14 Best UK Forex Brokers for Beginners 2024 – (Tightest Bid-Ask Spreads)

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Forex trading offers a way to profit off of changes in global economic changes, even in the midst of a bear market. However, in order to make a profit from forex, traders need to use the best forex brokers.

Top UK brokers offer low fees, access to a wide range of forex pairs, advanced trading platforms, and more. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the 14 best forex brokers in the UK for beginners to use in 2024.

The Best UK Forex Brokers for Beginners Ranked

Let’s dive straight into our list of the 13 best UK forex brokers for 2024.

  1. eToro – Top-Rated Forex Broker Offering 55 Currency Pairs and Spreads from 0.8 Pips. Also Offering Access to 5,000+ Assets Across Numerous Markets.
  2. XTB – Renowned Forex Broker with 48 Currency Pairs and Spreads from 0.1 Pips. Traders Get xStation 5 Trading Platform and 24/5 Support.
  3. IG – UK’s Most Popular Forex Broker with Spread Betting and CFDs on 80+ Currency Pairs. Offers 24/5 Customer Support.
  4. AvaTrade – Forex Options Trading Broker Offering More Ways to Hedge. Includes Powerful AvaOptions Trading Platform and Copy Trading with AvaSocial.
  5. Trade Nation – This forex trading platform offers 25+ forex pairs. Users can start trading and pay low-cost fixed spreads and zero commission on Trade Nation. 
  6. Pepperstone – Ultra-fast Forex Broker with Deep Liquidity for Exotic Crosses. Offers MetaTrader 4 and 5, cTrader, and TradingView Platforms.
  7. Plus500 – Popular UK-based trading platform offering FX pair CFDs. Access normal or dynamic spreads when trading any of the 60+ FX pair CFDs on Plus500.
  8. LibertexLow-spread Forex CFD Broker Offering MetaTrader 4 and 5. Practice Trading with €50,000 Demo Account.
  9. Skilling – cTrader Forex Broker with 70+ Forex Pairs and Spreads from 0.2 Pips. Also Offers MetaTrader 4 and Copy Trading.
  10. Oanda – US-based Forex Broker with 68 Forex Pairs and Chart Trading through TradingView.
  11. Forex.com – Massive Forex Broker with 80+ Pairs to Trade. Offers Raw Account with Spreads from 0.0.
  12. Interactive Brokers – Premier Forex Broker Offering Low Margin Rates and Interest on Cash Balances. Includes Integrated Analysis and Spreads from 0.08 Pips.
  13. Saxo Bank – Highly Respected Forex Broker Offering 185+ Currency Pairs. Relatively High Spreads from 0.6 Pips.
  14. Admirals – Popular forex trading platform offering 80+ FX pairs. Admirals supports spot trading and CFD investments and offers its own wallet.

Best UK Forex Trading Platforms Reviewed

Let’s take a closer look at the top UK forex brokers to help traders decide which one is right for them.

1. eToro – Top-Rated Forex Broker Offering 55 Currency Pairs and Spreads from 0.8 Pips

The eToro platform is a leading broker in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrencies, offering tight bid-ask spreads through an intuitive, beginner-friendly interface. This is all supplemented by market-leading social trading features, an excellent mobile app, and low fees.

eToro FX pairs

Traders on the eToro platform have access to an extensive Academy to help them get to grips with trading all the markets on offer on eToro—which include stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and, of course, forex pairs.

Regulated by leading bodies in the US, UK and Europe, eToro offers users over 50 forex pairs across a range of popular and exotic currencies, with tight spreads starting at just 0.8 pips.

Users of eToro have access to charts and charting tools for conducting in-depth technical analysis. Each asset also features a feed of posts from the platform’s 30+ million users allowing traders to assess the social sentiment around each asset before wading into the markets.

A Copy Trading feature allows users to automatically copy the trades of some of the platform’s top traders, while a top-rated mobile app allows users to access markets and trade while on the go.

Finally with a low minimum deposit of just $10, and no commissions on trading forex pairs, eToro is the most competitive and best beginner forex broker for users in the UK.

Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
55 Spreads 0.8 pips N/A $10 Broker

Pros

  • Access to multiple asset classes
  • Beginner friendly
  • Tight bid-ask spread
  • $10 minimum deposit
  • Extensive Academy
  • Social trading features

Cons

  • Conversion fee for non-USD deposits

2. XTB – Trade 48 Currency Pairs with Spreads from 0.1 Pips and Get xStation 5

XTB is a leading UK forex broker and day trading platform that offers trading on 48 major, minor, and exotic currency pairs. It has an outstanding reputation for customer service, low fees, and industry-leading trading tools.

At XTB, UK traders can get started with a minimum initial deposit of only £250. After that, forex trades start with spreads as low as 0.1 pips. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees, although XTB does have an inactivity fee of £10 per month after 12 months without trading.

XTB UK Forex Broker

One of the reasons we like XTB is its xStation 5 trading platform. This is available on the web, as a desktop app, and for iOS and Android devices for traders on the go.

xStation 5 offers highly customizable technical charts and a user-friendly order entry system. Traders can manage their risk using orders like stop losses and one-cancels-the-other orders. Plus, the forex trading platform includes an economic calendar, market news feed, and daily analysis from XTB analysts.

XTB offers leverage up to 30:1 for major forex pairs and also has a swap-free account that’s suitable for Islamic traders. There are no commissions on any forex trades, only the spread.

Another reason to choose XTB is the broker’s dedication to helping customers. It’s easy to get in touch with XTB 24/5 by phone, email, or live chat. The broker also has educational guides that introduce forex trading and technical analysis for beginner traders.

XTB is regulated by the UK’s FCA.

Top Features:

  • xStation 5 trading platform
  • In-platform market analysis
  • Spreads from 0.1 pips
  • 24/5 customer support
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
48 Spreads 0.13 30:1 £250 Standard, Swap-free

Pros

  • Desktop, web, and mobile trading platform
  • User-friendly trading tools
  • Regulated by the UK FCA
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer MetaTrader trading platforms

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3. IG – Spread Betting and CFDs on 80+ Currency Pairs

IG is the UK’s most popular retail forex broker, and for good reason. This trading platform carries more than 80 currency pairs, including a wide range of exotic forex pairs that traders can’t find at other brokers.

Another benefit to IG is that traders can choose between spread betting and trading CFDs. Both trading approaches offer leverage up to 30:1 for non-professional traders. Traders don’t pay capital gains taxes on profits from spread betting, while they can find lower spreads when trading CFDs with IG.

IG Forex Trading

IG offers several trading platforms and wide range of trading tools. Users can take advantage of IG’s ProRealTime trading platform, which is one of the best trading systems in the UK today. Traders who are more familiar with MetaTrader 4 can also use that platform instead.

IG providers traders with trading signals and alerts, a mobile app for trading on the go, and resources for algorithmic trading. It also has its own market news service and trading podcast.

Traders who need help will find 24/5 customer support at IG.

Top Features:

  • Offers ProRealTime and MT4 trading platforms
  • Choose spread betting or CFD trading
  • Supports algorithmic trading
  • 24/5 customer support
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
80 Spreads 0.6 30:1 £250 Spread betting, CFDs

Pros

  • Advanced trading platforms
  • Wide selection of analysis tools
  • Competitive spreads
  • Supports CFD trading and spread betting

Cons

  • High minimum deposit

69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

4. AvaTrade – Forex Options Broker with Dedicated AvaOptions Trading Platform

AvaTrade is one of only a handful of UK forex brokers that offers vanilla forex options trading. Forex options trading can help traders manage risk and hedge against uncertainty in the global market.

Options also enable traders to take on leverage greater than the 30:1 margin allowed by the FCA for standard forex traders. As a result, we think AvaTrade is one of the top forex brokers with high leverage in the UK.

AvaTrade UK Forex Broker

Forex options are available for most major and minor forex pairs, including the USD/GBP and USD/EUR pairs. AvaTrade offers a dedicated trading platform for options analysis called AvaOptions. It’s surprisingly beginner-friendly and comes with multiple options trading strategies built-in to help traders inspect opportunities.

