We've compared Regulated Forex Brokers for traders based in the UK. For this research we checked 14 forex brokers, and we looked at factors including fees, safety, platforms, trading conditions, account types, withdrawals, minimum deposit & more. We also list the Pros & Cons of each broker in our list.
Before you start trading forex, it is important to choose the right broker. As a UK resident, you should only register with a forex broker that is licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (or the FCA) of the UK.
The FCA is the financial regulator of the UK, and it ensures that the interests of traders and investors in the UK are protected. When you register with a regulated broker, you can rest easy knowing that your funds are safe in their hands.
We’ve made a comprehensive guide through independent research to bring you this list of the best forex brokers in the UK.
Here is a List of Best Forex Brokers UK for 2023 based on our Research
We’ve made comparisons and contacted numerous brokers to find out which ones offer the best services.
In this guide, we’ll talk about forex brokers in a systematic way to allow you to make your own comparisons. We’ll also cover the factors you need to consider before choosing a forex broker.
Regulation: City Index is licensed by the FCA and holds the reference number 446717. The company is registered under the name StoneX Financial Limited. The company has been authorized to operate in the UK since 2006.
Additionally, City Index is regulated by the ASIC of Australia and the MAS of Singapore.
Overall, we consider City Index to be a highly safe broker for UK traders. The company is also obligated to segregate its funds, leading to additional safety.
Overall Fees: For CFD trading, City Index charges a typical spread of 0.8 pips for trading the benchmark EURUSD currency pair. The overall fees charged by the broker is average when compared to other similar brokers.
They do not charge any commission for trading forex instruments. They only charge a commission when trading stock CFDs and the commission is around GBP 10 per trade.
City Index does not charge any deposit or withdrawal fees. However, you may be charged by your payment service provider.
If you’re trading CFDs, then you should be aware that they charge an overnight fee if you keep an open position for the next trading day. This overnight fee is variable and depends on your trade specifications.
Trading Conditions: City Index offers three types of accounts for you to choose from. Each account type differs in terms of services offered, charges, leverage, and minimum deposit required.
The three account types are Trader, Premium Trader, and Professional. The available leverage is 1:30, 1:30, and 1:400, respectively.
If you’re a new trader, then the trader account is the best option since it does not require any minimum deposit.
City Index offers a wide range of instruments including up to 84 currency pairs, 20 index CFDs, 4000+ stock CFDs, 600+ ETF CFDs, commodities, bonds, and 6 cryptocurrencies.
They do offer risk management tools such as guaranteed stop-loss orders so that you can effectively trade while minimizing risk.
City Index offers several ways for you to make a deposit. This includes debit cards, credit cards, PayPal, and local bank transfers. You can also withdraw funds through the same methods.
You can set GBP to be the base currency of your account to avoid conversion fees.
Customer Support: City Index has a comprehensive help section that answers a lot of questions. If you still need support, then you can contact them through a live chat option available on their website. This option is available at all times during weekdays (GMT).
They do not have a phone number or email ID that you can contact for support. Overall, their customer support is decent and should suffice for most requirements.
City Index Pros
City Index Cons
Regulation: Two group entities of CMC Markets are regulated by the FCA for residents of the UK. CMC Markets UK PLC holds license number 173730 while CMC Spreadbet LLC holds license number 170627.
CMC Markets UK PLC has held the license since 2001. It is also listed on the London Stock Exchange, making it more transparent and accountable.
Additionally, CMC Markets is regulated in Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
CMC Markets also segregates its funds, which means that your trading account funds are kept separately from the company’s own funds.
Overall Fees: CMC Markets charges a variable spread for those trading currency pairs. The typical spread is 0.7 pips for those trading the benchmark EURUSD currency pair.
They do not charge a commission per trade unless you’re trading stock CFDs. They do charge an overnight fee.
They do not have any non-trading fees such as deposit fees, withdrawal fees, or account opening fees.
However, they do charge an inactivity fee if your account is dormant for a period of more than twelve months.
Trading Conditions: CMC Markets offers two types of accounts for those residing in the UK. These are the CFD trading account and the spread betting account.
