The tight spreads found at Pepperstone make it an excellent option for high-volume traders, however, there is something here for everyone, including copy trading and a robust research section.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Pepperstone services clients from across the globe with an onus on providing a low-cost trading platform with excellent technical tools, reliable customer service, and a seamless account opening experience.
It is considered one of the best forex brokers for traders looking for tight spreads and the positive reviews on Trustpilot certainly mirror this opinion.
Pepperstone hasn’t rested on their laurels on the back of all this adulation and has continued to expand their range of offerings and markets. This has been coupled with impressive technology that provides optimal trade execution speeds and excellent analytical tools.
If you’re a fan of MetaTrader, then Pepperstone has taken the award for Best in Class in 2022; in fact, it can be tricky to choose between the cutting-edge trading platforms it offers.
The only area where they fall a little short is with their lack of a proprietary trading app, which other brokers offer, although with all the other excellent options on offer, this may not be a negative for everyone.
Who is Pepperstone?
Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Pepperstone is one of the largest forex brokers in the world with access to several trading instruments including index, share, commodities, and cryptocurrencies CFDs.
Pepperstone has expanded rapidly, with offices in London, Cyprus, Düsseldorf, Dubai, and Kenya in addition to Melbourne. Their client base includes over 300,000 Pepperstone traders from across the globe, conducting an average of US $12.55 billion in trades a day.
Who owns Pepperstone?
Pepperstone was originally founded by Owen Kerr and Joe Davenport. In 2016, a majority holding of Pepperstone was sold to Champ Private Equity, which went on to sell their stake in the business to the founding partners, the senior management team, and CHAMP managing director Fiona Lock.
Pepperstone product range overview
Pepperstone only provide access to forex and CFD trading. This makes them unsuitable for traders looking to trade real stocks and ETFs.
There is a good range of CFDs and traders can opt for spread betting as a tax free alternative.
Pepperstone provide over 1200 instruments for trading including the following:
There are more than 60 currency pairs available including exotics. The tight spreads are a real advantage when trading Forex.
Remember when trading CFDs you are trading on the price movements without ever actually owning the underlying asset. At Pepperstone you can trade on the movement of 14 major stock markets commission free.
Major metals, energy, soft commodities, gold and silver are all available with tight spreads and super fast execution speeds.
Cryptocurrency CFDs provide ample opportunities due to the market volatility. At Pepperstone there are over 10 cryptocurrencies available for trading with stop losses, take profits and pending orders all available to aid your trading.
As of January 2021, UK retail traders are unable to engage in CFD cryptocurrency trading.
Over 100 ETF CFDs are available tracking the performance of equity markets in 35 countries including Asia Pacific, South America, North America, UK, Europe and Middle East.
Currency index CFDs
Rather than owning the underlying currency such as in Forex trading, currency index CFDs allows you to trade on the value of a currency against other currencies.
Social trading at Pepperstone is offered as a result of their partnership with multiple social trading platforms. This means you can access a large social trading community in order to engage in copy trading. Some of the features available when copy trading including Myfxbook which is an automated forex trading service, MetaTrader Signals that allow access to trading strategies and signals from other traders and DupliTrade which allows you to utilise the expertise of other traders.
The spread betting offering at Pepperstone provides access to automated trading, fast execution speeds, and competitive spreads. UK residents can engage in spread betting with zero tax implications. Pepperstone also offer advanced spread betting for professionals, which comes without protections such as negative balance protection and leverage restrictions.
Where Pepperstone really shines is with its new integration with TradingView allowing users to place spread bets directly from the TradingView platform. Pepperstone are one of only two platforms with this capability.
This comes free with your Pepperstone trading account and is a code-free automation that can save time and allow you to trade around the clock free from any emotion. It is only available with MT4.
Pepperstone trading platform review
Pepperstone have a web trading platform, a mobile platform and a desktop trading platform to choose from. Platforms include TradingView, MT4, MT5, and cTrader.
There is no proprietary platform at Pepperstone.
This is only available to Razor account holders and comes with a pretty impressive suite of trading tools and features including charting, social trading, coding, automation, indicators, an economic calendar, and data loss protection. It is available on both desktop and mobile.
Alternatives to TradingView include MetaTrader4 and MetaTrader5. See also MetaTrader alternatives in my detailed guide.
MetaTrader4 is the most widely used platform in the world, available on phone, tablet or desktop. It is widely considered one of the best platforms for trading forex with a fully customisable interface and an impressive suite of charts. There are also automated trading robots, advanced indicators, copy trading and a live demo account.
