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AuthorAuthor: Jeffrey CammackPublished: December 6, 2019
EditorEditor: Chris CammackUpdated: February 26, 2024

Last Updated On February 26, 2024

Jeffrey Cammack

Over the last decade, Forex trading has become increasingly popular among New Zealand residents. For a Forex broker to operate in New Zealand, it must be authorised by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), New Zealand’s financial regulator. The FMA ensures Forex brokers adhere to strict laws and rules designed to protect traders. In this guide, we explain what the FMA is, how it protects Forex traders, the advantages of trading with an FMA-regulated broker, and how to check if a broker is FMA-regulated.

To identify New Zealand’s top Forex brokers, we compiled a list of all brokers regulated by the FMA and then evaluated them based on several factors. According to our hands-on analysis, these are the best Forex brokers in New Zealand for 2024:

Best Forex Brokers New Zealand 2024

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Broker
Broker Score
Official Site
Min. Deposit
Max. Leverage (Forex)
FMA Regulated
Beginner Friendly
EUR/USD - Standard Spread
Cost of Trading
EUR/USD - Raw Spread
Total CFDs
Currency Pairs
Platforms
Compare
IG
4.69 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
69% of retail CFD accounts lose money
AUD 030:1 Excellent0.60 pipsUSD 60.85 pips1929580MT4, L2 Dealer, ProRealTime
BlackBull Markets
4.28 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
N/A of retail CFD accounts lose money
USD 0500:1 Excellent0.80 pipsUSD 80.18 pips2611570MT4, MT5, WebTrader
Axi
4.34 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
75.6% of retail CFD accounts lose money
AUD 030:1 Excellent1.00 pipsUSD 100.00 pips18870MT4
CMC Markets
4.53 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
AUD 530:1 Excellent0.70 pipsUSD 70.70 pips12146350MT4, CMCmarkets
ThinkMarkets
4.18 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
71.89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
AUD 030:1 Excellent1.20 pipsUSD 120.00 pips415046MT4, MT5, ThinkTrader

Until recently, Forex brokers operating in New Zealand were not subject to strict regulatory oversight. In 2014, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) introduced a voluntary licensing regime for Forex brokers, but it continued to receive many complaints from traders, the most common being that clients had difficulty withdrawing their funds from offshore brokers. As a result, in 2017, it mandated that all Forex brokers in New Zealand must be licenced by the FMA. This allows the FMA to enforce regulations and protect New Zealand consumers. Having said that, Forex traders from New Zealand can legally trade with offshore brokers, but they have little protection in the event of a dispute with the broker. 

How we Reviewed the Best Brokers in New Zealand for 2024

When choosing the brokers listed above, we rated them based on over 200 metrics, focusing on the following key features:

  • We chose brokers that were regulated by the FMA and double-checked their registration on the FMA’s official website. 
  • We only selected transparent brokers with a high trust rating and those with broker scores above 4 out of 5 stars. 
  • All the brokers listed are transparent with their fees, have some of the lowest trading costs in the industry, and have fast trade execution. We opened a live account and compared the trading fees on each instrument to other brokers. 
  • We checked the number of tradable instruments available at each broker to ensure that they offered a good range.
  • We ensured that the brokers offered a good choice of user-friendly, reliable platforms like MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, or their own web-based platforms. 
  • We ensured that the brokers offered beginner traders a coherent and well-structured trading course alongside a demo account. 
  • We assessed the brokers’ market analysis, ensuring that they offered well-curated up-to-date materials. 
  • We also contacted each broker’s customer service team. We checked out their availability, favouring those with 24/7 support via many channels (email, phone, and live chat), and those that were efficient, responsive, and knowledgeable.  

Our team of experts has examined each broker meticulously, ensuring that we only recommend the best in the industry. You can read our review process here.

These are the top FMA-regulated Forex brokers in New Zealand for 2024, as determined by our review process.


