Best Forex Brokers in UK for 2024

Written by Naylyan Nazifova
Naylyan Nazifova is a recognised expert in the online trading field. She has many publications and analysis covering forex trading, stock investing and personal finance. 
, | Updated: May 15, 2024

If you are on the lookout for a reliable forex broker in the UK, you are in luck: our experts have assessed a range of forex brokers that are authorized to offer their services to UK traders. Below, we focused on each broker’s platform, reliability, and other factors that can make or break a forex broker.

1Fusion Markets
Rating: 4.6 ⭐
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
2Global Prime
Rating: 4.1 ⭐
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
3Plus500
Rating: 4.1 ⭐
80% of retail investor accounts lose money
4IG
Rating: 4.1 ⭐
70% of retail client accounts lose money
5eToro
Rating: 4.2 ⭐
51% of retail investor accounts lose money
6Axi
Rating: 3.3 ⭐
The vast majority of retail client accounts lose money
7easyMarkets
Rating: 4.5 ⭐
71% of retail investor accounts lose money
8FXCM
Rating: 4.2 ⭐
70% of retail investor accounts lose money
9Spreadex
Rating: 4.4 ⭐
64% of retail investors lose money
10XM Group
Rating: 2.7 ⭐
72.82% of retail investor accounts lose money

British Forex Brokers Ranked by Trustpilot Score

British Forex Brokers Ranked by Spread Commission

Forex BrokerEURUSDUSDJPYEURGBPGBPUSD
1. Fusion Markets0.110.130.150.11
2. Global Prime0.130.280.280.22
3. IG0.60.90.90.9
4. FXCM0.61.110.8
5. Spreadex0.690.90.8
6. easyMarkets0.71.01.00.9
7. XM Group0.80.91.50.9
8. eToro1.01.01.52.0
9. Axi1.21.41.11.2
10. Plus5001.21.51.51.5

British Forex Brokers Ranked by Commission per Lot

Forex BrokerCommission per lot
1. Plus500$0
2. IG$0
3. eToro$0
4. easyMarkets$0
5. FXCM$0
6. Spreadex$0
7. Fusion Markets$2.25 per lot
8. Global Prime$3.50 per lot
9. Axi$3.50 per lot
10. XM Group$3.50 per lot

Important NoteIn terms of regulatory oversight, traders in the UK have access to brokers licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Each licensee is, therefore, required to ensure that client funds are segregated from the broker’s own money, offer negative balance protection to retail traders, and meet a range of other requirements that are to the benefit of UK traders. You can visit the FCA’s website at https://www.fca.org.uk/, and we also recommend that you follow the @TheFCA account on X (formelly Twitter).

Top 10 FX Brokers in UK

  1. TRADE NOW74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
    Fusion Markets Broker Details
    RegulatorsASIC, Financial Services Authority of Seychelles, VFSC
    Min DepositNo min deposit
    Trading PlatformsMetaTrader4, MetaTrader5, cTrader, DupliTrade, Fusion+ Copy Trade
    Trustpilot Rating4.6 out of 1409 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to TradeOver 200
    LeverageForex & Metals: 500:1
    Index CFDs: 100:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 10:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 0.11
    USDJPY: 0.13
    EURGBP: 0.15
    GBPUSD: 0.11
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$2.25 per lot
    Deposit MethodsVisa, Mastercard, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Fasapay, Jeton Wallet, Perfect Money, Online Naira, Doku, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, USDT, Tether, Ripple, bank wire
    Withdrawal MethodsVisa, Mastercard, Bank Wire, Skrill, Neteller,Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, Ripple

    Founded by Australian trading experts, Fusion Markets was launched in 2017 and is currently one of the top destinations for traders all over the globe. While it is common for brokers to advertise low spreads, Fusion Markets was actually recognized by Brookerchooser, receiving the award “Lowest Spread Forex Broker” four years in a row.

