IG Broker Review UK: Complete guide for UK Investors

IG is one of the main financial derivatives brokers, providing access to the forex market and other assets via CFDs and spread betting. The broker generates high confidence due to its size and the fact that IG Group, the parent company, is listed on the London Stock Exchange. As of this writing, it offers more than 18,000 underlying assets to trade.

broker ig review

IG is also one of the most experienced brokers, founded in 1974 in England and headquartered in London. Since its foundation, it has expanded its operations globally, with offices in the United States, Australia, China, and other countries.

What is IG Markets UK?

Originally, IG was established under the name IG Investors Gold, allowing investors to speculate on the price of gold when currencies stopped being pegged to it. IG Investors Gold became the first spread betting company in the UK.

ig group uk

Today, IG is one of the largest providers of CFDs globally. As a market maker, IG buys and sells assets as a counterparty to the trader. For example, a market maker buys 10 shares in a company for £10 (ask price) from one trader and sells them to another trader for £10.05 (bid price). The difference between the ask and bid price represents the broker’s profit. For trading in the currency and stock markets, IG offers direct market access (DMA), which is suitable for professional traders.

IG’s business model focuses on excellent customer support, enabling each trader to reach their full potential. IG is under strict regulatory supervision and provides negative balance protection to retail traders, ensuring they cannot lose more than their deposited capital. However, this does not apply to professional trading accounts.

IG Markets UK is a leading financial derivatives broker offering access to forex and other assets via CFDs and spread betting. Founded in 1974, IG is one of the industry’s oldest and most experienced brokers. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, providing an extra layer of trust and security.

Key Features of IG Broker

FeatureDetails
RegulationRegulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
Financial Compensation SchemeUp to £85,000 under the FSCS.
ProductsSpread betting, CFDs, and real shares.
MarketsForex, stocks, bonds, indices, commodities, ETFs, IPOs, sector trading, options, futures.
Account TypesSpread betting, CFD trading, demo, share dealing, smart portfolios.
Minimum DepositNo minimum for bank transfers; £250 for PayPal, credit/debit cards.
FeesVariable spreads and commissions.
Withdrawal FeeNo withdrawal fees.
Inactivity Fee£12 per month after two years of inactivity.
PlatformsMetaTrader 4, ProRealTime, IG Online Platform, L2 Platform (DMA), mobile applications.

Safety and Regulation

IG Markets is highly regulated, providing a safe trading environment for its clients. The company is regulated by the FCA in the UK (register number 195355) and holds licenses in various jurisdictions, including:

  • Germany: BaFin
  • Australia: ASIC
  • South Africa: FSCA
  • Singapore: MAS
  • Japan: JFSA, METI, MAFF

IG adheres to strict transparency and fairness standards as a publicly listed company. Client funds are held in segregated accounts at Tier 1 banks, protecting them from the broker’s operational risks.

Is IG Markets Reliable? | IG Guarantee Fund

As a regulated broker, IG must comply with strict regulatory requirements and guidelines when handling its customers’ funds. This regulatory status comes with several benefits for traders:

  • Asset Protection: Under the FSCS, investors enjoy asset protection of up to £85,000 in case of bankruptcy.
  • Segregated Accounts: Clients’ funds are held by regulated Tier 1 banks in segregated accounts, unrelated to the broker’s operations.
  • Creditor Protection: Broker’s creditors have no rights to clients’ funds in the event of IG’s bankruptcy.
  • Negative Balance Protection: Customers cannot have a negative balance in their trading account, ensuring they cannot lose more than their deposit. Additionally, for an extra charge, IG provides guaranteed stop-loss orders for further protection.

If IG Markets were to become insolvent, customers would have the coverage of the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme, covering deficits up to £85,000 per customer. The same applies if the bank where the money is deposited goes bankrupt.

