Whilst the forex (foreign currency) market is dominated by institutional investors, there are numerous retail traders who actively engage in this market and strive to generate a profit or secure coverage for their investments. In this article, we shall examine the best forex brokers for traders in the UK.
What is the forex market?
The forex market (Foreign Exchange) or currency market refers to the conversion of one currency into another at a specific exchange rate. It is the largest financial market in the world and, for this reason, attracts many traders.
Being the largest financial market in the world, liquidity is very high. Next, let’s have a look at the main features of trading forex.
Forex market characteristics
Forex or currency market is an over-the-counter market. This means there is no centralised exchange that oversees forex transactions. Instead, market participants connect electronically and trade currencies.
Next, the forex market is unregulated in that there is no central authority that oversees it. Instead, there are many regulators around the world that oversee local trading activities, such as the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
The forex market typically operates without the physical delivery of currencies. In other words, the profit or loss is determined based on the exchange rate difference between opening the position and closing it.
Finally, in the UK, the forex market is the only market that allows for a maximum leverage of 1:30.
Ranking of best forex brokers UK
It’s important to understand that most brokers do not offer spot forex trading, which means that you do not take ownership of the currency. Instead, most UK brokers allow forex trading via CFDs or spread betting, derivatives that allow you to speculate on the price movements of the currency pairs without owning them.
|Admiral Markets||FCA, CySEC||MT4|
|£0 (for bank transfers)|
|Eightcap||ASIC, FCA, CySEC||MT4, MT5, TradingView|
ActiveTrade provides an extensive selection of currency pairs, but also ETFs, stocks, and commodities enabling you to diversify your investments. This grants you access to major markets. Furthermore, it offers the flexibility to engage in both long and short trades across over 1,000 instruments, accompanied by tight spreads.
However, the information regarding its product offerings on the website is somewhat lacking in detail, and its platform is slightly more intricate in comparison to other options. Check out our in-depth ActivTrades review for more information.
✅ Offers training and education resources
✅ Access to MT4 and its proprietary platform
✅ Low spreads starting at only 0.6 pips
❌ Platform quite complicated for beginners
|Assets||Forex, stocks, ETFs, and more|
|Currency pairs||Over 50|
|Spread||From 0.5 pips|
|Platforms||Proprietary, MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5|
Admirals (Admiral Markets) offers a copy trading tool that allows customers to follow expert investors and access their performance statistics. With a vast selection of over 8,000 financial instruments, Admirals provides cost-effective trading. Moreover, it offers the option to invest in fractional shares, irrespective of the stock price.
This broker also provides weekly webinars and a dedicated training area, offering free trading and investment courses, informative articles, and webinars on specific topics.
✅ Wide variety of assets and competitive spreads from 0 pips
✅ Extensive training and access to MT4
✅ Free demo account
❌ Commissions are quite high
❌ The demo account is only available for 30 days
|Assets||Forex, commodities, indices, stocks, ETFs, bonds|
|Currency pairs||Over 40|
IG is renowned for having one of the most advanced platforms among brokers. It offers ProRealTime and MT4, along with consistent support and assistance. To familiarise users with the platform, IG provides a free demo account where individuals can explore its features using virtual funds before transitioning to the live trading environment.
With over 50 years of experience, IG boasts a vast selection of over 17,000 instruments available for trading. The company also prides itself on delivering excellent customer service and maintaining low spreads. Check out our in-depth IG review for more information.
✅ Competitive spreads
✅ Wide variety of account types and trading platforms
✅ Unlimited demo account
❌ No copy trading option available
|Assets||Forex, stocks, indices, commodities|
|Currency pairs||Over 100|
|Spread||From 0.6 pips|
Oanda has been offering online brokerage services for forex since 1995. In fact, it was among the pioneers in opening up the online foreign exchange market. This versatile broker facilitates seamless order execution.
Its platform provides access to real-time exchange rates and offers an extensive range of international instruments. Furthermore, it incorporates tools to monitor and execute trades with ease.
✅ There are no withdrawal or minimum deposit fees and there is an option to create a free demo account that does not expire
✅ Over 25 years of experience in the forex market
✅ Spreads are competitive
❌ It does not have a copy-trading tool
❌The number of available assets is reduced compared to other forex brokers
|Assets||Currencies, indices, commodities, and bonds|
|Currency Pairs||Over 30|
|Spread||From 0.8 pips|
|Platforms||Proprietary, TradingView and MT4|
The notable advantage of Exante lies in its provision of direct access to over 50 markets, encompassing an extensive selection of over 400,000 instruments, all through a single account. Exante features its own platform equipped with multiple APIs that support algorithmic trading, boasting state-of-the-art technology.
