Best UK Forex Brokers for 2020

Discover the top UK forex brokers ranked by fees, regulation, platform and usability.
Kane Pepi
Author: Kane Pepi
Last Updated: 18 August 2020

If you’re based in the UK, you’ll be pleased to know that there are now hundreds of forex brokers active in the market. Brokers must be regulated by the FCA, so your capital is held in segregated bank accounts. With competition in the UK brokerage space now somewhat competitive, you’ll also benefit from low spreads, multiple payment methods, and top-notch customer support.

In this article, we outline the best online forex brokers currently active in the UK. We also explain the ins and outs of how the UK forex space works, such as leverage limits, regulation, and what you need to look out for prior to joining a new platform.

Our recommended UK Forex Platform

We’ve analysed the best trading platforms for 2020 and found the following to be the best choice in terms of fees, platform and usability. Click the link below to get started now or read on to find out why this platform has made it into our top choice.

eToro : Best Forex Platform 2020

Visit etoro

  • Top Forex broker
  • Regulated by several financial authorities
  • Social and copy trading
75% of retail investors lose capital when trading CFDs with this provider.

 

Best UK Forex Brokers for 2020

Although we would suggest doing your own research prior to joining a new UK forex broker, you might want to get started with an account right now. If so, we would suggest exploring the merits of the following five UK forex brokers. Each broker meets and complies with the stringent criteria that we discussed in the section above.

1. eToro - UK Forex Broker with $200 Minimum Deposit

eToro is a UK forex broker that was first launched in 2006. The platform is often favoured by newbie traders for a number of reasons. Firstly, the trading platform itself is super-easy to use, so you won't need any prior experience to be able to place a buy or sell order. Next, eToro offers an innovative feature known as 'copy trading'.

In a nutshell, this allows you to mirror the trades of other users on the platform. You can research the user's historical trading results to ensure you only copy successful investors. In doing so, you stand the chance of making money without needing to lift a finger. In terms of the fundamentals, eToro lists dozens of forex pairs, which includes currencies from the majors, minors, and exotics.

The platform does not charge any trading commissions other than the spread, and you can apply leverage within the limits imposed by ESMA. All deposits are free, and you can choose from debit/credit cards, e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill, or a local bank transfer.

Minimum account balances start at $200 (GBP equivalent). Outside of the forex department, you can also trade CFDs, stocks and shares, and cryptocurrencies.

Assets: Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, CFD, Forex, ETFs, Commodities

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Great educational material for both beginners and advanced traders

Fees: $5 Withdrawal Fee, $5 Inactivity Fee, No Account Fee, No Deposit Fee

Minimum Deposit: $200

MT4/MT5: No

Special Features: Copy trading and social trading site

Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC, MiFID

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Sofort, Rapid transfer, Skrill, Wire transfer, Neteller, WebMoney, UnionPay

Visit etoro

  • Social trading leader
  • Best mobile trading site
  • Paypal accepted
  • Limited technical analysis tools
  • Not well-suited for the more advanced investor
75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

2. FinmaxFX - High Leverage Across a Wide Range of Trading Instruments

Founded in 2015, FinmaxFX is a Forex and CFD broker that offers a selection of more than 400 tradable assets, 250 stocks from different stock exchanges around the world, and 30 crypto coins. The broker also enables investors to use 'The Investment Portfolio', which is a collection of securities, shares, and other financial instruments collected together by a team of trading experts. Investors at FinmaxFX get access to three investment portfolios that represent three different levels of risk aversion.

Apart from Being VFSC and IFMRRC regulated broker, FinmaxFX manages clients funds' in segregated accounts in European banks and offers complaints and dispute resolution policy to solve any customer's dissatisfaction involve with the operation of trading. Even though Finmaxfx is a relatively new broker, it has managed to gain trust from many traders around the world and has an excellent reputation in the industry.

For those of you who are looking to trade with the MetaTrader5 (MT5) platform, it is fully supported by FinmaxFX. The broker offers a desktop-based MT5 terminal, a web-based MT4, and a mobile application. Moreover, FinmaxFX has a range of six accounts for different types of users, including a free demonstration account.

