In order to put together a list of the best no-ESMA forex brokers we have taken the following elements into consideration:

  • The regulations of the no-ESMA broker
  • The leverage offered by no-ESMA offices
  • The protections offered by no-ESMA branches
  • The quality of trading services
Table of Content



CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

1. IC Markets : overall trading experience

  • With IC Markets you have two no-ESMA options to open your account: under FCA (Seychelles) and SCB (Bahamas).
  • Under these two regulations, leveraged trading is up to 500:1 on forex (FCA) or up to 200:1 (SCB).
  • You will be protected with segregated funds under these 2 no-ESMA entities of IC Markets.
  • IC Markets offer many trading platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, Myfxbook, and ZuluTrade.
  • Trading forex with IC Markets is on over 60 currency pairs with a spread from 0 pip on EUR/USD.
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

2. AvaTrade : fixed spread trading

  • AvaTrade is a broker with a no-ESMA branch and traders are able to apply for FSC regulation in the British Virgin Islands or for the FSCA in South Africa.
  • Under these regulations, leverage on forex is up to 400:1 for any client.
  • Segregated bank accounts are standard for each AvaTrade entity as well as negative balance protection.
  • Occasionally, AvaTrade offers welcome bonuses for new clients under their no-ESMA branch.
  • AvaTrade offers several trading platforms including MT4, MT5, DupliTrade, ZuluTrade and owns AvaOptions, AvaSocial, and AvaTradeGO.
  • AvaTrade offers more than 50 forex pairs charging fixed spreads from 0.9 pips on EUR/USD.
79% of retail investor accounts lose money

3. Admirals : wide range of account types

  • Admirals offer two no-ESMA branches under JSC regulation in Jordan or FSCA in South Africa.
  • The maximum leverage available outside ESMA jurisdiction with Admirals is 500:1 on forex.
  • Trading with Admirals outside ESMA you will be protected with segregated bank accounts and insurance coverage up to $100,000.
  • Clients under no-ESMA branches may be eligible for an Admirals 100% welcome bonus for up to $5,000.
  • Admirals provide forex trading on over 50 pairs with a floating spread from 0.1 pips on EUR/USD.
76% of retail investor accounts lose money

4. XM : no-requotes environment

  • XM holds only FSC regulation in Belize where ESMA restrictions do not apply.
  • Traders applying with the non-ESMA entity of XM can avail of leverage on forex up to 1000:1.
  • Even when outside ESMA jurisdiction, XM is able to provide segregated bank accounts and negative balance protection to all clients.
  • Traders under FSC regulation are eligible for an XM deposit bonus of up to $5,000.
  • XM supports only MT4 and MT5 trading platforms.
  • XM provides over 50 forex pairs charging low spreads from 0.1 pips.
77,37% of retail investor accounts lose money

5. FBS : best for beginners

  • FBS is regulated in Belize by the IFSC and therefore is able to provide services from a non-ESMA office.
  • Clients under the non-ESMA entity of FBS can use very high leverage on forex up to 3000:1 depending on the account type.
  • FBS protects you with segregated bank accounts and negative balance protection even if it isn’t mandatory with the no-ESMA office.
  • There are several FBS bonuses you can reclaim under IFSC such as a 100% deposit bonus or a level-up bonus for up to $140 free.
  • Trading is facilitated through MT4, MT5 platforms, and the proprietary FBS Trader.
  • FBS provides forex trading on more than 30 pairs with floating, fixed, and negative spreads from -1 pip on EUR/USD.
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

6. Axi : low cost firex trading

  • Axi provides trading services also with a non-ESMA branch which is regulated by the FSA in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SV).
  • By trading with the non-ESMA branch, any Axi client can apply for leverage up to 500:1 on forex.
  • Trading with Axi outside ESMA you will benefit from segregated bank accounts and client money insurance up to $1,000,000.
  • Axi enables trading on the MT4 and Myfxbook platforms along with advanced tools and analytics.
  • Axi offers forex trading on more than 70 currency pairs with spreads starting at 0.1 pips on EUR/USD.
69.6% of retail investor accounts lose money

