10 Best STP Brokers Reviewed for 2024

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Straight Through Processing (STP) brokers directly route forex orders to liquidity providers. This usually means competitive spreads and premium liquidity across the most popular currency pairs. Most importantly, STP brokers never trade against their clients.

In this guide, we rank and review the 10 best STP brokers for 2024. We compare STP accounts for commissions, spreads, minimum lot sizes, supported markets, safety, and other important factors.

The Top 10 STP Brokers Ranked

Ranked below are the 10 best STP brokers in the market right now:

  1. BlackBull Markets: Regulated forex broker that offers a hybrid of ECN and STP pricing. There’s no internal dealer desk, ensuring conflicts of interest are avoided. There’s a commission-free account that offers spreads from 0.8 pips. Alternatively, you can get spreads of 0.1 pips and pay a commission of $6 per lot. Leverage of up to 1:500 is available and BlackBull Markets supports MT4, MT5, and TradingView.
  2. Admiral Markets: Beginners can get started with just $25 and there are no trading commissions to pay on the Trade.MT4 account. Spreads start from just 0.5 pips. Experienced traders might prefer the Zero.MT4 account, which offers 0.0 pip spreads and commissions from just $1.80 per lot. Admiral Markets is regulated in multiple jurisdictions and supports over 80 currency pairs.
  3. Vantage Markets: Offers STP standard accounts with a minimum first-time deposit of $50. There are no trading commissions to pay, but STP spreads start from 1 pip. Traders can choose from MT4 or MT5, plus Vantage Market’s native app for iOS and Android. Just over 40 currency pairs are supported, plus cryptocurrencies, indices, stocks, and other assets.
  4. HF Markets: Get the best market prices and avoid paying hidden markups on the HF Markets zero account. There’s no minimum deposit requirement and spreads start from 0.0 pips on major pairs. A commission of $3 per traded lot is applied to all positions. More than 50 forex pairs are supported and eligible traders can access leverage of up to 1:2000.
  5. Swissquote: Heavily regulated forex broker that’s listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Swissquote offers three account types –  all come with 0% commission and STP execution. However, spreads are considered high – with minimums starting at 1.1 pips. Moreover, the standard account requires a minimum deposit of $1,000. More than 80 currency pairs are available, plus FX options.
  6. FxPro: Uses STP technologies alongside a no-dealer desk policy to ensure transparent spreads and quotes. MT4 raw accounts offer average EUR/USD spreads of just 0.05 pips, with a $3.50 commission per traded lot. Beginners might prefer fixed-spread accounts, which come without trading commissions. FxPro supports over 70 pairs, plus futures, stocks, commodities, indices, and cryptocurrencies.
  7. OctaFX: This broker uses a hybrid execution model that combines STP and ECN processes. OctaFX never charges requotes or markups – it receives a commission rebate from liquidity providers. OctaFX traders benefit from 0% commission accounts and spreads start from 0.6 pips. The minimum deposit requirement is just $25.
  8. ActivTrades: No requotes or order rejections is the main method of this established broker. Founded in 2001, ActivTrades supports 49 forex pairs and doesn’t charge trading commissions. Although it offers a competitive minimum spread of 0.5 pips, expect volatility outside of busy trading hours. ActivTrades has a proprietary trading suite and also supports MT4, MT5, and TradingView.
  9. Global Markets Group: Access more than 600 liquidity providers to avoid requotes and price manipulation. Minimum spreads of 0.0 pips on EUR/USD, with an average of just 0.2 pips. Global Markets Group charges a fair commission of $3.50 per traded lot. 71 forex pairs are supported, plus commodities and indices. Only the MT5 platform is supported and payments can only be made via bank wires.
  10. Forex4You: Established over 16 years ago, Forex4You offers STP accounts with floating spreads starting from 0.1 pips. Traders can access Level 2 data for an overview of market depth, and leverage of up to 1:1000 is available. Multiple platforms are supported, including MT4 and MT5. However, Forex4You charges a commission of $8 per lot, which is well above the industry average.

