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Best STP brokers of 2024

BrokerNotes.co

Written by BrokerNotes.co

March 14, 2024

What is Straight Through Processing (STP) and Why is it Significant?

Newcomers to compare forex brokers and CFDs trading may well have come across the terms Market Maker and Straight Through Processing (STP) in relation to how brokers provide price quotes on the tradable markets they offer. What does STP mean and what its significance to traders when it comes to either choosing a broker or the type of account, with brokers that offer different price quote options to their clients.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74% and 89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Best Straight Through Processing (STP) Forex Brokers

Here are the best straight through processing (STP) forex brokers.

  • IG
    - 9.9/10 Overall
  • Interactive Brokers - 9.9/10 Overall
  • Saxo - 9.7/10 Overall
  • TD Ameritrade - 9.3/10 Overall
  • XTB - 9.1/10 Overall
  • eToro - 8.8/10 Overall
  • Swissquote - 8.8/10 Overall
  • FXCM - 8.5/10 Overall
  • Admirals - 8.5/10 Overall
IG
9.9/10 Overall
Minimum Deposit£250.00
Tier-1 Licenses8
Tradeable Symbols (Total)19537

Year after year, IG has shown itself to be the best broker in the forex industry and a fantastic choice for forex traders. Highly trusted and regulated across the globe, IG delivers a wide variety of rich features, market research, and powerful trading tools. Fans of copy trading will appreciate IG’s seamless integration of trading signals into its web platform. Read full review

Apple iOS AppYes
Android AppNo
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
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Join 239,000+ traders worldwide.

(Trading forex carries a high level of risk.)

Interactive Brokers
9.9/10 Overall
Minimum Deposit$0
Tier-1 Licenses9
Tradeable Symbols (Total)8500

Interactive Brokers is a highly trusted broker regulated across the globe that delivers access to over 100 markets, including forex and CFDs. Its Trader Workstation (TWS) platform offers a variety of advanced trading tools for experienced traders, and IBKR's web-based platform is great for beginner forex traders. Read full review

Apple iOS AppYes
Android AppNo
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Saxo
9.7/10 Overall
Minimum Deposit$0
Tier-1 Licenses7
Tradeable Symbols (Total)70000

Saxo is a highly trusted broker that operates multiple banks and is regulated across the globe. Saxo delivers an incredible cross-platform experience alongside powerful research and a vast selection of more than 60,000 symbols across multiple asset classes. It’s worth noting that minimum deposits at Saxo are steep. Read full review

Apple iOS AppYes
Android AppNo
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
TD Ameritrade
9.3/10 Overall
Minimum Deposit$0
Tier-1 Licenses5
Tradeable Symbols (Total)0

TD Ameritrade, part of financial conglomerate Charles Schwab, is a leader in platform technology and trusted by millions of investors globally with trillions in assets under its brands. Available exclusively to U.S. residents, TD Ameritrade's forex offering consists of just over 70 currency pairs, along with powerful research and trading tools.

Apple iOS AppYes
Android AppNo
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
XTB
9.1/10 Overall
Minimum Deposit$0 info
Tier-1 Licenses2
Tradeable Symbols (Total)6100

XTB is a highly trusted brand with a proprietary platform (xStation 5) that delivers a rich selection of trading tools. XTB also offers CFDs for a wide range of asset classes, including multiple cryptocurrencies. Beginners will appreciate XTB's excellent educational content and the hundreds of lessons that are available via its Trading Academy. Read full review

Apple iOS AppYes
Android AppNo
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
eToro
8.8/10 Overall
Minimum Deposit$10-$10,000
Tier-1 Licenses3
Tradeable Symbols (Total)3479

Best known for its copy trading platform suite, eToro is a highly trusted broker offering a large selection of cryptocurrency products, CFDs, shares, forex pairs, and a wide range of powerful trading tools. It’s worth noting that eToro is not a discount broker (though it offers zero-dollar commissions for U.S. stocks). Read full review

Apple iOS AppYes
Android AppNo
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)No
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Swissquote
8.8/10 Overall
Minimum Deposit$1000
Tier-1 Licenses5
Tradeable Symbols (Total)472

