IG vs eToro: how to choose the best platform for your needs

IG and eToro are highly competitive brokers. They both have unique features and tools that will benefit some users better than others. In this comparison article IG vs eToro, we’ll compare their strengths, weaknesses, trading platforms, costs, and many other aspects to help you decide which UK broker best suits your needs.

History of IG vs eToro

History of IG

IG is a broker founded in 1974 in London. Initially, IG stood for Investors Gold Index, as the company commenced its operations as the first spread betting company in the world. However, since 2000, IG has been rebranded as IG Group, reflecting its expanded range of offerings that now extend beyond gold to encompass other commodities, currencies, and indices, among others.

Is IG one of the best brokers in the market?

Nowadays, IG is one of the largest online trading companies in the world, with over 185,000 customers across all continents and a turnover of over £900 million as of 2022. As such, the company provides trading platforms for both retail and institutional investors, along with research and educational resources. For instance, traders have the opportunity to utilise the renowned technical analysis platform, Metatrader 4.

IG has also been at the forefront of innovation, being among the pioneers to offer its services through a mobile app. Despite its magnitude, it remains true to its entrepreneurial origins, boasting a team of over 1,400 employees situated across 14 countries globally.

History of eToro

eToro was founded in 2007 in Israel and has grown into one of the largest social trading platforms in the world. It has opened offices in various jurisdictions around the world, including the UK, the US, and Cyprus.

Is eToro one of the best brokers in the market?

The company was established in 2007 by brothers Yoni Assia and Ronen Assia, and since then, it has expanded to become one of the largest investment platforms globally.

eToro enables users to engage in trading with real assets, including stocks and ETFs, as well as CFDs on stocks, ETFs indices, commodities, and currencies. In addition to traditional investment products, eToro also provides cryptocurrency trading and copy trading, a service that allows users to replicate the trades of other users designated as “popular” on eToro.

In the UK, eToro is one of the few crypto and multi-asset trading brokers since crypto derivatives have been banned for retail investors and eToro provides real cryptocurrencies for trading or buy-and-hold strategies.

Presently, it boasts over 20 million registered users in more than 140 countries.

Regulation: IG vs eToro

Regulation of IG

IG is regulated in all the jurisdictions where it operates. As a regulated broker, it now holds licenses from many regulatory entities around the world, including:

  • United Kingdom – Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Germany – Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)
  • Switzerland – Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
  • USA: Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and National Futures Association (NFA)
  • Australia – Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • New Zealand – Financial Markets Authority (FMA)
  • Singapore – Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
  • Japan – Financial Services Authority of Japan (FSA)
  • South Africa – Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)
  • UAE – Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
  • International – Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA)

It is worth noting that several of these regulatory authorities hold first-tier status, including the FCA (United Kingdom), BaFin (Germany), and FINMA (Switzerland).

IG guarantee | Is my money safe with IG?

As IG is regulated in multiple countries, the level of investor protection varies depending on the specific jurisdiction.

Country/JurisdictionProtected AmountRegulatorLegal Entity
United Kingdom£85,000Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)IG Markets Ltd
IG Index Ltd*
Europe, except
UK and Switzerland
€20,000€Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)IG Europa GmbH
Switzerland₣100,000Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)IG Banco S.A.
AustraliaNo protectionAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)IG Markets Ltd, Australia
SingaporeNo protectionMonetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)IG Asia Pte Ltd
United Arab EmiratesNo protectionDubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)IG Unlimited

In addition, for UK residents, IG provides negative balance protection for its retail clients. As per FCA rules, all clients’ funds are kept in segregated accounts, protecting them in the unlikely case of insolvency.

eToro regulation

Albeit fewer entities, eToro is also regulated by some of the world’s top-tier regulatory bodies, including:

  • The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom
  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

eToro guarantee | Is my money safe with eToro?

Clients’ funds are kept by eToro Money, which ensures protection in case of insolvency. Also, it is considered one of the safest brokers considering its regulatory status, especially in the UK. Just like IG, eToro offers negative balance protection and segregation of accounts for clients’ money.

IG vs eToro: products and markets

IG products and markets

With IG, you can buy real shares, trade CFDs, or spread bet on multiple asset classes. However, these operations require opening different types of accounts with IG. If you’d like a full breakdown of IG’s account types and which ones are suitable for trading or investing, check out this in-depth IG review.

Overall, retail clients can trade CFDs or spread bet on the following types of assets:

  • Forex
  • Indices
  • Shares
  • Commodities
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • IPOs
  • Sectors
  • Thematic portfolios
  • Interest rates

While spread bets and CFDs cater to traders, IG also targets investors via the share-dealing and smart portfolio product offering. You can buy and sell real US stocks with zero commissions (or UK stocks starting from £3 commissions). Alternatively, smart portfolios are baskets of diversified investments ideal for passive investors or those who prefer investing in an already-optimised portfolio.

Perhaps one of the most innovative offerings is the ability to trade IPOs. You can trade at any time before, during, or after the initial public offering.

eToro products and markets

When discussing financial asset offerings, eToro boasts one of the most comprehensive and easily accessible catalogues available to the average investor. This very aspect has enabled eToro to amass over 20 million customers across 140 countries worldwide, who currently engage in trading with thousands of stocks and other assets.