Note: Some brokers use a hybrid pricing model, so are defined as STP/ECN providers. This is because they offer ECN pricing but orders are executed via Straight Through Processing. STP providers are also referred to as no dealer desk (NDD) brokers.

Best STP Forex Brokers Reviews

Read on for our in-depth reviews of the best forex STP brokers.

1. BlackBull Markets – 0% Commission Accounts With Tight Spreads and No Minimum Deposit  

BlackBull Markets is the first STP broker to consider. Like many brokers, BlackBull Markets utilizes a hybrid model, meaning it offers ECN prices but orders are processed via the STP network. This means you get competitive spreads, premium liquidity, and most importantly – no conflict of interest. BlackBull Markets offers two account types to choose from, which determine your pricing structure.

First, there’s the standard account, which offers commission-free trading on all supported markets. Major pairs can be traded with spreads of 0.8 pips, which is competitive. This account type comes without a minimum deposit requirement, so is ideal for beginners. Alternatively, experienced forex traders might prefer the prime account.

Blackbull Markets review

This comes with a minimum spread of 0.1 pips on major pairs. It also comes with a commission of $6 per traded lot. The prime account has a high minimum deposit of $2,000. Both BlackBull Markets accounts offer leverage of up to 1:500. However, lower limits are offered to traders in some regions, such as the European Union, Australia, and the UK.

BlackBull Markets supports thousands of financial instruments. This includes over 70 currency pairs, commodities, stocks, futures, and indices, BlackBull Markets also supports the best cryptocurrencies. This includes Bitcoin, XRP, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. BlackBull Markets supports plenty of trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and TradingViews.

Blackbull Markets review

It also has a proprietary trading platform, available on web and mobile browsers. Before making a deposit, you might consider opening a free demo account. This comes with $100,000 in paper funds and remains active for 30 days. When you’re ready to add some funds, BlackBull Markets accepts debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and bank wires.

No. Pairs 70+
Other Assets Stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, futures, indices
Commission Standard account (0%), Prime account ($6 per lot)
EUR/USD Spread Standard account (0.8 pips), Prime account (0.1 pips)
Platforms Proprietary web and mobile trading platform, MT4, MT5, TradingView
Max. Leverage 1:500 (country-specific)
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • ECN pricing with an STP execution model
  • No internal dealer desks – avoid conflicts of interest
  • Prime accounts offer spreads from 0.1 pips
  • Commission-free accounts come without a minimum deposit requirement
  • Supports multiple trading platforms – including TradingView, MT4, and MT5

Cons cons

  • Does not accept clients in the US or New Zealand
  • Demo account expires after 30 days

Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors.

2. Admiral Markets – STP Accounts With Zero Spreads and Commissions Starting at $1.80 per Lot 

Admiral Markets is one of the best STP brokers for MT4 trading. It also offers very competitive fees. For example, the Zero.MT4 account comes with minimum spreads of 0.0 pips on major pairs. Commissions start from just $1.80 per traded lot, but can rise to $3 on some currency markets.

The second option – which is aimed at casual forex traders, is the Trade.MT4 account. This offers slightly wider spreads, starting at 0.5 pips. However, this account type comes without trading commissions. Admiral Markets has a very low minimum deposit requirement of just $25.

Admiral Markets review

Moreover, the minimum trade size is 0.01 lots. Both of the MT4 accounts we discussed offer leverage of up to 1:500, but limits depend on your country of residence. Admiral Markets also offers one of the best forex demo accounts. It’s free to open and mirrors live trading conditions. What’s more, the demo account comes with real-time financial news and market insights.

In terms of supported instruments, Admiral Markets covers over 4,000 assets. This includes over 80 forex pairs, stocks, indices, ETFs, commodities, and bonds. Admiral Markets also offers educational tools, allowing you to learn and trade at the same time. This covers trading guides, courses, and webinars.

