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CMC Markets Review – Are They Safe or a Scam?

Our CMC Markets Review 2024

CMC Markets was founded in 1989 and has grown to become one of the leading retail forex and CFD brokerages around the world. CMC Markets services over 57,000 clients, across its entities regulated in the UK, Canada, and Australia.

In this review of CMC Markets experience and rating, we look at how it has achieved the status of a safe, low-risk broker for trading crypto, forex and CFDs. The CMC Markets Next Generation platform comes with a selection of almost 10,000 tradable instruments. It delivers a terrific user experience, advanced tools, comprehensive market research, and an excellent mobile app.

Offers and New Customer Experience - Fast and simple

CMC Markets is a market leader in low-cost trading, offering costs to forex traders that are measurably lower than the industry average. The proprietary Next Generation platform has three basic order types with the option of attaching “take profit” and/or “stop-loss” orders to them.

You are also able to set an initial stop loss at the time of execution for market orders and then amend it to a guaranteed stop-loss after execution. For pending orders, you can choose both guaranteed and/or trailing options when filling out the order ticket prior to execution.

In this section of our CMC Markets Review, we will take a look at the different market orders and trades for the benefit of new users:

  • Market – This is the simplest order where a trader signals that their trade request should be executed at the prevailing market rate.
  • Limit – A pending order where the entry is at a predetermined point below or above the prevailing market rate depending on whether it’s a buy or sell. You’ll also have the option of selecting the expiration time of the order.
  • Stop – A pending order where the entry is set at a predetermined point above or below the prevailing market rate depending on whether it’s a buy or sell. You’ll also have the option of selecting the expiration time of the order.

Usability - Great experience on an award-winning platform

CMC Markets’ best-of-class ‘Next Generation’ platform has a clean and modern design, is highly customisable, and boasts an advanced order panel. At first, it may appear that CMC’s web platform is a little advanced for beginners. However, the platform guide will help you familiarise yourself very quickly.

Our expert team at CMC Markets review took some time to test the platform and were delighted to report being extremely impressed with its design, which is geared toward optimising speed and usability. The layout wizard lets you choose between floating or fixed windows, so you’ll be able to choose between predefined layouts or a custom setup for crypto trades.

One feature that stands out is the Breakout and Emerging Patterns tools, which are categorised and ranked by their signal strength probability. These chart patterns auto-adjust when the chart time-scale is changed, enabling you to scan from a one-minute chart to a monthly chart and see any respective patterns identified.

The Chart Forum offering is a social-media style forum that allows you to post technical analysis and see the posts of others directly on a chart, including posts from dedicated CMC Markets analysts. Once enabled, if you are looking at a EUR/USD chart, for example, and click to view a user’s post in the accompanying Chart Forum section, their full analysis (indicators included) loads on your chart. Naturally, you’ll want to be careful with who you take opinions from, but we think being able to distinguish in-house staff from the public is a nice innovation.

Accounts - Seamless activation and ease of use

Opening an account with CMC Markets is fundamentally simple and fully digital. Account verification normally takes no more than 1-2 business days.

Being FCA regulated lends credibility, as CMC Markets goes to great lengths to ensure account security. Negative balance protection gives you peace of mind, and the premium for guaranteed stop-loss execution is reasonable, given the account-saving risk management it provides in volatile market conditions. There are no hidden costs, and the free withdrawal (through wire transfer) is a welcome feature indeed.

To verify your identity, a photo of both sides of your driver’s license, national ID card, or passport is accepted. For residency verification, you can upload a bank statement, utility bill, mortgage statement, or credit card statement.

You may be required to upload more than one document for identity or residency verification. This was not immediately clear to us, which eventually led to a longer account opening procedure.

Trading Platform - Quintessentially “Next Generation”

CMC’s flagship platform is a feature-rich, web-based offering aptly named “Next Generation.” This, coupled with the universal MT4 (downloadable) platform and a functional mobile application, brings the entire online offering right to your fingertips.

CMC provides access to an extensive range of offerings, both CFDs (including crypto) and spread betting, across several different asset classes.

Aside from the impressive complement of forex, the product roster includes commodities, indices, and individual shares, a comprehensive government bond listing and 14 cryptocurrency offerings.

The platform is highly customisable; in fact, it’s one of the most customisable platforms we’ve tested to date. It lets you save up to 10 custom platform templates, although one draw-back we found is that it lacks two-step authentication.

