CMC Markets Review
  • Commissions & Fees
  • Trustworthiness
  • Tools and Features
  • Customer Service
3.5

Summary

Have you been interested in trying CMC Markets, the forex broker? Being one of the oldest regulated UK FX brokers, CMC Markets has garnered a lot of attention. With a larger variety of tools and features, CMC Markets claims to have what you need. The question is, is CMC Markets legit or a scam? Read our review to learn the truth.

About CMC Markets 

CMC Markets is a financial dealer providing access to thousands of trading instruments, traders from all over the world are able to trade Indices, Forex, Shares and ETFs, Commodities and Treasuries. CMC Markets is considered to be one of the leading global providers of online retail financial services among traders all over the globe, with a seriously impressive variety of trading instruments.CMC Markets Logo

CMC Markets has been awarded a ‘Financial Services Provider of the Year’ title 8 years in a row, and has won over 100 awards globally. Full list of CMC’s awards for the last 6 years are available here: https://www.cmcmarkets.com/group/awards CMC Markets Awards

History of CMC Markets

CMC Markets was founded in 1989 in the United Kingdom by the current CEO Peter Cruddas who is a banker, businessman and philanthropist. In the 2007 Mr. Crudda was named the richest man in the City of London, with an estimated fortune of £860 million and as of March 2012, Forbes already estimated his wealth at $1.3 billion, in 2019 his estimated net worth is over $2 billion.

In 1996, CMC Markets became the first company in the world to launch an online Forex trading platform, making Forex market accessible to retail traders. Since then, CMC has been growing exponentially, spending millions to expand the product range to including CFDs, Stocks and spreading its presence across the globe. Currently CMC Markets has 12 offices around the world, it is listed on London Stock Exchange and offers over 10,000 various trading instruments.CMC Markets Timeline

CMC’s Annual Reports and Financial Statements are available to public here: https://www.cmcmarkets.com/group/results/annual-reports 

Trading Instruments

Availability of certain instruments depends on trader’s country of residence, CFD trading is not available in some regions and are limited to certain CFDs in the others. In addition, CMC Markets are only able to provide access to instruments permitted to them by the regulators. Below is a list of trading instruments which are available to most traders globally.

Asset class Number of products Minimum spreads Margins rates from
Forex 338 0.7 points 0.20%
Indices 99 1.0 points 0.20%
Cryptocurrencies 12 1.4 points 10%
Commodities 117 0.3 points 0.50%
Shares 4925 0.10%1 1%
Treasuries 55 1 point 0.25%

Account Types

CMC Markets offer couple of different account types, each dedicated to a set of specific instruments and trading platform. Overall, every account type allows the same functionality with only one main difference — some accounts are limited to a certain set of trading instruments. If a trader wants to trade Forex, CFDs and Stocks, two separate accounts will have to be created, because no one account will allow trading every single instrument provided by CMC. 

Important Note About CMC Accounts

CMC Markets is not a ‘regular’ Forex Broker that so many traders are used to, CMC offers spread betting rather than Forex trading (Spot Forex). Many people assume that spread betting and Forex trading are almost identical, there are however a lot of important differences. 

The most important difference between the two types of transactions is that spread betting is recognised as a form of gambling while Forex trading is recognised as a form of speculative investment.

 

  • Resident of the UK and Ireland can benefit from spread betting, due to its recognition as gambling.

 

  • Spread betting is not allowed for Muslims, because it is considered Gambling, which is prohibited under the Islamic sharia law. 

 

 

For more information about Forex Spread Betting, please refer to an article on Investopedia: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/forex-spread-betting.asp 

Forex Account (CFD Account)

Traders who wish to trade only Forex instruments do not have to burden themselves with a choice of account. CMC offers only one account for Forex Trading, which offers average spreads on all instruments and can be traded on ‘MetaTrader 4’ or ‘Next Generation’ platform.CMC Markets FX Trading

Average Spread, Margin and Trading Times for Majors

Instrument Minimum spread Margin rate from Trading hours
AUD/USD 0.7 0.20% Mon 06:00 to Sat 07:00
AUD/JPY 1.3 0.20% Mon 06:00 to Sat 07:00
AUD/NZD 2.6 0.30% Mon 06:00 to Sat 07:00
EUR/CHF 2.5 3.665% Mon 06:00 to Sat 07:00
EUR/GBP 1.1 0.20% Mon 06:00 to Sat 07:00
EUR/JPY 1.5 0.20% Mon 06:00 to Sat 07:00
EUR/USD 0.7 0.20% Mon 06:00 to Sat 07:00
GBP/CHF 2.8 0.25% Mon 06:00 to Sat 07:00

