The 11 Best UK CFD and Forex Brokers in 2021
Updated 5 March 2021
Forex and CFD brokers are responsible for facilitating trades on the foreign exchange market, essentially by providing a platform through which traders can buy and sell a wide range of currency pairs.
Forex is the largest financial market in the world; as such there are many brokers operating in this field. Figuring out which one is right for you is a confusing but vital process, since your choice of broker can be influential to your success; choosing the wrong one could be financially devastating.
This article looks at the key points to consider when making your choice, before offering our list of the 11 best forex brokers in the UK.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Forex or CFD Broker
A broker that suits one trader is not necessarily right for another, and it’s important to conduct thorough research to find the right one for you.
Considerations should be relevant to your personal circumstances, but here are a few key points that you’ll need to keep in mind:
Is It Regulated?
The primary consideration when choosing a forex or CFD broker is safety.
You’re entrusting it with monetary funds and personal information, and will want a guarantee that both are protected.
You’ll also want confidence in your chosen broker’s reputation and credentials; essentially ensuring that it's not likely to go out of business, or worse, scam you out of profits.
The best forex and CFD brokers in the UK will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means it is obliged to operate to the highest standards with fairness and transparency.
Regulation information should be clearly visible on a broker’s website and its FCA registration number listed.
What Are Its Trading Costs?
The next thing to consider when choosing a forex or CFD broker is cost.
While some work on commission, most make money through spreads.
The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price on a currency pair and, depending on the type of trader you are, can have a significant impact on your profit margin.
Look at the average spreads each broker offers to find one that works best for you.
In addition to spread, you’ll also need to consider the minimum deposit required and any other fees the broker may apply, such as rollover costs (a charge to hold an open position overnight), interest rates and withdrawal charges.
Be sure to read the small print of each broker's service agreement to avoid unexpected costs. Also remember that the cheapest option is not always the best. Look for value for money rather than the lowest cost.
What Trading Platforms Does It Use?
The trading platforms offered by a forex or CFD broker are extremely important, since it’s through them that you’ll conduct all trading activity.
You’ll want a platform that’s intuitive, easy to navigate, suitable for your level of experience and that comes with a range of useful features to help inform the best trading decisions.
Many of the best forex or CFD brokers in the UK offer the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform as well as their own platforms, most of which you can try out before making any commitment with a free demo account.
Does It Offer Good Customer Service?
A broker doesn’t provide you with a one-off service. It supports you throughout your trading career, so it’s vital it provides good customer care.
A good broker should be easily contactable, handle problems efficiently and offer trustworthy trading guidance. Check out customer reviews of each potential broker on your list to see how they stack up.
When considering customer service, also keep in mind the level of support each broker offers through educational tools and resources. The best forex or CFD brokers want you to turn a good profit and will often provide video tutorials, articles and webinars, most of which are free to access for account holders.
Does It Fit With Your Trading Style?
The type of trader you are will have a significant influence on the best broker for you, so be sure to assess how well what it offers fits with your trading style.
If you’re a scalper, opening and closing trades to accumulate small profits several times a day, you’ll need a broker that offers tight spreads and does not insist on a minimum time frame between entering and exiting the market.
If your strategy is focused on the carry trade, where you intend to hold positions over time to profit from interest rate differentials, you’ll want to look at a broker’s rollover pricing and swap rates.
In addition to the above, you should also keep in mind things like:
- Available leverage
- The types of accounts on offer
- The range of currency pairs available for trade
Ultimately, choosing a good forex or CFD broker comes down to thorough research. The following list of the best forex and CFD brokers in the UK should give you a good starting point.
11 Best Forex and CFD Brokers in the UK
There are numerous brokers available and we would always recommend that you conduct your own thorough research and due diligence before making your own personal choice.
Although we have listed several brokers below, it should be noted that this is through online research, not personal experience.
At WikiJob, we are not financial advisors and any information provided throughout this article is for educational purposes only.
Recommended for: Beginners
Founded in 2007, eToro is considered a very low-risk broker as it is highly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and many other regulatory bodies elsewhere.
Opening an account is free and you can access a $100,000 demo account to test the system.
It offers 47 currency pairs for trading. Spreads for forex trading have recently been significantly reduced and range from a very competitive 1 to 3 pips for major currency pairs.
Typical spreads for EURUSD and USDJPY trades, for example, are just 1 pip.
You can see the full list of spreads on the eToro website.
You’ll need to deposit a minimum of $200 for Copy Trading, eToro's standout feature which allows you to follow other traders and copy their trades.
This forex broker is great for beginners due to its user-friendly interface and app and 24-hour customer support. It allows you to trade currencies, stocks and cryptocurrencies in one portfolio and the Copy Trading system is a great way to learn.
The company also offers trading courses and features a Learning Lab which houses a variety of tools to support clients with their trading experience.
*67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.*
Recommended for: Social copy trading
Founded in 2010, Pepperstone has been quick to adapt to the social copy trading trend, providing plenty of tools for traders to share and mimic trading styles.
With over 60 currency pairs, it offers two account types:
- Standard – The Standard account comes with market average spreads and zero commission
- Razor – This account operates on a commission basis but with exceptionally low spreads
Pepperstone does not have its own platform but offers the complete MT4, MT5 and cTrader solutions, as well as supporting ZuluTrade, Myfxbook and MetaTrader Signals for copy trading.
There is no minimum deposit required but Pepperstone recommends a minimum of £500.
3. City Index
Recommended for: Competitive spreads
A well-established and highly regarded UK forex broker, acquired by parent company GAIN Capital in 2014.