AvaTrade also supports copy trading with a dedicated platform called AvaSocial. Traders who already use DupliTrade can also use that platform with AvaTrade for copy trading.

AvaTrade offers even more trading platform options, including its own WebTrader platform and MetaTrader 4 and 5. There’s also a mobile app for iOS and Android, AvaGO which has been voted as one of the best stock trading apps in the UK. Traders can use AvaTrade’s free demo account to try out all the different platforms and see which they like best.

Top Features:

  • Copy trading with AvaSocial and DupliTrade
  • MetaTrader 4 and 5
  • Forex options trading with AvaOptions
  • Forex trading education courses
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
55 Spreads 0.11 30:1 £100 Standard, Swap-free

Pros

  • Supports forex options trading
  • Multiple trading platforms available
  • 24/5 customer support
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • Steep inactivity fee
  • Not regulated by the FCA

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

5. Trade Nation – Fixed Low-Cost Spreads on More than 25 Forex Pairs

Another popular trading platform for trading forex pairs in the UK is Trade Nation. This platform stands out due to the fixed spreads it charges on trades. By beginning trading with the TN Trader proprietary platform, users do not need to pay any commission on trades. 

On Trade Nation, users can access over 25 popular forex pairs, such as EUR/USD, AUD/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, and USD/CAD. On the popular AUD/USD pair, users only pay a spread of 0.6 pips. During peak trading hours, the spread can rise to 0.8 pips. 

Trade Nation forex markets

Users of the TN trader account pay no hidden fees or additional charges. There is an overnight financing charge added on long positions. This account also offers negative balance protection to all users. Therefore, your account will automatically display a balance of zero or above by the next trading session. 

Users can also join the Meta Trader 4 account to access CFD trading on forex pairs. Traders also use this account type to apply technical indicators and analyze assets through various pricing charts. Apart from forex pairs, Trade Nation lets you invest in indices, shares, and commodities. In total, over 1,000 instruments are accessible on Trade Nation. 

This platform is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Regulated (FCA) in the UK. It is also covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). 

Top Features:

  • Over 25 FX pairs
  • Supports MT4
  • Regulated by the FCA
  • No hidden fees on
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
25+ Spreads 0.6 – 0.8 30:1 None Proprietary, MT4

Pros

  • No minimum deposit
  • Offers low-cost and fixed spreads
  • Proprietary trading platform
  • Educational resources

Cons

  • Only 25+ forex pairs offered

67.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

6. Pepperstone – Ultra-fast Forex Broker with Deep Liquidity for Exotic Crosses

Pepperstone is an advanced UK forex broker built for traders who need ultra-fast executions and deep liquidity. The platform boasts about its industry-leading execution speeds, particularly for exotic currency pairs that can be hard to trade at less liquid brokers.

Spreads at Pepperstone start at only 0.2 pips with an ECN account, making the broker’s pricing very competitive. The pricing is even more competitive when comparing exotic pairs, which can have very high spreads at other brokers but are only moderately expensive to trade at Pepperstone.

Pepperstone UK Forex Broker

Another benefit to this broker is that traders get their pick of top forex trading platforms in the UK. Pepperstone offers MetaTrader 4 and 5, TradingView, and cTrader.

The broker is regulated by the FCA, so retail traders are limited to leverage up to 30:1. However, Pepperstone also offers accounts for professional traders with much higher leverage.

Top Features:

  • MetaTrader 4 and 5, TradingView, and cTrader
  • ECN account available
  • Regulated by the FCA
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
62 Spreads 1.0 (standard) 30:1 £0 Standard, ECN

Pros

  • Deep liquidity for exotic forex pairs
  • Professional trader accounts available
  • High-volume traders can earn rebates
  • Accepts e-wallet deposits

Cons

  • Above-average spreads for standard account
  • Complex trading tools

87.2% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

7. Plus500 – Get Low and Dynamic Spreads on 60+ FX Pair CFDs

The next forex trading platform is Plus500, which offers only CFD trading options. This popular brokerage has more than 22 million users across over 50 countries. A safe platform to use, Plus500 is regulated by the FCA and CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission). 