However, the MT4 could definitely do with a bit of an update.
This is the latest version of the MT software and remains in keeping with MT4 with the same great tools and functionality. MetaTrader5 is great for experienced traders and those who want to engage with automated trading through expert advisors and signals.
This choice may be a little too complex for beginners or those looking for a simplified platform.
cTrader is a well designed, clear platform with an uncluttered layout that is easy to navigate. It is the most intuitive of the options and easy to use that is suitable for most traders. There are a good range of indicators, detailed order tickets, good educational videos and a detailed trade analysis feature that can help you identify your weaknesses.
Web trading platform
This is only available with MetaTrader however it is fully customisable. I noticed the lack of two-step authentication and there were no alerts or notifications available which was a shame.
The web platform does allow for placing on basic order types including market, limit and stop as well as order time limits including good till cancelled and good till time.
Assets are easily located using the categories, however there is a lack of search box to located an asset by name.
Mobile trading platform
For the mobile platform, you can choose between MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader depending on your experience and trading preferences (see my descriptions of these platforms above).
There are several languages to choose from and it is very user friendly. Again, there is a lack of two step authentication which would provide an added layer of security and I missed biometric authentication such as face or fingerprint ID.
The mobile platform also has a lack of alerts and notifications which is a major drawback in my opinion.
Desktop trading platform
This is probably my favourite of the Pepperstone platforms as here you have the ability to set alerts and notifications in the form of emails and mobile push notifications. All the functionality of the web and mobile platforms are also present alongside the same excellent design on the interface.
Pepperstone have a good in-house research team and some useful tools including forex market analysis and market news. However, there is a complete lack of newsfeeds.
Pepperstone have their own research team that provides market reports and insights on a regular basis. For a look at what’s on offer, you can head to the Pepperstone website and click the ‘Analysis’ tab.
Expect to see a good range of commentary, videos and coverage from an experienced team of experts. There is also a trading management tool called Autochartist, where trading ideas are provided based on technical analysis. This can be found in the Secure Client Area and users are able to set automatic notifications when chart patterns emerge.
Charting and Smart Trader Tools are also provided to aid your trading decisions however, no newsfeed. Newsfeeds are useful tools, especially in forex trading where movements in political and economic news can affect the value of currencies. Pepperstone have provided a daily newsletter called the ‘The Daily Fix’, however, this would be best served as an up-to-the-minute newsfeed.
Pepperstone have some decent educational material including a demo account, webinars and educational videos.
A demo account can be one of the most useful educational tools as they mirror exact market movement and allow you to practice without risking any of your personal funds. They also provide scope to get to grips with the platform and all its functionality.
At Pepperstone there are also useful webinars and additional educational content including tutorial videos. There is also a robust commodity trading section which covers slippage, hedging and margin in addition to a section called ‘How to trade forex’ which includes live webinars and guides. Pepperstone house all this content on their own YouTube channel.
On a negative note, within the learning centre there are 40 articles int he trading guides category, however it is not clear what level of trading they are suitable for. There was also a lack of interactive training courses such as quizzes that some people find more engaging.
Pepperstone customer service review
The customer service at Pepperstone can only be described as excellent. They have scored 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot with reviews describing the quick, informative responses.
helpful, polite members of staff. The service is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week via several channels including WhatsApp, live chat, phone and email in several languages including English, Thai, Vietnamese and Russian.
There is some limited support available at weekends, although not by phone and live chat is only available during certain hours. You can expect to wait longer for a response to emails at the weekend.
When I reached out to customer service I was given the option to leave a review on Trustpilot and provided the name of the agent who had assisted me. This would indicate that Pepperstone are at ease with being held accountable for their service.
Opening an account at Pepperstone
Opening an account at Pepperstone is quick, easy and fully digital. There are two live retail investor accounts to choose from and a demo account.
Most brokers have streamlined the account opening process and Pepperstone is no exception. The entire thing can be done from your smartphone or computer with two trading accounts to choose from, Standard and Razor.
The Razor account is geared towards scalpers and traders looking to run Expert Advisors. Pepperstone offers raw spreads from 0.0 pips with a commission charge.
The Standard account is a much simpler account, more suited to beginners and intermediate users and has 1 pip markup on the raw spread with zero commissions.
There is also the demo account where you can practice your trades without any risk to your personal funds.
The Active Trader program is only available to professional clients and this account provides cash rebates on trades as well as exclusive benefits.
The actual account opening process took around 12 minutes to complete, although this will vary depending on whether you have the appropriate information to hand.