Full list of spreads, margin requirements and trading hours is provided by CMC here: https://www.cmcmarkets.com/en-au/forex-trading 

MT4 (MetaTrader 4) Forex Account

Traders who wish to trade with MetaTrader 4 will have to open a separate account, CMC Markets does not allow traders to use one account on both platforms. The good news is that traders with existing accounts do not need to provide their documents again for verification, the process is straightforward, but might be a bit confusing.

Holding Costs
Currency Interbank rate
AUD One month bankers acceptance bill
CAD One month bankers acceptance bill
CHF One month Libor
DKK One month Copenhagen interbank offered rate
EUR One month Euribor
GBP One month Libor

 

Guaranteed Stop-Loss Order Charges
Product CFD GSLO premium rate Trade size GSLO premium1, 2
EUR/USD 0.0001 USD per EUR €50.000 S$5.29
AUD/USD 0.00008 USD per AUD AU$50,000 S$5.29
GBP/USD 0.00015 USD per GBP £50.000 S$5.29
US 30 1.50 USD per unit 5 units S$6.61
Ger 30 1.50 EUR per unit 5 units S$7.48
Gold 0.3 USD per unit 10 units S$3.97

CMC MT4 Account opening process is covered in the ‘Account Opening’ section of our review.

CFD Account

CFD Account is the main account type offered by CMC Markets, it includes all the available trading instruments: Forex, Indices, Cryptocurrencies, Commodities, Shares and Treasuries. With CFD Account, traders get access to over 10,000 different products. CFD Account holders get access to free education, seminars, webinars, market analyst ‘Insights’, Morningstar quantitative equity research reports and much more, all available free only for CMC CFD Account holders.

CFD Account Fees

Besides the standard spreads, there are other costs to consider when trading various instruments. Fees depend on how long the positions are being held open for, which products is being traded, and trader’s risk appetite.

For full list of potential fees and charges we recommend visiting CMC’s official fees page: https://www.cmcmarkets.com/en-sg/cfds-costs 

Stockbroking Accounts

Australian citizens have an additional account type – CMC Markets Stockbroking Account, which offers a nice selection of investment products available on both the ASX and SSX. These include shares, mFunds, warrants, ETFs and more.

Market Data Fees
Market Currency Market data fee
Australia AUD 20.00
Hong Kong HKD 120
Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA Various 0.00

 

Shares Buy part ownership of a listed company on the ASX.
International shares You can further diversify your portfolio and access eleven international markets all online with one account.
Options Flexible tools that appeal to active investors. Used wisely, options have the power to protect, grow or even diversify your position.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) A simple way to buy a diversified portfolio of investments, offering all the benefits of index funds and the flexibility to buy and sell on the ASX.
Interest rate securities and bonds Investing in bonds and interest rate securities allows you to diversify your portfolio and lend money to the issuer. This loan is paid on a fixed or floating rate of return.
Warrants An alternative way to gain exposure to some of Australia’s leading companies and a variety of other underlying assets.
Listed Investment Companies (LICs) Similar to managed funds and ETFs, LICs invest in a diverse and professionally managed portfolio of Australian and international assets.
mFunds A cost effective way to invest in unlisted managed funds through the mFund Settlement Service brought to you by the ASX, via our online platforms.
Managed funds Get your entry fees rebated with some of Australia’s leading fund managers, offering funds covering all asset classes.
IPOs and placements You can gain direct entry to the primary market with access to both traditional and ASX Bookbuild IPOs and placements with CMC Markets Stockbroking’s platforms.

CMC Markets Stocks

Stockbroking sub-account types

Based on specific share trading requirements traders have 3 options to choose from, cash-settled account, margin loan account or sell share only service.

Cash-settled account 

Allows settling trades with cash and earn competitive interest on funds at call when traders are not investing

Margin loan account 

Leveraged share trading using a margin loan from any margin lending provider of trader’s choice, similar to FX Leverage

Sell share only service 

Very interesting option for traders, who do not wish to open an account. Traders are able to take advantage of CMC’s sell only service, an easy way to sell issuer-sponsored shares. Great option for those, who received their shares in a privatisation, demutualisation, or as part of a salary package.