On Plus500, users can access more than 60 FX pair CFDs. The platform offers two separate spread mechanisms. The first is a standard spread, which does not change a lot, even with a change in the market conditions. The normal spread for the AUD/USD pair is 0.8 pips. 

Plus500 forex markets

The other spread type is the dynamic spread, which can rapidly change its levels depending on the market conditions. As of 20 September 2023, the dynamic spread on AUD/USD is only 0.00012 pips. 

UK investors can also access hundreds of UK-based shares and trade ETFs and commodities. More than 2,000 instruments are available to trade on Plus500. One can benefit from the market insights section to stay updated with the economic trends and study the markets through the trading academy. 

Users can leverage debit/credit cards, bank transfers, or e-wallets such as PayPal and Skrill to make an investment. Retail accounts require a minimum deposit of £100. After completing a KYC form, users can access up to 30x leverage on certain trades. One must pay a $10 monthly inactivity fee on Plus500. 

Top Features:

  • CFD Trading on 60+ FX pairs
  • Regulated by FCA and CySEC
  • Supports leverage trading up to 30x
  • Multiple payment options
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
60+ FX CFDs Spreads and Dynamic Spreads 0.6 pips, 0.00012 (Dynamic spread) 30:1 £100 CFD account, Professional account, Islamic account

Pros

  • Supports multiple account types
  • Up to 30x leverage after KYC completion
  • Offers dynamic spreads
  • Regulated by the FCA and CySEC

Cons

  • Minimum deposit of $100

84% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

8. Libertex – Low-spread Forex CFD Broker Offering MetaTrader 4 and 5

Libertex is another popular forex broker in the UK offering contracts for difference (CFDs) on more than 250 assets, including 51 currency pairs. The broker has more than 25 years in the industry and has won numerous awards including the World Finance Broker Awards Best CFD Broker Award for 2023.

Libertex offers spreads starting from only 0.2 pips, making the broker’s pricing quite competitive. On top of that, deposits and withdrawals at Libertex are free and UK traders can get started with an initial deposit of only £100. The broker accepts bank transfers, credit and debit cards, and PayPal.

Libertex UK Forex Broker

A huge benefit of Libertex is that it gives traders access to some of the most advanced forex investment platforms in the UK: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.

Both of these platforms include highly customizable technical studies, advanced charting tools, and support for forex trading bots. They’re available for desktop and mobile, making it easy for traders to find opportunities in the forex market at home or on the go.

Libertex also has its own award-winning trading platform that’s worth trying out. It’s more user-friendly than MetaTrader, but offers a nearly equivalent breadth of technical studies and order entry features. Notably, Libertex’s trading platform also includes a market news feed and an economic calendar.

Libertex is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and follows all FCA rules for UK traders.

Top Features:

  • MetaTrader 4 and 5
  • Market news feed and economic calendar
  • Market research reports
  • Accepts PayPal and credit cards
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
51 Spreads 0.20 30:1 £100 Standard, Professional

Pros

  • Choose Libertex platform or MetaTrader
  • Competitive spreads with no commissions
  • Regulated by CySEC
  • Numerous exotic forex pairs to trade

Cons

  • No support for copy trading

74.91% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

9. Skilling – cTrader Forex Broker with 70+ Forex Pairs and Copy Trading

Skilling is a popular UK forex broker that offers traders access to its own trading platform as well as cTrader. While Skilling’s platform is beginner-friendly and highly customizable, cTrader is an excellent option for algorithmic trading. So, this broker caters to both beginner and advanced forex traders.

Skilling gives forex traders a choice between a standard spread-only account and a Premium account with reduced spreads and a volume-based commission. For the standard account, spreads for the AUD/USD trading pair start at 2.0 pips. For the Premium account, spreads start at only 0.4 pips, but there’s a commission of $35 per million traded.