7. FxPro : best customer service

  • FxPro accepts eligible international clients with their no-ESMA office operating under SCB regulation in the Bahamas.
  • The maximum leverage available on forex with the non-ESMA regulated FxPro entity is up to 200:1 for any client.
  • The protection you’ll benefit from outside ESMA with FxPro includes segregated bank accounts and negative balance protection for all clients.
  • FxPro supports the most popular trading platforms including MT4, MT5, and cTrader.
  • FxPro provides over 70 forex pairs with floating spreads from 0.4 pips on EUR/USD.
72.87% of retail investor accounts lose money

8. OctaFX : best for algo traders

  • OctaFX is globally regulated by the FSA in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SV) where ESMA restrictions do not apply.
  • Leverage on forex with OctaFX outside ESMA jurisdiction is up to 500:1.
  • Any trader with OctaFX will benefit from segregated bank accounts and negative balance protection.
  • Trading with the FSA regulation you may be eligible for several OctaFX promotions and contests such as the 50% deposit bonus.
  • OctaFX supports MT4 and MT5 as the available trading platforms.
  • OctaFX enables forex trading on over 35 pairs with spreads starting from 0.2 pips on EUR/USD.
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

9. Roboforex : best for crypto trading

  • The only regulation held outside ESMA for Roboforex is IFSC in Belize.
  • Leverage with Roboforex is up to 2000:1 on forex though it depends on the account type.
  • Even when trading with Roboforex outside ESMA you’ll benefit from several protections including segregated bank accounts, negative balance protection, and a civil liability insurance program.
  • Outside ESMA, you may be eligible for Roboforex bonuses such as a welcome and a deposit bonus.
  • Including the most common trading platforms MT4, MT5, and cTrader, you can also use the Roboforex R Stockstrader.
  • Roboforex provides access to over 40 forex pairs with floating spreads from 0.1 pips on the EUR/USD.
61.41% of retail CFD accounts lose money

10. Fibo Group : wide range of tradable markets

  • FIBO Group is a broker with a non-ESMA branch, which is globally regulated by the FSA of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SV).
  • The maximum leverage with FIBO Group under FSA is up to 1000:1 on major forex pairs.
  • Your funds with FIBO Group are secured in segregated bank accounts and protected from negative balance.
  • Outside ESMA, FIBO Group traders are eligible for trading bonuses even though none are currently available.
  • FIBO Group has a good trading platform range with MT4, MT5, and cTrader all supported.
  • FIBO Group offers around 50 currency pairs with floating spreads from 0.4 pips on EUR/USD.
(Your capital is at risk)

Is it possible to avoid ESMA rules?

It may be possible to avoid ESMA rules in a couple of cases. These situations are as follows:

  • If you are a professional trader then you can avoid ESMA regulations. You will have to satisfy some quite stringent requirements in relation to your portfolio value, trading volume, or industry experience, two out of three. But, if you do, then most brokers offer accounts to professional traders that are not bound under ESMA regulation. This likely means increased leverage up to 500:1 depending on the broker, and no need for negative balance protection.
  • If you are a European retail trader residing outside the EU, then you may be able to apply to open your account in another jurisdiction that does not fall under the ESMA regulations and instead under that of the local regulatory body.

filippo ucchino

About The Author

Filippo Ucchino
Co-Founder - CEO - Broker Expert
Filippo is the co-founder and CEO of He has 15 years of experience in the financial sector and forex in particular. He started his career as a forex trader in 2005 and then became interested in the whole fintech and crypto sector.
Over this time, he has developed an almost scientific approach to the analysis of brokers, their services, and offerings. In addition, he is an expert in Compliance and Security Policies for consumers protection in this sector.
With InvestinGoal, Filippo’s goal is to bring as much clarity as possible to help users navigate the world of online trading, forex, and cryptocurrencies.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk. The present page is intended for teaching purposes only. It shall not be intended as operational advice for investments, nor as an invitation to public savings raising. Any real or simulated result shall represent no warranty as to possible future performances. The speculative activity in forex market, as well as in other markets, implies considerable economic risks; anyone who carries out speculative activity does it on its own responsibility.
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