No. Pairs 80+
Other Assets Stocks, ETFs, commodities, indices, bonds, cryptocurrencies
Commission Zero.MT4 (From $1.80 per lot), Trade.MT4 (0%)
EUR/USD Spread Zero.MT4 (0.0 pips), Trade.MT4 (0.5 pips)
Platforms MT4
Max. Leverage 1:500 (country-specific)
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • Best STP forex broker for diversification – more than 4,000 supported markets
  • Commission-free accounts with minimum spreads of 0.5 pips
  • 0.0 pip accounts are also available with commissions starting from $1.80 per lot
  • TrustPilot score of 4.3/5

Cons cons

  • US clients are not accepted
  • Some nationalities are capped at leverage of 1:30

Investments involve risks and are not suitable for all investors. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

3. Vantage Markets – STP Accounts Offer 0% Commission Trading Without Minimum Deposit Requirements

Vantage Markets is also one of the best STP brokers to consider today. This broker will appeal to casual traders who want competitive fees and low account minimums. For example, the STP standard account offers 0% commission trading on all supported markets. The minimum spread on major currency pairs is 1 pip.

Vantage Markets has a minimum deposit requirement of just $50, appealing to those on a budget. The STP standard account supports two desktop trading platforms – MT4 and MT5. Alternatively, you can also connect your account to the Vantage Markets mobile app for iOS or Android. Vantage Markets is particularly popular with iOS users – the app has a rating of 4.9/5.

Vantage Markets review

When it comes to payments, Vantage Markets supports multiple e-wallets – including Skrill and Neteller. Funds can also be deposited via debit/credit cards and bank wires. First-time traders might consider the Vantage Markets demo account. This comes with $100,000 in virtual funds and is completely risk-free.

Although the demo account expires after 30 days, those with an active balance get unlimited usage. Vantage Markets offers just over 40 pairs, which is fewer than most other STP brokers. That said, the platform also supports stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and indices.

No. Pairs 40+
Other Assets Stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, cryptocurrencies, indices
Commission 0%
EUR/USD Spread From 1 pip
Platforms MT4, MT5, Proprietary app for iOS and Android
Max. Leverage 1:1000 (country-specific)
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • STP standard accounts come with 0% commission
  • Minimum deposit requirement of just $50
  • Unlimited demo account usage when there’s an active balance
  • Some traders can get leverage of up to 1:1000

Cons cons

  • Minimum spread of 1 pip on the STP standard account
  • Supports just over 40 currency pairs

Trading derivatives carries significant risks

4. HF Markets – Popular Forex Broker With 0.0 Pip Spreads and No Markups

HF Markets is a popular forex broker that supports over 50 currency pairs. Traders will also find other asset classes, including commodities, indices, stocks, ETFs, and bonds. HF Markets also supports Bitcoin and some of the best altcoins. The best option at HF Markets for STP trading is the zero account.

This executes orders directly from liquidity providers, meaning no hidden markups. Moreover, this account type offers competitive spreads that start from 0.0 pips on major perks. Like most zero-spread accounts, there’s a trading commission to pay. This mirrors the industry average at $3 per traded lot, per slide.

HF Markets review

The minimum trade size is 0.01 lots and you can get started with any account balance. Leverage of up to 1:2000 is offered by HF Markets, depending on which regulator you’re covered by. Another benefit of the zero account is it offers swap-free trading. This will appeal to swing traders who prefer keeping positions open for longer periods.

In terms of platforms, the zero account can be used on MT4 or MT5. HF Markets also offers VPS hosting, which is compatible with both MetaTrader platforms. This allows traders to deploy automated forex robots 24/7. HF Markets is considered a safe option for forex traders; it has over $2.5 million client accounts and is licensed in multiple jurisdictions.

