9 Best Futures Brokers in the UK for 2024

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Futures trading is a lucrative financial instrument to diversify portfolios for both novice and experienced traders. However, to fully capitalize on this opportunity, selecting the best futures broker that aligns with your specific needs is a must.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with a list of the best futures brokers in the UK to invest with and what makes them so great to begin with. So, let’s get started!

The Best UK Futures Brokers for Beginners 2024

Futures trading has been gaining significant traction in the UK financial market. This has led to a proliferation of futures brokers in the UK. Now, let’s take a look at the best brokers for futures trading in the UK. 

  1. Vantage MarketsThe leading UK futures broker offering diverse trading assets, innovative social trading, and a variety of account options.
  2. Trade Nation – A UK-regulated FX and CFD broker providing high leverage, copy trading, and extensive market analysis tools.
  3. SAXO – A futures broker that provides investment products and services for professionals and advanced traders.
  4. TradeStation – Renowned for its sophisticated trading interfaces, equipped with a comprehensive range of features and analytical tools.
  5. Degiro – The futures trading platform offering low-cost trading for various financial instruments.
  6. MEXEM – A futures trading platform with a mobile app and account management services.
  7. Optimus Futures – A futures trading platform with low fees and a range of research tools that meet the needs of varied traders. 
  8. AMP Futures – A brokerage with a huge selection of trading platforms, low margins, and cheap commissions for futures trading. 
  9. Tickmill – A global broker catering to professional futures trading with high leverage.

Best Futures Brokers UK Reviewed & Compared 

Now, we’ll take a deeper look at these best brokers for futures trading in the UK and how they compare to each other to help you find the one that suits your needs the best.

1. Vantage Markets – Overall Best Futures Broker in the UK 

At this global broker, you can access a range of assets, including forex, commodities, precious metals, bonds, indices, ETFs, and share CFDs.

Vantage Markets Home Page

With over a decade long market experience, Vantage Markets offers a trusted trading ecosystem for users to trade by opening a live or demo account. Different account types on Vantage Markets include Cent, STP, Raw ECN, Pro ECN, and Swap-Free.

Meanwhile, tools available at Vantage include a free Forex VPS, economic calendar, pro-economic calendar, sentiment indicators, AI-based market buzz provider, and trading calculators, along with custom charts, indicators, and bespoke order types.

An interesting facet of Vantage is social trading with its V-Social app, available for both iOS and Android devices. The free-to-download app allows traders to chat with other traders, ask queries, trade, and auto-copy the top-performing investors or get paid for sharing trading tips, all on the same platform and on the go. 

It’s also pretty easy to open an account at FCA-regulated Vantage, which boasts of low spreads while offering leverage up to 30:1. There are no deposit fees either, and you can fund your account using a range of methods including Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, and Neteller. 

When it comes to educational resources, the platform covers a wide range of topics through its articles, webinars, and videos. You can access helpful material via the Academy or get assistance through Help & Support. To contact customer support, you can do so via email, phone number, live chat, and Telegram.

Trading Platforms MT4, MT5, & ProTrader
Number of futures contracts 1000+ CFD instruments
Min deposit $50
Pricing system Spread-based trading costs
Fee for buying crude oil futures 0.1 pips spread
Top Features – Low trading costs

– Fast execution

– 24-hour support

– Free Forex Insights

– Negative balance protection

Pros pros

  • Regulated in multiple jurisdictions, including the UK
  • SmartTrader tools for MetaTrader 
  • Social copy-trading app
  • Low non-trading fees
  • Demo account

Cons cons

  • Only CFD support
  • No crypto support for UK clients 
  • High min. deposit for the Pro ECN account

2. Trade Nation – UK’s Premier Futures Broker with Consistent Spreads and a Wealth of Trading Tools

This FCA-regulated FX and CFD broker allows you to trade 1000+ assets on its proprietary platform TN Trader as well as MT4 on your smartphone or desktop while staying on top of the market with real-time news, analysis, and twice-daily reports. Spreads at Trade Nation are low and remain consistent.

