Best Online Brokers & Trading Platforms in The UK

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Risk Warning: Your Capital is at Risk.

This guide explains the essentials you need to know before you put money on the line with a broker. We further explain how to choose an online trading platform in the United Kingdom.

Following this guide, you will know how to make an informed decision on what you want to trade, as well as different ways to trade your chosen instrument, like CFDs, stocks, forex, or options.

If you’re new trading, you can start by learning about margins and leverages. This information will help you choose from regulated online platform providers available in the UK, to get the right account type, fee structure, and trading features.

If you’re unfamiliar with what to look for when choosing a broker, you might want to see these seven factors to consider before choosing a trading platform.

If you prefer to skip the basics and get started right away, see this list of regulated brokers with the best online trading platforms available in the UK. We review them in more detail later in this guide.

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74%-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What Do You Want To Trade?

There are two primary factors to make your mind up on before you trade via an online brokerage platform. These are:

  • The type of instrument you want to trade
  • The type of commodity categories you want to trade

The type of instrument you choose depends on whether you want physical ownership of an asset (e.g. bullion) or speculate on its price movements — as well as the contract commitments you’re willing to undertake.

As for the type of commodity, you must research the asset classes offered by your brokers of interest. Some may offer precious metals and agricultural commodities, others may offer energy commodities, while some may have all three!

Ways To Trade Commodities

Your choice of a trading instrument mostly depends on your answer to the following questions:

  • Do you want ownership of the commodity?
  • Do you want to trade physically or online?
  • Do you want to commit to a trade or have the choice to withdraw until a given time?

Here are seven different ways to trade commodities with the above points taken into consideration, along with storage costs, ownership, contract expiry, and leverage. Most are supported by these brokers for British traders.

Trading MethodOwnershipManagement CostsSecurity CostsExpiry DateMgmt CostLeverage
Bullion
CFDs
Futures
Options✅*
ETFs/Mutual Funds
Shares
*If executed

Please Note: Availability subject to regulations. Cryptocurrency CFDs are not available to UK retail traders.

Margins & Leverage Explained

Here is a simple explanation of two terms that often confuse traders — margin and leverage.

Margin trades allow a trader to put up a defined chunk of money to execute a larger trade. In trading, the margin is expressed as a percentage. It represents the portion of the full trading amount that a trader needs to provide to open a position.

Example of Margin:

A broker’s ‘margin requirement’ on a £1000 gold CFD trade is at 5%. The trader would need to deposit 5% of £1000 to open the trade, which comes to £50.

Leverage, on the other hand, is expressed as a ratio. It is determined by the margin value and shows the trade’s tradable value in relation to the cash deposit amount.

Example of Leverage:

A 5% margin requirement on a £1000 trade would require a £50 real-money deposit. This would give the trader a leverage of 1:20, meaning, the trade amount is 20x more than the initial money put forward.

Please note, this is an example – not a recommendation.

How To Choose An Online Trading Platform

When choosing an online broker with a suitable platform, our golden checklist includes seven factors to consider:

  1. ☑︎ Regulators: UK brokers are regulated by various organizations to protect consumers, traders, you. Regulators also determine the countries where the broker is allowed to operate. The more established the regulator, the stricter the guidelines are for a broker. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is one of the most rigorous regulators and is responsible for trading standards set in the UK.
  2. ☑︎ Account Type: Brokers offer different account types: most commonly ‘standard’ and ‘professional’ accounts. Standard accounts have simpler verification processes, while professional accounts require more trading experience and capital.
  3. ☑︎ Instruments and Products: Brokers offer different ways to speculate on trading instruments, as well as varying categories of products. Before you commit funds, check if your broker offers what you want to trade.
  4. ☑︎ Fees: Trading platform fee structures vary. Some charge deposit and withdrawal fees, while others do not. Inactivity fees and other account fees are common. More, fees vary based on what payment method you use — some may be cheaper than others. Remember, free trading is a myth. Trading may be low cost, at best.
  5. ☑︎ Leverage and Margin: If you want to open high value trades with significantly lower value deposits, you’ll need a broker with low margin requirements and high leverages.
  6. ☑︎ Trading Platform Features: The quality of a trading platform is determined by convenience — ease of use and the trading tools provided. Look for features like charting features, technical analysis tools, platform design, and educational resources that match your level of experience.
  7. ☑︎ Mobile: Does the trading platform offer a mobile app or in-browser mobile trading? Find out how the mobile trading experience compares to the desktop trading platform.