Swissquote delivers a balanced offering of easy-to-use proprietary trading platforms and popular third-party platforms like MetaTrader and TradingView. Swissquote also offers a staggering 3 million financial products. It’s worth noting that Swissquote's pricing is more expensive than what you'd find with low-cost forex brokers. Read full review

Apple iOS AppYes
Android AppNo
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes
FXCM
8.5/10 Overall
Minimum DepositStarts from $50
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tradeable Symbols (Total)440

FXCM is a highly trusted brand that offers multiple trading platforms for algorithmic trading and social copy trading, along with a proprietary platform suite and access to MetaTrader 4. FXCM is great for beginners due to its wide range of educational content. It's worth noting that pricing at FXCM is just average. Read full review

Apple iOS AppYes
Android AppNo
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Admirals
8.5/10 Overall
Minimum Deposit$100
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tradeable Symbols (Total)8702

Admiral Markets is a highly trusted multi-asset broker regulated in multiple reputable jurisdictions. Admiral Markets delivers a powerful MetaTrader experience with advanced supplemental features. With numerous platform add-ons and tools, copy trading, premium market research, and excellent educational content, Admiral Markets is a good choice for forex traders. Read full review. Read full review

Apple iOS AppYes
Android AppNo
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes

Understanding the significance of STP is best achieved within the context of how it differs from a Market Maker price quoting system. As such, it makes sense to explain both and their advantages and disadvantages.

Price Quotes in CFDs Trading

When a trader takes a CFD position they, in theory, buy a financial instrument at a close approximation to its present market price. There is a buy and a sell price, referred to as the bid and ask price and the small difference between the two is the "spread". This is where the entity on the other side of a trade makes their money.

However, the reality is that the situation is not quite as simple as that. There are actually two main ways in which different brokers arrive at the price offered on CFD markets that can be traded on their platforms & Market Maker and STP. Each has pluses and minuses for traders.

Market Makers

Some CFD brokers have a Market Maker quoting model, which can also be referred to as a Dealing Desk (DD). In this model, it is the broker themselves that offer traders the bid and ask prices on a given CFD. The pricing provided should closely reflect the actual market price though can, in theory, slightly diverge. By how much a MM broker's pricing can differ from the underlying market is determined by their financial regulator.

Generally, MM brokers will try to offset the trading position of one client against that of the other, under the presumption that there will be long and short trades held simultaneously by different traders using the broker. If this is not possible the next recourse is to hedge the risk with an external liquidity provider. However, the most important quality of taking a trading position with a MM broker is that the broker takes the other side of the trade. This means that if the trade goes in favour of the trader, the MM broker loses it, though in theory they will have hedged this loss.

Many traders consider trading with MM brokers to be an inherent conflict of interest and generally undesirable. This is a bit of a misconception and most MM brokers, particularly those under the regulatory regime of a strong regulator such as the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), offer a fair market price. There are also a number of advantages for traders which result from the greater control that MM brokers have. These include:

However, there are also disadvantages such as:

  • The potential for a conflict of interest.
  • Spreads are generally wider in comparison to STP broker quotes.
  • Slippage and requotes are more common.
  • Bigger positions may be declined if the broker doesn't have the liquidity to take on the risk.

Straight Through Processing (STP)

In its wider application in financial services, STP means information electronically processed by one party to begin a settlement process does not need to be re-entered by subsequent recipients of that information along the sequence of events.

Within the specific context of online trading, STP price quoting means that the broker, unlike in the case of a MM broker, does not take the opposite side of their clients' trades. The broker facilitates the matching of the trade position with a counter-party in market, which is made up by liquidity providers and other financial institutions. The bid and ask prices quoted to traders are those of the main market.

In an STP brokerage model it makes no difference to the broker whether a trader wins or loses a trading position. The broker makes its money purely from commission charged on each trade, which reassures many traders of transparency and a lack of any potential conflict of interest. The main advantages to the trader of trading with an STP broker are:

  • No potential for a conflict of interest with the broker.
  • Tighter spreads.
  • Requotes and slippage rare.
  • Larger trade positions can be taken.