It currently offers 84 currency pairs across major, minor and exotics, with spreads on many majors standing around 0.8 when trading through its proprietary platform. You’ll need to deposit a minimum of £100 to start trading.
City Index provides several platforms, with its Web Trader and Advantage Apps aimed at beginner or casual traders, and MT4 and its own AT Pro platform for more experienced users.
Minimum Deposit: $100
Regulations: CySEC, FMA, FSCA, ASIC, MIFID-ESMA
With a wide range of assets available and several tools to inform profitable trades, Markets.com is another good choice for stockbrokers offering PayPal deposits and withdrawals.
Round the clock customer support is available during weekdays, with the broker’s live chat functionality being highly regarded by account holders.
Users can opt to trade through several platforms including the proprietary Marketsx and Marketsi, as well as MT4, MT5 and Marketsx for mobile.
Be sure to try out the free demos available before choosing your platform as each offers benefits for different trading styles.
However, it does rate fairly in terms of fees and trading costs, with zero commission available for three months if trading through the Marketsi platform.
Recommended for: High volume trading
Another well-established broker, FXCM has served forex traders since 1999.
It offers a comparatively low range of currency pairs, with just 39 available, and its spreads are a little above the market average. However, for those looking to trade often and at high volume, its Active Trader account provides very competitive pricing.
FXCM also offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, NinjaTrader, ZuluTrade and its proprietary platform, Trading Station.
Leverage is available up to 30:1 on many major pairs, and a minimum deposit of £300 is required for standard accounts. The Active Trader account requires a minimum deposit of £25,000.
Recommended for: Experienced traders
First on our list of the best forex and CFD brokers in the UK is Plus500, providing an easy-to-use and accessible service.
You’ll find over 60 CFD currency pairs with competitive spreads, no commission and available leverage of up to 30:1.
Although MetaTrader and cTrader are not available, Plus500’s own platform is very user-friendly. It comes with a range of intuitive risk management features and is available on web and mobile.
Plus500 requires a minimum deposit of £100 if using a credit or debit card, and £500 if using bank transfer.
Plus500 UK Ltd authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909).
76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Availability subject to regulations
Recommended for: Range of markets
Think Markets was founded in 2010 in New Zealand. Now headquartered in Australia, in a short space of time it has become a preeminent, multi-regulated broker providing access to a broad range of markets and CFD products.
Think Markets provides access to a range of markets including shares, forex, commodities (energy and agricultural), metals, equities and ETFs, indices, futures, and cryptocurrencies.
It has over 38 currency pairs, 9 indices, 10 cryptocurrencies and 1,200 shares to choose from.
It offers three trading platforms – its proprietary platform, Think Trader, as well as the popular Meta Trader 4 and the new Meta Trader 5.
Traders can set up a demo account and practice trading for free with $25,000 in virtual funds.
A standard account can be opened without putting down any cash, allowing traders to explore their live account before they trade.
With a standard account, you can trade with a maximum leverage of 30:1. If you qualify as a professional trader, you can trade with 500:1 leverage.
There is also a Think Zero account for forex trading, which offers tight spreads from as low as 0 pips. There is no broker mark-up, only a small commission involved.
Think Markets has 24/5 customer support via web or phone.
Recommended for: Trading with MetaTrader
Compared to others in our brokers list, FxPro is a relative newcomer, having launched in 2006.
With around 70 currency pairs on offer, and several accounts available with differing spreads and commission rates, it is perhaps not the best option for first-time traders.
However, if you have experience and an established trading style, FxPro is a good choice.
It is one of two brokers on our list to currently offer the full MetaTrader suite, with MT4 and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) available. It also offers cTrader and its own platform, FxPro Edge.
FxPro recommends a minimum deposit of £500, though you can start trading with just £100.
Recommended for: Customer service
The last of our best brokers in the UK is XTB, founded in 2002 with an excellent reputation for customer service.
It has 48 currency pairs available to trade through two account types:
- Standard – Offering market average spreads
- Pro – Offering much tighter spreads but with added commission
XTB supports the full MT4 suite, and its proprietary platform, xStation 5, offers a user-friendly, intuitive solution that works well on desktop, web and mobile.
You’ll need a minimum deposit of £250 to start trading and you’ll find that several educational resources are available, including XTB’s trading academy.
10. CMC Markets
Recommended for: Range of currency pairs
Established in 1989, CMC Markets was one of the first UK brokers to provide online forex trading.
It offers over 300 forex pairs, with spreads as low as 0.7 on majors, including EUR/USD and USD/JPY, and leverage up to 30:1 on many major pairings.
Its award-winning proprietary platform, Next Generation, is available on both web and mobile, offering an intuitive interface suitable for users of all experience levels. MT4 is also available.
There is no charge to open an account and no minimum deposit required to start trading, making CMC one of the most accessible of the best forex brokers in the UK.
Recommended for: Great all-round broker
Founded in 1974, IG is the longest-standing firm in our brokers list and a popular choice with retail and professional traders alike.
It offers highly competitive spreads on many majors, such as an average 0.7 on EUR/USD, and has over 90 currency pairs available for trade.
IG’s proprietary web-based platform is renowned for its speed, reliability, functionality and ease of use, whilst its mobile app offers a highly comparable experience. MT4 is also available.
You can start trading with IG with a minimum £250 deposit.
All of the above firms are regulated by the FCA which, as mentioned, is a primary consideration when choosing a forex or CFD broker.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive and is not intended to inform any final decision made on your part. Instead, use it as a reference tool to guide your research and find a broker that best suits your trading style and personal circumstances.
WikiJob does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.
ESMA risk warning: 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 understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.