Trade Nation Home Page

Different account types at Trade Nation include Standard Account, which is its most popular and has no commission; RAW Account charges commissions from $3.50 per lot per side, and TN Trader Account, for low fixed spreads but is only available at its proprietary platform. On its TradeCopier app, you can find top traders and copy the moves of successful traders.

When it comes to tools available at Trade Nation, you can enjoy real-time news, signal centre, and risk management tools. Meanwhile, charts are powered by ChartIQ on its web and mobile.

This broker offers leverage up to 500x, which means you can trade bigger with a small deposit, but a trader must always remember that leverage not only amplifies your gains but also your losses. To educate its users, Trade Nation has an Insight Hub and provides tutorials and market information that impacts the way you trade including holidays, expiries, and projections.

When it comes to funding options, Trade Nation offers options like Visa, Mastercard, and Skrill, along with crypto. Additionally, deposits and withdrawals are free here, with support for multiple account currencies. As for customer inquiries, the broker offers email, phone, and live chat support.

Trading Platforms Proprietary TN Trader & MT4
Number of futures contracts 1,000 plus assets
Min deposit $0
Pricing system Spread-based trading costs
Fee for buying crude oil futures Spread
Top Features – Tight spreads

– Good customer support

– Free deposit and withdrawal

– Educational resources

– Negative balance protection

Pros pros

  • Regulated by FCA, ASIC, SCB, and FSA
  • Great research and trading tools
  • Free deposit and withdrawal
  • Good customer support
  • Smart News feature 

Cons cons

  • Needs safer login
  • Limited educational offering
  • Range of markets limited on MT4

3. SAXO – Trusted Futures Broker for Professional Traders With Broad Asset Selection

As one of the top futures brokers, Saxo is known for its user-friendly platform on both desktop and mobile devices, asset-specific analysis tools,  responsive charting, and advanced strategy backtesting. 

Saxo’s trading platforms, SaxoTraderPRO and SaxoTraderGO, are built with the end user in mind, providing major upgrades over the industry standard. The platform is fully licensed and regulated in 15 jurisdictions across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It has a wide range of equity, metals, bonds, and currencies to traders. 

SAXO Home Page

Saxo offers competitive trading fees with commissions varying based on the contract as well as the tier of pricing. It has a three-tiered pricing structure (Classic, Platinum, and VIP), which depends on your trading volume, and the more you trade, the lower the commissions available.  

When it comes to advanced research and analysis tools, Saxo offers the Futures Spread Trading feature that allows you to simultaneously place orders to buy and sell multiple contracts. Then there’s the Depth Trader feature, which allows you to more effectively manage your trades by viewing all the pending buy and sell orders. Meanwhile, with the Time and Sales feature, you can monitor real-time futures prices and trade directly from the exchange.    

Trading Platforms SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO
Number of futures contracts 320+ futures from 25 global exchanges
Min deposit £0 for a Classic account, £200,000 for 

Platinum tier, and £ 1,000,000 for 

VIP tier

Pricing system Tier-based
Fee for buying crude oil futures USD4 for classic, USD2 for platinum, & USD1 for VIP on Brent Crude Oil Futures
Top Features Mobile app

Demo account

Extensive educational features

FCA regulation with FSCS protection

Thousands of trading instruments 

Pros pros

  • Low commissions
  • Robust trading platform
  • Broad product portfolio

Cons cons

  • High options and futures fees
  • Lacks live chat

4. TradeStation – Renowned for Advanced Futures Trading Interfaces and Tools

TradeStation is a leading futures broker for offering an excellent trading platform loaded with customizable charting, advanced trading tools, and a premium real-time watchlist for professional trading experience.

Besides its web platform, you can also use its reliable and user-friendly mobile app to trade on the go. The broker also provides dedicated customer service via phone, email, and live chat to help manage any trading issues, but only on weekdays. The broker offers commission-free trading on equities, futures, and options, but forex and CFDs are not available. Trading fees are also low across the board. However, an inactivity fee is applicable. 