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IG – Best Regulated Broker

Broker Score
4.694.69 / 5
🏦  Min. DepositAUD 0
🛡️  Regulated By
💵  Trading Cost 
USD 6
⚖️  Max. Leverage30:1
💹  Copy Trading
🖥️  Platforms
💱  Instruments 
  • World’s largest broker by revenue
  • Listed on the LSE and a member of the FTSE 250
  • Offers over 17,000 financial instruments to trade

Who is IG for?

IG caters to both new and experienced traders by offering accounts with different features. Beginners will appreciate the zero-minimum deposit account and access to educational resources, while experienced traders benefit from advanced platforms with lower trading costs and a huge range of tradable assets.

Why we like IG

We like that IG is one of a handful of brokers regulated by the FMA and that it’s listed on the London Stock Exchange. It also has low-cost trading accounts with no minimum deposit requirements, a great range of trading platforms, and world-class education and market analysis materials.

Drawbacks

It’s difficult to find any drawbacks at IG. The only issue that New Zealand traders may have is that it charges a currency conversion fee of 0.5% for trades denominated in anything other than the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). However, this will be similar to many other brokers.

Overall, IG is an excellent all-round broker, regulated by the world’s top authorities, including the New Zealand FMA, and is listed on the LSE. It offers a great range of trading platforms and tools, and commission-free accounts with no minimum deposit requirements and low spreads. Traders can choose between over 17,000 financial instruments to trade – one of the largest ranges in the industry, and we love IG’s community Forums, technical analysis, blogs, and market updates through IGTV.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Great platform choice
  • Excellent education
  • Excellent market analysis
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, ProRealTime and L2 Dealer platforms supported. IG Markets Group is regulated by FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA.

BlackBull Markets – Lowest commission account

Broker Score
4.284.28 / 5
🏦  Min. DepositUSD 0
🛡️  Regulated By
💵  Trading Cost 
USD 8
⚖️  Max. Leverage500:1
💹  Copy Trading
🖥️  Platforms
💱  Instruments 
  • Founded in New Zealand and regulated by the FMA
  • Great range of trading accounts with low spreads
  • Extremely fast trade execution

Who BlackBull is for

 

BlackBull Markets is an ECN-only broker providing direct market access on the MT4 platform. BlackBull Markets offers three account types, the ECN Standard, ECN Prime and ECN Institutional. Leverage on all accounts is set at a maximum of 500:1. The ECN Standard Account has a minimum deposit of 200 USD and no commission, with a minimum spread of 0.8 pips. The ECN Prime Account has a minimum deposit of 2000 USD and spreads start at 0.1 pips. A commission is charged of 3 USD per lot per side (6 USD round-turn). The institutional account has a minimum deposit of 20,000 USD and spreads starting from 0.0 pips. This account is specifically for professional traders, and commission is negotiable.

BlackBull Markets is a true ECN/STP broker and does not operate a dealing desk. Equinix servers based in New York (NY4), London (LD5) and Tokyo (TY3) allow for lightning-fast market access, while Straight Through Processing prevents slippage and failed executions that can occur at other ECN brokers.

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Good for beginners
  • Wide range of assets
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • High minimum deposits
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.80 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Blackbull Markets is regulated by the FMA & the FSA-Seychelles.

Axi – Best ECN broker on MT4

Broker Score
4.344.34 / 5
🏦  Min. DepositAUD 0
🛡️  Regulated By
💵  Trading Cost 
USD 10
⚖️  Max. Leverage30:1
💹  Copy Trading
🖥️  Platforms
💱  Instruments 

Axi only offers support for the MT4 platform. This singular focus allows them to offer the best ECN MT4 experience with the help of the MT4 NexGen plugin that includes an advanced sentiment indicator, a correlation trader, a more intuitive terminal window, and an automated trade journal. Apart from MT4 NexGen, traders at Axi have access to a range of tools, including AutoChartist and PsyQuation – an AI diagnostic that tracks your trading style and coaches you into more profitable trades. VPS hosting is also available, along with all the trading algorithms which install on MT4. 

