Forex Brokers Accepting US Clients in 2021

Forex Brokers Accepting US Clients in 2021

In most parts of the world, trading forex and contracts for difference are deemed the most accessible investment instruments. Across most of the world, retail investors can start trading on the forex market with as little as a few hundred dollars. Millions of people trade forex every day, and there are thousands of brokers catering to the demand. However, the situation is very different for traders seeking forex brokers accepting US clients.

Article Summary

The forex trading industry in the United States is complicated. Many critics say the forex regulations in the United States are a clear case of over-regulation and it has led to the industry becoming stifled and uncompetitive.
 
The symptoms of the strict forex regulations in the US are exceedingly high compliance and financial barriers to running a brokerage business in the US, which caused many firms abandoning the market and prevented new ones from entering leading to consolidation. The enforcement of complex trading policies is unappealing to most traders.

When you think of the world’s leading financial centers, places like London, New York, Tokyo and Singapore spring to mind, although New York is a finance hub, it no longer has any significance in the world of trading FX. There are no noteworthy reasons why an average retail investor from Europe, or anywhere else, would be interested in opening a forex trading account with a US forex broker.

Which Forex brokers are accepting US clients?

Naturally, if you’re a US resident or citizen, nothing is stopping you from opening an account with a US registered broker. 

Unfortunately, that means dealing with all of the leverage, hedging and FIFO restrictions. Many traders find they can’t trade effectively under those conditions. 

Therefore, they look for offshore brokers which do accept US clients. 

There are a few offshore brokers who are willing to provide forex trading services to US traders. We don’t recommend US citizens trade with these offshore broker and to do so would be at your own risk.

These are the four US regulated Forex brokers accepting US clients: Forex.com, Oanda, IG US and ATC brokers. 

List of Forex Brokers Accepting US Clients

FOREX.COM
Forex.com

Broker Name: Forex.com

Broker TypeMarket Maker
RegulationsNFA, CFTC, RFED, FCM
Min Deposit$50.00
Account Base CurrencyUSD CAD GBP
Max Leverage 50:1
Trading PlatformsFOREXTrader, Metatrader 4

FOREX.com is a registered FCM and RFED with the CFTC and member of the National Futures Association (NFA # 0339826).

oanda
Oanda

Broker Name: Oanda

Broker TypeMarket Maker
RegulationsIIROC, CIPF, NFA, FCA, CFTC, ASIC, MAS
Min Deposit$1.00
Account Base CurrencyAUD CAD EUR GBP HKD JYP SGD CHF USD
Max Leverage 50:1
Trading PlatformsWeb trading, Metatrader 4, Oanda desktop trading platform

OANDA Corporation is a registered Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED) with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and a Forex Dealer Member (FDM) of the National Futures Association (NFA # 0325821, which can be used to search for more information about OANDA using the NFA’s BASIC resource). Please refer to the OANDA Corporation Risk Disclaimer for details.

ig
IG

Broker Name: IG US

Broker TypeMarket Maker
RegulationsIIROC, NFA,
Min Deposit$250.00
Account Base CurrencyUSD
Max Leverage 50:1
Trading PlatformsWeb trading, Metatrader 4, Mobile app

IG is a trading name of IG US LLC (a company registered in Delaware under number 6570306). Business address, 200 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 1450, Chicago, IL 60606. IG is a registered RFED and IB with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and member of the National Futures Association (NFA ID 0509630).

atc brokers logo
ATC Brokers

Broker Name: ATC Brokers

Broker TypeMarket Maker
RegulationsIIROC, NFA, CIMA
Min Deposit$3000.00
Account Base CurrencyUSD
Max Leverage 50:1
Trading PlatformsMetatrader 4, MT Pro

ATC BROKERS (US) is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA 358522) and is a registered introducing broker with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Offshore brokers which do accept US clients

fxchoice
FXChoice

Broker Name: FXChoice

Broker TypeECN
RegulationsIFSC
Min Deposit$100.00
Account Base CurrenyUSD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, Bitcoin, Gold, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and XRP
Max Leverage 200:1
Trading PlatformsMetatrader 4/5

As of June 2021, Fxchoice no longer accepts US clients.

LMFX broker
LMFX

Broker Name: LMFX

Broker TypeECN
RegulationsUNREGULATED
Min Deposit$50.00
Account Base CurrenyUSD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, Bitcoin, Gold, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and XRP
Max Leverage1:1000
Trading PlatformsMetatrader 4, Web trader, Mobile app(MT4)

Is Forex trading legal in the United States?

Many people wonder if forex trading is even legal in the US, and it’s a fair question. Although the regulations are completed, it’s most certainly legal to trade forex in the United States.