TradeStation Home Page

It further hosts various account types, including individual, IRA, joint, institutional, custodial, and entity accounts, which you can choose as per your trading needs and experience level.  

TradeStation offers a comprehensive suite of research and educational tools featuring a demo account, detailed fundamental data, high-quality news, a detailed FAQ section, and educational videos and articles. However, deposit and withdrawal functions are somewhat limited, with only bank transfers supported.

Trading Platforms Proprietary Platform
Number of futures contracts Over 600 futures and futures option products
Min deposit £0
Pricing system Commission-free
Fee for buying crude oil futures $0.82 per side, per contract
Top Features Advanced trading platform

Account options

High margin rates

Proprietary EasyLanguage

Pros pros

  • Low trading fees
  • Active trader community
  • High-quality trading platform

Cons cons

  • No forex trading
  • Mediocre customer service

5. Degiro – Leading Low-Cost Futures Platform With Diverse Financial Instruments

If you’re looking for safe, easy, and cheap futures trading, you may want to explore Degiro, which features global investing, no hidden costs, and low fees. This platform offers inexpensive trading opportunities in ETFs, bonds, index funds, and more but does not offer CFDs and forex.  

Degiro’s bespoke trading terminal offers sophisticated features, including real-time market news, live streaming prices, multiple order types, plus customisable graphs and charts. Its basic but easy-to-use desktop and mobile trading platforms are suitable for those with little trading experience. 

Degiro Home Page

In terms of costs, non-trading fees at Degiro are also low due to no inactivity, deposit, or withdrawal fees. But trading US options or futures carries a fee along with currency conversion.

As for its educational and support aspects, the research offering at Degiro is limited to a basic news feed, a few charting tools, and some fundamental data on stocks. Additionally, there is no desktop trading platform, and customer support is of mixed quality, available in many languages and offering phone support but lacking live chat or 24/7 availability.

Trading Platforms Proprietary WebTrader solution
Number of futures contracts Over 50 exchanges worldwide
Min deposit £0
Pricing system Spread plus €3.25 DEGIRO costs
Fee for buying crude oil futures € 2 Commission plus € 1 handling charges
Top Features FCA regulation

Multiple account types

Competitive share dealing

Investor academy 

Pros pros

  • One of the lowest fees on the market
  • Regulated by top-tier authorities
  • Quick, easy account opening

Cons cons

  • Forex not available
  • No demo account

6. MEXEM – Best Futures Broker for Superior Mobile Trading and Account Management

The Europe-based global broker, MEXEM, covers a vast range of markets and products: equities, ETFs, indices, options, futures, mutual funds, forex, and commodities. Its main platform for trading is the Trader Workstation (TWS) from Interactive Brokers, which is rather complex but allows for customisation.

MEXEM offers a demo account in addition to a multitude of great research tools on its sophisticated trading platforms. This includes fundamental data, news, forecasts, and trading ideas on various markets, along with advanced analytics from Trading Central. However, the broker doesn’t provide extensive educational materials and instead only provides tutorial videos and webinars.

MEXEM Home Page

While there are no fees for inactivity, deposits, account maintenance, or the first withdrawal each month, margin fees are high. Moreover, the only way to deposit and withdraw funds is through a bank transfer, the slowest and most expensive method. The customer service is of good quality, available via email, telephone, and live chat.

Trading Platforms Trader Workstation (TWS)
Number of futures contracts 150+ global markets
Min deposit £0
Pricing system Commission Fee
Fee for buying crude oil futures NA
Top Features – Advanced trading tools

– Risk navigator

– Backed by Interactive Brokers

Pros pros

  • Low stock and ETF fees
  • Many great research tools
  • Fractional stock trading

Cons cons

  • Complex desktop trading platform
  • High forex and margin fees

7. Optimus Futures – Excellent Futures Broker for Low Fees and Comprehensive Research Tools

This futures broker made it in this list for free professional-grade trading tools, micro futures, and deep discount commissions. 