The CMC Markets’ Next Generation platform is available in 9 languages, namely Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish.  You will be able to access the platform via the web, tablet, or mobile, and we think it will please technically ­oriented clients wanting to upgrade from MetaTrader 4.

In addition to all these great lineaments, it also features advanced charting with 115 indicators/overlays, 12 chart types, and 35 drawing tools, as well as customisable watchlists, client sentiment and a streaming Reuters feed. Charts can also be popped ­out to build and optimise complex desktop layouts.

Trading Payments - Lower than the industry average

If trading costs matter to you, CMC Markets has you covered. For our 2021 review, CMC Markets finished first in this category, thanks to its low spread offerings for all customer segments and account types.

Our CMC Markets reviews highlight competitive pricing that is better than the industry average and lets you trade on the price of cryptocurrency against the US Dollar, via a CFD account. The broker advises that minimum spreads will vary with after-hours trading.

If the underlying market spread widens throughout the trading day, or you are trading out of market hours, the platform spread may also widen. The spreads shown are for the first price available for the average market trade/bet sizes in the relevant product. The spread will widen for larger trade/bet sizes and can be viewed in live time on the CMC website.

Bank Transfer

CMC Markets trading and withdrawal fees

CMC Markets is one of the most transparent brokers in the market, which helps to easily calculate your trading costs. For example, we really liked that you can check historical financing costs. With CMC Markets you can trade CFDs on a range of cryptocurrencies using USD, including (but not limited to) Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and dash. You’ll need a Pro account to do this though.

We know it’s hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. So how did we approach the problem of making their fees clear and comparable? We compare brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products. These catch-all benchmark fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers.

CMC Markets does not charge withdrawal fees for a domestic bank, credit/debit card, or electronic wallet withdrawals. However, if you’d like to receive your funds instantly (via bank transfer) or you use an international bank transfer, however, this comes at a charge.

Customer Service - All bases covered

CMC Markets offers an excellent fit for all types of traders, with a wide product offering, their best-in-class Next Generation platform which boasts accessibility, rich features, a plethora of research amenities, useful educational resources, crypto news, and an emphasis on customer service.

In this day and age, an online broker that does not place a high priority on addressing the needs of its customer in an efficient and satisfactory manner may be doomed to failure.

CMC Markets has included contact options to cover all the bases, with email for clients and prospective clients, 24/5 local phone support, and comprehensive FAQ and support libraries.

The live chat function can be launched from within the Next Generation platform, which is very convenient. Chat waiting times averaged 30 to 40 seconds during several contact attempts. We found that the live chat feature is super responsive, as we got succinct answers to all our questions in under a minute.

Phone support was great, with short waiting times, helpful operators (across multiple languages), who spoke in a clear, understandable manner.

This being said, CMC Markets runs 13 satellite offices on 4 continents to support licensed operations in other geographical locations. We also found that the Twitter and Facebook accounts were filled with up­-to-­date comments and active client interactions.

CMC Markets customer support is only available Monday to Friday, though it is available 24 hours a day, which is a great help for customers across the globe.

Regulation and Deposit Insurance - Your money in safe hands

CMC Markets is regulated through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under registration number 173730. The broker also takes steps to ensure that none of its client funds are mingled with corporate funds, in accordance with the U.K. FCA’s client money rules.

FCA - Financial Conduct Authority
ASIC - Australian Securities and Investments Commission
IIROC - Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada
BaFin - Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
MAS - Monetary Authority of Singapore
FMA - Financial Markets Authority

This ensures that client assets are protected in the unlikely event that CMC becomes insolvent by holding client funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks. These segregated funds are held in a number of the U.K. and European banks to further disperse risk to you – their most valuable client.

You will also have additional asset protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), although it does not provide any layers of private insurance, which is an omission, given CMC’s large industry footprint.

Negative balance protection is now mandated under ESMA rules that came into effect back in 2018. The broker’s dealing desk acts as the initial counter-party on all CFD trades and spread bets, although pricing is automated through the platforms which ultimately reduces any potential conflict of interest.

Additional Features - Trading instruments galore

CMC Markets offers clients one of the largest product catalogues available in the online trading community. As advertised on the CMC website, clients can trade up to 10,000 instruments, which opens up many new opportunities, especially with longer-­term portfolio managers.