Assets: Forex, stocks, CFDs, cryptocurrencies, commodities (CFDs and futures), indices, and bonds

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: A comprehensive education centre that includes video lessons, eBooks, and terms & definitions.

Fees: 1 pip on major pairs for a VIP account, 3 pips for other account types, monthly inactivity fee, withdrawal fees, free deposits

Minimum deposit: $250

Special Features: Offers MT5 (Desktop, Web, and Mobile), margin calculator, automated trading (Expert-Advisor), daily market news and technical analysis forecasts

Regulation: Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC), International Financial Market Relations Regulation Center (IFMRRC)

Payment methods: Credit card, Yandex Money, Bank Transfer, QIWI, e-Payments, Webmoney, Skrill, Neteller, and Vload.

Our Rating

  • A regulated broker
  • Offers a wide selection of payment methods
  • More than 30 cryptocurrencies are available on the platform
  • FinmaxFX charges an inactivity fee
  • Only one trading platform (MT5) is available
  • Not suitable for newbies
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

3. Plus500 - FCA Regulated Broker with Low Spreads

Launched in 2008, Plus500 is a London-based forex and CFD broker. The platform has amassed an excellent reputation in the UK brokerage space. This includes multiple regulatory licenses issued by the FCA, ASIC (Australia) and CySEC (Cyprus). On top of its strong regulatory standing, the platform's parent company is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Once again, this further highlights Plus500's reputation as a trusted UK forex broker. The platform lists heaps of currency pairs across the majors, minors, and exotics. Due to the size of the platform's customer base, Plus500 benefits from large trading volumes - and liquidity levels are more than sufficient to trade around the clock. One of the standout selling points of using Plus500 is that it offers really tight spreads on its major pairs.

This is crucial if you are a day trader, as it will give you a much better chance of closing a position in profit. When it comes to the platform's payments department, Plus500 allows you to deposit funds with a debit/credit card, PayPal, or a traditional bank wire. All deposits are instant apart from the bank account option. You can get started with Plus500 in a matter of minutes, and minimum deposits start at £100. Finally, if you're the type of trader that wishes to buy and sell currencies on the move, Plus500 now offers a fully-fledged mobile app.

Assets: CFDs

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: No

Fees: £10 Inactivity Fee, £0 withdrawal fees

Minimum deposit: £100

MT4/MT5: No

Special Features: 2,000 trading instruments

Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Bank transfer

our rating

  • Minimum deposit of $100
  • Over 2,000 trading instruments
  • Mobile app available
  • Little education material available
  • An inactivity fee is charged
80.5% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

4. AVATrade - Spreads From 0.9 Pips on Major Forex Pairs

Although lesser-known than the likes of eToro and Plus500, AVATrade has proved popular with retail traders since its inception in 2006. Firstly, the account opening process takes just a few minutes, and you can deposit funds as soon as you have uploaded a copy of your government-issued ID.

This includes the option of a debit/credit card or bank transfer, although you're best off sticking with the former if you want access to instant deposits. The platform lists 56 forex pairs in total. Although this isn't anything to write home about, it does cover all majors and minors, and a small number of exotics. Crucially, AVATrade stands out for us because of its super-tight spreads. For example, you'll get a spread of just 0.9 pips on EUR/USD, and just 0.5 pips when trading the S&P 500.

When it comes to the platform's regulatory standing, AVATrade holds licenses in multiple countries. This includes Ireland, Japan, South Africa, and the British Virgin Islands.

Assets: Forex, thousands of CFDs, cryptocurrencies

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: No fundamental news or trading ideas, but trading calculator provided

Fees: 0.9 pips on most major pairs, no withdrawal fee, monthly inactivity fee

Minimum deposit: $100

MT4/MT5: Both

Special Features: Pricing alerts and notifications Regulation: Licenses in Ireland, Japan, South Africa, British Virgin Islands

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Bank wire

Our rating

  • Spreads from just 0.9 pips
  • Multiple licenses
  • Both MT4 and MT5 supported
  • No research features
  • No research features
  • Only 56 forex pairs supported
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

5. IG - Leading Broker with a Wide Range of Tradable Assets

IG is one of the most well-established brokerages on the market today. Launched in 1974, IG is a retail broker for more than 178,000 clients worldwide, offering more than 17,000 markets to trade on.