CMC Markets does not require a minimum deposit to open an account. This is better than most forex brokers that require an account opening deposit.
CMC Markets offers flat leverage of 1:30. A major disadvantage is that you cannot control the level of leverage. Hence, you can’t reduce the risk associated with your trades by reducing the leverage. Usually, forex brokers allow you to change the leverage according to your needs.
CMC Markets does offer guaranteed stop-loss orders for better safety and risk mitigation.
You can deposit funds into your account through local bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, or certain payment wallets. You can also withdraw funds through the same methods.
You have the option of choosing between MetaTrader 4 (a popular third-party trading platform) or CMC Market’s own proprietary Next Generation web trader. Both trading platforms are excellent and will leave no space for complaints.
Customer Support: Customers can contact CMC Markets through live chat, phone call, or email. We found that the customer support was quite reliable and they responded to queries within a few minutes.
Overall, the quality of customer support is good.
CMC Markets Pros
CMC Markets Cons
Regulation: Pepperstone UK is registered under the FCA of the UK and holds a license number 684312. The company is licensed under the name Pepperstone Limited and has its headquarters in London.
Additionally, Pepperstone is regulated in Germany, Cyprus, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, the Bahamas, and Kenya.
The company also segregates funds according to legal requirements.
Overall, we consider Pepperstone UK to be a safe broker to trade through.
Overall Fees: The fees charged by Pepperstone depend on the type of account held by the trader and the instrument being traded.
Pepperstone charges a variable spread that can be as low as 0.12 pips when trading the benchmark EURUSD currency pair through a Razor account. However, they will additionally charge a commission of $3.76 per lot per trade.
While Pepperstone charges a commission, it provides incredibly tight spreads. Hence, Pepperstone is suitable for high-volume traders.
Pepperstone will charge an overnight fee if trades are left open overnight.
Pepperstone does not charge any non-trading fee. They do not charge a deposit fee, withdrawal fee, or inactivity fee.
Trading Conditions: Pepperstone offers the choice between two types of accounts: Standard and Razer. The Standard account does not charge any commission but involves a widespread. In contrast, the Razer account offers tight spreads but with a decent commission.
The maximum leverage offered by Pepperstone for trading major currency pairs is 1:30. Further, you can change the amount of leverage you use subject to the maximum limit.
Pepperstone does not require a minimum deposit to be made at the time of account opening. This is especially suitable for new traders.
Pepperstone offers GBP as a base currency to traders from the UK. The company accepts deposits through local bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, or certain payment wallets. As mentioned earlier, they do not charge a fee.
You can withdraw funds using the same methods.
When trading with Pepperstone, you have the option of choosing between three third-party trading platforms. These are MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader. They do not have a proprietary trading platform.
Customer Support: Pepperstone offers customer support through email, phone call, or live chat. The live chat window is available on their website for times when you need to quickly solve a doubt.
Overall, we found that they answered queries through the live chat window within a few minutes and their responses were helpful.
They also have an extensive FAQs library that answers a lot of questions.
Regulations: IC Markets (EU) Ltd. holds a limited license from the FCA of the UK. The company can offer certain products and services in the UK & they are regulated in another European Economic Area (EEA) which allows it to operate in the UK. The registration number of IC Markets is 827935.
IC Markets is also regulated in Seychelles, Cyprus, The Bahamas, and Australia. Hence, IC Markets is regulated by multiple Tier-1 & Tier-2 financial regulators.
Overall, we consider IC Markets to be safe for traders from the UK.
Overall Fees: IC Markets has low fees when compared to the other brokers on this list. If you’re using the MetaTrader 4 Raw account, then the typical spread for trading the benchmark EURUSD currency pair is 0 pips. However, you will be charged a commission of $3.5 per lot per trade.
They do charge an overnight fee for open positions held overnight.
This makes the MetaTrader 4 Raw account suitable for high-volume traders.
IC Markets does not charge any non-trading fees. This means that they do not charge a deposit fee, withdrawal fee, or inactivity fee.
Trading Conditions: IC Markets offers three different types of accounts that differ in terms of their fee structure and available trading platform. IC Markets traders can choose between MetaTrader 4 and cTrader as their preferred trading platforms.