Regulated Online Trading Platforms in the UK

We listed our recommended online commodity brokers at the beginning of this guide. Below we compare them in depth while keeping the above checklist in mind.

Please Note: Availability subject to regulations. Cryptocurrency CFDs are not available to UK retail traders.

Plus500: Hundreds Of CFDs for All Trading Levels

Regulated by 7 organizations with over 2,000 trading instruments available, Plus500 offers a free trial account to UK traders.

Support is available via live chat and e-mail in more than 60 countries, including the UK.

plus500 logo
  • Regulators: FCA, ASIC, CySec, FSA, MAS, FMA, FSCA
  • Account Types: Real Money and Professional
  • Instruments and Products: CFDs on Indices, Commodities, Forex, , Shares, Options, and ETFs
  • Fees: Overnight, currency conversion, inactivity, guaranteed stop orders (See details in our Plus500 Review)
  • Maximum Leverage: Up to 1:30 (Real Money), up to 1:300 (Pro)
  • Top Platform Features: Position management with advanced filters, a platform available in over 35 languages
  • Mobile Trading App: Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at Plus500

Forex.com: Learn To Trade On The Go

Forex.com has been active for over 20 years in 140+ countries.

They offer detailed educational resources for all trading levels and 24/5 support via e-mail, live chat, and phone for all traders.

forex logo
  • Regulators: FCA, MiFID, ASIC, SFC, CIMA, IIROC, FSA, CFTC, NFA
  • Account Types: Standard, Commission, Direct Market Access (DMA), and Professional
  • Instruments and Products: Forex, Spot Gold & Silver, Futures, Options, CFDs on Indices, Shares, Commodities
  • Fees: Commissions on Shares CFDs, Fees on currency conversions, overnight, inactivity, rollovers, same-day withdrawal, dividend adjustments, shorting (See details in our Forex.com Review)
  • Maximum Leverage: Variable (visit Forex.com for details)
  • Top Platform Features: MetaTrader 4 (MT4) compatible, trading tutorials, advanced technical indicators
  • Mobile Trading App: Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at Forex.com

Fortrade: Start With An Interactive Platform Tutorial

More than 300 instruments are traded as CFDs, including precious metals, energy, and agricultural commodities.

Fortrade offers a practical interactive tutorial to get started on the platform.

fortrade logo
  • Regulators: FCA, ASIC, CySec, NBRB, CIPF, IIROC
  • Account Types: Standard, Professional, and Islamic
  • Instruments and Products: CFDs on Indices, Forex, Shares, Commodities, ETFs, and US Treasuries
  • Fees: Wire transfer withdrawal fee, overnight funding fee, dormancy fee (See details in our Fortrade Review)
  • Maximum Leverage: Variable (visit Fortrade for details)
  • Top Platform Features: MetaTrader 4 (MT4) compatible, interactive startup tutorial
  • Mobile Trading App: Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at Fortrade

eToro: Social Trading On Mobile

etoro logo

eToro is known as the ‘social trading platform’ since traders can track the performance of other traders and copy them directly.

Traders have access to several categories of CFDs with a user-friendly mobile application on iOS and Android.

  • Regulators: FCA, ASIC, CySec, FinCEN
  • Account Types: Standard, Professional, and Islamic
  • Instruments and Products: CFDs on ETFs, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, and Forex
  • Fees: Inactivity fee and overnight fee, withdrawal fee, conversion fee, wallet fee (See details in our eToro Review)
  • Maximum Leverage: Up to 1:30 (higher for Professional Accounts)
  • Top Platform Features: Social trading to duplicate trades, social trading news feed, interactive analytics, and market sentiment tools
  • Mobile Trading App: Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at eToro

Markets.com: Personalize Your Trading Platform

Markets.com offers five trading platform variations. One of these is Marketsx, designed for stock trading.