For UK citizens, eToro provides access to real shares, thematic portfolios, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. However, users can also trade CFDs on many other assets, including stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities, and even bonds, among others.

Trading or buying real assets or CFDs is also quite intuitive. Overall, if you buy without leverage, you will own the actual asset (as long as it is stocks, crypto, or ETFs). If you short-sell or use leverage, you open a CFD position, which is a type of derivative that tracks the price movement of the underlying asset.

IG vs eToro: fees and commissions

IG cost structure

Any broker’s cost structure can be broken down into trading costs and non-trading costs. IG’s trading costs are quite transparent but complex. These depend on the type of account you open, your chosen derivatives (and/or real stocks), markets, and many more. For a full breakdown of IG’s costs, check out this IG review article.

Overall, with IG, you should expect to pay commissions for stocks and spreads when using CFDs and spread betting. Commissions on stocks are variable – for instance, they start at £0 for US stocks (but you need to cover the currency conversion fee of 0.5%) or £3 for UK stocks.

For derivatives on other assets, such as forex, spreads are incurred and are variable. In general, the minimum spread is 0.6 pips.

One advantage of IG over eToro is the guaranteed stop-loss order. This can help limit your losses if the market goes against you, but it is charged 0.3% of the transaction value if triggered. Also, you will need to pay for a monthly subscription if you want access to live price feeds.

Finally, there will also be fees for short-selling (variable) and overnight fees (variable) if you don’t close your derivative during the same trading day.

As for IG’s non-trading costs, it’s worth noting that there is an inactivity fee of £12 per month (applicable only after 2 years of account inactivity). There is no account maintenance, withdrawal or deposit fee.

eToro cost structure

Perhaps the shining feature of eToro’s cost structure is the 0% commission structure for trading real stocks and ETFs. Its overall cost structure is simpler than IG but less transparent. The spreads apply to all assets and are already built into the prices you see on the trading platform.

When buying or selling cryptocurrencies, there is a fee of 1%. Other spreads are variable, and just like IG, you need to cover overnight fees (swaps) and an inactivity fee of $10 (after 12 months of inactivity). However, it’s worth noting that the only base currency available with eToro is dollars, so you will have to cover the conversion fee, which varies depending on your chosen payment method when you deposit or withdraw funds. Also, eToro charges a fixed fee of $5 per withdrawal.

IG vs eToro: deposits and withdrawals

The CFD and spread betting account with IG is opened with GBP as the base currency. However, if you want to trade foreign assets, it’s best to change the base currency. Changing the currency of your account with IG can be a somewhat bureaucratic process, as it requires sending an email to Customer Service.

The significance of base currencies lies in the fact that if you deposit funds into your account in the same currency as your bank account or trade assets in the same currency as the base currency of your account, you can avoid incurring currency conversion fees.

eToro’s account has only one type of account and only one base currency – US dollars.

Making a deposit with IG

IG does not charge deposit fees. In addition to bank transfers, you can also deposit money through credit/debit cards and PayPal.

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment via a credit/debit card is instantaneous.

You are only able to deposit funds from accounts that are registered in your name.

Withdrawal of funds with IG

Once again, IG does not impose any commission for withdrawing funds from its platform. The withdrawal options are the same as the deposit payment methods.

Cash deposits with eToro

eToro adopts a straightforward and user-friendly approach to deposits. There are multiple ways you can deposit your funds, including wire transfer, credit or debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, and others. Also, deposits are free, but there is a minimum deposit of £50 ($50) for any method apart from bank transfer (which has a minimum of $500).

Withdrawing funds from eToro

eToro has a minimum withdrawal amount of $30 per transaction and charges a $5 fee per withdrawal. Therefore, it may not be cost-effective to withdraw small amounts due to the associated fees. You will also have to cover the currency conversion fee if you do not deposit USD.

IG vs eToro: trading platform

IG platform

The IG web platform is exceptional for both novice and experienced traders. It offers a user-friendly interface, essential features, easy customisation options, and a flexible design that enables window movement and design saving, along with the creation of watchlists. Furthermore, you have the option to utilise IG’s proprietary trading platform or MetaTrader 4, a third-party trading platform.

In terms of the IG Mobile App, you have the choice of using either IG’s proprietary mobile trading platform or the MetaTrader 4 platform, available for both iOS and Android devices. The IG mobile platform maintains a high level of intuitiveness, akin to the web trading platform. All the available features can be easily accessed, and while the design is commendable, it may not be on par with the web trading platform’s excellence.

eToro platform

eToro is a social trading and investing platform that enables users to connect with other investors and trade a wide range of assets. The platform itself is designed in-house, ensuring ease of use, and provides a variety of beginner-friendly features, including real-time market data, comprehensive charting tools, and social interaction capabilities.

Additionally, eToro offers its own demo account, allowing users to track desired values without risking real money. With its focus on social trading, it is effortless to discover top-performing investors, examine their portfolios, and follow their activities, including the option to activate copy trading. Furthermore, eToro offers a mobile app, empowering users to trade conveniently while on the move.

