By Jeffrey Cammack Author Information Updated: June 30, 2020

From our research, we have compiled and scored our shortlist of the best Forex brokers in the UK for 2020. While each broker provides a trading platform and access to buy and sell currencies, there are additional features that separate them from each other.

While best is a relative term, our list reflects the best overall choice of broker for the majority of beginner Forex traders.

For traders who find it helpful, we have taken our recommendation one step further to highlight brokers who score highly in a particular area. Where possible we have highlighted the “most trusted broker”, the broker with the “best trading conditions” and the brokers with the “best educational material” or “best platform offering”. 

So, for traders who know what they want from a Forex broker, you can use this list in a slightly different way and make a more targeted selection. 

Best Forex Brokers 2020

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  • Broker
    IG Markets

    IG Markets  - Best Broker in the UK

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 250
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    One of our highest rated brokers, IG Markets is a market-maker with only the single account for Forex trading, but spreads are tight and educational and analytical materials are excellent. A wide choice of platform (including MT4) is also available and customer service is world-class.

    With regulation from the FCA and ASIC, and winner of the Broker of the Year 2018 (UK Forex Awards) and Best CFD Provider 2017 (Investment and Wealth Management Awards), IG Markets is an attractive choice for both beginner and experienced traders.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Great platform choice
    • Excellent education
    • Excellent market analysis

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Live Account0.6 pipsNoneInstantUSD 250 Account Details
    Spread Betting0.6 pipsNoneInstantUSD 250 Account Details
  • Broker
    Pepperstone

    Pepperstone  - Best Trading Platforms

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    DFSA DFSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 200
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Founded in 2010, Pepperstone is an Australian ECN broker known for tight spreads, ultra-fast trade execution and broad platform support. Pepperstone's award-winning, 24-hour support provides the foundation for its excellent customer service, where personalised assistance is available via several methods.

    As our highest rated pure ECN broker, if you want to pay a small commission for tighter spreads, you won't find a better broker than Pepperstone.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Great platform choice
    • Wide range of assets

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    • Limited market analysis
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Razor0.0 pipsAUD$ 7ECNUSD 200 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneECNUSD 200 Account Details
    Swap-free1.0 pipsNoneECNUSD 200 Account Details
  • Broker
    MarketsX

    MarketsX  - Most Assets Available

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 250
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Marketsx is a premium trading platform. It’s operated by Markets.com and offers traders fast, low-cost trading on over 2,200 financial instruments. Marketsx provides CFD trading on global stock, forex, commodity, indices, cryptocurrency, ETF and bond markets. Clients in the UK can also use spread bets on applicable instruments.

    The proprietary Marketx trading platform is packed full of features and trading tools and is optimised for lightning execution. As well as in-depth charting and asset comparison tools, Marketsx also gives traders a wealth of decision-supporting data with sentiment tools, tutorials, and regular live-streamed, expert analysis.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Live0.9 pipsNoneInstantGBP 250 Account Details
  • Broker
    FxPro

    FxPro  - Best Customer Service

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    CySEC CySEC
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    SCB SCB
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    One of the most respected Forex brokers in the industry, well regulated by the FCA and CySEC, and with over 870,000 client accounts in 173 countries. FxPro is a powerhouse in the industry and very well respected among traditional brokers.

    With MT4, MT5, cTrader and a browser-based platform, a reasonable 100 USD opening deposit and outstanding customer service, FxPro also offers competitive spreads - often as low as 0.6 pips - to match profitability with security.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Great platform choice
    • Tight spreads

    Cons

    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    FxPro cTrader0.45 pips$4.50MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT41.2 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT51.52 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Islamic1.2 pipsVariableMarketUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    AvaTrade

    AvaTrade  - Best Trading Conditions

    REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    B.V.I FSC B.V.I FSC
    FSA FSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11111
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Good value, beginner-friendly and hugely respected all over the world, AvaTrade is one of the most reputable brokers in the industry. With support for the leading trading platforms and top-quality multilingual support, AvaTrade has built a brand on a solid reputation and continues to add to that reputation with the recent addition of AvaProtect - an automated loss-protection tool - to its product lineup.

    AvaTrade offers trading in Forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, exchange-traded funds, options, bonds, and equities and is a good choice for any type of forex trader ranging from beginners to scalpers and intraday traders to long-term traders.

