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Best Forex Brokers in the UK for April 2024

Steven Hatzakis

Written by Steven Hatzakis
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Dayana Yochim

April 03, 2024

London accounts for more foreign exchange, or forex, trading volume than anywhere else in the world, so if you’re looking for a forex broker in the U.K., you’re in good company.

Before choosing any U.K. forex broker you must ensure it’s properly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, by verifying its registration number on the FCA website. I tested more than 20 of the most regulated brokers globally for this guide, which ranks the all-around top U.K. forex trading platforms for beginners, intermediate and even advanced traders.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% 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.

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Best Forex Trading Platforms in the U.K.

Based on my analysis, these are the the best forex brokers in the U.K.

  • IG
    - Best overall
  • Saxo - Best for research
  • CMC Markets - Best web platform
  • Interactive Brokers
    - Great for professionals
  • City Index - Excellent all-around offering
  • XTB - Best customer service
  • FOREX.com
    - Great education
  • eToro
    - Best for copy trading
IG
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best overall

Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG (LSE: IGG) offers traders the ultimate package of excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, competitive pricing, and an extensive list of tradeable products. The minimum deposit in the U.K. is £250.

Saxo
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best for research

For traders who can afford the £500 minimum deposit in the U.K., Saxo offers competitive pricing, excellent trading platforms, brilliant research, reliable customer service, and over 40,000 instruments to trade.

CMC Markets
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best web platform

CMC Markets is a globally trusted broker that delivers a terrific offering for traders thanks to excellent pricing and nearly 10,000 tradeable instruments. CMC Markets (LSE: CMCX) offers the best forex trading platform, its flagship Next Generation web app which comes packed with quality research, innovative trading tools, and powerful charting.

Interactive Brokers
4.5/5 Stars 4.5 Overall

Great for professionals

Professional forex and CFD traders seeking a global multi-asset broker will find Interactive Brokers offers a sophisticated, institutional-grade trading platform, and competitive fees. Interactive Brokers (NASDAQ: IBKR) offers advanced order types and access to global financial markets. Read full review

City Index
4.5/5 Stars 4.5 Overall

Excellent all-around offering

Backed by GAIN Capital, City Index is a trusted brand that traders choose for its advanced trading platforms, excellent mobile app, diverse market research, education, and extensive range of markets. GAIN Capital is part of StoneX Group (NASDAQ: SNEX) a Fortune 500 company. There is no minimum initial deposit requirement.

XTB
4.5/5 Stars 4.5 Overall

Best customer service

As a trusted multi-asset broker, XTB offers traders outstanding customer service and an excellent trading experience overall thanks to the xStation 5 trading platform. XTB is publicly traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE: XTB.PL).

FOREX.com
4.5/5 Stars 4.5 Overall

Great education

While not a discount broker, FOREX.com is a trusted brand that delivers an excellent trading experience for forex and CFDs traders across the globe. FOREX.com is a GAIN Capital brand which is part of StoneX Group (NASDAQ: SNEX) a Fortune 500 company.

eToro
4/5 Stars 4.0 Overall

Best for copy trading

eToro is a winner for its easy-to-use copy-trading platform where traders can copy the trades of investors across over 2300 instruments, including exchange-traded securities, forex, CFDs, and popular cryptocurrencies. Read full review

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Winners Summary

Best overall - IG

Company Overall Offers Visit Site
IG logoIG 5/5 Stars Visit Site

IG is my top choice for U.K. forex traders in 2024. IG ranks near or at the top of nearly every category we track here at StockBrokers.com, and is regulated across nearly a dozen jurisdictions globally, including by the FCA in the U.K. In addition to offering cash equities and share trading via CFDs (contracts for difference), IG offers forex trading across its proprietary platform suite, on MetaTrader4 (MT4), and via its Forex Direct account for high-volume traders. IG is highly trusted as a publicly traded company (LON: IGG). Read a full IG forex review on our sister site, ForexBrokers.com.

Best for research - Saxo

Company Overall Offers Visit Site
Saxo logoSaxo 5/5 Stars

Saxo is a multi-asset broker and well-known brand under the Saxo Bank Group, with regulatory licenses in top-tier jurisdictions and over $100 billion in assets as of its 2023 H1 report. In testing its platforms, I found Saxo to do an excellent job of letting me easily switch between asset classes within its SaxoTraderGO (web and mobile) and SaxoTraderPRO (desktop) and even change instrument types straight from within the order entry interface. In addition to stellar trading platforms, Saxo offers strong research that impressed me with high-quality content for forex, CFDs and share trading. Read a full Saxo forex review on our sister site, ForexBrokers.com.

Best web platform - CMC Markets

Company Overall Offers Visit Site
CMC Markets logoCMC Markets 5/5 Stars

Another highly trusted mult-asset broker, CMC Markets has consistently ranked near the top of nearly every category we track, and I think it’s a great choice for retail and professional traders. CMC Markets has a well-rounded offering that includes a vast selection of currency pairs, a versatile trading platform and high-quality market research, coupled with highly competitive spreads and commissions. CMC Markets is publicly traded (LON:CMCX) and regulated nearly a dozen regulators globally, including the FCA. Read a full CMC Markets forex review on our sister site, ForexBrokers.com.

FAQs

What is the best forex trading platform for beginners in the U.K.?

IG stands out for beginners in the U.K. The broker is a leader when it comes to education, thanks to the ease of use across its flagship platform. Beginners also benefit from IG Academy, a dedicated mobile app with educational resources; content from DailyFX, a blog-style news site; and access to IG Community, a social network resembling an advanced forum.

