AuthorBy Jeffrey CammackAuthor InformationUpdated: October 29, 2020

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the UK’s financial regulator. It is renowned as the strictest regulator in the world – with licencing fees and operating capital requirements much higher than other tier one regulations like ASIC and MAS.  Brokers regulated by the FCA, are some of the best run in the world. 

Best FCA Regulated Broker

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Best FCA regulated Forex brokers for 2020

Last updated on 29 Oct 2020
Updated 29 Oct 2020
by Editorial Director Jeffrey Cammackby Jeffrey Cammack
Jeffrey Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
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1
IG Markets
Min. Deposit
GBP 250
4.534.53
FCA Licence
195355
Min. Spread
0.6 pips
Platforms
11110.54.53/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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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
Read More About IG Markets
2
Pepperstone
Min. Deposit
GBP 200
4.514.51
FCA Licence
684312
Min. Spread
Variable pips
Platforms
11110.54.51/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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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
Read More About Pepperstone
3
XM
Min. Deposit
GBP 5
4.384.38
FCA Licence
705428
Min. Spread
0.6 pips
Platforms
11110.54.38/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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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
Read More About XM
4
FxPro
Min. Deposit
GBP 100
4.214.21
FCA Licence
509956
Min. Spread
0.6 pips
Platforms
11110.54.21/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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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
Read More About FxPro
5
Admiral Markets
Min. Deposit
GBP 100
4.184.18
FCA Licence
595450
Min. Spread
0.1 pips
Platforms
11110.54.18/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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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
Read More About Admiral Markets
6
Tickmill
Min. Deposit
GBP 100
4.344.34
FCA Licence
717270
Min. Spread
0.0 pips
Platforms
11110.54.34/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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Tickmill offers low spreads and commission, fast STP execution on the MT4 platform and has an excellent reputation in the CFD trading industry.

Regulated by the FCA in the UK, CySEC in Europe, and the Seychelles FSA internationally – and a regular winner of trade execution and trading conditions awards – Tickmill has the reputation, and the performance, traders should look for in a broker.

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Fast and free withdrawals
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • MT4 only
Read More About Tickmill
7
CityIndex
Min. Deposit
GBP 50
4.184.18
FCA Licence
113942
Min. Spread
0.7 pips
Platforms
11110.54.18/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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Founded in 1983, City Index is a traditional market maker now owned by the NYSE listed financial group, GAIN Capital. It has tight spreads and a varied platform choice, including MT4 and AT Pro; an advanced automated trading platform allowing for full customisation with powerful back-testing.

City Index’ education section is perfect at beginners who want to get up to speed quickly and customer service is open 24/5. Overall, a good market maker and competitive with traditional brokers of its size and type.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Wide range of assets
  • Excellent market analysis
Cons
  • Slow withdrawals
  • Limited demo account
  • Limited education
Read More About CityIndex
8
XTB
Min. Deposit
GBP 5
4.384.38
FCA Licence
522157
Min. Spread
0.1 pips
Platforms
11110.54.38/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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Well-regulated, safe and award-winning, XTB is a true leader in the Forex trading industry.

Joining other leading ECN/STP brokers with unbeatable trading conditions, excellent trader education and rock-solid analysis, XTB has also developed an award-winning proprietary trading platform that goes beyond MT4 to offer clients easy-to-use functionality with fast execution speeds.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Good for beginners
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
Read More About XTB
9
CMC Markets
Min. Deposit
GBP 5
4.684.68
FCA Licence
173730
Min. Spread
0.7 pips
Platforms
11110.54.68/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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CMC Markets is a large, well-respected and well-regulated market maker broker operating globally from headquarters in London. Spreads and leverage are better than most other market makers and the proprietary New Generation trading platform is well-crafted and recommended for experienced and beginner traders alike. A wide asset choice and responsive customer support are complemented by an excellent education section and deep and insightful market analysis.

If you are a new trader and want a large, respectable broker with an intuitive platform and a large education section, you will do much worse than CMC Markets.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Excellent market analysis
Cons
  • No swap-free account option
Read More About CMC Markets
10
Axitrader
Min. Deposit
GBP 5
4.434.43
FCA Licence
509746
Min. Spread
0.1 pips
Platforms
11110.54.43/ 5
AlertMost retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
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AxiTrader is an ASIC and FCA regulated ECN broker for serious traders. While the trading platform choice is limited to MT4, Axitrader has received industry recognition for their setup including Best MT4 Broker 2018 (Compare Forex Brokers Australia) and Best MT4 Provider 2018 (UK Forex Awards).