    In addition to offering traders tight spreads, Fusion Markets is committed to offering the best value for your trading, charging a significantly low commission of only $2.25 per lot ($4.50 per side). As you can see, const-effectiveness is one of the main values of this top-shelf broker.

    Safety is always a priority for Fusion Markets, with major regulatory bodies like the Australian Financial Services (license No.385620), the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles (license No.SD096), and authorities in Vanuatu regulating the services provided by the broker. Under ASIC’s (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) regulation, the broker also provides a negative balance protection to some of its clients.

    With no minimum on deposits and a wide range of popular trading platforms like MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5, cTrader, and more, it is no surprise that Fusion Markets is one of the top choices of traders. With an average score of 4.6 out of 5 on Trustpilot, this broker has received an Excellent rating from more than 1,300 happy customers.

    Key Pros

    • Offers some of the lowest spreads
    • ASIC clients enjoy a negative balance protection
    • Supports popular trading platforms
    • Offers two copy trading platforms
    • Supports fiat and crypto payment solutions

    Key Cons

    • Does not offer investor protection
    • Traders outside Australia have no negative balance protection
    • Cannot set up an account in a minor currency
  2. TRADE NOW74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
    Global Prime Broker Details
    RegulatorsASIC (No. 385620), VFSC (No. 40256)
    Min Deposit$0 (No min. deposit requirements)
    Trading PlatformsMT4 Desktop, MT4 Webtrader, MT4 Android
    Trustpilot Rating4.1 out of 100 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to Trade56
    LeverageForex & Metals: 500:1
    Index CFDs: 100:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 10:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 0.13
    USDJPY: 0.28
    EURGBP: 0.28
    GBPUSD: 0.22
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$3.50 per lot
    Deposit Methods

    Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Dragonpay, VNPay, Gate8, FasaPay, PromptPay, Pagsmile, QR Code (THB), BPAY, POLi, AstroPay, Bank Wire Transfer, Interac, Perfect Money, PayID, MiFinity, Jeton, XPay, Cryptocurrencies

    Withdrawal Methods

    Mastercard, Visa, Local Bank Transfer, Bank Wire Transfer, Skrill, Neteller, AstroPay, PayPal, Dragonpay, Perfect Money, Jeton, Interac, Cryptocurrencies

    Global Prime is a reliable brokerage that has been providing low-cost trading services since 2010. Regulated by the watchdogs of Vanuatu and Australia, the broker facilitates trading with over 150 financial instruments, including indices, bonds, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and more than 50 currency pairs. Major-pair spreads on raw accounts start at zero pips, with most orders being executed within 10 milliseconds on average. The broker works with MT4 only but plans to soon expand its range of supported platforms with cTrader, MT5, and TradingView.

    These excellent trading conditions, coupled with a streamlined registration process, fee-free transactions to and from customer accounts, and round-the-clock support, have earned the broker a solid 4.1 score on Trustpilot. Still, there is scope for improvement as the company offers no cent and swap-free accounts for Islamic customers. The broker has no compensation scheme for client funds, either, which is yet another area Global Prime could improve in.

    Key Pros

    • Overseen by a top-tier financial regulator (ASIC)
    • No fees on deposits and withdrawals
    • Low fees for FX trading
    • Streamlined sign-up process
    • A broad range of currency pairs

    Key Cons

    • Could use more trading platforms
    • A limited range of educational resources
    • Does not offer Islamic or cent accounts
  3. TRADE NOW80% of retail investor accounts lose money
    Plus500 Broker Details
    RegulatorsFSA (No.4.1-1/18), FCA (No. FRN 509909), CySEC (No.250/14), FMA (No.47546), SFSA (No. SD039), MAS (No. CMS100648), DFSA (No. F005651), ASIC (No. 417727)
    Min Deposit$100
    Trading PlatformsProprietary desktop and mobile platforms
    Trustpilot Rating4.1 out of 13168 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to Trade60+
    LeverageForex & Metals: 30:1
    Index CFDs: 20:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 2:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 1.2
    USDJPY: 1.5
    EURGBP: 1.5
    GBPUSD: 1.5
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$0
    Deposit MethodsMastercard, Visa, Skrill, PayPal, Bank Transfer, Apple Pay, BPAY
    Withdrawal MethodsPayPal, Bank Transfer, Visa, Mastercard, Skrill

    Plus500 is a well-funded trading company with a spotless reputation that services over 25 million customers across 50 countries. This market-leading brokerage is regulated by some of the strictest financial watchdogs in the world, including ASIC, FCA, and CySEC. Its parent company Plus500 Ltd trades publicly on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, which only adds to the broker’s good reputation.