The ECN trading conditions come from Axi’s pricing model, which connects to over 20 liquidity sources, so traders experience less slippage and requotes than with a broker with a singular source. Spreads on the Pro Account start at 0 pips with a 7 USD per lot commission, and the leverage maximum is 1:500 for non-European and Australian traders.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • MT4 only
  • Limited range of assets
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.00 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Axi Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC and the DFSA

CMC Markets – Best FMA Trading Conditions

Broker Score
4.534.53 / 5
🏦  Min. DepositAUD 5
🛡️  Regulated By
💵  Trading Cost 
USD 7
⚖️  Max. Leverage30:1
💹  Copy Trading
🖥️  Platforms
💱  Instruments 

Few brokers have a minimum deposit as low at 5 AUD, in exchange for all the features available at the brokerage. The company vision “to provide the most superior and unrivalled trading experience for our clients” definitely comes in at a reasonable level for beginner traders.

While ASIC-regulated CMC Markets currently only offers a single live account, spreads are tighter than most of its competitors with a minimum spread for EUR/USD at 0.70 pips and GBP/USD at 0.90 (no commission per lot) keeping trading cost at USD 7 USD per lot. Max leverage is 30:1 , and margin rate is 0.20% on this account. 

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Excellent market analysis
Cons
  • No swap-free account option
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & CMC Proprietary platforms supported. CMC Markets is regulated by the ASIC, FCA, MAS and the FMA.

Is Forex Trading Legal in New Zealand?

Yes. Forex trading is legal in New Zealand. Though it is not illegal for New Zealanders to use a Forex broker that is not regulated by the FMA, traders should be wary about using offshore brokers. Even if the broker is regulated by reputable offshore authorities, such as the FCA of the UK or ASIC of Australia, New Zealand traders will not have the protections afforded to them by trading with an FMA-regulated broker. 

What is the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (FMA)?

The FMA regulates New Zealand’s financial markets. Its role encompasses a broad regulatory mandate to ensure fair, efficient, and transparent financial markets in New Zealand, which includes monitoring financial service providers, including Forex brokers, to ensure they meet obligations and treat customers fairly. 

To do so, it aligns its regulations with international standards, ensuring that New Zealand’s financial market operates at a level comparable to other major global markets. The FMA mandates that:

  • Forex brokers provide fair trading conditions, accurate pricing, and transparent fee structures. 
  • Brokers separate client funds from operational funds, ensuring traders’ money is not used for the broker’s business activities. This protects client funds even if the broker faces financial difficulties.
  • Brokers provide all traders with negative balance protection, ensuring they cannot lose more than their initial deposit.
  • They must provide client fund protection, including higher margin close-out percentages and belong to a compensation scheme that pays up to 200,000 NZD in case of broker bankruptcy. 
  • Unlike brokers in the UK or Australia that have a leverage limit of 30:1, Forex brokers regulated by the FMA can offer leverage of up to 500:1, further adding to their appeal. 
  • Brokers must be completely transparent and are required to disclose pertinent information to traders, such as potential risks, fees, and any conflicts of interest.
  • Brokers must undergo regular audits and assessments to ensure compliance with financial standards and operational integrity.

FMA Warnings

The FMA also regularly publishes consumer alerts regarding companies and purported representatives operating in New Zealand that are unlicensed. This database is fully searchable and we find it very user-friendly.

It is also worthwhile checking your chosen broker against this database to be doubly sure that there are no outstanding warnings against them.

How do I check if my broker is FMA-regulated?

To check if a broker is regulated by the FMA, consumers can look for the broker’s FMA license number on their website, usually found in the footer or a dedicated regulation section. It’s crucial to cross-check this number against the official FMA website to confirm the broker’s regulatory status:

  1. Click on the tab “Finance professionals” and then “Licensed & reporting entities.”
  2. Type the name of the Forex broker into the search bar below:
  3. If the Forex broker is indeed regulated by the FMA, the results will display the broker’s licence number, which you can compare to that on the broker’s website. It will also display the licence category, when the licence was issued, and whether the licence is active.