Optimus Futures offers a wide selection of markets, focusing exclusively on futures and options on futures trading. However, it’s important to note that popular asset classes like real stocks or ETFs are not available on the platform.

Optimus Futures' Home PageThis broker has one of the lowest fees among its competitors, and there is also no inactivity fee. But on the negative side, withdrawal fees are high due to support for wire transfers, ACH deposits, and physical checks but not credit/debit cards.

Optimus provides excellent research and educational tools that cater to the requirements of experienced traders. This includes advanced charting, a knowledge base, guides, trading lessons, a trading podcast, a community blog, a video library, webinars, an FAQ, automated trading, a remote desktop, and a demo account. Complementing these resources, customer service gives helpful and quick answers provided through a support forum, social media, email, and telephone. 

Trading Platforms Bespoke Optimus Flow platform plus MetaTrader 4
Number of futures contracts 106
Min deposit £500
Pricing system Depends on account type/data-feed provider/type of asset/size of the contract
Fee for buying crude oil futures $0.82 per side, per contract
Top Features – Access to contracts from 15 exchanges

– Different account types

– Tailored educational resources 

Pros pros

  • Low trading fees
  • Great platform and research
  • Fast customer service

Cons cons

  • No mobile app
  • High withdrawal fee

8. AMP Futures – Great Selection of Futures Trading Platforms with Low Costs

AMP Futures is known for cheap, fast, and reliable trading routes and data feeds, along with 24-hour customer service and trade desk support.

With more than 60 trading platforms, AMP Futures caters to advanced users. Its flagship platform, however, is only available as a desktop app with no mobile or web versions. Moreover, its product portfolio only covers futures and options on futures. Also, people may find its account opening process a bit complicated.

AMP Futures' Home Page

The research and analysis tools offered by the broker are quite extensive, with backtesting, the latest news and financial forecasts, a support forum, and charting tools with many indicators, along with high-quality educational materials, including videos and articles. 

As for fees, AMP Futures has low futures fees, and there is no deposit or inactivity fee, but wire withdrawal fees are quite high. Customer services, meanwhile, are provided via phone, email, live chat, and remote access of a technician to the client’s computer.

Trading Platforms MetaTrader 5
Number of futures contracts 10 Futures markets
Min deposit £100
Pricing system Ranges from £1.16 to £0.81, depending on the contracts traded.
Fee for buying crude oil futures $1.35 per side
Top Features – No monthly volume requirements

– Real-time & historical data 

– 24 Hour Trade Desk Support

– Custom colocation services 

Pros pros

  • Great platform
  • Low trading fees
  • High-quality education tools

Cons cons

  • No mobile app
  • Only futures and options on futures

9. Tickmill – Preferred for Professional Futures Trading with High Leverage

This futures broker is on our list for catering to professional traders with competitive spreads, fast execution, and a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options.

Tickmill offers a wide range of popular markets, including CFDs, forex, bonds, indices, commodities, and on-exchange futures and options. Its web trading platform is provided by MetaTrader, which is highly customisable and has a clear fee report but lacks price alerts. Meanwhile, its mobile and desktop trading platform, offered by MetaTrader 4, is well-designed and user-friendly with a good search function.  

Tickmill's Home Page

The platform has assembled a rather comprehensive suite of research and analysis tools, incorporating market news, auto-chartist, signal centre, a demo account, and trading masterclasses. Its educational content includes videos, articles, and webinars.

Tickmill supports many options for deposit and withdrawal, including bank transfers, credit/debit cards, and e-wallets, and they’re all free of charge. There is no inactivity fee either. Client support is also very good, available via phone, email, and chat, but only during working hours.

Trading Platforms MetaTrader 4 and 5
Number of futures contracts Over 100
Min deposit $1000
Pricing system No commissions on the Classic account
Fee for buying crude oil futures 0.04 spread
Top Features – Raw spreads

– Fast trade execution

– Negative balance protection

– Excellent choice of trading platforms

Pros pros

  • Fast and easy account opening
  • Fast trade execution
  • Free deposit and withdrawal

Cons cons

  • High minimum deposit
  • Low leverage rates

How We Ranked the Top UK Futures Trading Platforms

Choosing the correct broker is the most important decision, as it can significantly impact your futures trading success. However, with the plethora of brokers available in the market today, determining the right futures broker UK for you can be challenging. To assist in this process, we have created a list, taking the following factors into consideration:

Regulation

With so many options available today, it’s crucial that futures trading brokers UK are regulated by a reputable authority, like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This ensures the broker is operating securely and that user funds are safe.

