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The UK-based IG Group provides online traders with access to numerous markets including indices and FX. The company expanded internationally although the majority of its activities are UK based.
Founded by Stuart Wheeler as a spread betting company in 1974, the abbreviated title IG stands for Investors Gold Index. The company enables individuals to trade gold prices as an index in place of the physical commodity. The IG Group was listed in July 2000 for the first time on the London Stock Exchange and only two years later expanded trading services to Australia. The expansion followed shortly after Australia’s financial services legislation allowed the offering of CFD’s to its residents.
IG Group acquired the shares of long-standing shareholders as well as the founder’s shares as part of a management buy-out. This was backed by CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm that valed the company at $143 million. The result of the buy-out saw IG Group plc’s listing removed from the London Stock Exchange.
After a period of private ownership lasting 2 years, the company was added back onto the London Stock Exchange’s main list in May 2005 with a valuation worth £393 million. In 2007 some authoritative media sources labelled IG as a gambling company; however, that was not the case. In 2008, the IG Group acquired the Japanese retail business, FXOnline Japan KK. However, the deal was not completed until May 2010 due to delays in obtaining permission by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
IG Markets shut down its fixed-odds sports betting service extrabet in June 2011 and started an online stockbroking platform in September 2014 to offers prices on over 4,500 stocks. IG customers suffered losses worth £18.4 million when the Swiss National Bank discontinued its minimum exchange rate policy in January 2015. IG agreed to the ruling by the Financial Ombudsman Services of the UK to compensate clients for their losses. DailyFX was acquired by the IG Group in 2016 for $40 million. In April 2017 IG Smart Portfolios was launched by the IG Group, the partnership with BlackRock enabled the company to offer ETF investment portfolios, making it the first company to move into online wealth management.
Licensing & Regulation
The IG website is owned and operated by IG Markets Limited licensed in New Zealand, while IG is authorised by ASIC Australia, FMA New Zealand, FINMA Switzerland and FSA Japan. All client funds are kept in segregated accounts at regulated banks and not used for business activities while it is ring-fenced from the company’s creditors.
IG is committed to providing online traders with the best experience possible and extends trading opportunities via the user-friendly mobile app. The free download apps are compatible with all major smartphone and tablet devices and secured via 256-bit SSL data encryption. Mobile players can count on regularly updated information to improve their mobile trading experience and have constant access to analysis and data on indices, shares and forex. All mobile apps are available on free download and both the iPad trading app, and iPhone trading app is available from the App Store. The Android tablet trading app and Android trading app is available for free download from Google Play.
The mobile trading apps offer users access to a broad range of different markets including commodities such as spot gold and Brent crude, while indices include Germany 30, Wall Street and FTSE 100. Forex FX trade markets include AUD//USD and EUR/USD.
Brand & Functionality
Founded in 1974 as the first of its kind, IG remained at the forefront ever since and expanded its offices to thirteen different countries in order to serve traders all over the world. As the global number one in CFDs the company are committed to providing exceptional services and have been recognised multiple times for both its technology and services provided. Industry recognitions in 2018 include Best Overall Personal Wealth Provider, Best Trading Supports as well as Best Multi-Platform Provider. IG is most favoured for its extremely easy-to-use interface that offers an instant response. Users can use its powerful platform via desktop or natively-designed mobile apps to access over 15,000 markets. There are multiple limits and stop orders in place to enable traders to keep track of their funds. The company utilises a range of safety measures and security systems to offer privacy in a regulated and secure environment.
Applying for either a demo or a live account at IG is easy and starts off by completing the online application form. Accounts are only granted to persons over 18 years of age that successful meet IG’s appropriateness assessment part of the application form. According to FICA regulations, new clients are required to provide the necessary supporting documents to prove their identity. Accepted documents include their bar-coded ID document or passport as well as confirmation of their addresses.
Once the application is successful, IG notifies the client via email and also provides log in details. Setting up your account could be tricky, which is why an account manager calls to talk new clients through the process as well as offer assistance with the first trade.
Before any trading can take place, all accounts must be funded. The sites include several guides, walkthroughs, tips and video tutorials to help users improve individuals trading skills. If all the correct documentation is provided, the new account could be activated in a day, although new clients could also open a demo account to get familiar with the platform. The browser-based main platform requires no downloading, although the Advanced L2 Dealer platform, as well as the mobile platform, is available via free download.
Funding your IG account is possible via electronic transfer or card payments, including debit or credit cards. Debit card payments via MasterCard or Visa is free, while a 2.1% transaction fee is added for funding your account via a Visa or MasterCard credit card. All payments are available instantly via debit/credit cards.
Bank transfers can take up to three days and is free of any transfer fees. Accepted currencies include AUD, HKD and USD with each currency requiring a different account number to be used. The minimum amount paid via card accepted is $450 AUD or equivalent and once an account is inactive for two or more years, an inactivity fee will be added.
Over 195,000 individuals around the globe make use of the trading services offered by IG and have access to more than 15,000 markets, including indices, forex, shares, commodities and digital 100s. 24-hour trading is offered on 25 different indices including FTSE 100, Dow Jones, Nasdaq, Wall Street, Japan 225 and Germany 30. Forex trading markets include USD/CHF, EUR/GBP, GBP/USD, EUR/USD and USD/JPY.
Commodity trading includes spot gold, natural gas, spot silver, Chicago wheat, London sugar, oil US Crude and oil Brent Crude.
IG’s pricing and execution technology are engineered for stability, better prices and speed offering clients the edge in a highly competitive online environment.
All systems at IG is designed and built to cope with high volumes of traders in a quick and efficient manner. Between the period of April to June 2018, over 22 million orders were accepted. The robust platform can handle large traffic volumes of over 42,000 daily web users, while daily mobile daily users exceed 52,000. Since August, IG added two new ways of trading that offer clients more control over their trading executions via points and partial fill.s. This is available via the new version of the IG mobile trading app.
With IG, Bank Transfer withdrawals can take up to a maximum of three days, while withdrawals via debit cards or credit cards take up to five days. Traders can only request withdrawals to accounts in their name, and the minimum withdrawal is $150 or equivalent.
IG offers trading services across five continents and its team of more than 1,500 employees ensure that clients in the United States, Bulgaria, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Hungary, Sverige, Deutschland, France, Italia, United Kingdom, Estonia, Latvia, Portugal, Malta, Greece, Slovenia, Romania, Nederland, Iceland, Czech Republic, Australia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates have access to outstanding assistance. Support is offered via email, telephone and live chat, available 24 hours a day from Saturday 7 am to Friday 11 pm.
The most flexible trading option with IG is CFD’s. It offers reduced commission during the first two weeks of trading and the opportunity to trade in more than 15,000 markets including commodities, shares, indices and forex. CFD’s also offers the most competitive rates, starting with 0.1% commission on shares, from 0.4 points indices and from just 0.8 pips on FX. With mobile apps, traders get to keep track of all changes in the market and have access to all trading and free research tools to remain informed.
Drawing tools available includes Pitchfork, Fibonacci Retracement, Arrow, Measure Tool, Text, Trend and Triangle, while indicators tools include Directional Movement, MACD, KDJ, Money Flow Index, Pivot Point, Moving Average, Williams %R, RSI and Stochastic.