Not sure what ECN means? Learn More


The ECN advantage

  • Trading profitably means a mutually beneficial partnership with your broker. Any situation where this isn’t demonstrably true, causes distrust and a lack of accountability for trading system performance.
  • We model our success based on your success. Our focus is on market leading pricing and execution and delivering account features that are conducive to your success as a trader.
  • Our focus on the important things means our pricing ranks among the top brokers globally across all products that we offer and our client profitability is above the industry average - 46% percent of traders were profitable over 2018-2019.
CapitalFX ECN

What does ECN mean?

ECN stands for electronic communications network.

The ECN model was born to facilitate high volume, off exchange, anonymous trading, across a range of asset classes.

The Institutional Definition: The Retail Brokers/Traders Definition:
A central limit order book (CLOB) trading ‘venue’ where you can trade as maker (join the order book using limit orders) or taker (pay the spread and take the price on offer). Multi-bank liquidity aggregated into a best bid best offer (BBBO) that is streamed to clients for them to execute on.
Participants of the ECN are anonymous and can see all available liquidity. Orders are hedged with liquidity providers and not held internally by the broker
The ECN is responsible for matching trades, etc.. STP and NDD execution.
Basically an OTC version of an exchange that incorporates external liquidity from banks and non-bank market makers for a more competitive trading environment. Broker is not making money on the traders' losses.
Institutional ECN examples: HotSpot FX, FXALL, EBS and FastMatch. Broker does not run a B-book.


  • CapitalFX can provide direct ECN access to any of these institutional ECNs via FIX API - for institutional clients only. Minimum requirements apply.
  • Irrespective of whether a broker is using an institutional ECN or an aggregated price feed, the end user will generally only see a best bid/best offer (BBBO), i.e. prices at which they can deal at, as a price taker, by paying the spread.
  • Because of this, it is accepted that so long as a trader is getting a multibank price feed and competitive BBBO, and that trades are passed to the liquidity providers and not held internally by the broker, that this constitutes an ECN for a retail broker.

Is CapitalFX really an ECN broker?

  • CapitalFX aggregates liquidity from tier-1 banks, non-bank market makers and ECNs to give clients a competitive spread and deep liquidity over different market conditions.
  • CapitalFX executes all trades on a back-to-back and 1:1 basis with its hedge counterparty (and group parent) Gleneagle Securities. Gleneagle Securities executes all trades on a back-to-back and 1:1 basis with its trade counterparties that exceed the interbank minimum. See Best Execution page for information on small trades.
  • Since we back-to-back hedge all trades and don’t internalise any risk (excluding small tickets which are batch hedged), plus we can prove exactly how every order was executed and with who, we’re confident we’re doing the right thing by our clients and delivering a genuine ‘retail broker ECN’.
  • Please contact us if you feel differently on the topic.

CapitalFX ECN vs Market Maker or ‘ECN pricing’

We trade with, and not against you. But what does this even mean?

  CapitalFX ECN Market maker or ‘ECN Pricing’
No conflict of interest between you making money and broker profitability?
Wants clients to trade profitably?
Does not make money from your losses?
Does not make hedge execution decisions based on client trading behaviour or account profitability?
Does not benefit from wider spreads causing stop out of retail traders.
Does not benefit from interbank stop hunting.
Transparency, Execution & Technology

Why choose the CapitalFX ECN account?

The CapitalFX ECN account is for traders who want to set themselves up to win. The features and trading conditions are world class and have been designed for your success.

ECN Trading Costs

Trading costs

  • Razor tight ECN spreads from 0.0 pips
  • 3 prime brokers, 20+ liquidity providers
  • CapitalFX’s spreads rank among the top brokers globally across all products that we offer
ECN Trading Execution


  • Our ECN technology allows for real-time execution of large trades over multiple pricing tiers, liquidity providers and venues, to ensure the best fill for any trade size.
  • Our extensive and diverse liquidity mix enables us to hold our trading counterparties to a high standard. We maintain fill ratios with our LPs of greater than 90% and use ‘no last look’ when supported for improved execution and reduced slippage on your trades.
ECN Trading Trading


  • We execute all orders through a single tag, meaning LPs see one client - CapitalFX.
  • LPs cannot reject your trades because you’re too sharp or reverse engineer your proprietary trading system
More Information

What do STP and NDD mean?

A broker who is ‘STP’ is a back-to-back broker, i.e. orders are hedged with trading counterparties on a back-to-back and 1:1 basis. ‘No Deal Desk’ refers to there being no intervention, dealer or otherwise, in the transfer of risk from a trader to a maker (liquidity provider).
‘Straight Through Process’ refers to the round trip process through which an order is executed between taker (trader) and maker (liquidity provider). This means trading is fully automated, no human discretionary traders are involved, and hedge execution decisions are not made or based on client trading behaviour or account profitability, i.e. all trades go down a single pipe, through a single order management system, to a single book.

Ever wonder why your strategy works for some time and then fails suddenly?

  • Scaling a strategy should never really be a concern for a retail trader. The exception to this is when the alpha comes from some form of short term (latency, liquidity) arbitrage.
  • Taking into account some additional minor VWAP slippage, trading gains should be approximately linear until you start trading big size of around 5-10MM per click.
  • Strategies consistently fail (en masse) on and when a broker switches all clients using an EA or particular strategy from b-book to a-book. They do this when they determine the strategy has an edge and they either need to simulate real market execution on some or all of the trade, or they just want to reduce their risk, and so hedge part or all of the trade.
  • Volume that was being internalised by the broker suddenly finds its way to the real market and gigantic slippage and trading losses ensue.
  • Compounding the adverse effects of a barrage of orders hitting the market, is that brokers treat their liquidity providers like an exhaust pipe, i.e. they only give them their non desirable toxic, sharp, and unprofitable flow. The liquidity providers naturally reject trades and the result is a strategy that blows up, usually in spectacular fashion.
  • A broker who focuses on pricing and execution and that runs an STP business model addresses liquidity constraints from scaling strategies as they come up - gradually over time. This is the opposite of a b-book broker who wants the client's strategy to fail, and will move execution to STP on poor liquidity if not profitable, and doesn't care if the client receives slippage.

CapitalFX removes the potential conflict of interest between the best execution of your trades and our profitability.

CapitalFX does not:
  • Run a B-book or make money from client losses.
  • Receive any form of profit share from a group entity relating to our clients trading losses, i.e. no other company runs a B-book on our behalf.
  • Have arrangements with trading counterparties to run a B-book on our behalf.
  • Our trading is fully automated, i.e. ‘No Deal Desk’. We have no human discretionary traders and we do not make hedge execution decisions based on client trading behaviour or account profitability.
  • Make proprietary trades or hold proprietary risk positions.

While this information doesn’t form part of our client agreement, this is information that we expect to be held to account to, and which we are always happy to verify, as all brokers should.

Does your broker put your
interests above theirs?