CMC Stockbroking VS CompetitionCMC Markets Competition

*Above comparison data is provided by CANSTAR and updated on the 26th of September 2019.

Account Opening Process

Account application process with CMC Markets is as simple as it can get, furthermore, the process is incredibly fast, especially for UK and most EU residents. 

Step 1: Navigate to cmcmarkets.com and click on any “Create Account” link, there are literally dozens of account opening links all over the site. CMC Markets Account Opening

Step 2: Choose your country of residenceCMC Markets Country

Step 3: Provide your email address and choose a passwordCMC Markets Email and Password

P.S. Demo Account holders will be logged into own Demo Account and application process will continue.

Step 4 & 5: Provide additional details about account holder, including personal identification details, residential address and financial status.CMC Markets Additional

Step 6: Proceed to your Account to finalise the applicationCMC Markets Final

Step 7: Identity and Address verificationCMC Markets VerificationCMC Markets Options

Step 8: Explore the platform while verification is in process.

CMC account opening process depends on how quickly required supporting documents have been provided; CMC states that, on average the process takes a couple of days. Once the documents have been submitted, usually within one business day CMC representatives will be in touch, confirming acceptance of documents and usually approval of application, as long as documents were suitable.

There are few additional things CMC Markets might request from an applicant. As per CMC guidelines, the following might be requested during verification process: 

 

  • Checking or savings bank account statement — via post or email

 

  • $1 personal cheque payable to CMC Markets Canada mailed to CMC Toronto office
  • Banking verification form (provided by the bank)
  • In-person verification with registered representatives

 

 

MT4 Account Opening Process

Since MetaTrader 4 is not a platform CMC Markets would like their clients to use, MT4 Account opening process is not as swift, but it is still relatively straightforward. 

In order to open an MT4 account, it is required to choose ‘Platform’ from the main menu and choose ‘MetaTrader 4’ and then select ‘Create Live Account’.CMC Markets MT4

Second step would be to fill out the basic data for new MT4 account and select ‘Get Started’CMC Markets Get Started

!NB. Clients with existing accounts do not have go through verification process, however new traders will have to go through the process described earlier in this article under the ‘Account Opening Process’ section.

Once MT4 Account application is done:

CMC will send an email with server details to login into your MT4 Terminal. CMC does not have their own MT4 terminal, for that reason traders have to use CMC server details during login. Furthermore, before being able to login into MT4, traders have to create an MT4 password, because it is not the same as for the Client Area on the site.

To create a password for a new MT4 account, it is necessary to login into the the Client Area and select MT4 AccountCMC Markets MT4 Select

From that point the very first option will be to create a password for the accountCMC Markets MT4 Password

This is basically it, not as straightforward as with most brokers, but it is actually much easier than it might appear. Trader is now able to login with newly created password and start trading with MT4, as long as the account is funded.

Next Generation Trading Platform

CMC Markets provides a highly-customisable and sophisticated trading platform which is suitable for traders of any level,  traders are free to customise every piece of the interface and functionality. Novice traders can chose to have a basic setup, without clogging the screen, whereas experienced traders get to have any imaginable setup with an enormous amount of analytical tools, news from reliable sources, trading analytics, and even pattern recognition scanners.CMC Market Next Generation

Next Generation Platform Features

The charting package for CMC Platform includes over 115 technical indicators and drawing tools, more than 70 chart patterns and 12 chart types built in, so you can access all the features you need to analyse price movements and conduct detailed technical analysis.

CMC Platform is considered to be one of the most advanced trading platforms in the industry, from many perspectives it is more advanced than cTrader and MetaTrader 4, the only advantage that MetaTrader 4 has is the ability to create own indicators and Expert Advisors.CMC Markets Trading Tools

As a matter of fact, the platform is so extensive, that just reviewing half of its features and talking a bit about provided functionality might require a completely separate article. 

For those traders, who are interested to learn more about Next Generation Platform, we suggest to read official explanation of the platform on CMC’s site: https://www.cmcmarkets.com/en/platform. A better option would be to open a Demo account with CMC markets. It literally takes minutes and allows Demo account traders to evaluate majority of functionality and tools.