The UK-based broker that is regulated by top-tier regulators such as FCA, MAS, ASIC, CFTC, and NFA, offers one of the most diversified selections of trading instruments in the online brokerage space. As such, IG offers traders an extensive list of tradeable assets including direct access to the various share markets (not CFDs). This includes more than 12,000, and the ability to trade 'Extended Hours' US stocks. As a matter of fact, unlike other trading platforms, IG has four mains sections - Forex trading, CFD trading, Spread Betting, and Share dealing. It is, therefore, an ideal broker for retail traders, whether beginners or experienced.

But apart from offering an extensive range of tradable assets, IG also offers a range of advanced trading platforms and unique trading tools. This includes a variety of trading platforms and API interfaces. IG provides its main propriety web-based trading platform, a progressive web app (PWA), mobile and tablet stock trading apps, the popular MetaTrader4, the ProRealTime, and the L2Dealer.

Finally, you should into consideration the numerous trading features available on IG's platform. Those include trading signals, algorithmic trading, volatility trading, volume-based rebated, and many more.

Assets: Forex, indices, shares, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and CFDs

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Offers the IG Academy that includes online trading courses, and interactive education section, and a demo account.

Fees: 0.6 pip on major currency pairs,$ £12 monthly inactivity fee after 2 years of inactivity, no deposit and withdrawal fees

Minimum deposit: $300

Special Features: A variety of trading platforms (for beginners and professional traders), advanced trading tools and features, excellent research, and analysis including daily news and trade ideas.

Regulation: FCA, MAS, CFTC, NFA, and ASIC

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, HKD FPS, and wire transfer

Our rating

  • IG offers more than 17,000 markets
  • An extensive range of trading platforms
  • Competitive fees and spreads
  • Limited selection of payment methods
  • Charges inactivity fee of $12
  • Not a social trading platform
76% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

6. Forex.com - Best Broker for US Traders

Founded in 1999, Forex.com is one of the oldest forex and CFD brokers in the industry but even these days it remains one of the largest and most popular CFD and online trading platform in the world. Further, when it comes to the safety of funds, Forex.com is regulated by top-tier financial authorities, and its parent company, GAIN Capital, is listed on the New York stock exchange under the ticker symbol 'GCAP'.

Forex.com is a US-Based broker, however, it maintains operations in more than 180 countries across the world. But what makes Forex.com different than most of the other brokers in the industry is the fact that it is registered and regulated in the United States by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the National Futures Association (NFA). That makes Forex.com one of the few brokers that accept US traders.

Furthermore, investors at Forex.com have access to automated trading tools through the Expert Advisor which is available on the MetaTrader4 and MetaTrader5. The option to automate trading strategies via Forex.com is ideal as the broker allows users to use a Virtual Private Server (VPS), meaning you will be able to run an EAs during trading hours without having to manage the trading operation on your computer's server.

Assets: Forex, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and gold & metals

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Trader Type Quiz, webinars, guides

Fees: 0.2 pip on major pairs, $15 monthly inactivity fee, 20% margin rate for retail clients, free deposits

Minimum deposit: $50

Special Features: MetaTrader VPS hosting, Direct Market Access (DMA) Level 2 market execution, variable and fixed spreads

Regulation: NFA, CFTC, FCA, ASIC, FSA, IIROC, CIMA, DFC, and MAS

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Bank wire transfer

Our Rating

  • Accepts US traders
  • Offers a Dirct Market Access (DMA) aacount
  • Competitive FX spreads
  • High CFDs fees
  • Charges an overnight fee
  • CFDs are not available for US traders
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

7. Markets.com - Forex Broker with a User-Friendly Trading Interface

Markets.com is another UK-based forex broker with an excellent reputation. The platform is regulated in multiple jurisdictions, including the UK, Cyprus, and Australia. Founded in 1999, Markets.com offers 57 forex pairs. This includes all major currencies, as well as a small selection of minor and exotic pairs.