Skilling UK Forex Broker

Another reason to choose Skilling is that it supports copy trading through Skilling Copy. There are more than 400 strategies available to mimic on the platform, including a large number focused exclusively on forex CFDs.

Top Features:

  • Low-spread commission account
  • Copy trading
  • cTrader and MetaTrader 4
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
73 Spreads or spread+commission 2.0 (standard) 30:1 £100 Standard, Premium

Pros

  • Wide selection of trading platforms
  • Multiple account types available
  • Also offers shares and commodities trading
  • Fast order execution

Cons

  • Not regulated by the FCA
  • No spread betting

82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

10. Oanda – US-based Forex Broker with TradingView Charts and Rebates

Oanda is a US-based forex broker that’s quickly gaining ground in the UK thanks to its wide range of tradable assets and competitive pricing. The broker was awarded the Best Forex and CFD Broker 2021 by TradingView, the popular charting platform.

At Oanda, UK traders have access to more than 70 currency pairs with spreads starting from 0.8 pips. There are no deposit fees and traders receive one free withdrawal each month.

Oanda UK Forex Broker

This forex broker offers traders access to multiple software tools, including MetaTrader 4, TradingView, and Oanda’s own mobile and web platform. The inclusion of TradingView as an option for traders is particularly noteworthy. TradingView lets traders create custom technical studies and has a strong social element that’s missing from MetaTrader.

In addition to forex CFD trading, Oanda also offers spread betting on forex. Spread betting is free from capital gains taxes in the UK as well as stamp duty. Many other UK forex brokers don’t offer spread betting, so this is a major reason to choose Oanda.

Traders at Oanda can also take advantage of a demo trading account, professional market analysis, and 24/5 customer support. Overall, this is a UK forex broker with a lot to offer.

Top Features:

  • TradingView and MetaTrader 4
  • Professional market analysis
  • Spread betting
  • 24/5 customer support
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
71 Spreads 0.9 30:1 £0 Standard

Pros

  • No minimum deposit to open account
  • Wide range of exotic forex pairs
  • Offers a demo account
  • Supports spread betting

Cons

  • Limited free withdrawals
  • Higher spreads than competitors

76.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

11. Forex.com – Global Forex Broker with 80+ Pairs and Spread-free Raw Accounts

Forex.com is a US-based forex broker that offers trading on more than 80 currency pairs. It stands out for offering a low-spread Raw ECN account alongside its standard spread account. Traders using Forex.com’s ECN can take advantage of deep liquidity, ultra-fast trade execution, and spreads from 0.0 pips.

Traders at Forex.com also get access to a variety of advanced trading tools. For example, traders can speed up execution using a virtual private server (VPS) for their MetaTrader 4 instance. Traders can also leverage AI from Capitalise.ai and take advantage of Forex.com’s SMART forex trading signals.

Forex.com UK Forex Broker

The broker’s accounts and features can be somewhat challenging for first-time forex traders to navigate. But they’re very powerful for experienced forex traders in the UK looking to take their profitability to the next level.

Top Features:

  • MetaTrader 4 and TradingView
  • ECN account
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
81 Spreads or spread+commission 1.6 (standard) 30:1 £100 Standard, RAW, MT4

Pros

  • Wide selection of trading platforms
  • Multiple account types available
  • Also offers shares and commodities trading
  • Fast order execution

Cons

  • Not regulated by the FCA
  • No spread betting

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

12. Interactive Brokers – Premier Forex Broker Offering Low Margin Rates and Interest on Cash Balances

Interactive Brokers is a major global brokerage firm that offers trading on forex, stocks, commodities, and more. While the broker doesn’t offer spread betting, it does allow options trading in the UK.

Interactive Brokers’ pricing for forex trading can be complex, involving a combination of spreads, commissions, and interest charges for leveraged trades. However, its pricing is generally very competitive and Interactive Brokers offers some of the lowest margin rates in the UK.

Interactive Brokers UK Forex Broker

Another benefit for traders is that cash balances held in USD earn interest. Interest isn’t available for GBP balances at this time.