The broker accepts a range of payment methods like PayPal and Skrill.

markets.com logo
  • Regulators: FCA, ASIC, FSC, CySec, FSCA
  • Account Types: Retail and Professional
  • Instruments and Products: Stocks, CFDs on Bonds, Commodities, Forex, Indices, ETFs, Blends, and Shares
  • Fees: Overnight fee, rollover fee, currency conversion fee (See our Markets.com Review for details)
  • Maximum Leverage: 1:30 (1:300 for Professional accounts)
  • Top Platform Features: Close to 100 color-coded technical analysis indicators, very low minimum withdrawals, and social trading sentiments
  • Mobile Trading App: Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at Markets.com

City Index: Mobile Award Winner With Spreadbetting

With a detailed ‘Getting Started Guide’ and an advanced trading platform with ample tutorials, City Index caters to all trader levels. The platform offers CFDs across various asset classes.

city index logo
  • Regulators: FCA, ASIC, MAS, MiFID
  • Account Types: Standard and Professional
  • Instruments and Products: Spreadbetting and CFDs on Forex, Shares, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Interest Rates, and Options
  • Fees: Equity commission, currency conversion, overnight, inactivity, same-day withdrawals, guaranteed stop orders, CFD borrowing for shorting (See details in our City Index Review)
  • Maximum Leverage: 1:200 in UK (1:400 for Professional accounts)
  • Top Platform Features: Mobile chart and technical analysis with over 60 indicators, MT4 and AT Pro compatible, and live webinars
  • Mobile Trading App: Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at City Index

HYCM: 40+ Years Experience With MetaTrader 4 & 5

HYCM offers over 200 forex and CFD instruments trading on forex, indices, commodities, stocks, and ETFs. Registered clients get access to a free trial account.

hycm logo

They offer support via email, phone, fax, and live chat in 10+ languages.

  • Regulators: FCA, BaFIN, CySec, CIMA, DFSA
  • Account Types: Fixed, Classic, Raw, and a demo account
  • Instruments and Products: CFDs on Indices, Commodities, Forex, Shares, and ETFs
  • Fees: Commissions on Raw accounts, fees on some withdrawal methods, overnight fee, guaranteed stop orders have wider spreads (See details in our HYCM Review)
  • Maximum Leverage: Up to 1:30 (major forex)
  • Top Platform Features: Offers MetaTrader 4 & 5, fast execution
  • Mobile Trading App: Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at HYCM

Pepperstone: One Of The World’s Largest Forex Brokers

pepperstone logo

Pepperstone is regulated by 7 organizations with over 180 trading instruments available. Traders can get a free trial account for a period of 30 days.

Support is available via phone, live chat, and e-mail in languages.

  • Regulators: FCA, ASIC, CySEC, BaFIN, CMA, DFSA, SCB
  • Account Types: Standard, Razor, and Islamic
  • Instruments and Products: CFDs on Indices, Commodities, Forex, Shares
  • Fees: Overnight fee, markup on raw spreads, commissions on Razor account (See details in our Pepperstone Review)
  • Maximum Leverage: Up to 1:30 for other retail accounts
  • Top Platform Features: cTrader, MT4, MT5, cAlgo integration, Facebook and Google sign-in, Autochartist, Smart Trader tools
  • Mobile Trading App: Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at Pepperstone

XM.com: No Re-Quotes And No Rejection Forex Platform

XM has more than 3.5 million clients in almost 200 countries with access to trading 1,000+ instruments. Traders can have up to 5 unlimited trial accounts.

xm logo

Support is available via email, phone, call back, and live chat in 19 languages.

