Forex Direct

With forex direct market access (DMA), you can trade CFDs on the physical market, without the need for a middleman. Get an edge with our DMA service, Forex Direct – it gives you better pricing, higher liquidity, faster execution and more control over your own trades. Find out more about Forex Direct with IG, including the benefits of forex DMA and the costs involved.

What is direct market access in forex trading and how does it work?

Direct market access (DMA) is a type of FX execution that offers traders access to the physical market without intermediaries. Traditionally, FX trading is conducted through a forex broker, who will request quotes from exchanges and market makers, and then present the best price to their client. But DMA is an electronic trading mechanism that enables you to see the different orders and prices yourself, and then place your trade accordingly.

It is important to note that while you are trading based on underlying market prices and depth, what you actually receive when placing a trade is a CFD from us. Forex DMA works like this:

  • DMA displays the best bid and offer price available for a particular market, plus further prices on either side of the order book
  • You place an order, and we instantly conduct a margin check to ensure you have sufficient funds to cover the margin on your proposed trade
  • If the margin check is successful we place an order in the market and, at the same time, create a parallel CFD between you and us

Forex Direct is suitable for advanced FX traders only.

Forex Direct platforms

Trading apps
Trade with DMA on our iOS and Android apps

L2 – our free DMA platform
Download our DMA platform, designed for our traders and using algorithms created in Excel

Terminals and APIs
We provide full FIX API support for traders using their own front-end technology

Benefits of direct market access in forex

There are a variety of advantages of direct market access, such as setting your own price and dealing directly with other market participants. Other benefits of DMA include:

  • Faster execution
  • Full forex market transparency
  • Extended data on currency pairs
  • Prices from a wide selection of global banks and liquidity providers

Drawbacks of direct market access in forex

Because of the complex trading environment of forex DMA, there can be increased risk and a few potential downsides that you should be aware of before you start trading:

  • Prices are not necessarily better than OTC, but our pricing technology is engineered to find the best available prices on both OTC (over-the-counter) and DMA
  • As we take a parallel position in the underlying market, once an order has been executed we are unable to change or reverse the position
  • While you are trading at market prices, you do not gain any ownership rights over the currencies which form the subject of your CFD

Forex DMA costs


Unlike OTC trading, there is no IG spread to pay. Instead we charge a variable commission – as low as USD10 per USD million worth of the currency traded. This charge is based on the volume you traded in the preceding month.

If your account is not denominated in USD, the commission will be converted into your base currency (at current exchange rates) before being deducted.


Size (millions of USD)

Commission (USD per million)

1500+ 10
<1500 20
<500 30
<100 60

Minimum commission per order: $3 

Average spreads

There are no IG spreads with Forex Direct – instead you are trading on buy and sell prices provided by major banks and currency providers.

* Time-weighted (22:00-20:00 GMT) average spread by trade (quoted to three decimal places), October 2016.


  Average FX Direct spread*
AUD/USD 0.512
EUR/JPY 0.702
EUR/USD 0.263
GBP/USD 0.992
USD/JPY 0.293

How do I get Forex Direct?

  1. To trade DMA with IG you need to open an account and activate DMA within our web-based dealer.
  2. Choose which platform you'd like to trade on: download our mobile trading app, or our specialised L2 dealer.
  3. If you choose to trade via our app, you will need to give us a call to request DMA access.


What do I need to start trading forex with direct market access?

To start trading forex with DMA, you will need find a suitable forex DMA provider, and open a trading account with them. It is also important to build a suitable forex trading strategy and implement a risk management strategy to minimise currency risk.

Learn more about how to trade forex

How can I trade forex with direct market access?

DMA displays the best bid and offer price available for a particular forex pair, plus further prices on either side of the order book. You would then select your favoured price and place an order. Once we have checked you have sufficient funds to cover the margin, we place an order in the forex market and, at the same time, create a parallel forex CFD between you and us.

Remember, because you are trading CFDs, you are not taking ownership of the currency itself.

What is the difference between sponsored access trading and direct market access?

With DMA, you can use our technology and gain access to a range of benefits that IG provides. Unlike DMA, sponsored access trading uses the technology, but does not pass through the broker or provider’s management systems – instead the order is validated by the exchange itself. This means that there is no pre-trade risk management, or other advice from your provider.

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