No. Pairs 50+
Other Assets Commodities, indices, stocks, ETFs, bonds, cryptocurrencies
Commission $3 per lot
EUR/USD Spread From 0.0 pips
Platforms MT4, MT5
Max. Leverage 1:2000 (country-specific)
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • Established forex broker with over 2.5 million client accounts
  • No hidden markups and spreads start from 0.0 pips
  • Commissions of just $3 per traded lot
  • Eligible traders can apply leverage of up to 1:2000

Cons cons

Trading Leveraged Products such as Forex and Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors as they carry a high degree of risk to your capital.

5. Swissquote – Publicly Listed Forex Broker With Tier-1 Liquidity and Multiple Account Types

Swissquote is a regulated forex broker with a public listing on the SIX Swiss Exchange – Europe’s third-largest stock market. It offers a safe and secure forex trading experience in a transparent environment. There are multiple accounts to choose from at Swissquote and all utilize the STP execution model. First, the standard account offers commission-free trading, but minimum spreads start at 1.7 pips.

This requires a minimum deposit of $1,000. The premium and prime accounts also offer commission-free trading, with slightly lower spreads. This starts at 1.4 pips and 1.1 pips respectively. However, these accounts require a minimum deposit of $10,000 and $50,000. All Swissquote accounts offer leverage of up to 1:100 to eligible clients.

Swissquote review

Expert advisors (EAs) are not only permitted but can operate efficiently on Swissquote; the average execution speed is just 9 milliseconds. Moreover, Swissquote has a 98% fill rate, and 62% of positions avoid slippage. This is because Swissquote deals with tier-one banks and regional liquidity providers.

Swissquote supports more than 80 currency pairs, covering majors, minors, and exotics. Its forex trading suite operates 24/5, in line with the broader markets. Swissquote also supports forex options. Compatible strategies include vertical spreads, straddles, strangles, and covered calls.

No. Pairs 80+
Other Assets Options, stocks, indices, commodities, bonds
Commission 0% on all account types
EUR/USD Spread Ranges from 1.1 pips to 1.7 pips, depending on the account type
Platforms Proprietary web and mobile trading platform, MT4, MT5
Max. Leverage 1:100 (country-specific)
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • No trading commissions are charged on any account type
  • Regulated broker with a listing on the SIX Swiss Exchange
  • Supports more than 80 currency pairs
  • Also offers forex options with multiple supported strategies

Cons cons

  • Very high minimum spreads of 1.1 pips
  • Minimum deposit of $1,000

Trading foreign exchange, spot precious metals and any other product on the Forex platform involves significant risk of loss and may not be suitable for all investors

6. FxPro – True No Dealing Desk Broker With STP Technologies

Although FxPro uses STP technologies, it defines itself as a ‘true’ no dealing desk execution broker. This means that traders get the best of both worlds. FxPro’s STP processes ensure traders deal directly with tier-one liquidity providers. Moreover, it executes client orders without any intervention or markups.

In other words, you’ll get the best spreads available in full transparency. In terms of minimum spreads, this varies depending on the account type and the pair. We found that the MT4 raw account offers the best spreads – EUR/USD averages just 0.05 pips. This account type comes with a commission of $3.50 per traded lot, per slide.

FxPro review

FxPro also offers fixed spreads. Although these are higher than the raw account, they come without commission. Plus, fixed spreads allow traders to manage their trading costs in advance. All account types at FxPro support over 70 forex pairs, including all majors and minors. FxPro also supports commodities, cryptocurrencies, indices, and futures. Stocks from the US, UK, and Europe are also available.

No. Pairs 70+
Other Assets Stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, indices, futures
Commission Varies depending on the account type. MT4 raw accounts charge $3.50 per lot
EUR/USD Spread Varies depending on the account and the pair. EUR/USD averages 0.05 pips on the MT4 raw account
Platforms Proprietary web and mobile trading platform, MT4, MT5, cTrader
Max. Leverage 1:500 (country-specific)
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • Combines STP technologies with no dealer desk execution
  • Transparent pricing with regular reports on slippage
  • Trade more than 70 currency pairs
  • Average EUR/USD spread of 0.05 pips on the MT4 raw account

Cons cons

  • Does not offer a centralized database of average spreads
  • Has a recommended minimum deposit of $1,000

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money due to leverage.