IC Markets has a wide range of instruments including 61 currency pairs, 1500+ stock CFDs, 25 indices, 20 commodities, bonds, ETFs, and 10 cryptocurrencies. Not all instruments are available in all countries.
IC Markets requires a minimum deposit of $200 at the time of account opening. The maximum leverage that they offer for trading forex is 1:30.
IC Markets accepts deposits from credit cards, debit cards, local bank transfers, and certain payment wallets.
Customer Support: IC Markets provides customer support 24/7, which means that you can get in touch with them on weekends as well.
They provide customer support through live chat, phone calls, and email. While testing the live chat, we found their responses to be quite slow and they took a lot of time in connecting. It can take up to an hour to get a helpful response through live chat.
IC Markets Pros
IC Markets Cons
Regulation: FXCM is regulated by the FCA under the name FXCM Limited. The company holds license number 217689 from the regulator. Additionally, FXCM is also regulated by the CySEC, ASIC, and FSCA.
Overall, FXCM is safe to trade through for UK residents.
Overall Fees: FXCM charges average fees when compared to other similar brokers. The company charges a typical spread of 1.2 for trading the benchmark EURUSD currency pair. However, this spread is without commission.
FXCM also charges a commission under the Active Trader account, however, then the spread is quite low.
The company does not usually charge any non-trading fees. This means that they do not charge for deposits, account openings, or withdrawals. However, they do charge an inactivity fee after 12 months of dormancy. They may also charge a withdrawal fee if the withdrawal is through a local bank transfer.
They do charge an overnight fee if a position is kept open overnight.
Trading Conditions: FXCM offers two separate account types. These are the Standard and Active Trader accounts. The Standard accounts charge a high spread but no commission. In contrast, the Active Trader charges a low or no spread and a commission.
FXCM requires a minimum deposit of $50 to open an account.
When trading with FXCM, you have the option of choosing between several trading platforms, depending on which country you reside in. The company offers Trading Station which is its own proprietary platform, along with MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, NinjaTrader, ZuluTrade, and
The leverage offered by FXCM is up to 1:400 for both forex and CFD products. This is quite high, so traders should be careful with how much leverage they want to use.
You can make a deposit through local bank transfers, debit cards, credit cards, or payment wallets like Skrill and Neteller. You can make a withdrawal by any of these methods as well, however, the withdrawal fee for local bank transfers is high.
Customer Support: UK residents can contact FXCM customer support through live chat, phone call, or email. We found their service to be quite helpful and quick when we contacted them through live chat. They provided a response within minutes of sending a query and the response was helpful.
Overall, we believe FXCM provides good customer support to both new and existing customers.
eToro is an Israel-based company that is known for its copy trading or social trading services. Copy trading allows you to make the same trades that expert traders are making. The company has been in operation since 2007.
Regulation: The company is regulated by the FCA under the name “eToro (UK) Ltd”. The company holds the reference number 583263.
eToro, under various group entities, is also licensed by the CySEC and the ASIC. They are also part of and operate under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.
The company provides negative balance protection and they segregate their own funds from trader’s funds.
We consider them to be highly safe for UK residents.
Overall Fees: Overall fees charged by eToro is average when compared to other similar brokers.
They charge a typical spread of 1.1 pips when trading the benchmark EURUSD currency pair at peak times.
They also charge a commission for trading every kind of instrument apart from US-based stocks.
They charge a withdrawal fee of $5 regardless of the method of withdrawal. They charge an inactivity fee of $10 if you’re dormant for a period of more than twelve months. They do not charge a deposit fee or account fee.
Trading Conditions: eToro only offers one type of account which is applicable for all users. They also offer a demo account that can be used for practising and learning.
The company offers maximum leverage of 1:30 for trading forex & the leverage is lower for other CFDs. You can change the amount of leverage that you want to use.
The broker offers a decent range of instruments which includes 49 currency pairs, 2500+ stocks, 42 cryptocurrencies, 13 indices, more than 250 ETFs, and so on. The main advantage that eToro has in terms of trading instruments is that they offer a large range of cryptocurrencies.