    Pros

    • Good for beginners
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit

    Cons

    • Dealing desk
    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Islamic1.2 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Professional0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Retail0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    IC Markets

    IC Markets  - Best Education

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 200
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    IC Markets presents itself as the best and largest true ECN broker. It is ASIC and CySEC regulated and offers the MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5 and cTrader platforms. IC Markets is highly recommended to both new and experienced traders looking for faster execution and tighter spreads.

    Beginner traders will find the IC Markets account structure welcoming and simple to understand. IC Markets understands customer retention involves a combination of tighter spreads, cutting edge technology, fast trade execution and top quality customer service.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • Great platform choice

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    • Limited market analysis
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    RAW - cTrader0.0 pips$3.00MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    RAW - MetaTrader0.0 pips$3.50MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    Standard - MetaTrader1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 5
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    XM Group has achieved substantial growth since opening in 2009, earning 1.5 million clients in 196 countries. XM’s operational philosophy is aimed at client satisfaction and low client turnover; they earn client loyalty through award-winning 24/5 personal customer service, varied account types and competitive trading conditions.

    Regulated the FCA, CySEC and ASIC and the recipient of many industry awards, XM Group stands out from a crowded field of market maker brokers for their customer service and educational support.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Excellent education
    • Wide range of assets
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • Dealing desk
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Micro1.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
    XM Ultra Low0.6 pipsNoneInstantUSD 50 Account Details
    XM Zero0.6 pips$7.00InstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Founded in 2001, Admiral Markets is home to the MetaTrader Supreme Edition and offers reliability, market leadership and modern trading. A global presence, peerless trading education, varied account types and competitive trading conditions have attracted both beginner and experienced traders to the brand.

    Additionally, most Admiral Markets customers have free access to Trading Central - providing independent market insight and technical analysis - and the company has one of the best cryptocurrency offerings on the market.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Excellent education
    • Wide range of assets

    Cons

    • Expensive withdrawals
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Trade.MT40.5 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Trade.MT50.5 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Zero.MT40.0 pips$1.8-$3.0MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Zero.MT50.0 pips$1.8-$3.0MarketUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110
    Minimum Deposit
    GBP 50
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Widely respected as one of the biggest names in the Forex CFD businesses, FXCM is a leading and well-regulated broker. Platform support is excellent with MT4, the proprietary Trading Station, Ninjatrader and Zulutrade all offered; beginners will also be pleased with the quality educational material, and 24/5 customer support - with freephone numbers in over 30 countries worldwide.

    All clients also get access to FXCM Plus and with that, a large selection of bespoke trading tools, including signals and analytics. For traders looking for a big international brand with good regulation, local customers support and free trading tools, FXCM is your choice in a broker.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Great platform choice
    • Excellent education
    • Innovative trading tools

    Cons

    • Limited demo account
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard1.3 pipsNoneSTPUSD 50 Account Details
    Active TraderNot Published pipsYesSTPUSD 25000 Account Details

We pride ourselves on giving good advice, and we always put our readers first. When choosing partners, we do our research according to our review process which covers areas such as regulation, trading conditions, and the product offering.

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To pay the bills, and keep the lights on, we need a business model. That business model makes use of affiliate programs whereby we get a commission from partners featured on our website.

Our business model never influences our opinion of any partner, and the partner selection and review processes are separate. The compensation we receive from partners may affect how our lists are arranged, but the reviews are genuine, and the data is accurate. Our opinion can not be bought, and we always put our readers and their financial livelihoods first.

Open

Critical Factors In Choosing a Forex Broker

How To Find Your Best Forex Broker

Each Forex broker is different. Besides the core functions of providing a software platform and access to buy and sell currencies, everything else is different. As we compare brokers, we specifically look at seven different metrics.

Trust and Regulation

Regulators ensure that brokers have a fair trading environment and anti-money laundering processes, all the while operating strict auditing oversight and ensuring client fund protection. Brokers that are regulated by more than one major regulator are considered more trustworthy.

The major regulators are:

United KingdomFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Continental EuropeCyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
AustraliaAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

These regulators are respected for their commitment to consumer protection, strong oversight and swift enforcement of sanctions on fraudulent brokers.

The FCA, in particular, is considered an excellent regulator and is frequently held up as the global standard for financial regulation.

Be wary of brokers who are only regulated by small island states like St Vincent, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. These regulatory agencies are not as well regarded as the major international regulators as they give more leniency to brokers and less coverage for traders.