Range of Futures Contracts

Trade Nation Account types

A broker that offers access to an extensive array of futures markets, encompassing securities, commodities, currencies, and other financial instruments, offers traders more opportunities to trade.

Order Types

When it comes to futures trading UK, there are many order types, each having a specific purpose. While market, limit, stop, and stop limit orders are offered by most basic platforms, a good platform will also allow you to place trailing stop orders and even give you the ability to place conditional orders.

Execution Speeds

Markets move fast, especially in trading futures UK, so it’s essential that a broker offers high execution speeds. This also helps in reducing slippage, ensuring you get the desired price. 

Fees and Commissions

The low commission makes for an attractive broker; however, it’s important to ensure that this advantage isn’t offset by spreads, trade fees, withdrawal fees, inactivity fees, or any hidden charges. Such charges can significantly eat into your profits. 

Research Tools & Analysis

Trade Nation Tools

Additional services like research, market insights, and trading tools help traders navigate the complex futures market. These tools and analyses are essential in gauging the effectiveness of a trading strategy and in understanding how to perform better.

Minimum Deposit

While some brokers have zero deposit requirements, others may need you to deposit a minimum amount of cash just to open an account. In fact, in some cases, it can even go as high as £1,000, which is not a viable option for every trader.

Demo Account

Futures trading brokers with a demo account enable you to test the platform and confirm all the necessary elements that benefit your trading activity. This way, you can first sharpen your skills before jumping into the market.

Mobile App

A broker with a mobile app tends to offer the most modern and extra trading features. Moreover, it allows for a more streamlined trading experience. 

Risk Management Tools

Risk management involves strategically limiting your positions in the event of a loss. Brokers facilitate this process by providing tools such as stop loss, real-time risk monitoring, risk analytics, hedging tools, and account alerts, helping traders mitigate the damage of market downturns.

Educational Resources

Vantage Markets Trading Courses

For a beginner, educational resources can be immensely helpful in improving proficiency. A good futures platform has extensive educational tools, including courses, videos, tutorials, glossaries, webinars, and more.

Payment Methods

Not all payment methods are the same. E-Wallets and debit cards are pretty handy, while bank transfers tend to be safe. It is important to find a suitable option; otherwise, you may have to go through a currency exchange every time you want to make a deposit or withdrawal. 

Trading Community

A thriving and engaging trading community actually has a significant impact on the success of a broker as it enhances market liquidity and brings a variety of strategies to the platform. Moreover, traders share insights and analyses within the community, creating a supportive environment not only for novice but also experienced traders.

Customer Service

Vantage Markets Contact Page

Reliable, prompt, and professional customer service is essential for a good futures trading experience. Moreover, the best platform supports several communication channels, including forums, email, phone, and live chat.

Reputation and Reviews

A broker boasting a lengthy history of success and a solid reputation within the industry can offer increased stability and security for your investments. So, when reviewing brokers, we make sure that customers have good things to say about them.  

Financial Stability

It is critical to look at the financial stability of a broker as it ensures that user funds are secure and that the platform is better equipped to implement robust risk management practices. Not to mention, regulatory authorities often require brokers to maintain a certain level of financial stability, and adhering to these standards shows the broker’s commitment to operating responsibly and ethically.

How do Futures Brokers Work?

First, let’s start with futures. It is an agreement to purchase or sell a certain security or commodity at an agreed-upon price at a predetermined “future” date. This means that the buyer is obligated to buy, or the seller is required to sell the underlying asset at the predetermined price, irrespective of the prevailing market price on the expiration date.