The platform caters to both individual customers and companies alike. With a single multi-currency account, customers can effortlessly execute asset transactions with a simple click of a button.
✅ Good broker for algorithmic trading
✅ It has many assets.
✅ Simple interface and platform.
❌ The minimum deposit is quite high
❌ Thin educational section
|Assets||Currencies, ETFs, bonds, futures, stocks, and more|
|Currency pairs||Over 50|
|Spread||From 0.3 pips|
Eightcap is established in Australia but has now expanded its offering to many other countries, including the UK. It is a forex broker with a competitive cost structure – the spreads start from 0 pips.
In addition, Eightcap offers access to the most popular forex trading platforms, such as MetaTrader 4 and TradingView, where you can craft a successful forex trading strategy regardless of your experience thanks to the platform’s user-friendliness and many tools and indicators.
Have a look at this Eightcap review for more information.
✅ Spreads starting from 0 pips
✅ No fees for depositing funds
✅ Ideal conditions and platforms for forex trading
❌ Limited demo account (but can be extended)
❌ Minimum deposit required (£100)
|Assets||Forex, stocks, indices, commodities|
|Currency pairs||Over 800+ CFDs|
|Spread||From 0 pips|
|Platforms||MT4, MT5, TradingView|
Brokers for forex regulated by ASIC
ASIC is the Australian regulator and it is well known for its stringent security measures when it comes to trading forex. Australian brokers stand out for their wide range of currencies and high-quality trading tools and features.
Here are some notable ASIC-regulated forex brokers available in the UK:
|Entity||Regulation||FCA||Products||Platforms||Minimum Deposit||Demo Account|
|Axi||ASIC (318232)||Yes||Forex, commodities, indices||MT4||£0||Yes|
|Pepperstone||ASIC (414530)||Yes||Forex, commodities, indices||MT4, MT5, TradingView||£0||Yes|
How to choose the best forex broker?
When selecting a forex broker, several aspects come into consideration. These key aspects include regulation, types of financial instruments available, the trading platform for buying and selling, order execution capabilities, as well as spreads and commissions.
Currencies are offered in pairs, among which the following types of currency pairs can be distinguished:
- Major currency pairs
- Minor currency pairs
- Exotic currency pairs
Major currency pairs: these are the main currency pairs with USD as one currency and with other currencies reflected in the pair: USD/EUR, USD/GBP.
Minor currency pairs: these pairs are formed by the main currencies, without including the USD: EUR/GBP, EUR/JPY.
Exotic currency pairs: these pairs are formed by currencies that are not considered major (RUB, INR, MXN), and they are known for high volatility.
While some brokers may offer certain services at no cost, such as opening an account, accessing tools, and obtaining information, they often charge commissions for various activities, including the following:
- Commission and spreads: these are the most important trading costs. These are charged for buying and selling assets. Typically, commissions are fixed fees regardless of the trade size, while the spread is a cost built into the asset prices on the trading platform.
- Exchange rate fee: this is charged if you place trades in a currency other than your account’s base currency.
- Overnight fees (swaps): brokers may charge variable swaps for overnight positions.
- Inactivity fee: it is applied if the account is not used for a certain period of time.
What is leverage?
Leverage refers to using borrowed funds (typically from the broker) to place a larger order. For forex, the maximum limit is 1:30. For instance, if you invest $10, you can potentially open a position worth $300. Leverage carries risk because it does not only magnify your potential returns but also the potential losses.
Forex market opening hours
Thus far, we have explored what the forex market is and how to invest in it. Now, the final question remains: when is it possible to trade in the forex market?
The truth is that the forex market operates on an extensive schedule, facilitating continuous trading 24 hours a day, from Monday to Friday, unlike the stock exchange hours, which are significantly more limited. This is because the multiple trading sessions around the world overlap. For example, the London session overlaps with the New York sessions for a few hours. When the New York session closes, the Asian session opens, and so on.
Related articles & recommendations
- Best brokers to trade CFDs
- Best brokers for options
- Best ETF brokers
- Best fixed-income brokers
- Best crypto brokers
Summary: best forex brokers in the UK
In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the top forex brokers available for traders in the UK. These brokers offer a range of features including diverse portfolios, advanced trading platforms, robust regulation, and excellent customer support. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or a beginner, these brokers provide the tools and services to enhance your forex trading experience and help you achieve your investment goals.
Are these UK forex brokers regulated?
Yes, all the brokers mentioned in this article are regulated by reputable authorities.
What are the trading platforms offered by the best forex brokers?
The featured brokers offer a variety of advanced trading platforms, including well-known options like MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and proprietary platforms designed specifically for their services.
Do the best forex brokers in the UK charge commissions or have other fees?
Each broker has its own fee structure, but many of the listed brokers offer competitive pricing with low spreads and minimal commissions.