Interactive Brokers offers its own suite of trading platforms built around the flagship IBKR Trader Workstation. There’s no MetaTrader 4 or 5 or TradingView access, but IBKR Trader Workstation has many of the same features.

Top Features:

  • IBKR Trader Workstation
  • Interest on USD balances
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
100+ Spread & commission 0.1 30:1 £10,000 Standard

Pros

  • Offers forex options trading
  • Very low margin rates
  • Regulated by the FCA

Cons

  • Very complex pricing
  • Steep learning curve to trading platforms
  • High minimum deposit

66% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

13. Saxo Bank – UK Forex Broker with 185+ Currency Pairs for Trading Exotics

Saxo Bank is the forex broker of choice for traders who want to trade exotic currency pairs. This UK broker offers more than 185 forex pairs for trading, including more than 100 exotics that are difficult to find at most other brokers.

Liquidity in some of the more unusual pairs at Saxo Bank can run low, but the broker offers tier-1 liquidity to ensure every order is filled with minimal slippage. The broker never trades against its customers and is fully transparent about its execution practices.

Saxo Bank UK Forex Broker

Saxo Bank offers traders access to its own trading platform as well as TradingView. The Saxo Bank platform is very advanced, offering customizable technical studies and second-based charts.

The biggest downside to Saxo Bank is that it charges high spreads. Pricing for the popular AUD/USD trading pair starts at 0.7 pips.

Top Features:

  • 185+ forex pairs
  • TradingView
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
185+ Spread 0.7 30:1 £500 Standard, Joint, Professional

Pros

  • Excellent liquidity for exotic pairs
  • Doesn’t trade against customers
  • Educational resources for new traders

Cons

  • Above-average spreads
  • Doesn’t offer MetaTrader

65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

14. Admirals – Trade 80+ Forex Pairs and Access CFD Trading Options 

The Admirals trading platform offers various spot trading and Contract for Differences (CFDs) assets. On the platform, one can trade more than 80 forex pairs. Some of the popular choices include AUD/USD, EUR/USD, EUR/GBP, USD/CAD, USD/JPY, and NZD/USD. 

For the popular EUR/USD pair, users are only required to pay a spread of 0.6 pips. Notably, Admirals also supports CFD trading, which can be used if you have a high-risk tolerance. CFDs allow you to access leverage and predict the future value of a particular asset. 

Admirals trades

On Admirals, one can also access treasury bonds, shares, commodities, indices, and ETFs. While there is a minimum investment requirement of £25, users can also access fractional sharing. By purchasing as little as a £1 portion of a particular asset, traders with a small budget can diversify their portfolio. 

One can also take advantage of educational resources such as free articles and online webinars. On Admirals, you can make payments via credit/debit cards and bank transfers. When using bank transfers, you will receive one free withdrawal per month. Afterward, there is a $10 charge added per transaction. 

Admirals also supports a demo account if you wish to practice trades without risky real funds. 

Top Features:

  • More than 80 FX pairs
  • Supports CFD trading
  • Fractional sharing offered
  • Educational resources
Number of Forex Pairs Pricing System Fee for Trading AUD/USD Maximum Leverage Minimum Deposit Account Types
80+ Spreads 0.6 1000:1 £25 Spot trading – Invest.MT5,

CFDs – Trade.MT5/MT4

Pros

  • Offers multiple account types
  • Up to 1000x leverage on certain trades
  • More than 80 FX pairs
  • Fractional sharing

Cons

  • $10 charge on bank transfer withdrawals

UK Forex Brokers Explained

UK forex brokers are financial firms that enable individual traders to buy and sell currencies.

Forex brokers typically enable trading currencies in pairs. The trader has to sell one currency in order to buy the other. Different forex brokers may offer different pairs, but most offer trading on the same set of so-called major and minor forex pairs since these are highly popular and make up the majority of global foreign exchange trading.

Forex brokers in the UK operate much like stock brokers in that traders deposit money into an account and then trade using those funds. They also typically offer margin, which enables traders to borrow money for trading forex in exchange for an interest rate.