On top of its forex offering, Markets.com supports more than 2,000 CFD products. This covers financial instruments across stocks and shares, energies, precious metals, and indices. The main attraction of selecting Markets.com is that its trading interface is ideal for newbie traders. The interface is clean and crisp, and placing buy and sell orders is a seamless process. You can also place your required stop-loss and take-profit orders at a click of a button.

For those of you that wish to utilize the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform, this is fully supported by Markets.com. You will also have access to the platform's mobile forex app, which is available on both iOS and Android devices. The only drawback to using Markets.com is that its spreads could be tighter - especially on its minor and exotic pairs.

Assets: Forex, stocks and shares, CFDs, commodities, indices

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Live webinars and regular analysis

Fees: 1.9 pips on most major pairs, no deposit fee, £10 monthly inactivity fee

Minimum deposit: £200

MT4/MT5: Both

Special Features: Heaps of technical indicator tools

Regulation: FCA, ASIC Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Skrill, Neteller, Bank wire

our rating

  • EUR/USD spread of 1.9 pips
  • Native mobile app
  • User-friendly trading interface
  • Spreads on minors/exotics are expensive
  • Only 57 currency pairs
  • £10 monthly inactivity fee
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

8. City Index - Trusted Broker with Advanced Forex Trading Tools

City Index is a UK-based broker that was first launched in 1983. As such, it boasts an excellent reputation in the brokerage arena that now spans almost four decades. On top of thousands of CFDs and spread betting facilities, City Index is super-strong in the forex department.

This includes more than 80 individual forex pairs, with all majors and minors covered. The platform is best suited for those of you with experience of trading online, not least because it offers a range of advanced charting tools. This includes heaps of technical indicators and numerous order types. We also like the research department offered by City Index.

Through its partnership with Recognia, you'll have access to key market data in real-time, as well as trading ideas posted by its in-house analysts. When it comes to spreads, you can get this down to 1 pip when trading major pairs like GBP/USD and EUR/USD. Spreads start to widen as you engage with minors and exotics, albeit, this is industry-standard.

Finally, it is worth noting that City Index offers top-notch customer support. This includes live chat, telephone, and email support.

Assets: Forex, CFDs, Spread Betting

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Excellent education material via third-party platform Recognia, trading ideas, real-time news

Fees: 1 pip on major pairs, £10 monthly inactivity fee, 3.33% margin rate for retail clients, free deposits

Minimum deposit: £100 MT4/MT5: MT4

Special Features: Advanced charting tools, top-notch research and analysis, pricing alerts, mobile trading

Regulation: FCA, ASIC, MAS Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Bank wire

  • Well established brokerage
  • Excellent research tools
  • Advanced trading features
  • Cheaper spreads available elsewhere
  • No e-wallet support
  • Not suitable for newbies
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

How to Choose a UK Forex Broker

Although we have listed our top five UK forex broker picks, no two brokers are the same. For example, while the brokers listed above should suit the vast majority of you, there might come a time when you have a specific niche requirement. As such, we would suggest reviewing the following metrics when choosing a new UK forex broker site.

  • Licensing

Without a doubt, you need to ensure that your chosen UK forex broker holds at least one regulatory license – that of the FCA. This will ensure that the broker complies with all relevant UK laws, especially with respect to client fund segregation. This means that were the broker to collapse, your funds should be safe, as they are held with tier-one financial institutions.

  • Forex Pairs

If you’ve got a specific forex pair that you like to trade, you’ll need to make sure that the broker lists it. Similarly, if you’re the type of investor that likes the trade multiple pairs, it’s probably best to stick with brokers that offer a highly extensive number of currencies.  

  • Payment Methods

You’re going to be trading with real-world money, so it makes sense that you check to see what payment methods the broker supports. In the vast majority of cases, UK brokers will allow you to fund your account with an everyday debit or credit card. You might get the option of depositing funds with a UK bank account or e-wallet, too.