The value of futures hinges on the value of an underlying asset, like oil, for instance, in the case of crude oil futures. 

Being a leveraged financial instrument, this derivative financial product offers the potential for outsized gains or losses. Hence, they are considered to be an advanced trading instrument.

Numerous varieties of futures contracts are available for trading, encompassing stock index futures with underlying assets like the S&P 500 Index; commodity futures with commodities such as corn, wheat, crude oil, and natural gas as the underlying assets; precious metal futures for gold and silver; and currency futures, including the Euro and the British pound ones.

Futures contracts can be used by different kinds of financial players, including investors and speculators, in addition to companies that want to take physical delivery of the commodity or supply it.

On some futures trading broker platforms, future trading works by using CFDs or ‘contract for difference’ and spread betting, with the latter having fixed expiration dates while the former has none. What this means is that you don’t take ownership of the underlying asset and can take advantage of rising and falling markets by going long or short. 

To trade futures, you need a broker which acts as an intermediary between traders and the futures market. They provide services to individuals or institutions looking to participate in the futures market. 

The primary role of brokers involves linking buyers and sellers of futures contracts with a range of services at their disposal, including access to market data and trade execution. And in exchange for their services, brokers charge a commission.  

Futures brokers facilitate price discovery and provide liquidity, which plays a crucial role in the futures market. Besides making it easier for clients to buy and sell futures contracts, these platforms help clients navigate the complex futures market by providing additional services like research, market insights, trading tools, and risk management. 

Things to Consider Before Trading Futures in the UK

While anyone can trade futures, you require a good deal of time and effort to monitor the market and keep on top of current events for this strategy to be successful, especially if you aim to trade futures UK. So, first, a trader must understand how it all works.

Understand that futures can be used for different purposes. For instance, they can be used for speculating on the underlying asset’s price direction. Futures can also serve as a means to hedge against price movements in a security, commodity, or financial instrument. The wide selection of futures products available, from stock indexes to orange juice, further allows investors to have a diversified portfolio across multiple asset classes. 

Futures are traded with leverage, enabling investors to command larger positions with a relatively small initial investment. This investment strategy that involves using borrowed capital, however, is a double-edged sword. While it can be advantageous to amplify returns with less money, if the market turns against you, it also amplifies losses. So, know the risks before you venture deeper.

The good thing about futures trading is investors may have to deposit only a fraction of the contract amount with a broker. This fraction is the margin, which serves as collateral and ensures a trader’s financial capacity to meet potential losses. Also, when opening a position, consider adding stops and limits to your trade to manage your risk. 

Once you have narrowed down your investment strategy, to go long or short, find the futures broker among our provided list that is most suitable for you and your trading needs.

Do not forget to close your positions, no matter profit or loss. Also, if you do not trade them off into offsetting contracts, you run the risk of taking physical delivery of the underlying asset, which will require you to pay the agreed-upon price.

 

Conclusion 

Futures trading is worth it for traders who enjoy speculating on the future price of a security, commodity, currency, or any other financial instrument. However, it is smart to first learn the basics of investing, understand the risk of high-leverage trades, and use demo accounts to get started.

Overall, using a futures broker to trade futures in the UK can be an exciting and profitable opportunity, but it is best to be approached with caution. With a solid understanding of the futures market and the right broker like Vantage Markets, which is easy to use, has low fees, and offers broad asset selection along with advanced tools, you can have profitable futures trading.

References

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Gaurav Roy
Editor
Gaurav Roy
Editor

Gaurav is a seasoned content specialist and researcher with over 5 years of remote work experience, engaging with clients across the US, UK, Australia, Israel, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, India, New Zealand, Singapore, and more. His expertise spans email outreach, in-depth research, and versatile content creation. He boasts over 600 research projects completed with AskWonder and has successfully led a team of research analysts for two years. He has a diverse portfolio, having supported companies like Casino Tops Online, Sweep Stakes Casino, PayGamble, Odds Scanner US, and Sambafoot UK, demonstrating his proficiency in the iGaming sector. He has contributed as a…