    The broker specializes in providing CFD trading across multiple asset classes, offering a choice from over 2,800 financial instruments. Forex, indices, stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, options, and ETFs are all tradable at Plus500. It ensures a clean trading experience with a robust platform flaunting a modern yet highly intuitive design.

    Plus500 caters to traders with tight spreads and charges no additional commissions on forex trades. Customers can fund their live trading accounts via cards, bank transfers, and several popular e-wallets, with minimum deposits starting at $100. Deposits and withdrawals are free but administrative fees are levied on dormant accounts after three months of inactivity.

    Key Pros

    • Trades publicly on the London Stock Exchange
    • Commission-free FX trading with tight spreads
    • Great selection of analytical tools and educational materials
    • Easy and quick account opening
    • Provides real-time FX quotes

    Key Cons

    • Charges administrative fees on inactive accounts
    • The platform could use more customization features
  4. 4. IG
    TRADE NOW70% of retail client accounts lose money
    IG Broker Details
    RegulatorsASIC (No. 515106), FCA (No. 114059), CFTC, DFSA (No. F001780), MAS, BMA
    Min Deposit$50
    Trading PlatformsMT4, L2 Dealer, ProRealTime, IG proprietary software
    Trustpilot Rating4.1 out of 6723 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to Trade80+
    LeverageForex & Metals: 30:1
    Index CFDs: 20:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 2:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 0.6
    USDJPY: 0.9
    EURGBP: 0.9
    GBPUSD: 0.9
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$0
    Deposit MethodsVisa, Mastercard, Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer, Visa Electron, Discover, PayPal
    Withdrawal MethodsVisa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Discover, Bank Transfer

    IG is a trusted online broker regulated in multiple jurisdictions, including Australia, Singapore, Dubai, the UK, and the US. It provides low-cost trading in thousands of financial markets, ranging from forex and commodities to cryptocurrencies, shares, bonds, and indices. Seasoned traders can dabble in options contracts, bonds, and spread betting. Interest rate trading is also available to IG customers.

    The brokerage charges no commissions on forex trades, deriving its profits mostly from spreads. IG predominantly caters to customers looking to capitalize on price movements without purchasing underlying assets by offering them a broad range of CFDs. Forex traders have access to complex speculative instruments like turbo warrants, vanilla options, contracts for difference, and barrier options.

    IG’s proprietary software does an excellent job at delivering seamless trading sessions, although clients can also connect third-party platforms like MT4 and ProRealTime to their IG accounts. Both platforms are suitable for algorithmic trading. Moving funds to and from your live account is entirely free, although the broker could expand its range of accepted payment methods. Cards, bank transfers, and PayPal are the only banking options IG works with at the moment. Bank transfers have no minimum threshold on deposits.

    Key Pros

    • Towering selection of over 17,000 tradable markets
    • Listed on the FTSE 250 index
    • Competitive pricing and low forex spreads
    • No fees on deposits or withdrawals
    • Demo accounts for risk-free forex trading practice