7. OctaFX – STP/ECN Hybrid With No Requotes and Spreads From 0.6 Pips

OctaFX is another popular forex broker that utilizes a hybrid model. This combines ECN pricing with STP execution processes, ensuring that traders are never exposed to requotes. On the contrary, OctaFX simply forwards orders to its liquidity providers. It doesn’t need to add a markup on spreads, as liquidity providers pay OctaFX a commission.

All buy and sell orders are executed transparently, so traders know exactly what they’re paying in real-time. In terms of minimum spreads, this starts at 0.6 pips on major pairs. Crucially, there are no trading commissions to pay, so OctaFX is considered cost-effective. Moreover, there is a small minimum deposit requirement of just $25.

OctaFX review

We like that OctaFX supports three trading platforms. In addition to its native web platform, this includes MT4 and MT5. That said, OctaFX supports just 32 currency pairs. This means you’ll have limited access to exotic currency markets. Nonetheless, OctaFX also supports selected commodities, indices, and cryptocurrencies. When opting for MT4, stocks can also be traded.

No. Pairs 32
Other Assets Stocks, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies
Commission 0%
EUR/USD Spread From 0.6 pips
Platforms Proprietary web and mobile trading platform, MT4, MT5
Max. Leverage 1:500 (country-specific)
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • Hybrid forex broker combining STP and ECN execution models
  • No trading commissions to pay any supported pair
  • Competitive spreads of 0.6 pips on EUR/USD
  • Allows forex EAs and hedging strategies

Cons cons

  • Just 32 forex pairs are supported
  • Doesn’t support cTrader or TradingView

Forex margin trading involves risks associated with changes in political conditions, economic factors, acts of nature, and other factors.

8. ActivTrades – Get the Best Available Market Prices Without Requotes or Order Rejections

Next up is ActivTrades – which also utilizes an STP/ECN hybrid model. This established broker – which was founded in 2001, never executes positions with requotes or rejects orders. Whatever price it gets from its partnered liquidity providers is passed directly onto traders. ActivTrades doesn’t charge trading commission either, so it’s only the spread that needs to be covered.

The minimum spread on EUR/USD is 0.5 pips, which is very competitive. That said, spreads can be very volatile outside of busy market hours. For example, the EUR/USD spread is currently fluctuating between 0.6 pips and 1.3 pips. This is a drawback, especially for scalpers and high-frequency traders who rely on ultra-thin margins.

ActivTrades reviews

Nonetheless, we like that ActivTrades offers negative balance protection and is regulated in five different jurisdictions. Moreover, ActivTrades has an ‘Excellent’ rating on TrustPilot. In addition to forex, ActivTrades also supports stocks, indices, commodities, ETFs, bonds, and some of the best cryptocurrencies to trade.

No. Pairs 49
Other Assets Stocks, indices, commodities, ETFs, bonds, cryptocurrencies
Commission 0%
EUR/USD Spread From 0.5 pips
Platforms Proprietary web and mobile trading platform, MT4, MT5, TradingView
Max. Leverage Not stated
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • No requotes or order rejections
  • 0% commission available on 49 forex pairs
  • Minimum spreads start from just 0.5 pips
  • Established in 2001

Cons cons

  • Does not provide information on leverage limits
  • Spreads are volatile outside of busy market hours

81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

9. Global Markets Group – 600+ Liquidity Providers and Spreads Starting From 0.0 Pips

Global Markets Group – considered one of the best MT5 brokers, has partnered with over 600 liquidity providers. Traders can access forex pairs without requotes, price manipulation, or internal dealing desks. Global Markets Group simply provides intermediary services between liquidity pools and traders.