Account Types

Each brokerage will have various account types, and there is a trend in the industry to have fewer account types available than in years past. The primary distinction between account types is between Live accounts, Demo accounts, and Swap-free accounts. Managed accounts are also available, but less common.

Demo accounts loaded with virtual money and do not expose a trader to any risk. Demo accounts allow traders to test the trading platform, customer service, research area, and trading conditions before committing real money. Most demo accounts are time-limited but are easy to reactivate. These are the best demo accounts.

Islamic accounts, or swap-free accounts, are an optional trading account type which allows Forex traders to be compliant with the principles of Sharia law. In Sharia law, interest on loans is prohibited, so swap-free accounts don’t earn overnight interest on open positions.

Platform Choice

When it comes to choosing a broker to trade with, deciding on the right platform can make a substantial difference to a trading career. That said, your broker should support a platform you are comfortable using.

While some brokers have proprietary platforms, others use mainstream trading platforms like MetaTrader and cTrader.

MetaTrader 4 and 5 are the most common CFD trading platforms; however, MetaTrader’s older interface and complex setup make it less accessible to beginners. cTrader, on the other hand, has a more modern interface and is easier for beginner traders to set up.

If you are an experienced trader with a particular software choice in mind, or if you are a beginner seeking to learn more about platform options, we have put together a list of the best Forex trading platforms for traders and the brokers that support them.

All brokers have mobile trading apps, and some will have developed proprietary apps, but a vast majority rely on the MetaTrader software for IOS and Android.

Types of Forex Brokers

Forex brokers fall into two main categories – Direct Market Access (DMA) brokers and Market Maker brokers. 

Each broker category can be split into two subcategories. DMA brokers are divided into subcategories called ECN and ECN/STP, and market makers can have a dealing desk (DD) where the broker can alter trades before they are executed. 

Pure ECN Brokers

In the DMA category, a Pure ECN (or Electronic Communication Network) broker, will never interfere with your trade, and the only source of liquidity comes from other members of the network. ECN execution will mean that if there is no liquidity in the market, your trade will have slippage, and you may get a requote.

Pure ECNs are entirely free of conflict of interest, but traders should expect requotes, and slower trade execution speeds. The top ECNs brokers are:

ECN (Electronic Communications Network) brokers usually place your orders directly through to third-party liquidity providers, usually large financial institutions or global banks. In a pure ECN environment, traders have direct access to interbank market prices and an accurate picture of the entire trading environment.

ECN/STP Brokers

An ECN/STP broker is an ECN broker using Straight Through Processing (STP) to place trades. With STP your order is sent directly to the counterparty through the Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol. The FIX protocol decreases trade execution time, reduces slippage and ensures that traders get the best available pricing. Some ECN/STP brokers will be counterparty to your trade to prevent requotes and reduce slippage.

Depending on the trader profile, or the trade itself, an ECN/STP broker will decide which execution method is in the best interest of the customer.

If there is liquidity available for a particular trade, then STP execution could be used.  But if it is better for liquidity to be taken from within the network, then ECN will be used.

This combination of execution types is intended to be able to help traders get liquidity and to execute trades faster. The top ECN/STPs are:

Market Makers

Market Makers, also called Dealing Desks, operate in a very different way. Instead of executing the trade on the market, market maker brokers are the counterparty to the trade, and become, for all intents and purposes, the market. The top Market Makers are:

While this means that there will always be liquidity for any trade, being the counterparty implies that the broker is always trading against its client base and that it profits directly from the client’s losing trades. This creates a direct conflict of interest.

Trading Conditions

Spreads

The spread, set by the broker and measured in pips, is the difference between the buy and sell price of a currency pair. This is the broker’s fee for providing access to the market and it gives traders and idea of how profitable their trades could be.

A trader can also tell from the spread if the buy and sell prices for a currency pair are far apart (wide) or close together (tight). If the spread is 7 pips, that is considered a wide spread, where anything under a 1 pip spread is deemed to be tight.

Spreads on currency pairs differ between brokerages, so to maximise profits, a trader should always find a broker who has the tightest average spreads on the pairs they trade. If you are trading with market execution (such as with an ECN broker), remember that a per lot commission will be charged in conjunction with the spreads.