    Key Cons

    • Payment options are a bit limited
    • Customer support is slow to respond during busy hours
  5. TRADE NOW51% of retail investor accounts lose money
    eToro Broker Details
    RegulatorsCySEC (No.109/10), FCA (No. FRN 583263), ASIC (No. 491139), SFAS (No.SD076), ADGM (No. 220073)
    Min Deposit$10
    Trading PlatformsProprietary web, mobile, and desktop platforms
    Trustpilot Rating4.2 out of 22902 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to Trade55
    LeverageForex & Metals: 30:1
    Index CFDs: 20:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 2:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 1.0
    USDJPY: 1.0
    EURGBP: 1.5
    GBPUSD: 2.0
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$0
    Deposit MethodseToro Money, Visa, Mastercard, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, iDeal, Klarna, Bank Transfer, Trustly, Przelewy24
    Withdrawal MethodsPayPal, Skrill, Visa, Mastercard, Neteller, Trustly, Bank Transfer

    Launched in 2007, eToro is home to a global investment community of more than 30 million customers. The company operates with licenses from tier-one financial regulators like CySEC, ASIC, and FCA. The brokerage provides a varied range of tradable instruments, including 55 currency pairs, 32 commodities, 21 equity indices, and thousands of stocks. Cryptocurrency, ETF, and NTF trading is also possible via the platform.

    Forex traders will benefit from spreads as low as a single pip on major pairs like the EUR/USD. Unlike many rival brokers, eToro charges no commissions on currency trades. All costs and fees are built into the spreads instead. The broker’s proprietary platform is well-designed and user-friendly enough to accommodate novice and versed traders. Another thing that distinguishes eToro from rival brokerages is its social and copy trading platform that leaves the competition in the dust with its superior features.

    Key Pros

    • Offers trading with over 5,000 instruments
    • Ideal for social and copy trading
    • No commissions on forex trades
    • Effortless registration process
    • Offers negative balance protection

    Key Cons

    • Withdrawals are subject to additional processing fees ($5)
    • USD is the only base account currency
    • Charges inactivity fees on dormant accounts
  6. 6. Axi
    TRADE NOWThe vast majority of retail client accounts lose money
    Axi Broker Details
    RegulatorsASIC (No. 318232), FMA (No. 518226), FCA (No. 466201), FSA (St. Vincent and Grenadines)
    Min Deposit$0
    Trading PlatformsMT4 Desktop, MT4 WebTrader, Axi Mobile
    Trustpilot Rating3.3 out of 1436 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to Trade70+
    LeverageForex & Metals: 30:1
    Index CFDs: 20:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 2:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 1.2
    USDJPY: 1.4
    EURGBP: 1.1
    GBPUSD: 1.2
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$3.50 per lot
    Deposit MethodsVisa, Mastercard, Bank Transfer, Neteller, Skrill, AstroPay, Fasapay, Przelewy24, Boleto, Pix, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Tether, Stellar
    Withdrawal MethodsMastercard, Visa, Bank Transfer, Przelewy24, Fasapay, Skrill, AstroPay, Pix, Boleto, Neteller, Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, Stellar

    Since 2007, Axi has served 60,000 traders from more than 100 countries, offering low-cost trading with over 290 financial instruments across five major asset classes. The company carries licenses from Australia’s ASIC, New Zealand’s FMA, and the UK’s FCA. It enjoys a fine reputation among traders worldwide and has not seen any controversies.

    The Sydney-based broker caters to customers with over 70 currency pairs and charges no commissions on FX trades conducted via Standard retail accounts. Commissions are in place only on Pro and Elite accounts but fall within the industry averages. Hard and soft commodities, equity indices, cryptocurrencies, and stocks are tradable at favorable conditions and low pricing via the MT4 platform.

    Leverage caps are jurisdiction-specific, with customers in some countries benefiting from leverage ratios of up to 500:1. Multiple base currencies are available for retail accounts, allowing traders to save on currency conversion fees. The broker caters to its international client base with over a dozen payment methods. Using payment solutions like Fasapay and Boleto is restricted to specific regions only.