Both accounts at AxiTrader require no minimum deposit, though a minimum of 200 USD is recommended. Spreads are tight, commission on the Pro Account is competitive, and educational and analytical support is good for beginners.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Wide range of assets
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
Cons
  • Poor customer service
  • Limited demo account
Read More About Axitrader

Why Trade with an FCA Regulated Forex Broker?

There are few genuinely strong regulators in the world; the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is one, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission is another, and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is probably the leading member of this group.

London, and the UK in general, is recognised globally for being a strong, reputable financial centre and so it stands to reason that the UK’s financial regulator also has a reputation for reliability and strength.

The FCA oversees all British firms and individuals offering financial services and applies one of the world’s strictest regulatory environments. This is also the case for Forex brokers operating in the country, with the FCA being very active in enforcing compliance with the rules and regulations governing CFD products and consumer protection.

The FCA has a long-standing reputation for guaranteeing trader security and dealing harshly with bad brokers. We will talk about the FCA’s broader role in ensuring a safe environment in more detail below, but first, let’s look at the current benefits of trading with an FCA regulated broker.

  • Segregated Accounts: Like most good regulators, the FCA ensures that all brokers keep client funds segregated from broker operational funds and in Tier 1 banks.
  • Operating Capital: To ensure that all Forex brokers can maintain their clients’ positions in the market, every FCA regulated broker must have at least 1 million GBP in operating capital, which increases according to the number of traders and the trading capital. This is to ensure that all brokers can meet their financial obligations without fail.
  • Instant Withdrawal Processing: Brokers must ensure that all withdrawals are processed instantaneously.
  • Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS): The FSCS is one of the most generous compensation schemes in the world. It offers protection for traders against broker-related issues by providing a guarantee of up to 50,000 GBP in compensation.

How To Choose an FCA Regulated Broker?

All FCA brokers are safe due to the strict regulatory environment in which they operate, and most of them are very strong all-round. But it is essential to look at the detail of each broker to find out what differentiates them from each other.  When looking for an FCA regulated Forex broker, it is important to judge them on the following areas:

  • Broker Type: Most brokers are either ECN/STP or Market Makers, but some can be a combination of both. You will find that many brokers will provide an ECN/STP service on their higher-deposit account types while acting as a Market Maker for their Cent and Standard accounts. Many of the best FCA regulated brokers are ECN/STPs.
  • Trading Conditions: This includes what kind of spreads are available, how much leverage is offered, and how many currency pairs are available. These factors will directly impact your profit or loss, so you don’t want any surprises.
  • Trading Platform: MetaTrader 4 is still the industry standard, but many brokers offer MetaTrader 5 and/or their proprietary platforms. ECN/STP brokers will often support cTrader as it is built specifically for market execution and only allows for minimal broker interference.
  • Minimum Deposit: This changes by account type for many brokers, with higher minimum deposits often linked to better trading conditions. We will always highlight the minimum deposit available regardless of the account type.
  • Deposit and Withdrawal Methods: All brokers accept traditional payment types such as debit/credit cards and bank transfers, many accept online payments through Skrill and Neteller and some will also accept Bitcoin. Always check for deposit and withdrawal fees, a few brokers charge a percentage fee for some withdrawals methods, making large drawdowns very expensive. 

The FCA’s Role In Forex Trading

FCA-regulated Forex brokers are governed by rules that enhanced trust through enforcing market discipline, and adjust provider behaviour to prevent harm from happening to customers, and assisting when things go wrong.

The FCA’s role in Forex trading is to oversee the activities of the Forex brokers, to ensure compliance with rules that are designed to protect end users and the overall economy.

A Forex broker that is regulated by the FCA is required to consider the interest of their customers and treat them fairly. Also, the FCA requires that information is shared with customers in a way that is easy to understand, fair and not misleading.

The mission of the FCA.

The mission of the FCA is to regulate financial services through a framework of directives, and enforcement mechanisms.  The board of the FCA reports to the Financial Services Ombudsman who can bring information to the attention of parliament, and the industry through a series of publications.

What consumers can expect from the FCA

In principle, a consumer should expect to get protection from the regulation and the enforcement of rules of the FCA. The framework is designed to help protect those who may have a lesser understanding of the financial markets, from those who have a better understanding of them.