Disadvantages include:

  • Micro-lots are not available so significantly larger trading capital is required for effective risk management.
  • Spreads are less consistent and may widen considerably during particularly volatile periods on a financial market.
  • The broker charges commission so each trade placed is more expensive.

Should I choose a Market Maker or Straight Through Processing Broker?

As is probably clear by now there is no black and white answer to this question. However, as a general rule of thumb, the lower costs and the option to trade micro-lots means that MM brokers are the better option for beginner traders who will work with less capital and take smaller positions. The advantages of STP brokers outweigh the higher cost of using them when more valuable trade positions are taken. As such they tend to be the preferred option for more experienced traders working with bigger trading accounts.

Many of the bigger brokers now offer both MM and STP trading accounts in recognition of this divergence in the benefits and drawbacks to the two models.

Which Regulated Brokers Offer STP

XMbroker that is regulated by a reputable regulator as they will be supervised and monitored to ensure that they are acting in accordance with the highest standards when it comes to their client services.

BrokerNotes.co 2023 Overall Rankings

To recap, here are our top forex brokers for 2023, sorted by Overall ranking.

Company Overall Rating Minimum Deposit Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard Trust Score Tradeable Symbols (Total) Read Review Visit Site
IG logoIG 9.9 £250.00 0.98 info 99 19537 IG Review Visit Site
Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers 9.9 $0 0.63 info 99 8500 Interactive Brokers Review Read Review
Saxo logoSaxo 9.7 $0 1.1 info 99 70000 Saxo Review Read Review
CMC Markets logoCMC Markets 9.6 $0 0.61 info 99 12074 CMC Markets Review Read Review
FOREX.com logoFOREX.com 9.4 $100 1.4 info 99 5500 FOREX.com Review Visit Site
TD Ameritrade logoTD Ameritrade 9.3 $0 1.25 info 99 0 TD Ameritrade Review
City Index logoCity Index 9.3 £100.00 1.4 info 99 13500 City Index Review Read Review
XTB logoXTB 9.1 $0 info 1.00 info 96 6100 XTB Group Review Read Review
eToro logoeToro 8.8 $10-$10,000 1 info 90 3479 eToro Review Read Review
Swissquote logoSwissquote 8.8 $1000 N/A info 99 472 Swissquote Review Read Review
Capital.com logoCapital.com 8.7 $20 info 0.67 info 87 3007 Capital.com Review Read Review
AvaTrade logoAvaTrade 8.7 $100 0.92 info 94 1260 AvaTrade Review Read Review
Plus500 logoPlus500 8.6 €100 0.8 (August 2021) info 99 5500 info Plus500 Review Read Review
OANDA logoOANDA 8.5 $0 1.57 info 93 1744 info OANDA Review Read Review
FXCM logoFXCM 8.5 Starts from $50 0.74 info 95 440 FXCM Review Read Review
Admirals logoAdmirals 8.5 $100 0.8 info 93 8702 Admiral Markets Review Read Review
Pepperstone logoPepperstone 8.4 $200 0.77 info 95 2342 Pepperstone Review Read Review
XM Group logoXM Group 8.4 $5 1.6 info 88 1429 XM Group Review Read Review
FP Markets logoFP Markets 8.3 $100 AUD 1.1 info 87 10000 FP Markets Review Read Review
FxPro logoFxPro 8.1 $100 1.51 info 90 2249 FxPro Review Read Review
IC Markets logoIC Markets 8.1 $200 0.62 info 84 3583 IC Markets Review Read Review