    Key Pros

    • Provides multilingual customer support
    • Standard and Pro accounts available in 10 base currencies
    • No minimum deposit requirements on Pro and Standard accounts
    • Over 70 FX pairs tradable from zero pips
    • Swift order execution and tight spreads

    Key Cons

    • A limited choice of trading platforms
    • Below-average number of tradable symbols
  7. TRADE NOW71% of retail investor accounts lose money
    easyMarkets Broker Details
    RegulatorsCySEC (license no. 079/07), ASIC (license no. 246566), FSA (license no. SD056), and FSC (license no. SIBA/L/20/1135).
    Min Deposit$100
    Trading PlatformseasyMarkets, MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, TradingView
    Trustpilot Rating4.5 out of 1618 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to Trade60+
    LeverageForex & Metals: 30:1
    Index CFDs: 20:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 2:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 0.7
    USDJPY: 1.0
    EURGBP: 1.0
    GBPUSD: 0.9
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$0
    Deposit MethodsVisa, Mastercard, JCB, Amex, Skrill, Neteller, Fasapay, Sofort, iDEAL, Web Money, BPay, Bank Transfer
    Withdrawal MethodsVisa, Mastercard, JCB, Amex, Skrill, Neteller, Fasapay, Sofort, iDEAL, Web Money, BPay, Bank Transfer

    Starting in 2001, nowadays, easyMarkets is one of the top brokers that cater to the preferences of a wide range of traders, with several licenses authorizing the brand to operate in multiple markets. To ensure traders’ safety, the broker is regulated by authorities like CySEC (license no. 079/07), ASIC (license no. 246566), FSA (license no. SD056), and FSC (license no. SIBA/L/20/1135).

    Being among the pioneers in online trading, easyMarkets was the first one to introduce advanced tools like dealCancellation, Freeze Rate, and Inside Viewer. As for the platforms available to members of the broker, first, we would like to highlight the easyMarkets platform, which boasts a simple design and a selection of advanced trading tools that will appeal to experienced traders. Meanwhile, there is also the alternative to use platforms like MetaTrader 4 and 5 as well as TradingView. Mobile trading is also very accessible thanks to the dedicated easyMarkets app available to both Android and iOS users.

    Competitive spreads and low fees are also among the features that make easyMarkets a preferable destination for a large number of traders. The company enjoys an average score of 4.6 out of 5 on Truspilot’s review platform, further cementing the broker’s reputation. Going live requires a minimum deposit of only $100, with the broker supporting a wide selection of deposit methods.

    Key Pros

    • Offers tight spreads and low fees
    • Supports trading of over 60 currency pairs
    • Regulated by several reputable authorities
    • Supports a wide range of payment methods
    • Offers a proprietary platform

    Key Cons

    • Number of supported products is somewhat limited
    • Does not offer copy trading platform
    • Traders from certain countries may have access to fewer payment methods
  8. 8. FXCM
    TRADE NOW70% of retail investor accounts lose money
    FXCM Broker Details
    RegulatorsFCA, CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, ISA, IIROC,
    Min Deposit$50
    Trading PlatformsMetaTrader 4, TradingView Pro, Trading Station
    Trustpilot Rating4.2 out of 494 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to Trade40+
    LeverageForex & Metals: 30:1
    Index CFDs: 20:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 2:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 0.6
    USDJPY: 1.1
    EURGBP: 1
    GBPUSD: 0.8
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$0
    Deposit MethodsVisa, Mastercard, Bank Transfer
    Withdrawal MethodsVisa, Mastercard, Bank Transfer

    Starting its journey back in 1999, FXCM is the first Forex broker that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was among the innovators who introduced features like automated trading and flexibility in position sizing. Currently, the broker is one of the most reliable destinations for CFD and Forex trading, offering traders different instruments and platforms for smooth trading.

    While the broker lacks offerings like stocks and ETFs, it does offer tight spreads and a rather cost-effective way to handle your trading account. Traders will be charged no fee for depositing and withdrawing funds, and since the commission is built into the spread, there are no additional surcharges for trading. One thing we should note is that the broker does charge a $50 inactivity fee for accounts that have not been active for over a year.