It offers super-competitive EUR/USD spreads that start from 0.0 pips and average 0.2 pips. There’s a standard commission of $3.50 per traded lot, per slide. Global Markets Group utilizes a first-in, first-out policy – making it ideal for hedging strategies. Moreover, scalpers and high-frequency traders are also catered for – average latency speeds are just 1 millisecond when using a VPS.

Global Markets Group review

The main drawback is that Global Markets Group only supports the MT5 platform. Nonetheless, traders have access to 71 currency pairs on a 24/5 basis. Leverage is capped at just 1:30 for retail clients, but professional traders will get higher limits. Another drawback is that Global Markets Group only accepts bank wires – meaning no debit/credit cards or e-wallets.

No. Pairs 71
Other Assets Indices, commodities
Commission $3.50 per lot
EUR/USD Spread From 0.0 pips
Platforms MT5
Max. Leverage 1:30
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • Partnered with over 600 liquidity providers
  • Minimum and average EUR/USD spread of 0.0 pips and 0.2 pips, respectively
  • Fair and transparent commission policy of $3.50 per lot
  • Average latency time of 1 millisecond when using a VPS

Cons cons

  • Maximum leverage of 1:30 for retail clients
  • Only accepts bank wire payments

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading in CFDs with this provider.

10. Forex4You – No Requotes, Floating Spreads From 0.1 Pips and Leverage of up to 1:1000

Launched 16 years ago, Forex4You is an established forex broker. It offers STP accounts that come with minimum floating spreads of just 0.1 pips. There are no pricing requotes and the minimum trade size is just 0.01 lots. Moreover, the average execution speed is just 0.53 seconds.

That being said, Forex4You charges a commission of $8 per lot – which is well above the industry average. There isn’t a minimum deposit requirement at Forex4You, which will appeal to beginners. Furthermore, Level 2 data is provided, giving traders a 360-degree overview of market depth.

Forex4You review

Forex4You is also one of the best high-leverage brokers. Eligible traders can get leverage of up to 1:1000. Forex4You supports over 50 currency pairs, plus commodities, indices, and stocks. We like that Forex4You offers a native trading platform for desktops, mobiles, and browsers. It also supports MT4 and MT5.

No. Pairs 50+
Other Assets Indices, commodities, stocks
Commission $8 per lot
EUR/USD Spread From 0.1 pips
Platforms Proprietary web, desktop, and mobile trading platform, MT4, MT5
Max. Leverage 1:1000
US Clients? No, not accepted

Pros pros

  • Minimum floating spreads of 0.1 pips on EUR/USD
  • Provides Level 2 data for insights into market depth
  • Multiple trading platforms support across desktops, mobiles, and browsers
  • Leverage of up to 1:1000 for eligible traders

Cons cons

  • High commission of $8 per lot
  • Very basic and outdated website

Trading on the Forex market involves significant risks, including complete loss of funds.

What is an STP Broker?

STP brokers execute forex orders via the Straight Through Processing model. In a nutshell, this means that forex orders are routed directly to liquidity providers. This is beneficial for traders, as there is no conflict of interest. This is because STP brokers do not have an internal dealing desk or proprietary order books.

As such, STP brokers are intermediaries between you and liquidity providers. However, unlike ECN (Electronic Communications Network) brokers, the STP model doesn’t allow traders to engage with other market participants. This means that there is still third-party involvement when executing quotes.

Moreover, some STP brokers charge a markup on the spreads they receive from liquidity providers. This isn’t always the case, but something to be aware of nonetheless. In other cases, the STP might receive a commission from the liquidity provider, or simply charge one to the trader. Either way, STP brokers never trade against their own clients, unlike market makers.

We should also note that some STP brokers operate hybrid models. For example, they might offer ECN pricing but execute positions through Straight Through Processing technologies. This is a benefit, as you’ll get the best spreads in the market without needing to worry about dealing desks.

