposit: $100
Max leverage: 1:400
Trading platform: MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5, AvaTradeGo, AvaOptions
Regulation: ASIC, Central Bank of Ireland, FCA, CySEC, BVI, FSA, and FSCA
- An excellent platform for automated trading
- AvaTrade offers options trading through its own AvaOptions trading platform
- Competitive floating (variable) spreads
- Charges an inactivity fee of $25 after 90 days of non-use
- Australian stocks are not available
ASIC forex brokers
CFDs and forex have similarities and differences, and it’s important that you find out the best trading conditions for each type of asset class before you choose a broker. The main difference is the leverage ratio (margin requirement), which is usually higher on currency pairs.
With that being said, our top three ASIC forex brokers are:
- eToro – eToro is ASIC regulated CFD and forex broker and the largest social trading platform in the world. eToro offers a selection of 47 currency pairs and a leverage ratio of up to 1:400.
- Pepperstone – Pepperstone is a true ECN broker that is regulated by FCA in the United Kingdom and ASIC in Australia. Peppersone is one of the leading forex brokers in Australia.
- FPMarkets – Regulated by ASIC and CySEC, FPMarkets offers some of the lowest trading fees in the market. Furthermore, the Australian broker offers a wide selection of trading platforms and tools.
ASIC binary option brokers
Binary options trading is still legal in Australia although there are discussions about ASIC intention to ban the distribution of over-the-counter binary options to retail clients. At the time of writing, it appears that the Australian regulatory agency plans to ban any binary options online services.
According to ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour: ‘A complete ban would prevent retail clients from losing money trading binary options. We believe binary options provide no meaningful investment or economic use and have product characteristics similar to gambling products,‘
An ASIC regulated broker ranks as one of the best choices for FX traders looking to trade in a safe and secure trading environment not only in Australia but Asia as well. ASIC has a different approach as to regulating forex brokers with a strong emphasis on the company’s financial stability, and transparency while on the other hand, the Australian regulatory agency has no leverage limitations and no FIFO rule limitations. Moreover, ASIC has in an important role in helping traders to reclaim lost funds in dormant accounts, protecting clients from brokers’ insolvency, keeping them safe and secure, and interfering in the event of a dispute between the broker and the client.
eToro: Best AU Share Trading Platform
- ASIC regulated
- 800+ shares to buy outright or trade as CFDs
- Social and copy trading available
What can you expect from trading with an ASIC regulated broker?
Some of the benefits of trading with an ASIC regulated broker include the requirement from brokers to hold funds in a segregated account, the availability of high leverage ratio, trader insurance and compensation scheme, full financial transparency, and the dispute resolution mechanism.
Does a regulated broker by ASIC apply to New Zealand as well?
Traders from New Zealand are authorized to open an account with an ASIC regulated broker. However, if you wish to trade with a broker that is registered in New Zealand, you should look for an FMA forex broker that has been approved by New Zealand's' financial regulatory body, which is New Zealand's Financial Markets Authority.
How can you check if a broker is registered and regulated by ASIC?
Finding out if a broker is regulated by ASIC is quite easy. All you have to do is to visit the ASIC Register page and search for the broker. If the broker's status is approved, then it is regulated by ASIC.
Do ASIC brokers offer leverage?
Yes. In fact, one of the greatest advantages of trading with ASIC brokers is the less strict approach when it comes to leverage trading and margin requirements. Yet, if you are located in the United Kingdom or the European Union and choose an ASIC broker, you will be able to trade with a leverage ratio of up to 1:30, according to the ESMA regulation.