Is forex trading legal in the U.K.?

Yes, forex trading is legal in the U.K. provided that it is offered by a broker that is properly authorized and regulated by the FCA — a requirement that will also protect you from dealing with a scam broker. That’s why it is critical to only use a trusted forex broker that holds a valid regulatory status with the FCA.

When checking a broker that holds a valid license in the U.K. on the FCA website, you can see the type of clients that it can work with (such as retail or professional) and the types of investments the broker can provide, such as:

  • Contract for differences
  • Rights to or interests in investments (Contractually Based Investments)
  • Rights to or interests in investments (Security)
  • Rolling spot forex contract
  • Shares
  • Spread bet

Can I trade with a U.K. forex broker if I reside in the EU?

U.K. forex brokers that are also regulated in the EU can accept you as an EU client through their EU entity.

Since the U.K. has left the European Union, passporting is no longer supported from the U.K. (except to Gibraltar). Therefore, If you reside outside of the U.K., your broker may also need to be regulated in your country of residence.

To check which brokers accept clients from your country of residence, use our forex brokers international search tool.

Do UK forex brokers need to be authorized by the FCA?

Yes, U.K. forex brokers must be licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and authorized to deal in investments as agent and/or as principal.

The type of investments that FCA-regulated forex brokers can offer clients can also vary depending on their specific authorization from the FCA. That might include rolling spot forex contracts, CFDs, shares, futures, options, spread bets, and other instruments.

A benefit of dealing with a regulated broker in the U.K. is that as a retail client, you are eligible for up to £85,000 in compensation in the extraordinary event of your broker’s insolvency, thanks to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, or FSCS.

Do you pay tax on forex trading in the UK?

Yes, gains from forex trading are subject to capital gains tax in the U.K., with certain exceptions including whether you are trading forex as a CFD, rolling spot contract or spread bet.

  • If you are resident of the U.K., you will need to report your capital gains trading income or losses from rolling spot forex and CFD trades.
  • The exception is if you are trading forex as a spread bet, which is exempt from capital gains tax as it is more akin to gambling in terms of its tax treatment.

In addition, other factors, such as whether you trade full time and the amount of any gains/losses, may affect your potential tax obligation. It’s important to note that unrealized gains are not taxed until the trade is closed.

While some traders may opt to do a self-assessment when calculating taxes, if you are not sure it is best to find a qualified accountant such as an ACCA certified or ICAEW chartered accountant.

Can you use MetaTrader 4 in the U.K.?

Yes, there are numerous FCA-regulated forex brokers in the U.K. that offer the MetaTrader platform suite, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) for desktop, web and mobile. Compare MetaTrader brokers

For example, you can use MT4 with any of the following U.K. brokers: IG, Saxo Bank, CMC Markets, City Index, XTB, FOREX.com, Swissquote, FXCM, Pepperstone, Tickmill, FxPro, Vantage FX, HYCM, Eightcap and XM Group, all of which hold regulatory status with the FCA either directly or through their parent company. Some of these brokers also offer MetaTrader 5.

Our Research

Why you should trust us

Steven Hatzakis, global director of research for StockBrokers.com's sister site ForexBrokers.com, has been an active forex trader for more than 20 years. Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, including writing, consulting and serving as a registered commodity futures representative. He is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level.

Blain Reinkensmeyer, head of research at StockBrokers.com, has been investing and trading for over 25 years. After having placed over 2,000 trades in his late teens and early 20s, he became one of the first in digital media to review online brokerages. Blain created the original scoring rubric for StockBrokers.com and oversees all testing and rating methodologies.

For this guide:

  • Whenever possible, we used our own brokerage accounts for testing. For several brokers, we used a test account that was provided to us.
  • We tested all available trading platforms for each broker.
  • We collected more than 100 data points on each broker.
  • We evaluated the number and quality of each broker's regulatory licenses.

How we tested

For this guide to the best U.K. brokers for forex trading, we conducted thorough testing on a range of trading features, including each broker’s individual products, services, and tools. We looked in depth at each broker’s commissions and fees, such as bid/ask spreads, including the average spread data for some of the most popular forex currency pairs. We researched other trading costs, such as inactivity or custody fees, minimum deposit requirements, VIP rebates and/or discounts, and an exhaustive list of other important fee-based data points.

All websites and web-based platforms are tested using the latest version of the Google Chrome browser. Our Desktop PCs run Windows 11, and we use MacBook Pro laptops running macOS 12.5 to test trading on the go. We also test on mobile devices; for Apple, we test using the iPhone XS running iOS 16, and for Android we use the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra devices running Android OS 13.

Trading platforms tested

We tested 22 FCA-regulated forex brokers for this guide:

  • Admirals
  • City Index
  • CMC Markets
  • Eightcap
  • eToro
  • FOREX.com
  • FXCM
  • FxPro
  • HFM
  • HYCM
  • IG
  • Interactive Brokers
  • Pepperstone
  • Plus500
  • Saxo
  • Spreadex
  • Swissquote
  • Tickmill
  • Trade Nation
  • Trading 212
  • Vantage FX
  • XTB

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About the Editorial Team

Steven Hatzakis
Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Dayana Yochim
Dayana Yochim

Dayana Yochim is a Senior Writer/Editor at Reink Media Group who has written about personal finance and investing for more than 20 years. Her work has appeared in outlets including HerMoney.com, NerdWallet and the Motley Fool, and has been syndicated nationally. Dayana has also been a guest expert on "Today" and Good Morning America.

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