IG vs eToro customer service

IG customer service quality

Overall, the quality of customer service provided by IG is decent, although there is room for improvement. There are three available contact methods:

  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Phone

Email support is generally good, with prompt and relevant responses; however, occasionally, it may take more than 2 days to receive a reply. The live chat functions adequately, although there might be a short wait time of a few minutes as it is not automated.

The challenge lies in locating the live chat option, which is not readily accessible. It is found on the “Contact Us” page of the IG website and typically appears after approximately 30 seconds of browsing the site.

On the other hand, IG’s telephone support could be enhanced, as it may not always be possible to reach a representative even after a 10-minute wait. In summary, IG offers nearly 24-hour customer service, 7 days a week, with informative responses. However, email and phone support can be sluggish, while the availability of the live chat may vary.

eToro customer service quality

You can contact eToro’s customer service through a web-based ticketing system. They usually respond within 48 hours of any query. At the same time, there is also a live chat once you create an account. There is no phone customer support provided by eToro.

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Summary | Which broker is better: IG or eToro?

Indeed, IG and eToro are two distinct brokers with notable differences. While IG, although aiming for broad accessibility, specialises more in trading for experienced investors, eToro is a more versatile broker suitable for both experienced and novice investors, positioning itself as one of the best copytrading brokers and best brokers for beginners.

Firstly, both brokers are well-regulated. IG is subject to important regulators such as BaFin, FCA, and the Swiss regulator, whereas eToro is regulated by both the FCA and CySEC of Cyprus, which oversee European services. Notably, eToro’s social trading functionality stands out, allowing users to copy the portfolios of successful investors and master traders on the platform, potentially boosting profits by replicating the strategies of these accomplished traders.

On the other hand, IG primarily focuses on spread betting and CFD trading, which requires significant time, financial commitment, and deeper market knowledge. In terms of platform technology, eToro demonstrates several advancements, particularly when it comes to social trading.

Turning to costs, while both brokers specialise in low fees, eToro offers a simpler cost structure. For example, eToro allows commission-free trading of real stocks and ETFs at market prices. It’s worth noting that eToro charges a $5 commission for fund withdrawals, while IG does not have any withdrawal or deposit fees.

When it comes to product offerings and financial markets, eToro has a much wider catalogue. It enables users to purchase stocks, ETFs, and various real cryptocurrencies, whereas IG provides CFDs and spread betting – which is ideal for individuals looking for the best brokers to trade CFDs. In terms of platforms, IG offers a comprehensive and customisable trading platform with a wide array of tools, and users have the option to choose between IG’s own platform or MetaTrader 4. On the other hand, eToro offers a good proprietary platform but it lacks advanced analysis tools.

In summary, both IG and eToro are neo-brokers developed with fintech technology, targeting tech-savvy traders. The choice between IG and eToro depends on individual preferences and trading priorities. It is advisable to consider factors such as trading experience, desired financial instruments, social trading functionality, platform features, and fee structures when making a decision. Ultimately, the best broker for you will depend on your specific requirements and trading style.

Summary: IG vs eToro

RegulationUnited Kingdom – FCA
Germany – BaFin
Switzerland – FINMA
Cyprus Securities and Exchange
Commission (CySEC) and FCA
Minimum deposit$0 – Bank transfers
£250 – Credit/debit cards and PayPal
CommissionsVariable (£3 for UK stocks)£0
Financial instrumentsCFDs on any asset
Spread betting
Real stocks
Real stocks and crypto
PlatformExcellent service
Easy to use
Metatrader 4 available
Web and Mobile App
Allows social-trading
Web and Mobile App
Strengths✅Unbeatable platform
✅Low trading and non-trading fees
✅Broker specialised in trading
✅Social trading (copy trading).
✅0% commissions for stocks
✅Access to a multitude of markets and products.
Weak points❌High fees for stocks/forex
❌Quite complex trading platform
❌Customer service could be improved
❌Only allows trading in USD
❌Trading platform lacks advanced tools
❌Transfer of a minimum of $500 via bank


What are the main differences between eToro and IG in terms of trading products?

Toro offers a wide range of trading products, including stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and traditional investment assets. On the other hand, IG primarily focuses on forex and CFD trading, offering a comprehensive selection of currency pairs, indices, commodities, and shares through CFDs.

How does social trading differ between eToro and IG?

eToro stands out for its social trading functionality, allowing users to engage in copy trading. This feature enables investors to replicate the trades and strategies of successful traders on the platform, potentially boosting their own trading results. In contrast, IG does not offer a dedicated social trading feature, focusing more on its proprietary trading platforms and tools.

What are the key regulatory differences between eToro and IG?

Both eToro and IG are well-regulated brokers. eToro is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in Europe. IG, on the other hand, is regulated by prominent authorities such as the FCA, BaFin in Germany, and FINMA in Switzerland. These regulatory bodies oversee the brokers’ operations, ensuring compliance with industry standards and providing a level of investor protection.

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