The protection amount varies by country:

CountryProtection AmountRegulator
United Kingdom£85,000Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Europe (except UK and Switzerland)€20,000Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)
Switzerland₣100,000Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
USANo protectionCommodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), National Futures Association (NFA)
AustraliaNo protectionAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
InternationalNo protectionBermuda Monetary Authority (BMA)

Financial Assets Available at IG UK

IG offers a broad range of financial products and markets, including:

  • Stocks: Over 17,000 international stocks.
  • Forex: A wide range of currency pairs, including majors, minors, and exotics.
  • Indices: More than 80 indices worldwide.
  • ETFs: Over 5,400 ETF markets.
  • Commodities: Precious metals, energy, and agricultural products.
  • Bonds: Bond futures and bond ETFs.
  • Interest Rates: Speculate on multiple global interest rates.
  • Volatility: Trade volatility indices such as the VIX and EU Volatility index.

Types of IG Accounts

IG Spread Betting Account

Spread betting allows traders to speculate on the price movements of various assets without owning them. It is a leveraged product with no commissions, offering access to more than 18,000 markets.

CFD Trading Account

CFDs enable traders to speculate on the price movements of underlying assets. This account type supports leverage, allowing traders to magnify their gains or losses.

Share Dealing Account

Ideal for investors looking to buy and hold stocks, this account type provides access to over 17,000 stocks with zero commission for US shares and £3 commission per UK share.

IG Smart Portfolios

Professionally managed portfolios created by IG experts, considering your risk appetite. These portfolios may include ETFs across various markets.

IG Demo Account

A risk-free way to practice trading with virtual money, allowing users to familiarize themselves with the platform and test trading strategies.

How to Open an IG Account in the UK

Opening an account with IG is straightforward. Here are the steps:

open account with ig
  1. Register Online: Provide your details and complete the appropriateness assessment.
  2. Verify Your Identity: Upload your passport or driving license and a utility bill or bank statement.
  3. Deposit Funds: No minimum deposit for bank transfers; £250 for PayPal or credit/debit cards.

Depositing and Withdrawing Money

IG supports various payment methods:

  • Credit/Debit Card
  • PayPal
  • Bank Transfer

Deposits via PayPal and credit/debit cards are usually instant, while bank transfers may take a few days. Withdrawals are processed quickly, with PayPal usually taking one working day and bank transfers up to three days.

UK Commissions and Spreads Reviewed

IG generates profit via different commissions, spreads, and other fees, depending on your chosen type of account and asset. The most representative and burdensome for traders are usually trading fees, such as spreads or commissions. These are essentially the costs for opening, closing, and maintaining trading positions.

IG Stocks Commissions/Spreads

IG charges different fees for trading stocks, depending on your type of account. The lowest commission applies to the share dealing account, starting at £0 for US stocks (but you may need to cover a foreign exchange fee) and £3 for UK stocks.

  • Spread Betting: This includes the variable spread fee and other fees depending on your strategy (e.g., an overnight fee if the position is left open overnight).
  • CFDs on Stocks: Charge a commission per transaction.

IG Forex Spreads

In the forex market, the spreads applied vary depending on market conditions, such as the pair’s volatility or liquidity. For example, for the EUR/USD pair (the most liquid pair), a minimum spread of 0.6 pips is applied.

MarketMinimum SpreadAverage SpreadAverage Spread (1:00-22:00)
EUR/USD0.61.130.86
AUD/USD0.61.331.07
EUR/GBP0.92.511.83
GBP/USD0.92.381.84

IG Indices Spreads

The minimum spread for trading indices is 0.4 for the US 500 and varies depending on the index chosen. Here are some examples of costs:

MarketMinimum Spread
FTSE 1001
Wall Street2.4
Germany 401.2
Australia 2001

Commodities Spreads/Commissions

Commodity trading involves a spread for CFDs or spread betting and a commission for shares.