Importantly, UK forex brokers offer more than just trading. Most also give traders access to forex trading platforms, forex demo trading accounts, proprietary market analysis, and other tools. These extra features can go a long way towards differentiating top forex brokers from one another.

Forex CFD Trading

When trading forex in the UK, most traders don’t actually buy and sell currencies directly. Instead, they buy and sell forex CFDs, or contracts for difference.

A CFD allows traders to bet on the price movement of an underlying asset without owning that asset directly. This is important because it means traders don’t actually have to take possession of, say, thousands of dollars worth of AUD to trade the AUD/USD trading pair.

CFDs are extremely common in forex trading and make the market flow much more smoothly. None of the brokers we reviewed allow direct trading in currencies.

How to Pick the Best UK Forex Broker for You

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the best forex trading platform in the UK. We’ll explain some of the key factors to think about when making a decision.

Regulation and Safety

Safety comes first when choosing a forex broker in the UK. It’s critical that traders only use trusted forex brokers that have long histories of protecting customers’ funds and working with major regulators.

Many of the best forex trading platforms are regulated by Tier-1 authorities like the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), or the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Brokers that use second-tier regulators like the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) aren’t necessarily less safe, but they may not adhere to all of the strict standards imposed by Tier-1 regulators.

The number one thing traders should look for is that a broker segregates customers’ funds from its own. That way, if the exchange was to go bankrupt or suffer another crisis, there’s no question that traders can get all of their money back.

Range of Currency Trading Pairs

The range of forex trading pairs that a UK forex broker offers is another major consideration.

All of the top brokers we reviewed offer all of the major and minor forex pairs, which total nearly 30 currency pairs in total. They differ widely, however, in what exotic forex pairs they offer.

Major Currency Pairs

The major currency pairs include:

  • EUR/USD
  • USD/JPY
  • GBP/USD
  • USD/CHF
  • USD/CAD
  • AUD/USD
  • NZD/USD

These 7 forex pairs contribute up to 75% of all forex trading. They have far more liquidity than other currency pairs and can have much lower spreads at many brokers.

Top brokers like Saxo Bank offer more than 150 exotics, giving traders a huge range of options and opportunities.

Still, traders need to be careful when buying and selling forex pairs that are only available at a small number of brokers. Liquidity in these currency pairs can be low, meaning they can exhibit large price swings with little warning.

Forex Trading Fees

Forex trading fees at UK brokers can eat into a trader’s profitability, so it’s important to consider them when choosing the best forex broker.

Brokers make money through both trading and non-trading fees.

Trading fees include spreads, commissions, and margin fees. Spreads for forex trading typically range from 0.1 pips to 0.6 pips for major forex pairs, and brokers can be very competitive on price for forex majors.

However, there may be greater differences in trade pricing for minor and exotic currency pairs. For example, for the AUD/CHF trading pair, Oanda charges 1.9 pips while XTB charges 3.0 pips. Ideally, look for a forex broker with the lowest spreads in the UK—but keep in mind that there’s more to choosing a broker than just spreads.

Non-trading fees can include monthly account fees, deposit and withdrawal fees, and inactivity fees. Many top brokers have eliminated non-trading fees altogether since they can alienate traders.

However, some UK brokers still have inactivity fees. For example, AvaTrade charges a $50 fee per quarter after 3 months of inactivity. Forex.com charges a $15 fee per month after 12 months without trading.

Trading Platforms and Analysis Tools

Trading platforms are a major differentiating feature among the best forex brokers. Most brokers offer their own in-house analysis platforms in addition to third-party trading platforms like MetaTrader 4 and 5, cTrader, and TradingView.

All of these platforms are excellent, but they do provide somewhat different functionality. For example, TradingView is best for charting, while cTrader is best for algorithmic trading. Traders who are familiar with one forex trading platform may prefer a broker that offers that platform.

On top of these platforms, many UK forex brokers offer additional in-house analysis and research tools. These include forex trade signals, market news feeds, economic calendars, and macroeconomic outlooks. While not essential, these analysis tools can make a big difference in a trader’s ability to spot opportunities in the forex market.