Leverage

Leverage is capital borrowed from a liquidity provider, via your broker, to amplify the volume of a Forex trade. Leverage is essential in Forex trading because the movements of the market are so small that if there were no way to increase the size of the trade, it would be near impossible for individual retail traders to profit from their trades.

Leverage is presented in a ratio format, e.g. 300:1 – in this case, a trader can increase the size of a trade by a maximum amount of 300 times. It’s important to remember that you will remain liable for all losses on the total leveraged amount of the trade.

Using high volumes of leverage dramatically increases the exposure of the trader to risk, which has led to some regulatory bodies like CySEC restricting leverage to 30:1 for retail traders. The maximum leverage offered varies among brokers, and some may also limit a client’s leverage based on their trading experience.

Trading Assets

A large broker will have many different assets available to trade, including Forex CFDs, cryptocurrencies, equities, commodities, precious metals and bonds. A good Forex broker should have 50+ FX pairs.

Scalping

A Forex scalping strategy is where a trader seeks to profit from sizeable rapid price changes in a short period. Scalping opportunities are usually created when significant unexpected news event happens, or when the equity markets open. A scalper, a trader who employs a scalping strategy, enters and exit trades several times a day, and closes all trades on the day they were opened.

Hedging

Hedging is protecting yourself against adverse price movements that would affect open trades and can be seen as a form of insurance. Direct hedging is a common hedging strategy, where a trader buys a currency pair and then sells the same pair at the same time. Not all brokers allow hedging on their platforms, but most DMA brokers do.

FAQs

I am a beginner trader, what should I look for in a broker?

As a beginner trader, choose a broker with an unlimited demo account, as this will give you the opportunity to practice before making a deposit. Limited demo accounts usually expire after 1-3 weeks, which is not enough time to learn how to profit from CFD trading.

Beginner traders should get educational support when starting, and each broker varies significantly in what material they provide. The minimum you should accept is some general videos and articles, but some brokers have invested in creating small trading universities that include video material as well as live webinars hosted by experts.

Each of our reviews has a section on the educational content to help beginner traders decide the best path forward.

How do I know I can trust a Forex broker?

Four things should be considered when determining if a broker may be trusted – regulation, trade execution method, client funds management, and industry recognition of their achievements.

The more major regulators the broker group is regulated by, the more oversight the group has. The number of regulators overseeing their processes gives a strong indication of the level of trust the government regulatory agencies have in them.

It is more of a concern if fewer major regulators regulate a market maker. Therefore, a heavily regulated market maker is considered more reputable than one with lesser regulation. It is noteworthy that some market makers have strong reputations and lots of client resources.

The execution method of trades is another component because if the broker profits from your loss – as is the case with market maker brokers – this can be seen as making the broker less trustworthy.

Most regulators require strict processes to keep client funds safe. This process includes placing client funds in segregated accounts at major banks in the local jurisdiction. Segregated bank accounts that are audited every evening means that client funds are protected against any bankruptcy.

Industry awards are given to brokers from journalists, financial watchdog organisations and their peers. While it can be argued that these award ceremonies are biased, they remain the best gauge industry recognition.

Do brokers trade against you?

If the broker is a market maker, then they are the market and will be trading against you by being the counterparty to your trade to create the liquidity you need. Since a vast majority of trades by retail traders are lost, a market maker is making money in most client trades. DMA brokers do not have any conflict of interest and do not trade against you.

How do brokers make money?

Market Makers will make money only from the spread – the difference between the buying and selling price of the currency pair. Since a Market Maker will become the counterparty to any trade, they will also make money when clients lose trades.

DMA brokers will make money from a tight spread and a commission, which is calculated on a per lot amount.

How to deposit with a broker?

Each broker is going to have different deposit methods, but all will have a deposit by credit/debit card and bank transfer option alongside various online wallet methods (i.e. Skrillex, Neteller, etc.)  On occasion, brokers will accept Bitcoin deposits in additional to traditional currency.

Which broker should I choose?

Traders have different requirements of Forex brokers, and thus there is no single best choice. This is how we compare them, and we offer insight into your choices. At the top of this article, there is a list of those that we believe are the best brokers for traders based on their reputation, platform, trading conditions and resources available to beginners.

How can I report scam brokers?

If you believe you have been scammed by your broker, the first thing to do is follow the steps on the FCA’s complaints checklist. Be aware that you will need to complain directly to your broker before approaching the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

Our Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 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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