To open an account simply follow these steps:
- Click ‘Join Now’ on the Pepperstone website
- Register your email and password
- Confirm your email
- Proceed to the Secure Client Area
- Complete the form with your personal details
- Choose your base currency
- Complete the survey to determine your trading experience
- Upload a copy of your ID (passport or driving licence) and proof of address such as a utility bill
Pepperstone deposit and withdrawal
Pepperstone provide plenty of deposit and withdrawal option and there is no minimum deposit.
There are nine base currencies to choose from at Pepperstone, however for the purposes of this Pepperstone review, I will assume you are trading in GBP and withdrawing to a bank account in the UK.
In this instance, there is no minimum deposit, zero withdrawal fees, and no minimum withdrawal. All withdrawals are completed within 1 -2 business days.
Deposit Options include bank transfer, credit/debit card and PayPal.
Pepperstone have all the appropriate safety measures in place. They are highly regulated in several jurisdictions and I could see no cause for concern.
In addition to regulation in several other countries, Pepperstone are regulated and authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and at the time of writing process an average of US$12.55bn trades a day. All client funds are held in segregated accounts with the National Australia Bank (NAB) meaning your money is safe in the unlikely event that Pepperstone become insolvent.
Pepperstone regulating bodies include:
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)
- Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
- Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA)
- Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) under Pepperstone Markets Limited
Client protection includes:
- UK’s investor protection fund up to £85,000
- Germany and Austrias’s 90% claims on securities up to €20,000 & 100% up to € 100,000 on cash claims (as per BaFin rules)
- EU’s Cyprus Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) up to €20,000
In addition, retail clients in the UK can utilise the negative balance protection offered at Pepperstone.
Pepperstone has very low fees when compared to the industry standard and no inactivity or account fees and no minimum deposit. Commissions can vary depending on the platform you choose.
Pepperstone have two main account types and the trading fees you pay will vary depending on which account you choose.
Pepperstone Standard account fees
The standard account which is best placed for beginners, has zero commissions in addition to the spread. The spread is 0.60 pips on average on EUR/USD. This account represents excellent value.
Pepperstone Razor account fees
This is the raw spread account with average spreads at 0.17 pips on EUR/USD. As you can see this is very low, in fact I have yet to encounter a lower spread at any other forex broker I have reviewed. There is a commission charge which will depend on the trading platform you are using, the base currency you are trading in and your trading volume.
For the MT4 and MT5 platforms, commissions are billed in your base currency. Commission per 001 lots (1000 base currency) are GBP 0.02 (GBP 0.05 round turn).
cTrader commissions are charged as $6 USD round-trip. As an example, for a trade of USD 100,000 will attract a fee of USD $3 to open the contract and USD $3 to close the contract. This will be converted into GBP at the current exchange rate.
Trading View fees
Trading view commissions are charged at exactly the same rate as cTrader.
The swap rate
The swap rate is the charge for holding your CFD or spread bet position overnight. This can change depending on the asset. For CFD and spread bet indices, the charge is 2.5%. You will also pay LIBOR if you are long but receive it if you are short.
Who is Pepperstone suitable for?
With the variety of online trading platforms available at Pepperstone in addition to the variety of fee structures, they have successfully placed themselves as a good option for all levels of forex and CFD traders.
Traders looking to engage in real stocks and ETFs will have to find an alternative platform.
Useful Information about Pepperstone
This section contains useful information to make your experience at Pepperstone as seamless as possible.
How do I contact Pepperstone?
Pepperstone offer an excellent support service which can be accessed on toll free number 0800 0465473, via email at [email protected] or by using the live chat or WhatsApp function which can be accessed on the right-hand corner of the Pepperstone website.
How do I withdraw money from Pepperstone?
Withdrawing money from Pepperstone is fairly straight forward and can be done by following these steps:
- Log in to your secure client area
- Select the ‘Funds’ tab
- Click ‘Withdraw Funds’
- Select your withdrawal option
- Confirm the request by clicking ‘Accept Withdrawal’ in the email which will be automatically sent to your account email address.
How do I close my account at Pepperstone?
The easiest way to close your Pepperstone account is to contact their customer support team and request that they help you close your account.
Is Pepperstone any good?
Yes, Pepperstone is a good forex and CFD broker offering a safe, low-cost way to trade with plenty of excellent Pepperstone trading tools and features and a good choice of platforms.
They are also to be commended on their excellent customer service and super fast account opening process.
Can Pepperstone be trusted?
Does Pepperstone accept UK clients?
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.