  • Regulators: FCA, ASIC, CySEC, IFSC, DFSA, ACPR, AFM, BaFIN, CNMV, CONSOB, FI, FIN-FSA, UKNF, HNB
  • Account Types: Standard, Micro, and XM Zero
  • Instruments and Products: CFDs on Equity Indices, Commodities, Forex, and Shares
  • Fees: Overnight fee and inactivity fee (See details in our XM Review)
  • Maximum Leverage: Up to 1:30
  • Top Platform Features: XM Trader and MetaTrader 4 & 5, personal account managers, free daily forex webinars
  • Mobile Trading App: Browser or Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at XM.com

XTB: Cash Back Based On Trading Volume

XTB offers traders 1,500+ trading instruments. There’s a free 4-week trial account with 100,000 in play money for traders wanting to give the platform a try.

xtb logo

Support is available via live chat, phone, and email in more than 100 countries.

  • Regulators: FCA, CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, BVIFSC
  • Account Types: Retail and Pro
  • Instruments and Products: CFDs on Indices, Commodities, Forex, Shares, and ETFs
  • Fees: Inactivity, Deposit, Withdrawal, Penalty interest, Italian CFDs (See details in our XTB Review)
  • Maximum Leverage: Up to 1:30, depending on product and country
  • Top Platform Features: XStation 5, market sentiment heat maps, trader’s calculator, market order depth in 17 languages
  • Mobile Trading App: Android + iOS apps

Start Trading Now at XTB

UK Trader Resources

Also see our guides to UK CFD brokers & our general guide to trading commodities in the UK.

FAQs

How do I open a trading account in the UK?

Once you have ensured that your chosen broker covers all your needs in this seven-step checklist, you need to find a sign-up form on a regulated UK trading platform. Then, you’ll be required to provide your basic contact details like e-mail address, mobile phone number, name, and address.

Once you’ve signed up, the brokerage will open your trading account after appropriate verification, for which you need to provide proof of residence, proof of identity, and in some cases, proof of personal finances fit for trading.

What does ‘FCA Registered’ mean?

When an online brokerage or trading platform in the UK is FCA approved, it means that the provider has adhered to the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA is the leading organization in charge of regulating consumer-facing financial activities in the UK. These reviewed trading platforms are all FCA-approved.

How does share dealing work?

Share dealing is the act of buying, selling, and transferring your own shares without paying a third-party service provider to do it for you. Online trading platforms that support share dealing may still charge a fee, though not anywhere near as high as mainstream financial institutions do, like banks.

How do I buy stocks on the London Stock Exchange?

The simplest way to buy stocks from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is to open an account with an online broker that supports LSE-listed stocks, like eToro or IG. Then, trading platforms like eToro and Plus500 give you access to trade stock derivatives and real stocks listed on the London Stock Exchange.

You pay the trading platform a fee when you buy stocks this way, though such fees are low compared to trading shares via banks and the like.

How do commodity brokers make money?

Some commodity brokers charge a commission on trades, although most ‘no-commission’ or ‘commission-free’ brokers make money on a traded product’s spread. A spread or ‘pip’ is the difference between the price markers of opening a short position and a long position. Spreads and pips can be fixed or variable, but mostly they’re the latter.

Which broker is best for commodity trading?

The best broker for commodity trading depends on your individual needs and preferences as a trader. Things that will shape your decision include what you want to trade, how you want to trade it, and which brokers are regulated in your country of residence.

Other factors to consider are margins and leverages, platform features and device compatibility, and whether you can afford the fees charged by the broker.

What is the minimum amount required for commodity trading?

The minimum amount to trade commodities is determined by the minimum deposit requirement of a commodity broker. Fortrade is a broker with a minimum deposit requirement of just £1 while other brokers like eToro and FXCM set a minimum deposit of £50.

Traders can get started with other regulated brokers like Plus500 and Forex.com with a £100 initial deposit.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74%-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Plus500 is not available in the US

Legitimate CFD brokers, like Plus500, cannot accept US clients by law

US traders welcome at these brokers:

Cryoptocurrencies:

  • Trade 14+ major crypto coins
  • Includes Bitcoin, Ethereum & Ripple
  • Super simple setup

Accepts traders in the USA

Start Trading at eToro

Forex, Gold & Silver:

  • Trade gold and silver
  • Trade over 90+ currencies
  • Major US broker

Accepts traders in the USA

Start Trading at Forex

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