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Margin Trading

Trading on margin enables forex traders to leverage their positions. For example, if a trader uses 10:1 leverage for a trade, they only need $100 to trade $1,000 worth of forex.

Margin trading can enable traders to increase their profit potential without increasing the amount of capital they need to have on hand. That’s a big deal in forex trading, since currency pair price movements are often very small.

Brokers vary widely in how much leverage they offer for different currency pairs and what margin rates they charge. For example, Oanda charges margin rates starting at 2.71% for long positions on the EUR/USD pair. Interactive Brokers charges margin rates starting at 6.830%.

Keep in mind that leveraged forex trading can be dangerous since it also exposes traders to larger losses.

UK Leverage Limits

In the UK, retail traders are limited by the FCA to using 30:1 margin for forex trading. This margin level is usually only available for major forex pairs, while minor pairs are limited to 20:1 margin and exotic pairs are limited to 10:1 margin.

Professional traders are not subject to these limits. Some brokers offer leverage up to 400:1 for professional traders in the UK.

Payment Methods and Minimum Deposits

UK forex brokers vary in what payment methods they allow. Some UK brokers only accept bank transfers and wire transfers for deposits. Other forex brokers accept e-wallets like PayPal or even credit and debit cards.

Minimum deposits can also vary widely among brokers. Some don’t require a minimum deposit to open an account, while others have minimums that range from £10 to £10,000.

Demo Accounts

Many UK forex brokers offer demo accounts with paper money that traders can use to try out new strategies. These accounts are also very helpful for evaluating a new broker before committing real money to trades.

Libertex, for example, gives traders access to a €50,000 demo account that traders can use to test new forex trading strategies.

Mobile Apps

Many forex brokers in the UK now offer mobile apps for iOS and Android so that traders can easily buy and sell forex on the go. Mobile apps now make up a growing share of forex trading activity and are quickly reshaping the trading landscape.

These apps give traders access to touch-friendly versions of a broker’s trading platform, enabling features like technical analysis and news feeds. Traders can deposit funds and make trades right from the mobile app.

A good mobile app is huge for forex traders that are constantly on the go.

Customer Service

The forex market operates 24/5, so most of the best UK forex brokers offer 24/5 customer service.

However, brokers differ in the contact methods they offer. Some let traders get in touch by email only, which means it can take several hours to get a response. Others offer faster ways to get in touch, including phone and live chat support.

How We Test UK Forex Trading Platforms

Our approach to testing forex trading platforms is thorough and includes consideration of all of the factors we discussed above.

We look carefully at the range of forex pairs available at each broker and the nominal spreads. We also dive into the trading platform to see whether a broker’s actual spreads match their advertised rates for each forex pair.

If a broker has its own trading platform, we thoroughly evaluate it to examine technical analysis tools, trade execution, and customizability. We also look at additional analysis features like news feeds and trade signals to see how easy they are to use and whether they provide actionable information for traders.

We also download and test a broker’s mobile apps. This enables us to evaluate the mobile trading experience to ensure it’s as smooth as the web trading experience.

Finally, we look at the broker outside the scope of trading. We talk to the customer service team, check what authorities regulate the broker, and examine how easy it is to deposit and withdraw funds.

Conclusion

Having the right UK forex broker can help traders make more profits by giving them access to powerful trading tools and reducing trading fees. Top brokers can also provide deep analysis that helps traders uncover profitable trading opportunities.

Based on our analysis, eToro is the best forex broker in the UK for beginners to use in 2024. It offers 55 major, minor, and exotic currency pairs to trade, has an excellent customer service and low fees.

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

References

FAQs

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Michael Graw
Technology Expert
Michael Graw
Technology Expert

Michael Graw is an experienced writer in the business and B2B tech fields. His articles can be found on Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Tom’s Guide, and TechRadar, and cover everything from corporate finance to crypto and international tech regulation. A prolific copywriter and entrepreneur, Michael has worked with a wide range of SaaS and tech companies and has his finger firmly on the pulse of B2B tech and finance.