MarketMinimum Spread for Futures
Spot Gold0.6
Spot Silver3
Crude Oil – US Crude6
Crude Oil – Brent Crude6

IG Interest Rates Spreads

The minimum spread for interest rates is 1 pip, varying by product.

Interest Rate ProductSpread
SONIA (3-month)1
Australian 3-Day1
Euribor (3-month)1
Eurodollar1.6

Swaps/Overnight Fees

The swap or “overnight premium” is the commission the broker applies for keeping a position open for more than one day. This cost varies depending on the market and the interest rates plus an administrative cost applied by the broker.

Review IG Markets: Stocks and Shares ISAs

IG offers flexible stocks and shares ISAs, allowing you to invest in shares, funds, and IG Smart Portfolios. However, IG does not provide cash ISAs, junior ISAs, or lifetime ISAs.

Benefits of Flexible Stocks and Shares ISAs

Flexible ISAs allow you to withdraw and reinvest funds without reducing your total annual ISA allowance of £20,000. For example, if you’ve subscribed your full allowance of £20,000 and then withdraw £5,000, your remaining ISA allowance would be £5,000. This flexibility also applies to ISAs from previous years. If you have ISAs totalling £200,000, you could withdraw the full amount and replace it within the same tax year without affecting your current year’s allowance.

Share Dealing Account

When opening an ISA with IG, a share dealing account is also created to act as an admin account. For example, when stocks are no longer ISA-eligible or are suspended, they would need to be moved to your share dealing account.

Costs and Fees

UK ISA Commission Rates Comparison

ProviderBest Rate on US SharesStandard Rate on US SharesBest Rate on UK SharesStandard Rate on UK SharesFX Conversion FeeCustody Fee
IGFree (3+ trades/month)£10£3 (3+ trades/month)£80.5%£0 – £24 per quarter
Hargreaves Lansdown£5.95 (20+ trades/month)£11.95£5.95 (20+ trades/month)£11.951% – 0.25%0.45% of the value of shares (capped at £45/year)
AJ Bell£4.95 (10+ trades/month)£9.95£4.95 (10+ trades/month)£9.950.75% – 0.25%0.25% of the value of shares (capped at £3.50/month)
Interactive Investor£3.99 (first 2 trades free)£3.99£3.99 (first 2 trades free)£3.991.5% – 0.25%Fixed monthly subscription
  • Best Rates: IG offers competitive commission rates, particularly for active traders who make 3+ trades in the prior month.
  • Standard Rates: IG charges £10 for US shares and £8 for UK shares.
  • FX Conversion Fee: IG applies a 0.5% fee on international shares.
  • Custody Fee: £0 to £24 per quarter, waived if you meet certain trading activity criteria.

IG ISA Allowance and Flexibility

The flexibility of IG’s ISAs means you can withdraw and replace funds within the same tax year without affecting your annual allowance. For example, if you withdraw from an ISA worth £200,000, you can replace the full amount within the same tax year, starting with replenishing the previous year’s allowance before the current year’s.

IG Responsibility for ISA Limits

While IG provides flexible ISAs, it is the account holder’s responsibility to ensure they do not oversubscribe their ISAs. For more information, visit the HMRC website.

Share Dealing Account

A share dealing account is created when you open an ISA with IG. This account handles admin tasks, such as holding stocks that are no longer ISA-eligible or are suspended.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Ensure you do not exceed your ISA allowance.
  • Use the flexibility of the ISA to manage your investments efficiently.
  • Be aware of the costs and fees associated with your ISA to maximise your returns.

Review IG Trading Platforms

The choice of trading platforms at IG is broad, offering both proprietary and popular third-party platforms:

MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 is the most popular platform for forex. It is known for its simplicity, customizability, depth of analysis, and impressive array of features and tools. It also supports automated trading strategies through Expert Advisors (EAs).

