Does a real ECN broker exist?

Hi guys, all I am tirelessly looking for is a real ecn broker that will not try and scam me. With this I intend that their LPs are fair and are not the sister company. Does and ECN broker exist? Just a normal DMA/STP/ECN broker. I heard about dukascopy but they apparently take the ther side of your trade. Brokers such as interactive brokers have a min deposit of 10k which is too much. 5k would already be the limit. Please let me know, I do not trust ctrader as their LPs are dodgy as hell (in my opinion.)

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If you can afford it, then yes they do exist. IB (interactive brokers) [to name one of a few legitimate] min £10k non US resident or as a US resident £1M in assets will grant you access.

But, as you quite rightly assume, many many retail brokers offer fabricated ECN accounts which are running off of an underlying market maker or in house settlement business model. But, let’s not forget that this is not necessarily a bad thing? It’s not cheap to offer true ECN and the broker’s that do offer true ECN rely on the real relationships that they hold with thier LPs.

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If you only have 5G you’ll have to trade with a bucket shop like the rest of us. Don’t worry but, there’s some good ones out there.

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Interbank access starts from $1M I guess because if you trading doesn’t generate enough commission or brokers they won’t simply keep you on their platform.

As alternative you can try your feet with a brokers that hedge your orders using prime liquidity like lmax, currenex, etc. Try to find brokers that aggregate such LP’s and offer tightest spreads and best liquidity.
Among my recommendations are Tickmill, Hotforex, IC Markets. FXCM was good, but their problems with regulators scary me.

@caster27, James makes a great point.

You mentioned you are “tirelessly looking for is a real ecn broker that will not try and scam” you as if any non-ECN broker must be a scam.

It’s worth noting that for institutional traders,’s parent company GAIN Capital offers ECN solutions through the GTX marketplace. However, at the retail level, has always been open about our role as the market maker for the trades placed by our clients.

We feel no reason to hide this fact, because at retail trade sizes, we believe market making is the best way to provide customers with reliable pricing while effectively managing our own risk. We are fully accountable for every execution and don’t outsource that responsibility to a third party.

So here it is folks, the FX Brokers business model, an honest (the one) Broker fully acknowledging that they are on the other side of the trade. They can see your positions, margins, balances, your complete trading history and every trade is counted by the very operation you are trading with. Their MO is to increase profitability at your expense.

This is why 95% of traders get smashed and lose money in FX. Sure a large percentage have poor trading ability and money management skills but a significant percentage are beaten by the very company and platform they are trading with.

Retail ECN is a fantasy, Its all just one giant video game that takes real money and hurts real people.


You must have a good level of experience to start noticing unfair broker actions. Majority of cases the thief is market, because large players are extremely good at manipulation.

@Trendswithbenefits unfortunately, you’re not alone in having this misconception about market makers.

The reality is whenever you place a forex trade, there needs to be a market maker taking the other side since it’s an over-the-counter (OTC) market. Furthermore, market making is not exclusive to forex. You can visit the websites of several of the biggest futures and stock exchanges in the world to read about how they rely on market makers to provide liquidity and quality pricing.

While we do not actively trade against our clients, it’s true that as a market maker, we manage the risk on the other side of customer orders. It’s also true that we have many tools at our disposal to do this, and that’s a good thing for our clients.

We’ve automated every aspect of the trade process, with the goal of ensuring your trades are executed as fast as possible at the price you expect – or better. In 2016 we consistently executed 99.9% of trades on our FOREXTrader platforms in less than 1 second*, with an average execution speed of just 50 milliseconds, and over 66%* of limit orders received price improvement**. We have established a set of standards we use to measure execution quality for, and we publish execution statistics on a monthly basis.

*Execution speed represents the time it takes our execution engine to execute your trade once it has been received by the execution engine. This does not represent the time it take from when a customer clicks trade on the platform and when they receive their confirmation. **Execution Price statistics exclude instances where multiple limit orders were placed in the same account for the same instrument at the same price. ***Excludes trades that received non-standard order processing.

While that’s true, it’s also true that we operate in a highly regulated environment, with strong oversight into trading practices and execution. For example, as a US-regulated broker, provides the NFA with details of the transactions initiated by our retail forex customers, and must adopt and enforce procedures designed to ensure the integrity of trades and to ensure trades are executed at market on our various platforms. We are fully accountable for every execution – as a market maker, we don’t outsource that responsibility to a third party. If you ever have any questions or concerns post-trade, we’ll address it directly.

For 2016, approximately 98% of our average daily retail segment trading volume was either naturally hedged (buyers of a currency pair being offset with sellers) or hedged by us with one of our liquidity providers. Therefore, the idea we are actively trading against our customers is inherently false.

We take customer satisfaction seriously. If a market maker undermined its clients’ success would lose its clients. A key reason has grown to become one of the largest forex brokers in the US over the past 18 years is because our customers value the service we provide as their market maker. and all other US-regulated brokers are required to calculate actual profitability stats each quarter and make them available to the public, our customers, and the CFTC and NFA. For the calendar quarter ending June 30, 2017, there were 34,911 active non-discretionary trading accounts of which 31% were profitable and 69% unprofitable. These percentages are in line with much of the industry.

Trading carries a high risk, but we believe being a market maker is the best way to reliably and transparently service our customers.