A major drawback for UK residents is that eToro only allows USD as the base currency of their accounts. This means that UK residents will have to convert their money to USD for trading purposes, which can be expensive.
The broker offers its own proprietary trading platform that has advanced social trading features and an intuitive user interface.
Customer Support: eToro offers poor customer support when compared to its peers. You can only reach eToro through a web-based ticketing system that takes several days to provide a response. The live chat option is only available to premium members.
They only offer customer support on weekdays.
IG Markets can be considered one of the safest choices for CFD brokers as it is regulated by the 3 top-tier regulatory authorities across the globe. It is also among the oldest FSPs that are currently offering CFD trading services in the Uk.
IG Markets Limited is the legal entity in the UK that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK (195355). It is also regulated by the FSCA of South Africa (41393), and ASIC of Australia (099019851). IG Markets is in the business of offering spread betting services since 1974 and has been offering CFD trading since 2003. It is also regulated in the US by the NFA and CFTC.
There are no choices of account types and the only account type is commission-free. The spread at IG Markets is 1 pip per lot for EUR/USD. The commission is only incurred on trading CFDs of Shares. There is an inactivity fee of $12 monthly but that will only be incurred if no trades are executed for more than 2 years.
GBP is available as the base currency of the account. clients can reach out for support services through live chat and local phone number in the UK. MT4 is the most chosen trading platform at IG Markets but they also support various advanced trading platforms like ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, etc.
There are more than 12,000 CFD instruments available to trade at IG Markets. This includes 90 currency pairs that can be traded with a maximum leverage of 1:30. 25 commodities, 10 cryptocurrencies, 70 indices, and nearly 12,000 shares can be traded via CFD at IG Markets.
Deposits and withdrawals can be done through local bank transfers, credit/debit cards, and several electronic payment gateways. No additional commission is incurred for deposits and withdrawals.
IG Markets Pros
IG Markets Cons
ETX Capital is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the UK with the legal entity Monecor (London) Ltd under license number 124721. It is also regulated by the top-tier FSCA of South Africa (50246). The incorporation of ETX Capital dates back to 1965 making it one of the oldest CFD brokers in the UK.
There is a single account type at ETX Capital in which the trading fees are built into spreads. The spreads for EUR/USD as a benchmark start from 0.6 pips. This is lower than many FCA-regulated CFD brokers in the UK.
USD or GBP can be chosen as the base currency of the account. Accordingly, the minimum deposit amount is 100 USD or GBP. It supports the most widely used MT4 trading platform but also has its proprietary trading platform called as ETX Trader Pro.
More than 6000 instruments are available to trade at ETX Capital of which 79 are forex pairs CFD. It is a market maker broker hence it can take the other side of the trade.
There is a rich variety of research and education tools to assist traders in enhancing their strategies. Deposits and withdrawals can be done via local bank transfers, credit/debit cards, and e-wallets. The customer support services are good as executives can be reached via live chat, email, and local phone numbers. ETX Capital also has a local office in the UK.
ETX Capital Pros
ETX Capital Cons
There are a lot of factors that you need to consider before signing on with a broker. Every broker has its own pros and cons, and you need to decide which factors are more important to you. For example, if you plan on trading cryptocurrencies, then you should sign on with a broker that offers a good range of cryptocurrencies for you to trade.
Here are a few of the most important factors.
The FCA, or the Financial Conduct Authority, is the regulatory body that oversees forex and CFD trading in the UK. The FCA is highly reputed around the world and is considered to be a Tier-1 financial regulator.
Before you sign up with a broker, you should check whether the broker holds a license from the FCA.
The broker will mention which licenses they hold on their website. This will also include a license number and the name of the entity which holds the license.
Let’s take the example of City Index broker. As you can see, at the footer of their website, they’ve noted that they’re licensed by the FCA and hold license number 446717.
You should take the license number and cross-check it on the FCA’s own website. The FCA publishes a register of the entities that are licensed by them. This web page will also carry the kind of authorization they have and since when the authorization has been bestowed.
City Index has been licensed by the FCA, as you can see on the FCA’s website.
The reason why being regulated by the FCA is important is because the FCA holds such licensees accountable and ensures that they protect the interests of traders and investors. In case there is a problem with their service, you can approach the FCA with your complaint.