  • Spreads and Commissions

When you use a UK forex broker you will likely pay fees on two main fronts. Firstly, you’ll need to explore the average spreads charged on your preferred forex pairs. This is the difference between the buy and sell price of a particular currency pair and it’s expressed in ‘pips. The higher the pip amount, the more expensive it is to trade.

You also need to explore what trading commissions the broker charges, as this is separate from the spread. You’ll likely pay a percentage of the amount you trade. For example, if the commission is 0.1% and the size of your trade is £10,000, you’ll pay a fee of £1.

  • Trading Tools and Research

Successful forex traders will know first-hand the importance of charting tools. At the forefront of this is technical indicators, so check to see what the broker offers before signing up. You’ll also need some assistance in the form of fundamental research. At a minimum, this should include real-time news updates and trading ideas.

  • Leverage

If you’ve got a slightly higher appetite for risk, then you might be looking to trade on leverage. Most, but not all, UK forex brokers allow you to buy and sell currencies on leverage. With that said, you’ll still need to abide by the limitations imposed by ESMA. 

  • Account Minimums

Most UK forex brokers will impose a minimum account balance. This typically starts at £100, although it can be higher. Similarly, you should also check what the broker’s policy is on minimum withdrawals.

  • Customer Support

Finally, you also need to explore what the broker’s customer support department is like. We prefer UK forex brokers that offer support on three fronts – live chat, telephone, and email. Moreover, it’s best to stick with brokers that offer customer support on a 24/7 basis.

Note: Forex trading is a tough cookie to crack, with most newbie investors losing money. This is why you need to have a firm understanding of the risks prior to getting started, as well as the strategies you can implement to mitigate your losses

Leverage at UK Forex Brokers

Although the UK is no longer part of the European Union, the current transition period means that it is pretty much business as usual. This means that UK forex brokers must abide by the leverage rules implemented by ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). For those unaware, this means that retail traders are restricted to leverage levels of 25:1 on major pairs, and 20:1 on minors/exotics.

With that being said, the rules only remain constant if you are a retail trader. If you are deemed to be a professional trader, then these limits will not apply. Irrespective of your trading status, just make sure that you understand the risks of trading on leverage. You could lose a lot of money, so always install sensible stop-losses.

Conclusion

By reading our guide from start to finish, you should now have a firm idea of what it takes to open an account with a UK forex broker. We’ve given you a number of metrics that you need to look out for prior to choosing a new site – such as fees, spreads, payment methods, customer support, trading pairs, and more.

With that said, if you don’t have the time to find a platform for yourself, it might be worth considering the merits of one of the UK forex brokers we’ve recommended on this page. Ultimately, whichever UK forex trading platform you do sign up with, just make sure that you have a full understanding of the risks. After all, most newbie forex traders lose money, so it might be worth starting out with super-small stakes.

eToro : Best Forex Platform 2020

Visit etoro

  • Top Forex broker
  • Regulated by several financial authorities
  • Social and copy trading
75% of retail investors lose capital when trading CFDs with this provider.

FAQs

Are UK forex brokers safe?

UK brokers must be regulated by the FCA. This means that client funds are held in segregated bank accounts.

What leverage limits do UK forex brokers offer?

UK forex brokers are still bound by the limitations set out by ESMA. This caps retail traders to 25:1 on major pairs, and 20:1 on minors and exotics.

Should I join a commission-free UK broker?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. On the one hand, commission-free brokers allow you to trade forex without paying any fees. However, some brokers will make up for this by charging a wide spread, so do bear this in mind!

What is the minimum deposit amount at UK forex brokers?

This depends on the broker in question. Most UK forex brokers have a minimum deposit amount of at least £100 - sometimes more.

What payment methods do UK forex brokers support?

Most UK forex brokers give you the option of funding your account with a debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet.

Forex brokers by country

Forex Brokers
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Kane Pepi

Kane holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of publications in the online space.

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eToro: Trade Forex with 0% Commission

eToro: Trade Forex with 0% Commission

eToro: Trade Forex with 0% Commission

Visit eToro

75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with eToro.

eToro: Trade Forex with 0% Commission
Visit eToro

75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with eToro.

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