So you are a forex trader, or a new trading looking to break into the forex trading world in India? You have likely considered the global and Indian forex market very carefully.
When thinking about which of the top forex brokers offer to take up on opening an account, you may or may not have considered brokers in India, or at least those that are available for Indian citizens. If that is the case, then you find yourself in the perfect place.
Here we have taken at the foreign exchange market for Indian citizens and compiled a listing of the best forex brokers in India just for you.
Is Forex Trading Illegal in India?
For Indian citizens, this is the key question when getting involved in forex trading. The simple answer here is no. This however comes with some complexities for Indian forex traders that we will explain.
Forex trading in India is regulated by SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) similarly to the way in which foreign exchange and trading is regulated in other countries. The difference comes though with the fact that the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has made trading with some other currencies and the Indian Rupee illegal for fear of devaluing the Indian currency.
With that in mind then, the only forex trading acceptable for Indian forex traders to participate in is that of INR based pairs with major currency the USD, EUR, GBP, and JPY. The Indian government have recently relaxed the rules to allow the introduction of trading on other major foreign currency pairs such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, and USD/JPY. Other pairs are currently not available.
When it comes to online brokers and the Indian forex market, it is however illegal for Indian forex traders to use any online forex trading platform that is not regulated by SEBI. If you are reading this review as an Indian citizen based abroad, then you typically have more freedom from these regulations and you can follow the regulations of your local area.
Disclaimer: The following top 10 illustrates international forex brokers that offer forex trading services in India. However, we couldn’t find any information regarding their SEBI compliances (except from Alpari). If you’re based in India, and you want to open an account with them, contact local experts before taking any further action.
Top 10 of the best Forex Brokers in India today
Here’s our Top 10:
1. Alpari – SEBI Broker for Forex Trading
The first broker we will take a look at for Indian forex trading is Alpari. This is the only international broker that is considered a SEBI compliant forex broker for Indian traders. As an Indian forex trader or any other, we would recommend that you display some degree of caution in your forex trading here. This is due to the revocation of many of their top-tier regulations due to 2015 bankruptcy.
The broker is still regulated offshore by the FSC (C113012295). For Indian citizens you can check up on the companies regulatory licensing through SEBI with the following registration numbers:
With Alpari, there are no INR currency pairs available, though the other permitted pairs for Indian traders are certainly available. The spreads with this broker start from 0 pips with the ECN accounts.
There are a total of 3 retail accounts available for Indian traders. The standard account, ECN account, and micro account. The Alpari minimum deposit starts from $5 for the micro account, $100 for a standard account, and $500 for ECN account holders. You can deposit Indian Rupee through a local bank transfer or Neteller. This may incur some fees.
The next top broker for Indian citizens interested in forex trading is FXTM. Here also, there are no Indian Rupee currency pairs available, although everything else permitted for Indian forex traders is available.
There are a total of 6 FXTM account types to choose from. 3 of these types are ECN style accounts, the ECN account, cent account for micro trading, and the FXTM shares account. Minimum deposits for Indian traders and other forex traders start from $10 with the cent account, and $200 for the ECN account. The FXTM shares account is rather expensive to get started with a minimum deposit of $10,000 required.
As an Indian forex trader, you will be glad to know that you can deposit to FXTM through either eWallets or credit cards. Indian Rupee deposits through Neteller are available with no fees, however, since the broker doesn’t offer INR as a base currency, then a conversion fee may be applied.
XM is the next broker we will take a look at and they are particularly good if you are an Indian citizen forex trader located in the Middle-East or Asia. Although they offer no INR currency pairs, the other major forex exchange currency pairs are all offered. Spreads are also very competitive starting from 0 pips.
As an Indian forex trader again here you will find 6 available XM account types. These include the Zero Spread account, micro trading accounts, and a stocks trading account. You can access great minimum deposits that start from just $5, ideal for an Indian trader or others starting out in forex trading. This XM minimum deposit goes up to $100, or $10,000 if you want to open a shares account.
You can make your deposit through a wire transfer, eWallet, or credit cards. These methods are typically fee-free for Indian forex traders and others, although the currency will have to be converted as INR deposits are not supported.
You will also be glad to know as a forex trader that you can avail of the major Metatrader trading platforms in both desktop and mobile format for forex trading through XM.
eToro is one of the most well-known global online brokers and one of the first choices for Indian citizens who want to engage in social or copy-trading.
Although there are no INR currency pairs available for trading, there are a wide range of forex trading choices available. Spreads on these pairs do start from 1 pip however the typical spread may be a little higher.
When it comes to your eToro account types, one is available. The eToro minimum deposit for Indian forex traders is the same as others at $200 within most areas. Exceptions are made within Australia and the USA where the eToro minimum deposit is $50, or Russia and China where it is $500. Your account can be funded with real money through wire transfer, eWallets, or credit cards with all methods generally being fee-free.
Again, since Indian Rupee deposits are not supported, you may incur a small conversion charge since only the USD is available as a base currency for trading on the eToro proprietary platform.
Completing the first half of our top Indian forex broker rund-down is HotForex. They are another excellent choice for Indian citizens in the Middle-East or Asia.
There are no Indian Rupee currency pairs available although many others are of course supported, and the spreads remain highly competitive for forex trading, starting from just 0 pips.