This protection includes helping Forex brokers set up rules for how to handle complaints and correct any issues.

The FCA’s main purpose beyond the regulation of financial organisations is to provide customers with reliable information. Their website maintains a warning list, which is a list of organisations that are potentially seeking to defraud customers, as well as provide information on the regulated entities and the products they offer.

The customer centre is available weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm, and half day Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, which gives potential traders access to knowledgable financial specialists who can help answer questions, or take note of a complaint or report a scam.

Key achievements of the FCA

The FCA achievements taking into consideration their short history are significant. Since 2013, when the FCA started regulating the UK financial industry, London has become more acknowledged as a major global financial centre.

Before the FCA being set up, there was no mechanism in the UK to keep the retail investor safe from companies that promoted complicated financial products that have a high-risk financial impact on the consumer.

The immediate achievement of the FCA the development of the requirements for financial organisations designed to protect the consumer, and a set of policies to help those who have already been harmed get easy access to a remedy.

The FCA is also transforming attitudes of the companies and those who work in the financial sector in the UK. This change has meant for fairer products, marketing tactics, and the development of a more customer-centric approach.

In changing the way companies operate internally and how they work with clients to remedy issues they create, the FCA has accomplishment has made the financial sector in the UK and the companies that are regulated by it, much safer for the average retail Forex trader.

The history of the FCA

The FCA replaced the Financial Services Authority in 2012, whose reputation had been impacted during the financial crash when it was revealed that structural flaws in the organisation had led to poor regulation. As a result, the FCA is more powerful and consumer-focused than the FSA was, which is good news for Forex traders as they are very well protected under the new regime.

The FSA acted in an arbitrator role and had a broader mandate to oversee the entire financial system. When the FCA was created, it became responsible for the policing of the UK financial activities and the banking system. At the same time that the FCA was founded, sister agencies of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee and the Prudential Regulation Authority which take responsibility for other financial sectors.

The global reputation of the FCA

The FCA is internationally recognised as one of the most trusted and objective regulatory services. It is a traditional organisation, and the framework which governs was created in 2013 to manage the current-day marketplace.  This activity has indirectly impacted many millions of UK households, and has set a standard for other similar organizations worldwide.

FCA Structure

The FCA board is responsible for the overall framework implementation – which includes oversight of 6 committees which report into it, and the appointment of the Chief Executive to execute on the strategy set by the board.

The committee structure gives insights into the risks the FCA sees in the market, and how they work together in a system of self-regulation and gradual adaptation to prevent against new threats.

Risk & Strategy Committee evaluates the risks that are posed by the financial organisations on the market and is tasked to find strategies to mitigate those risks from being passed on to the consumers.

The Audit Committee monitors the effectiveness of the policies and the strategies used by the FCA.

The Regulatory Decisions Committee is the committee that takes actions against organisations that violate the rules. This committee acts on tips from the public and information from the investigators on the audit committee.

The Oversight Committee then works with the board of the FCA to manage their relationship with the parliamentary appointed Financial Services Ombudsman who is the UK’s official expert in sorting out problems with financial services. This relationship is valuable as this brings information to the government so that laws can be written, and government oversight is present.

Remuneration Committee is a committee that oversees a transparent process for how executives at the FCA are paid. This process ensures fair treatment of all staff and also respects that the FCA is a publicly funded organisation.

Similar to the Remuneration Committee, the Nominations Committee, acts as an internal mechanism to ensure the integrity of skills on the board so that the mandate of the FCA continues to be acted on effectively.

These committees, working with and feeding off each other, create a robust self-regulated system of rule-setting, auditing, enforcement and accountability to the people of the UK.

Summary

The FCA is a highly-valuable protective component of the UK financial services system that has been put in place to protect consumers with little financial knowledge from organisations with more knowledge selling them complex and risky financial products.

Any organisation that is regulated by the FCA is mandated to treat the customer fairly, and in the absence of a customer directive, make the decision that best suits the interest of the customer.

An FCA-regulated organisation takes responsibility for the accuracy and transparency of the information they promote and maintain discipline in their internal processes that are designed to protect themselves and their clients.

A Forex broker that is regulated by the FCA will expect their advice and support to be available in helping set up internal processes to protect and remedy issues that should arise in their business.

Overall, an FCA-regulated broker can be trusted to protect your funds, never communicate misleadingly, and has the client’s best interest in mind when doing business selling clients financial products and services.

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

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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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