Also, it is important to note that some brokers like IC Markets Ltd. do not have a full license from the FCA. However, they do hold a partial license and can offer certain services and products to UK residents. Further, they are regulated by other foreign reputable regulators. Hence, you can consider them to be safe as well.
You should not trade through any brokers that are Offshore companies & that offer high leverage. These brokers are unsafe and they can offer high leverage due to lax regulation in the region where they are regulated.
Certain brokers also pretend to be regulated by the FCA but are not. You should do your due diligence in ascertaining which brokers are genuine by following the method given above.
You should check both the trading fees (spreads, commission, and overnight fee) as well as the non-trading fee (deposit and withdrawal fee, inactivity fee, account opening fee) charged by a broker. It is always good to choose a low-spread forex broker.
It is not necessary that a good broker charges high fees. The best brokers charge a low fee and offer competitive rates to their traders. They also do not charge any non-trading fees.
You should compare the fees charged by a broker with other similar brokers to ascertain which one is the most cost-effective.
The typical spread and commission charged by a broker are provided by the broker on its website.
For example, this screenshot has been taken from the Pepperstone website:
The fees can vary depending on the type of account held, the type of instrument being traded, etc. So, you should compare only the same instrument and the same type of account.
The trading conditions include factors in which trading platform is offered, how many trading instruments are offered, what is the leverage, how much is the minimum deposit, and so on.
Usually, all the information is available on their website, however, some information may be hard to find. If that is the case, do not hesitate to contact their customer support team and ask your questions.
You should ask questions like whether they offer negative balance protection, whether they offer guaranteed stop loss, can you trade indices, what is execution policy, and so on.
This is an important but often overlooked factor. You should only trade through a broker that offers good and quick customer support. While trading, there will be many instances when you need the help of the customer support team.
A good broker offers customer support in your language and through live chat. This live chat window should be available on their website. They should also be open to receiving phone calls and emails.
Usually, you should check whether they respond to you within 5 minutes if you’re using the live chat option. Emails can take up to two hours while phone calls should be connected quickly.
The best forex brokers in terms of regulation and fees are of no good to you if your preferred financial instruments are not available at the chosen broker. Each broker offers a limited number of financial instruments and forex pairs. Clients must check and compare the availability of financial instruments before choosing a forex broker.
A trading platform is where clients will spend most of their time after opening an account with any of the forex brokers in the UK. Most brokers offer an MT4 trading platform but some also offer their proprietary trading platform to execute trade orders.
MetaTrader 4 is the most chosen forex trading platform in the world. It is quite popular among forex traders worldwide. It is also ideal for beginners. MT5 is an upgraded version of MT4 but may not be ideal for all types of traders. eToro trading platform is most suitable for beginners due to its simple and user-friendly interface.
Clients can open a demo trading account with any of the trading platforms to get familiar with the platform before opening a live account. The trading experience can be different with each trading platform.
Some brokers may offer multiple account types to serve the needs of different types of traders. Small-volume traders and beginners like to trade with the spread only while high-volume traders and scalpers would be more comfortable with commission-based spread-free pricing.
Brokers may or may not offer AUD or other preferred currency as the base currency of the account. The minimum deposit, leverage, available instruments, support trading platforms, maximum/minimum lot sizes, etc can be different for each account type. Clients should choose the best-suited account type according to their requirements and objective.
IC Markets and Pepperstone have multiple account types and allow traders to choose the most useful account type for themselves.
If you are unable to gather any information about the broker, it is better to ask them directly through the live chat window, email, or phone support.
You must not rely on the words of a friend or relative and should make an effort to find the best-suited forex and CFD broker for yourself.
The reviews by professionals and existing clients can be used to select and compare brokers but the final decision must be made on your research. You must also note to not fall for every review (good or bad), and try to verify if that review is actually accurate.
When in doubt, ask questions to the broker through customer support services.
After checking and comparing each FCA-regulated broker in the UK, clients can open their account online through their official websites. The account opening process is simple and can be completed within 24 hours but depends on the broker.