    When it comes to trading platforms, FXCM definitely outshines some of its competitors, offering traders seamless action through the Trading Station platform, available both via desktop and web. Meanwhile, traders can also use the MetaTrader4 and TradingView Pro platforms. The minimum deposit at FXCM is $50, with broker’s clients being able to use credit/debit cards and bank transfers for their payments. Security is a top priority for FXCM, with multiple authorities like the FCA, CySEC, ASIC, and more being responsible for the regulation of the broker.

    Key Pros

    • Offers up to 1,000:1 leverage on all new accounts
    • Supports popular trading platforms
    • Does not charge depositing and withdrawal fees
    • Regulated by multiple top-tier regulators
    • Offers competitive spreads

    Key Cons

    • Charges a rather high inactivity fee
    • Offers limited number of products
    • Number of currency pairs is average
  9. TRADE NOW64% of retail investors lose money
    Spreadex Broker Details
    RegulatorsFCA (No. 190941)
    Min Deposit$0
    Trading PlatformsTradingView, proprietary software
    Trustpilot Rating4.4 out of 93 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to Trade60+
    LeverageForex & Metals: 30:1
    Index CFDs: 20:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 2:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 0.6
    USDJPY: 9
    EURGBP: 0.9
    GBPUSD: 0.8
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$0
    Deposit MethodsMastercard, Visa, Maestro, Direct Debit, Check, Bank Transfer
    Withdrawal MethodsVisa, Maestro, Mastercard, Bank Transfer, Check

    Spreadex is a UK-regulated firm that provides financial spread betting and leveraged trading through contracts for difference. The company carries the stamp of approval of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and has over 25 years of industry experience. Over 60,000 customers worldwide choose Spreadex for its competitive pricing, advantageous trading conditions, and diverse product range comprising more than 10,000 financial instruments.

    Clients can trade over 60 currency pairs with tight spreads averaging 0.6 pips on majors like the EUR/USD. Beyond Forex, Spreadex has decent enough coverage of the equity index, commodity, and stock markets. Options, bonds, interest rates, and exchange-traded funds are also available for trading at favorable conditions.

    Traders at Spreadex can stay ahead of the curve with weekly technical analysis, trading updates, and an economic diary, all available under the News & Analysis tab. Connecting your Spreadex account to TradingView is an option, although the broker’s proprietary software also ensures a seamless trading experience and fast order execution. Spreadex does not support MT4 and MT5 at the moment but has earned an above-average Trustpilot score of 4.5 stars despite this shortcoming.

    Key Pros

    • Provides access to over 10,000 tradable symbols
    • Well-designed and intuitive mobile trading app
    • Offers spread betting on FX pairs
    • Commission-free FX trading with tight spreads
    • Seamless registration process

    Key Cons

    • No support for MetaTrader 4 or 5
    • Licensed by a single financial regulator (FCA)
    • Deposits under $/£50 may incur additional charges
  10. TRADE NOW72.82% of retail investor accounts lose money
    XM Group Broker Details
    RegulatorsFCA (ref. no. 705428), (ASIC) (ref. No. 443670), FSC (license no. 000261/397), DFSA (ref. no. F003484), CySEC (license no. 120/10), MiFID, CFTC
    Min Deposit$5
    Trading PlatformsMetaTrader 4 and 5, MetaTrader 4 and 5 on mobile, MT4 WebTrader, MT5 WebTrader, MT$ Multiterminal
    Trustpilot Rating2.7 out of 561 reviews
    Number of Forex Pairs to Trade50+
    LeverageForex & Metals: 30:1
    Index CFDs: 20:1
    Cryptocurrencies: 2:1
    SpreadEURUSD: 0.8
    USDJPY: 0.9
    EURGBP: 1.5
    GBPUSD: 0.9
    Forex Commission per Lot per Trade$3.50 per lot
    Deposit MethodsVisa, Mastercard, China Union Pay, Skrill, Neteller, Bank Transfer
    Withdrawal MethodsVisa, Mastercard, China Union Pay, Skrill, Neteller, Bank Transfer

    Since its inception in 2009, XM managed to attract over 10,000,000 customers, providing the best trading experience for traders online. There are quite a few reasons for so many people trusting XM, with tight spreads and cost-effective pricing being just a few of them. Operated by Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd, the broker is regulated by major authorities like the FCA, CySEC, IFSC, ASIC, and many more reputable regulators.