A total of 6 HotForex accounts are made available to all traders with minimum deposits starting from just $5 for micro trading accounts. As an Indian trader or other, you can access a PAMM trading account of copy-trading account with minimum deposits of $250 or $300 respectively within this broker offering.
To make a deposit as an Indian citizen or any other real money forex trader, you can avail of wire transfers, eWallet deposits, or credit cards, all of which typically incur no fees. Since INR deposits are not supported, you will have to deposit in one of the accepted base currencies which are USD, EUR, or GBP.
Forex.com is a well-regulated broker within both the US and the UK. Therefore, it can be seen as ideal for Indian citizens residing in those countries. There are no INR currency pairs to choose from but the forex.com spreads do start from a highly competitive 0 pips.
If you are an Indian forex trader there are 3 accounts available with a minimum deposit starting from $50 with a retail account, the same for a commission-based account, and a direct market access account is available with a big minimum deposit of $20,000.
When it comes to real money funding for Indian citizens, wire transfers and credit cards deposits without fees are available. You should note though that INR deposits are not supported, but USD, EUR, GBP, AUD,and more are available base currencies.
Another top Indian forex broker for traders there and around the world is OctaFX. This broker, although providing no Indian Rupee currency pairs, does have spreads starting from 0 pips.
As an Indian forex trader here you can access three account types: The micro trading account through MT4, the ECN account through cTrader, or the Pro account through MT5. The minimum deposit here is $100 or $500 for a pro account.
Real money deposits for Indian citizens with this broker are available through eWallets, wire transfers, or credit cards typically with ne fees attached although INR deposits are not available.
The broker supports both USD and EUR as base currencies and is well-regulated globally by both the FCA in the UK, and CySEC in Europe.
Indian citizens and all forex traders looking for a top broker providing the best in ECN execution really need to look no further than Pepperstone. Although Indian Rupee currency pairs are not available, spreads do start from 0 pips through the two accounts available.
These two available forex trading accounts are both swap-free and can be opened with a Pepperstone minimum deposit of $200. Methods available for deposits include standard wire transfers, eWallets, and credit cards. These deposit methods are available with no attached fees.
No INR deposits are available since this is not a supported base currency. Indian citizens can deposit in EUR, USD, or GBP to this well-regulated broker that is overseen by both the FCA and ASIC in its operations.
Forex trading here takes place through a number of highly-respected trading platforms including MT4 and MT5 from Metatrader as well as cTrader.
AvaTrade is yet another well recognized broker and one of the top regulated forex brokers around that you can choose for trading. As an Indian citizen you will first find four account types available. These include the retail, standard, options, and spread betting accounts, all of which involve real money trading and a $100 minimum deposit.
Although there are no Indian Rupee currency pairs available for trading, you can still benefit from low spreads that start from 0 pips and deposit methods ranging from wire transfers, eWallets, and major credit cards.
These AvaTrade deposit methods are usually available with no fees attached and although INR deposits are not available, you can still choose from USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, and other available base currencies.
FBS is another top choice for indian citizens and other forex traders who are looking for the best in social trading and copy-trading services in particular. Again while there are no Indian Rupee currency pairs available to trade, the other markets are very much available and with spreads starting from a low 0 pips.
There are a total of 6 accounts available that you can use for real money trading. This includes a cent account for micro trading as well as an ECN trading account and a copy-trading account which still involves some real money risk.
When it comes to a minimum deposit for forex traders and Indian citizens trading through the broker, these start from $10 within Europe, and $1 outside Europe. Accounts can be funded with real money through wire transfers, eWallets, and credit cards usually with no fees attached. While INR deposits are not supported, both EUR and USD are available as base currencies.
Taking a closer look at the way that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) operates we noticed many things from an Indian traders perspective.
Among these is the fact that the body do not protect the deposits of a forex trader in the same manner as is allowed by other top regulatory bodies. This means they do not push the brokers to hold deposits in segregated accounts or through ICF. This is a major reason why some Indian forex traders criticize the organization for not doing enough to protect Indian traders.
SEBI are also flexible in the rules they set which provides this level of flexibility to be extended to the broker. We can see this in the provision of leverage for forex trading, with no limitations being enforced, however a 200:1 maximum leverage is typical.
Leverage can be risky and lead to losing your money in some cases. While ESMA and other well regulated forex brokers do provide negative balance protection, SEBI does not. This could lead to losing your money more than you have actually deposited, so you should be careful to manage this.
How to protect yourself from being scammed
This is something that of course we never want to happen, but we do always have to guard ourselves as forex traders against being scammed.
When it comes to Indian citizens and forex traders, these kind of scams have been previously reported from the broker AVFX with many forex traders claiming to have been victims of a scam forex broker.
Being a well-regulated forex broker means more often than not, being regulated by a well-recognized regulatory body such as FCA, NSA, ASIC, and CySEC. Well-regulated forex brokers under these conditions tend to also be ESMA/MiFID compliant.
With this, we would recommend against making deposits and dealing with unregulated forex brokers or those under offshore regulation for maximum protection as a forex trader. Finally, as an Indian trader and Indian citizen interested in forex trading, if you want to be certain that you are trading in a legal and protected manner, you should choose a SEBI regulated broker or if this is not the case, you should try to consult with the local authorities before making any deposit or trades.
Some of these measures, as well as taking care to choose the best Indian forex broker from our listing can make sure that you remain both compliant and well-protected as a trader in the forex market.