Why Use an STP Forex Broker?

We’ll now take a closer look at the benefits of using an STP forex broker.

No Dealing Desks 

STP brokers allow you to avoid dealing desks. For those unaware, dealing desks are usually implemented by market maker brokers that offer 0% commission trading. Instead of obtaining forex quotes and spreads from the broader markets, dealing desks create their own order books. This is very problematic for several reasons.

  • For a start, dealer desks are known to trade against their own clients.
  • This means that the broker will take the opposite position and offset the risk with its partnered liquidity providers. As such, the broker maximizes their profits when you lose.
  • The result is that you’ll often get unfavorable spreads when using a broker with an internal dealing desk.

The good news is that there’s no conflict of interest when using an STP broker. Although you might experience markups and/or commissions, STP brokers never have their own dealing desk. This means that you can trade in fair and transparent market conditions – something that’s crucial in the global forex market.

Faster Execution Speeds

Short-term traders favor STP brokers because they typically offer faster execution speeds. The reason for this is that the best STP brokers use multiple liquidity providers. These are often tier-one institutions like banks and currency exchange dealers. As such, execution speeds are often in the milliseconds.

JPY/USD

In particular, this is an important metric for scalpers and high-frequency traders, which often keep positions open for seconds, rather than minutes or hours. In contrast, market makers with dealing desks often utilize their own liquidity. This means that positions are often delayed or worse – rejected.

Competitive Spreads

Some STP brokers offer competitive spreads, but this can depend on the specific execution model. For example, if the STP broker uses a hybrid system, it might have access to ECN pricing. This means that forex quotes are obtained from the Electronic Communications Network, which is used by banks and institutional traders.

As such, STP/ECN hybrids offer spreads that reflect market forces, rather than an external liquidity provider. The only difference is that STP accounts won’t directly be buying and selling pairs with other market participants, as is the case with ECN brokers. Instead, STP brokers still route orders on their client’s behalf.

STP Brokers vs ECN Brokers: Which is Better?

  • STP and ECN brokers each have their own pros and cons, so you’ll need to determine your own priorities.
  • If you’re a scalper or high-frequency trader, the most important metric is obtaining tight spreads. In this instance, ECN brokers are the better option. That said, ECN brokers charge high flat commissions, which won’t be suitable for casual traders.
  • If you’re trading small amounts, STP brokers are more suitable. While you might pay a slight markup on spreads, this could be lower than a flat commission.
  • That said, either option is certainly better than using a market maker broker – which typically trades against their own clients.

How to Pick an STP Broker for Trading

Still not sure how to choose the best STP broker for you? Below, we explore the most important factors to consider when selecting an STP account.

Regulation and Licensing 

Before looking at spread markups, commissions, and other metrics, it’s important to check the regulatory status of the STP broker. Under no circumstances should you trade with an unregulated platform. Nor should you use one that’s solely licensed in a country with weak regulatory standards.

Instead, traders should focus on STP brokers that are regulated by tier-one licensing bodies. Examples include the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

There are many other examples of how tier-one licensing bodies keep you safe. The key point is that without a reputable regulator watching over the STP broker, you can never be sure you’re trading in a secure environment.

Spreads and Commissions

The best STP brokers offer competitive trading fees. There are two ways that STP accounts can be charged – spreads and commissions.

CAD/USD

We found that some providers charge a combination of the two. Alternatively, you might have the choice of two pricing models, depending on your trading objectives.

  • For example, standard STP accounts at BlackBull Markets offer 0% commission trading and minimum spreads of 0.8 pips.
  • While STP prime accounts come with a $6 commission per lot and minimum spreads of 0.1 pips.

If you’re trading large amounts, it’s always best to take lower spreads with a flat commission. However, casual traders should take a commission-free account with a slightly higher spread. This is because, even with a markup, the higher spread is likely to be lower than the flat commission.