    The brand offers more than 10 full-feature trading platforms that include the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms adapted for mobile trading on Android and iOS devices. Mt4 WebTrader, M5 WebTrader, and MT4 Multiterminal are also among the platforms available to XM traders, making trading equally easy and intuitive for any type of trader.

    No matter the account type you opt for, the least amount you are required to deposit to your XM account is $5, with the same limit also imposed on your withdrawals from XM. Conveniently enough, the brand supports a variety of banking methods, with bank cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers being among the solutions one can use to handle their XM balance.

    Key Pros

    • Traders can choose from over 10 platforms
    • Covers a great number of currency pairs
    • Regulated by major authorities
    • Offers smooth trading on the go
    • Supports different account types with tight spreads and low fees

    Key Cons

    • Trading platform’s design seems outdated
    • Not listed on stock exchange
    • Charges an inactivity fee

Is Forex Trading legal in the UK?

Aspiring forex traders who reside in the UK will be pleased to hear that the practice is indeed legal. As established, the entity that regulates forex brokers is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is responsible for issuing licenses, monitoring brokers for misconduct, and enforcing the rules as well as punitive action when necessary. Brokers cannot legally offer their services to UK customers without an FCA-issued license. Thus, traders, both experienced ones and novices, should be vigilant and ensure that any broker they plan on using is fully regulated.

It should also be noted that forex trading can be taxed depending on a number of factors. Spread betting is not taxed under certain conditions. Individuals who partake in CFD forex trading, on the other hand, will always need to keep taxes in mind.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Regulation Info

The Financial Conduct Authority’s responsibilities encompass the wider UK financial sector, and according to the latest data, over 40,000 businesses that offer financial services to UK clients are regulated by the FCA. Its roots date back to 2013, when it became the successor of the now-defunct Financial Services Authority (FSA). Nikhil Rathi is the FCA’s Chief Executive, while Ashley Alder serves as the Chair of the FCA Board.

Since its inception, the FCA has done its due diligence to protect clients in various ways, including the issuing of warnings regarding unlicensed businesses. It has also launched campaigns that aim to teach individuals about financial safety, the first one is named ScamSmart, which is centered around educating consumers on scams, investment fraud, and the like. The other one, dubbed InvestSmart, is targeted at investors in particular.

Obtaining an FCA license is a time-consuming process that begins with the business submitting an application and paying the application fee. Its assessment will last months, the exact length being dependent on the firm in question. The regulator has stressed that authorization can take up to 12 months, however. Eligible businesses need to comply with the FCA’s regulations, both during the process of obtaining a license and afterward.

How can I verify FCA authorization?

In order to ensure that a given forex broker is indeed licensed by the FCA, you need to utilize the regulator’s register. As pretty much all reputable forex brokers include their FCA license number on their homepage, you can copy the said number and paste it into the designated field on the FCA’s website. Then, all you need to do is select “Firms” and then “Search.”

If all is well, the broker’s name will appear in the search results, along with its license number and address. If you cannot find the license number on the given broker’s website, you can look up the company name of the broker in the register instead and follow the previous steps.

Be on the lookout for the “No longer authorized” warning, however, since the FCA has had to revoke brokers’ licenses before. If the said broker does not have a license that is currently valid, then you should stay away. Of course, the same applies to brokers that do not appear in the FCA’s database at all.

Are my funds safe with forex brokers in the UK?

Licensed forex firms utilize a number of safeguards that ensure that each client’s funds are safe. First and foremost, user-deposited money is segregated within regulated financial institutions. Reputable brokers also have measures in place to protect client funds from creditors should the firm be forced into liquidation. Moreover, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) of the FCA can also compensate clients with up to £85,000 if money is lost due to liquidation. The above applies to brokers that are licensed by the FCA. It is, therefore, crucial to follow the steps outlined earlier and ensure that your broker is legitimate and regulated.