As a market marker, do you also make money from the financing of the trade position?

For example, if I have a trade with 10 standard lots, that’s a rotational value of $1M. At 50:1 margin, I only have to put up $20,000. Doesn’t the market market offer me a “credit line” to access the remaining $980,000. And rather than the market maker put up this money themselves, it finances it and simply marks up what it costs to borrow., I appreciate the depth and transparency of your response to my post.

There’s no misconception going on here.

As is in your T&C’s (RE; release of info to 3rd Parties) there is nothing stopping you exposing your client base’s overall open volumes and positions to your LP (possibly a condition of supply) so as giving them the opportunity to flatten their risk. Hence when all screen indicators show that the price should be moving down the price suddenly moves (or spikes) up, taking back as much liquidity as possible before moving back to the original direction.
It’s also interesting that as a Broker you hedge to flatten risk, yet retail hedging was banned in the US by the regulators, obviously the LP cannot take your funds if you hedge as well, “don’t play us at our own game.”
The fact that your Broker can see your positions is very concerning. Scam, not quite, but climb on a ladder and you will be able to see one from there.

I now understand why once I open a position that it instantly goes against me. It’s my Brokers algorithm scrambling to flatten its risk by placing a trade(s) against my position. Some of the “FX Dreamers” on this site seem to think it’s an illusion.

Ok, let’s do the math, so ~ 24,000 clients lost money and ~ 11,000 made a profit in the second quarter of this year.
Now lets “guestimate” that a large percentage of the 24k are newish traders who are trading 0.01 or 0.05 positions say 5 times a week. Commission / Spread values are approximately £0.01 to £0.08 per trade. So in that quarter the new trader is only spending ~£2.50 per 12 week Qtr, with you if he wins 50% of his positions.

Now if you educate that trader to take long safe stops (say 50 - 80 pips) on 0.01 or 0.05 lots, then working in conjunction with your LP to move the market (we have already confirmed that price is set by the LP, not the Market) algorithm to flatten as much risk as possible. You only have to hit the traders stop twice a week (~£3.50ea) and you have increased your take from the trader to £42.00 per 12 week Qtr.

So what’s best for business, £2.50 x 24,000 = £60,000 or £42.00 x 24,000 = £1,000,000

Very rough figures which doesn’t include the traders that don’t use stops and lose far more per trade than £3.50!!

You can understand what this shows. Basically their exposure is a third of their base.
Like throwing down £100.00 on a craps table knowing the due diligence shows you’re only risking £30.00
Possibly why so many MM Brokers are opening for business every month, it’s a 6 Billion a day operation using FIAT pricing that is near impossible to regulate properly because trades do not take place on an open ECN market but more of a casino style video game and it’s an extremely lucrative model.

Sounds like you need to learn to trade pal, ironic given your username. Your scepticism is what feeds the retail markets, all be it amusing but fundamentaly incorrect. You sound exceptionally insecure with what your doing here, my guess is that this has a negative impact on your trading.

I especially like the part where you say “trades go immediately against you every time because your broker is scrambling it’s algorithm”! :joy:

I love the Internet sometimes.

Thanks James. But the trading is just fine. I use a Grid based system so I don’t give a s*&t which way they push the market.
“Fundamentally incorrect” ehh, which bit James? confirmed everything I stated.

Bye the way, false hope feeds the retail markets, scepticism saves people from getting burned, you know that.

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Ahhh the good old grid approach, and we all know how they work out long term - plain statistics should tell you that :sweat_smile:

The problem with skepticism, in general, is that it’s really based on opinions, it’s misguided advice to traders who don’t understand but want to understand the underlying market dynamics.

Some examples from your previous post being:

  1. Brokers colluding with LPs
  2. Brokers aiming to move price
  3. Brokers having algo’s moving the market immediately against you.
  4. LPs ultimately driving price, not liquidity

Is this your view on all retail brokers, or perhaps just those that are MM?

We take ownership of our postions and don’t blame “the market”.

It is but an illusion.


Directional Grid EA guided by the CCI, very profitable when used with built in Equity Protection. Price continually going up and down plays into this strategy.

So that’s how it works, undermine their trading technique when unable to prove your point, with emojis, really.

Not TRUE ECN, they are properly regulated, all MM yes, maybe you can explain the Hedging ban for the US based?

FXCM US was busted for having a hidden vested interest its liquidity provider, another illusion perhaps.

No illusion Bob, place a trade, price reverses 2-3 pips for 5 - 15 seconds until returning to original price.
That’s why I use the EA, I don’t get fooled by the randomness of price action.

No illusion, 2-3 pip reversal? Just imagine the arbitrary scalping that you could have taken advantage of… free money @_bob!!

By the way TWB, it’s refreshing to see that you can take some light ‘stick poking’, it’s all clean fun and nothing personal. Much to go around in these forums :hugs:

Oh and we like free money @RISKonFX.

If only it was that easy @Trendswithbenefits. As we said bro, we take ownership to our trade decisions. Thats why we don’t need to grid trade. PA is random but then it also has momentum. Each to their own however.

Barely covers the spreads and commission’s boys, not interested arbitrary scalping 2-3 pips.

Can we keep this thread on topic instead of discussing each other’s trading approach?