Step 1: Choose the Broker
The broker must be chosen after extensive analysis and comparison. FCA license is a must to trade safely in the UK.
Step 2: Provide Basic Details
Visit the official website of the chosen broker and enter basic details like name and email to begin the account opening process. If the broker offers multiple account types and trading platforms, clients will also need to configure their accounts.
Step 3: Choose Password
Choose a unique password that will be used in the future to access the trading account.
Step 4: Document Verification
Traders need to submit a soft copy of their documents that will be cross-checked by the authorities at the broker. This is the most time-consuming step. Some brokers complete this process within 2 hours while some may also take up to 24 hours to verify documents.
Step 5: Make a Deposit
Once the account is verified, clients can make a deposit through any of the accepted methods and start trading through the trading platforms.
Before starting forex trading in the UK, it is important to understand the working of the forex market and the terminologies used while trading online. Traders must acknowledge each component of the risk involved in the forex market. It is always advisable to start with a demo account to learn the basics of trading and gain experience. More than 70% of forex traders lose money.
Forex trading carries inherent risks that traders need to be aware of. Here are the key risks associated with forex trading:
Traders should understand these risks and implement risk management strategies. This includes setting appropriate stop-loss orders, diversifying trades, using proper position sizing, and continuously educating themselves about forex market dynamics. Seeking advice from financial professionals and using demo accounts for practice can also help mitigate risks.
Educate: Learn the basics of forex trading.
Reliable Broker: Choose a regulated broker with good support.
Risk Management: Set stop-loss, take-profit, and manage risk.
Demo Account: Practice on a demo account before real trading.
Plan: Develop a clear trading plan and stick to it.
Major Pairs: Begin with major currency pairs.
Stay Informed: Follow global economic news.
Analysis: Use technical and fundamental analysis.
Emotions: Control emotions to avoid impulsive decisions.
Patience: Success takes time; avoid quick gains.
Consistency: Stick to a proven strategy.
Records: Maintain a trading journal.
Diversify: Consider diversifying beyond forex.
|Spread Betting Platform||Typical EUR/USD Spread||Minimum Deposit||Max. Leverage|
Yes, forex trading is legal in the UK and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the UK. You should trade via a regulated forex broker to ensure that your funds are safe.
There are many brokers that offer similar services with slight differences. The best broker depends on your unique requirements. The most important factor is to trade with an FCA-regulated forex broker. By our comparison, there are some good regulated forex brokers like Pepperstone, City Index etc. that are regulated & have competitive fees, and trading conditions.
Yes. There are two methods to speculate on the price movements of forex pairs in the UK. Profits made on forex trading as CFD trading is subject to capital gain tax at the end of the year. Profits made on forex trading as spread betting is tax-free in the UK.
According to our analysis, eToro is an ideal choice for beginners as the trading platform is user-friendly and copy trading is free of cost. However, City Index, CMC Markets, Pepperstone, etc can also be ideal for beginners as they are safe and charge low spreads.
City Index, CMC Markets, Pepperstone and all the brokers that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the UK can be considered safe. Brokers that use STP/ECN method for trade execution are considered more safer as such brokers do not take part in trade orders placed by clients. A market maker can take another side of the trade.
CMC Markets, City Index, Pepperstone, and IG Markets can be considered best for MT4 trading platform. Traders must check the contract specifications and trading conditions for each broker before opening their account.
According to our analysis and comparison, Pepperstone, City Index, CMC Markets, and ETX Capital are the best forex brokers with the lowest spread in the UK. Apart from low spreads, traders should also check the authenticity and FCA license of the brokers.
Yes but only if it the broker is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the UK. A broker that is not regulated by FCA involves high third-party risk and is risky for the traders.
Yes, you can make a living by trading forex but it is not recommended for a beginner. Forex trading involves significant financial risk and the majority of traders lose money in forex trading. Experienced traders who spend adequate time and effort in research and analysis tend to make regular income in forex.
On average a forex trader makes nearly GBP 70,000 per year. However, the income through forex trading depends on the trading volume and capital used in trading. For example on a trade of a standard lot, a profit of 1 pip will be equal to $10 while the same movement with 0.1 lot will deliver $1 gain.