Can the FMA help me in a dispute with my broker?

It is important to note that the FMA will not be able to assist traders if they have a dispute with a Forex broker.

However, Forex brokers regulated by the FMA must be members of the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR), and all members of the FSPR must belong to a dispute resolution scheme (DRS). These schemes will assist traders in finding a resolution. All Forex brokers will be members of one of the following:

    1. Financial Services Complaints Limited – An independent not-for-profit dispute resolution service that resolves complaints about financial service providers. 
    2. Financial Dispute Resolution – operated by FairWay Resolution, it seeks to find fair dispute resolutions for the complainant and broker. 

How do I complain about a Forex broker?

If you need to complain about a Forex broker, you should first take your complaint to the company and follow their official complaints procedure. If your complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, your next step is to complain to their dispute resolution scheme. A condition of being licensed by the FMA is that brokers must belong to a dispute resolution scheme. 

Why is FMA Regulation Important for New Zealanders?

Regulation is essential for protecting your money and ensuring a fair and transparent trading experience.

When trading Forex, you want to be confident that your broker is operating legally and ethically and that your funds are being handled safely. Regulated Forex brokers must adhere to strict standards set by regulatory bodies, which include requirements for capital adequacy, segregation of client funds, and ongoing reporting and compliance. This means that your funds are protected and your trading experience is fair.

Unregulated brokers are not held to the same standards. This can lead to a higher risk of fraud or unethical practices, which can result in financial losses for traders. Choosing a regulated Forex broker gives you peace of mind and security, knowing that your investments are protected.

Scam Brokers and Reporting Regulatory Violations

If you believe you have been scammed by your broker, you can check if the scammer is named on the FMA’s warning list and contact them to formally investigate the case. 

We also have a report a scam broker form which we use to gather information so that we get the word out. Your personal details will not be shared externally. If you are unsure about the reliability of your Forex broker, you can check our list of brokers to avoid

Conclusion

Though the new regulatory environment in New Zealand has led to a short-term decrease in the number of international brokers operating in the country, it has also led to a significantly safer market for retail traders.

We find that the FMA is a very transparent and responsible regulator, and as New Zealand gains a reputation as a reliable and secure country for Forex trading, we strongly believe that the industry will expand in the future.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Leverage, market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection. Traders should not deposit any money that is not considered disposable income. Regardless of how much research you have done or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more about these risks from the Australian regulator, ASIC or the UK’s regulator, the FCA).

Our Rating & Review Methodology

Our overall Forex Rankings report and Directory of CFD Brokers to Avoid are the result of extensive research on over 180 Forex brokers. These resources help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones. These resources have been compiled using over 200 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research. Our team conducts all research independently: Testing brokers, gathering information from broker representatives and sifting through legal documents. Learn more about how we rank brokers

Editorial Team

 

Chris Cammack
Head of Content

Chris joined the company in 2019 after ten years experience in research, editorial and design for political and financial publications. His background has given him a deep knowledge of international financial markets and the geopolitics that affects them. Chris has a keen eye for editing and a voracious appetite for financial and political current affairs. He ensures that our content across all sites meets the standards of quality and transparency that our readers expect.

 

Alison Heyerdahl
Senior Financial Writer

Alison joined the team as a writer in 2021. She has a medical degree with a focus on physiotherapy and a bachelor’s in psychology. However, her interest in forex trading and her love for writing led her to switch careers, and she now has over eight years experience in research and content development. She has tested and reviewed 100+ brokers and has a great understanding of the Forex trading world.

 

Ida Hermansen
Financial Writer

Ida joined our team as a financial writer in 2023. She has a degree in Digital Marketing and a background in content writing and SEO. In addition to her marketing and writing skills, Ida also has an interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. Her interest in crypto trading led to a wider fascination with Forex technical analysis and price movement. She continues to develop her skills and knowledge in Forex trading and keeps a close eye on which Forex brokers offer the best trading environments for new traders.

 

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