CMC Markets Safety and Reputation

CMC Markets is considered to be one of the safest financial service providers in the world. Besides everything, CMC is one of the oldest companies of their kind in the industry, of course that doesn’t mean that the company can’t fail its clients at any point, but it gives a little extra assurance. All the financials of CMC Markets are available for public eye, anyone interested in reviewing the wellbeing of CMC Group, can follow this link: https://www.cmcmarkets.com/group/governance/regulation and review good standing of the firm. 

As we mentioned in the beginning of the article, in 2019 CMC Group has had the worst year up to date, CMC Markets UK plc’s profits declined drastically, from 52 Million in 2018 to 9,5 Million by 2019. By the time this article is written, 2019 is far from over and company’s profit situation might improve. In any case, it is worth noting, that the company is still in huge profit, even though the figures have declined, it does not mean that CMC Markets is not doing well.

Regulation and Insurance

CMC Markets is a regulated entity, CMC Markets UK Plc is regulated by the FCA, registration number 173730. FCA is an organisation belonging to the top three regulatory bodies in business of financial services and is considered to be one of the toughest regulators on the market. Because CMC Markets is regulated by FCA, every retail customer automatically falls under FSCS protection, in case of a fail of financial service. Being under FSCS protection means that cellists are offered up to £85,000 should something bad happen to a company or one of its banks, where the client funds are being held. 

Funds Safety and Segregation

Like any regulated and reputable broker, CMC segregates funds of all their retail clients and they openly provide information, in which banks the client funds are being segregated. Currently CMC uses following banks for client funds segregation: Natwest, Barclays and Lloyds in UK, Ulster Bank in Ireland, Deutsche Bank in Germany and Barclays in France. In accordance with FCA requirements, CMC Markets has to perform daily client funds reconciliations, this process helps ensure that funds held in segregated bank accounts always accurately reflect retail client assets.

Reviews

CMC Markets has a truly remarkable diversity of reviews between different review platforms. 

Most of Forex Peace Army reviews are negative, the company has an overall score of 1.72 with over 115 reviews, which is very unusual for such a big and supposedly reliable company. Most reviewers are beyond unhappy with the customer support and having issues with trade fills. All up to date ‘FPA’ reviews of CMC Markets are available here: https://www.forexpeacearmy.com/forex-reviews/41/www.cmcmarkets.com

On Trustpilot platform CMC Markets has an excellent score of 4.6 with over 500 reviews up to date. Majority of Trustpilot reviewers are endorsing Next Generation Platform, which as we ourselves have mentioned in this article is truly a sophisticated tool for trading. All Trustpilot reviews are available here: https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.cmcmarkets.com?page=14

!NB: Most of the positive reviews on Trustpilot started appearing in 2019, specifically May 16 up to May 20 seems to be suspiciously fruitful for good reviews. We are not insinuating anything by pointing this fact out, we are merely sharing our observations with our readers.

Reviews from Australia (productreview.com.au) are frankly terrible, CMC Markets is rated 1.6 by 26 reviewers, company received 22 1-star reviews, 1 4-star review and 3 5-star reviews. Most of reviewers have provided very detailed explanations, why they gave CMC Markets the lowest score, all reviews are available here: https://www.productreview.com.au/listings/cmc-markets 

Conclusions For CMC Markets

CMC Markets is a behemoth, which has been growing and evolving for the last 30 years, it provides traders with a huge variety of trading instruments, a sophisticated trading platform packed with all imaginable tools and extras and has physical presence in most parts of the world. 

Unfortunately most of comments about the company we have seen and our own investigation lead us to believe that CMC Markets has a lot of room for improvement. Most importantly CMC’s customer support is not what it should be in a company of such dimensions, or in any company for that matter. And last, but far from least, there have been a lot of reports about clients being unable to withdraw their funds and profits.

We cannot recommend CMC Markets as a broker of choice, the company clearly has been in the market that long for a reason, and has grown because people trusted and still trust it. If we see any positive changes to how the company is handling its clients and client withdrawals, we will be happy to reevaluate our opinion.  

Pros

  • Enormous amount of Instruments
  • Very advanced trading platform
  • Access to a lot of ‘extras’ for live clients
  • Competitive pricing on non-FX instruments
  • Regulated by FCA

Cons

  • Bad Customer Service
  • Forex fees are far from lowest
  • No Spot FX trading