Spreads are competitively low and all financial instruments – with the exception of individual shares, have specified margin percentages. CMC’s margin rates on shares start from 20% on U.K. and U.S. shares. Different margin rates apply for large position sizes on shares, depending on which tier the position size falls under.

The broker’s software security is aligned with the best that the industry has to offer. In addition to two-factor and biometric authentication, there is a timer that will log you out of the mobile application if it is not being used for a certain amount of time.

CMC Markets Crypto

Trade Offer - What can you trade?

CMC Markets is an industry leader that lets you trade on popular cryptocurrencies with leverage, from Bitcoin and Ethereum to TRON and NEO on its award-winning spread betting and CFD platform. Tight spreads and lightning-fast execution mean that this broker works hard for the highest customer satisfaction in the industry.

Trading Costs - The fees involved

Apart from spreads and margins, there may be some other costs to consider, depending on how long you hold positions open for, which products you trade, and your overall approach to risk management. CMC Markets offers precision pricing with aggregation from 18 different feeds, which means you get the most accurate price available.

On this platform, you’ll be spoilt for choice to either Spread bet or trade CFDs on baskets of cryptocurrencies with its All Crypto Index, Major Crypto Index and Emerging Crypto Index. CMC crypto indices offer a unique, cost-effective way to trade on the wider cryptocurrency market, without having to trade multiple, individual coins.

When we look at the trading costs specifically, daily holding costs for BTC/USD are charged at 0.0959% on long positions and paid at 0.0274% on short positions. Overnight holding costs for most other cryptocurrencies are charged at 0.0753% on long positions and paid at 0.0274% on short positions.

Trading Conditions - Things to keep in mind

Trading CMC Markets crypto means you do not own, or have any interest in, the underlying assets. They recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before trading. Spreads may widen depending on liquidity and market volatility and it must be mentioned that Investing in CMC Markets derivative products carries significant risks and is not suitable for all types of investors.

In order to increase your exposure to the crypto market, CMC has grouped different cryptocurrencies together in order to create three new crypto baskets which allow you to trade on multiple cryptos with a single position.

Product Summary - An excellent choice for crypto traders

With competitive pricing and nearly 10,000 instruments to choose from across nearly every market and asset class, CMC Markets is a great choice for crypto and CFD traders.

Probably the best feature we found for this broker is the CMC Markets Next Generation platform. It’s powerful and versatile, with plenty of configuration options and tools for traders to customise the platform to meet their needs. In 2021, the Next Generation platform won industry awards for #1 Platform Technology and #1 Web Based Platform.

Overall, CMC Markets finished Best in Class across ten categories in 2021, continuing its streak near the top of the industry in all key areas.

CMC Markets Review FAQ

🧲 Is CMC Markets safe?

CMC Markets is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. CMC Markets is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by four tier-1 regulators (high trust), two tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). Head over to our review section to find out more.

🎯 Is CMC Markets reliable?

CMC Markets is considered safe and reliable because it has a long track record, is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and overseen by top-tier regulators. Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage, be sure to do your due diligence by reading the Regulation section before jumping in headfirst.

💸 Can I get CMC Markets crypto?

Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker’s UK entity nor to UK residents and you will need a Pro account to trade this way. Our expert review on CMC Markets crypto vertical will tell you everything you need to know.

‼️ Are there any CMC Markets scams?

Our review of CMC Markets has found none of the sorts. The fact that they offer their day traders a custom-built trading platform for Spread betting and CFD trading. Also available is the standard MT4 trading platform. Their trading platform is very advanced, yet fairly easy to use at the same time. Make your way to our expert review to learn more.

Overall Conclusion - Up there with the best in industry

CMC Markets is a well-established, publicly traded, and highly regarded U.K. forex broker that has successfully adapted to the ever-changing online brokerage landscape. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, CMCX.

With competitive pricing and nearly 10,000 instruments to choose from across nearly every market and asset class, CMC Markets is a great choice for global forex and CFD traders. The Next Generation platform (fully interoperable on desktop, mobile and tablet) is powerful and versatile, with plenty of configuration options and tools for traders to customise the platform to meet their needs.

In 2021 the Next Generation platform was chosen as #1 Platform Technology and #1 Web Based Platform and overall, CMC Markets finished Best in Class across ten categories, continuing its streak near the top of the industry in all key areas. Our overall scoring of this broker was almost close to perfect and we can, with certainty, recommend using their services.

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