How do ‘Per Lot’ Forex Commissions Work?

  • The best STP brokers for forex charge commissions per traded lot. For example, you’ll pay $3.50 per traded lot at FxPro
  • If you’re trading a USD pair, one lot is $100,000. This means for every $100,000 traded, you’ll pay $3.50. This amounts to just 0.0035% of the trade size.
  • However, FxPro – like most STP brokers, charges a commission per slide. This means you’ll pay it when opening and closing a forex trade.

It’s also worth exploring hybrid brokers that use ECN pricing but with an STP execution model. This means you’ll get the same currency exchange rates as banks and other financial institutions. But you won’t be trading with market participants, as orders are sent straight to liquidity providers.

Deposit and Trading Minimums 

Traders should also check what account minimums are stipulated by the STP broker. For example, most STP brokers have a minimum deposit requirement – which can vary widely.

  • For example, there’s no minimum deposit requirement at HF Markets.
  • However, Swissquote has a minimum requirement of $1,000. This might be too high for casual forex traders who are just starting out.

In addition, check the minimum trade size required by the STP broker. In the vast majority of cases, this will be 0.01 currency lots (about $1,000). However, some STP brokers – especially those aimed at professional traders, might require a full currency lot. This means a minimum trade of $100,000.

Trading Platforms 

It’s also important to check what trading platforms the STP broker supports.

The majority of STP accounts are compatible with MT4 and MT5. These are third-party platforms that connect to hundreds of brokers. They come with lots of charting features, such as indicators and drawing tools – not to mention advanced order types. Moreover, both MT4 and MT5 support forex EAs, which are automated robots.

MT4

Some STP brokers also have their own proprietary trading platforms. It’s worth seeing what trading tools these support and whether they’re suitable for your skill set.

Leverage 

If you’re based in a country with strict regulations on leverage, you’ll be limited no matter which STP broker you use.

However, outside of tier-one trading zones, there are rarely any leverage restrictions in place. This means that the best STP brokers offer much higher limits to retail clients.

For example, HF Markets offers leverage of up to 1:2000 on major pairs. This means for every $100 in your brokerage account, you could place a forex position worth $200,000. That’s two full currency lots.

How Does Leverage Work When Trading Forex?

  • In simple terms, leverage allows you to trade forex with much more than you have in your account. It’s essentially a loan from the STP broker, which needs to be repaid with interest.
  • For example, suppose you want to enter a forex position worth $20,000. Your broker offers leverage of 1:100. This means that you only need to put up $200 to execute the trade. In other words, you’ve amplified your stake by 100 times.
  • However, leverage is also risky. If the trade declines by a certain amount, the broker will send a ‘margin call’. This informs you that the trade is about to be closed unless you add more funds.
  • If you don’t – and it’s ‘liquidated’, you’ll lose your entire stake. In this instance, that’s $200.

Conclusion 

In summary, STP brokers route currency orders directly to liquidity providers, ensuring that there’s no conflict of interest. We found that BlackBull Markets is a good choice for forex traders.

It offers two STP accounts with competitive fees, leverage of up to 1:500, and support for over 70 currency pairs. What’s more, BlackBull Markets is compatible with several popular trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and TradingView.

Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors.

References  

FAQs  

What are STP brokers?

Which forex brokers are STP?

Which broker has the best STP account?

Are STP brokers better?

How do I choose an STP broker?

Kane Pepi
Editor
Kane Pepi
Editor

Kane Pepi is an accomplished financial and cryptocurrency writer who has an extensive portfolio of over 2,000 articles, guides, and market insights. With his expertise in specialized subjects such as asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and financial crime prevention, Kane has built a reputation for providing clear explanations of complex financial topics. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and a Master's Degree in Financial Crime, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree, which focuses on investigating the complexities of money laundering in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology sectors. Kane's wealth of knowledge and experience in the field make…