Markets.com logoMarkets.com 8.1 $100 1.9 info 96 2179 Markets.com Review Read Review
Tickmill logoTickmill 8.1 $100 0.51 info 86 725 Tickmill Review Read Review
Fineco Bank logoFineco Bank 8.0 $0 N/A info 94 9770 Fineco Bank Review Read Review
BlackBull Markets logoBlackBull Markets 8.0 $0 0.827 info 78 26000 BlackBull Markets Review Read Review
Vantage logoVantage 8.0 $50 1.30 info 90 1000 Vantage Review Read Review
HYCM (Henyep Capital Markets) logoHYCM (Henyep Capital Markets) 7.9 $20 0.6 info 88 1199 HYCM Review Read Review
HFM logoHFM 7.9 $0 1.2 info 86 3500 HFM Review Read Review
ThinkMarkets logoThinkMarkets 7.8 $0 info 1.1 info 92 4000 ThinkMarkets Review Read Review
FlowBank logoFlowBank 7.7 $0 N/A info 80 408600 FlowBank Review Read Review
DooPrime logoDooPrime 7.8 $100 N/A info 83 10000 DooPrime Review Read Review
Trading 212 logoTrading 212 7.7 €10 1.9 info 79 8025 Trading 212 Review Read Review
BDSwiss logoBDSwiss 7.7 $10-$5000 info 1.6 info 76 1081 BDSwiss Review Read Review
Trade Nation logoTrade Nation 7.6 $0 0.6 85 601 Trade Nation Review Read Review
TMGM logoTMGM 7.6 $100 N/A info 83 12000 TMGM Review Read Review
Moneta Markets logoMoneta Markets 7.5 $50 1.27 info 72 1016 Moneta Markets Review Read Review
Eightcap logoEightcap 7.5 $100 1.0 info 85 736 Eightcap Review Read Review
MultiBank logoMultiBank 7.5 $50 N/A 84 1042
ACY Securities logoACY Securities 7.4 $50 1.2 info 75 2200 ACY Securities Review Read Review
RoboForex (RoboMarkets) logoRoboForex (RoboMarkets) 7.3 $100 1.4 info 71 12000 Roboforex (RoboMarkets) Review Read Review
VT Markets logoVT Markets 7.3 $100 1.2 info 70 1000 VT Markets Review Read Review
easyMarkets logoeasyMarkets 7.3 $50 0.9 info 80 199 easyMarkets Review Read Review
IronFX logoIronFX 7.2 $50 1.2 83 340 IronFX Review Read Review
Spreadex logoSpreadex 7.2 $0 0.81 info 71 10000 Spreadex Review Read Review
IFC Markets logoIFC Markets 7.2 $1 1.44 info 67 630 ATFX Review
Trade360 logoTrade360 7.2 $250 N/A info 76 1062 Trade360 Review Read Review
Octa logoOcta 7.2 $25 0.9 info 70 230 OctaFX Review Read Review
Axi logoAxi 7.1 $0 N/A info 81 175 Axitrader Review Read Review
TeleTrade logoTeleTrade 7.1 $100 N/A 71 500 Teletrade Review Read Review
GKFX logoGKFX 7.0 $0 N/A info 65 354 GKFX Review Read Review
Exness logoExness 7.0 $1 0.9 info 71 112 Exness Review Read Review
Vestle logoVestle 7.0 -1 N/A 78 750 Vestle Review Read Review
FXOpen logoFXOpen 7 $100 N/A info 80 87 FXOpen Review Read Review
FXPrimus logoFXPrimus 7.0 $100 N/A info 71 140 FXPrimus Review Visit Site
Forex4you logoForex4you 6.9 $0 N/A info 61 150 Forex4you Review Read Review
GBE brokers logoGBE brokers 6.8 $500 N/A info 71 500 GBE Brokers Review Read Review
Alpari logoAlpari 6.8 $20 N/A info 68 105 Alpari Review Read Review
TopFX logoTopFX 6.7 Depends on payment method N/A info 67 655 TopFX Review Read Review
Libertex (Forex Club) logoLibertex (Forex Club) 6.7 $10 N/A info 73 300 Libertex Review Read Review
LegacyFX logoLegacyFX 6.7 $500 N/A 67 425 LegacyFX Review Read Review
FXGT.com logoFXGT.com 6.6 $5 N/A 69 117 FXGT Review Read Review
ATFX logoATFX 6.5 $500 N/A info 73 150 ATFX Review Read Review
Xtrade logoXtrade 6.5 $250 N/A info 80 142 Xtrade Review Read Review

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