ProRealTime

ProRealTime is a professional trading platform with advanced analysis tools and a high degree of customisation. It allows for quick order execution, in-depth analysis, creation of custom indicators, automated trading, and backtests. Access to ProRealTime charts costs £30 per month unless you place at least four trades during the calendar month.

IG Online Platform

IG’s proprietary online platform is a powerful browser-based trading solution. It features numerous research tools, including trading signals, an economic calendar, and news, and its execution speeds average 0.014 seconds.

L2 Dealer (DMA)

The L2 Dealer platform provides direct market access (DMA) to the forex and stock markets, offering greater market depth, liquidity, and prices. Due to its complexity and features, it is recommended for professional traders.

IG Mobile Applications

IG’s mobile app allows for trading on the go, with an intuitive interface and full functionality. It is compatible with iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

ig mobile app broker
FeatureOnline PlatformMobile AppWeb AppProRealTimeMetaTrader 4L2 Dealer
AccessibilityBrowser-basedDownloadBrowser-basedDownloadDownloadDownload
SuitabilityAll usersAll usersAll usersChart usersForex specialistsAdvanced traders
Platform CostsFreeFreeFreeFree with 4+ trades/month, else £30FreeFree
ProductsSpread bets, CFDs, sharesSpread bets, CFDs, sharesSpread bets, CFDsSpread bets, CFDsSpread bets, CFDsCFDs, shares
MarketsVaries by accountVaries by accountVaries by accountAll (except DMA, sprints)Forex, indicesDMA forex*, shares, OTC markets
Research ToolsNewsfeeds, calendar, signalsNewsfeeds, calendar, signalsNoneProScreener, AlertsExpert advisorsReuters news, alerts
ChartsIG, ProRealTimeIG mobileIG mobileAdvanced ProRealTimeAdvanced MT4ProRealTime, IG
Trade from ChartsYesYesYesYesYesYes (OTC only)
DMAWith share dealingOn iOSNoNoNoShares, forex (pro only)
Order TypesLimits, stops, trailing, marketLimits, stops, trailing, marketLimits, stops, trailing, marketMarket, limits, stopsInstant, limits, stopsAlgo, limits, market
Automated StrategiesNoNoNoYesYesNo
Account ManagementMy IGMy IGMy IGMy IGWeb platform, My IGMy IG
Brief comparison IG trading platforms

Customer Service

IG offers excellent customer service available 24/7 from 8 am Saturday to 10 pm Friday. Contact options include:

Resources and Tools

IG provides a wide range of educational resources and tools:

  • Trading Strategies
  • Market Updates
  • Webinars and Seminars
  • IG Academy: Courses for beginners to advanced traders.
  • Economic Calendar
  • Financial News

Pros and Cons of IG Markets

✅ Pros ✅

  • Wide Range of Markets: Access to over 18,000 markets.
  • Regulated and Secure: FCA regulated with client funds held in segregated accounts.
  • Advanced Platforms: Multiple trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4 and ProRealTime.
  • Educational Resources: Extensive educational tools and resources.
  • Customer Service: 24/7 support with multiple contact options.

❌ Cons ❌

  • Inactivity Fee: £12 per month after two years of inactivity.
  • Limited Payment Options: Fewer options compared to some competitors.
  • No Cryptocurrency Trading: Not available for retail investors in the UK.

Conclusion

IG Markets is a highly reputable broker, offering a comprehensive range of financial products and services. With its extensive market access, advanced trading platforms, and robust regulatory framework, IG suits beginners and experienced traders. The broker’s commitment to customer service and education further enhances its appeal.

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FAQ about IG Broker

Does IG have withdrawal fees?

No, IG does not charge withdrawal fees. However, there are minimum withdrawal amounts for PayPal and credit/debit cards.

Can I trade cryptocurrencies with IG?

IG does not offer cryptocurrency trading to retail investors in the UK.

Is IG a good broker?

Yes, IG is considered one of the best brokers worldwide due to its comprehensive offering, regulatory status, and customer support.

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