Do UK brokers provide negative balance protection?

As established, all forex brokers that decide to target a UK audience need to be authorized by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. This means that they need to adhere to a range of regulatory requirements.

One such requirement is the provision of negative balance protection to retail clients. In other words, so long as you stick to FCA-licensed brokers, you will be able to take advantage of this type of failsafe.

If you are not familiar with negative balance protection, it is essentially a safeguard that ensures that your balance cannot fall below zero should you incur a loss. Thus, if you incur substantial losses, you will not be able to lose more money than you have deposited into your account.

As for professional trading, negative balance protection is not always offered, and availability varies between forex brokers.

Do you pay tax on forex trading in the U.K.?

Whether or not you will incur a tax is dependent on how you have decided to trade forex. The first option is spread betting, and trading like this will exempt you from paying the capital gains tax and stamp duty. This is due to the fact you, at no point, own the traded asset, and the practice is technically considered gambling under UK regulation.

Do keep in mind that the above only applies up until you hit a certain threshold of profits, however. Namely, tax is not enforced before your profits from trading hit £1,000. When they do exceed this amount, however, they are subject to the capital gains tax. Moreover, trading must be a mere side hustle as opposed to your main source of income for it to be tax-free.

Things are slightly different when it comes to contracts for differences (CFDs), as their profits are always subject to the capital gains tax. However, this also comes with the benefit of the trader’s losses being offset, which is not the case for non-taxed spread betting.

How does the available leverage of UK FCA-regulated brokers compare to the leverage at brokers regulated offshore?

If you stick to brokers that are licensed by the FCA and are a retail trader, your trades will be subject to a strict leverage cap. For major pairs, the leverage has a 30:1 limit, while minor pairs’ leverage is capped at 20:1.

Substantial leverage can be a tempting option for traders, seeing as it has the potential to increase one’s profits exponentially. However, this is mirrored by the possibility of incurring losses that are just as massive. Remember that with leverage trading, you are trading with money borrowed from your broker, and thus, you risk losing more money than your initial investment. This is the factor behind the FCA’s decision to enforce the 30:1 and 20:1 leverage limits.

The FCA is not alone in its approach to risk-management, as the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) enforces the same limits. Forex brokers licensed by the regulators of Cyprus, Europe, and Germany, for example, also need to adhere to such limits. The Polish Financial Supervisory Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission of the US are a bit more lenient, the former imposing a limit of 100:1, while the latter—50:1.

As for professional UK traders, they can enjoy leverage of up to 500:1 when it comes to forex, far higher than what retail traders have access to.

What do you need to qualify to be designated as a professional trader in the UK?

You will need to meet at least two out of the following requirements in order to be eligible for a professional account at your UK-facing forex broker of choice. The first one has to do with transactions you have made in the previous four quarters, and you will need to have carried out ten substantial transactions per quarter. Your portfolio should also be quite large in size. According to the FCA, this means a portfolio of over £500,000. If you have at least one year of experience working in the financial sector as a professional, this will also serve as one of the qualifying factors.

Do keep in mind that depending on your broker, you might be forced to part with certain features you had access to when you were a retail client. The most major one has to do with how you might no longer be eligible for negative balance protection if you become a professional account holder, so make sure to read your forex broker’s professional trader rules.

What trading platforms are available to UK traders?

Forex traders who reside in the UK have an impressive range of platforms at their disposal, although their availability at specific brokers will vary. MetaTrader 4 and 5 are staples in the industry, and newer options like cTrader and NinjaTrader are also gaining popularity. You will also come across brokers that have developed their own proprietary platforms, although they usually give their clients the option to go with MT4, MT5, or another platform.

If you are concerned about portability, there is no need to worry. Regardless of which platform you go with, you can rest assured that it will be suitable for desktop usage and for trading on the go.

Below you can find some useful references with links to organisations that monitor the forex market in UK.

  1. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)