What often misleads people is that when you visit most forex and CFD brokers websites, you’ll probably see a notice in the footer of the website stating that they don’t accept US citizens or residents as clients. 

In most of the world, leveraged forex trading and contracts for difference are often regulated under the same legislation and offered together by brokers. 

However, CFDs are not allowed to be sold to retail investors in the United States. Any overseas broker selling CFDs to a US citizen would be violating federal laws and may be prosecuted by the SEC. 

Because of the considerable risk involved in cooperating with US forex traders, many firms keep their distance.

Introduction to forex regulators in the United States

There are two primary organizations in the United States which are responsible for regulating and overseeing the forex market. 

However, there are even more organizations for regulating other financial products and trading instruments in the US. Most countries only have one national competent authority to report to.

The prominent regulator in the US is the SEC, and you’ve probably heard of them in films and TV shows like Billions. The Securities and Exchange Commissions is a federal government agency. The SEC is responsible for regulating securities in the US and the exchanges where they are traded[1]. According to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the SEC is also responsible for overseeing the self-regulatory organization (SROs).

US brokers must register with the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), which is a federal regulatory agency and become a member of the NFA (National Futures Association), which is an SRO[2]

Collectively, the CFTC and the NFA are responsible for regulating Forex brokers accepting US clients, and those two agencies are governed and empowered by the SEC. 

As forex trading currency pairs are not considered as securities, and they are not necessarily traded on exchange venues, the SEC does not have immediate jurisdiction over those markets[3].

Forex trading rules followed by US brokers

Forex brokers operating in the US are required to follow a number of very specific rules in terms of how the products are structured, which differ significantly from other countries, such as the UK, Australia, Europe and others. 

These rules originate from the legendary Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Limitation on leverage

Although most financial regulators around the world have reviewed their stance on leverage, at the time, the US was one of the only countries which imposed strict limits on how much leverage brokers can give to traders. When trading with a US broker, you’re only able to get leverage up to 1:50 on major currency pairs and 1:20 on minor currency pairs[4].

PairsLeverage
Major Pairs1:50
Minor Pairs1:20

Prohibition on hedging and FIFO offsetting

According to a rule implemented by the NFA in 2009, retail forex brokers must not allow their clients to hedge trades, which means they may not have long and short positions held concurrently. 

In addition, if a trader chooses to have more than one position of the same currency pair, they cannot choose which position to close first, they are closed according to a First-in First-out rule[5].

Intense capital requirements for brokers

Forex brokers regulated in the United States are required to follow very intensive capital requirements. 

New brokers would be required to set aside a $20 million of their own assets[6]

Moreover, the membership fees, compliance fees and operating costs are incredibly burdensome. 

Former CEO of CFXM Drew Niv estimated the American forex brokers could save as much as $10 million each year if the Dodd-Frank Act were to be repealed[7].

There are so many rules and regulations surrounding retail trading products in America. 

The regulations were so burdensome that brokers ultimately gave up on the idea of providing brokerage services in the US. 

In 2007, prior to dramatic regulatory reform, there were 52 retail forex brokers[8]. As of December 2020, there are just four retail brokers registered in the USA (Forex.com, Oanda, IG US and ATC brokers)[9]

Conclusion Summary:

Currently in 2021, there are 4 Forex brokers accepting US Clients that are regulated within the United States.

The four Brokers are:

  1. Forex.com
  2. Oanda
  3. IG US
  4. ATC Brokers

Forex brokers that operate offshore that accept US traders are:

  1. FXChoice, no longer accepts US Clients.
  2. LMFX

About This Article

Author: Roslan SkarsgardRoslan has worked for numerous forex brokers and investment firms in London, Cyprus, Malta & Singapore in various sales, marketing and operations roles.

Reviewed & Edited by: Mark Prosz

Sources of information and credits for this post include: 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Securities_and_Exchange_Commission

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Futures_Association

[3] https://www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/011515/top-usregulated-forex-brokers.asp

[4] https://www.cftc.gov/sites/default/files/idc/groups/public/@newsroom/documents/file/forexfinalrulefactsheet.pdf

[5] https://www.nfa.futures.org/rulebook/rules.aspx?Section=4&RuleID=RULE%202-43

[6] https://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/5883-10

[7] https://www.financemagnates.com/forex/analysis/repealing-dodd-frank-trump-spark-global-deregulation-race/

[8] https://financefeeds.com/cfd-regulation-global-impact-comprehensive-guide/

[9] https://www.nfa.futures.org/registration-membership/membership-and-directories.html

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