Forex Brokers In The UK

Forex brokers in the UK vary significantly, so where do you start your comparison? The decision regarding the best FX broker comes down to individual preferences and goals, though the best UK forex brokers will have top-tier regulatory oversight from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), creating a secure environment for day traders. This review will outline how to compare forex brokers in the UK, including fees and spreads, platforms and apps, local payment methods, and more. Use our list to find the best UK forex broker for your financial needs in 2023.

What Is A UK Forex Broker?

Forex brokers based in the UK provide British investors with access to the foreign exchange market through platforms for buying and selling currencies. Transactions in the forex market are presented as a pair of two different currencies, for example, GBP/USD or EUR/GBP.

Investors saw the profit potential that could be made from forex when the strengths of many currencies fluctuated greatly in the 1980s. Before the boom of the internet, getting accurate currency prices required a squad of brokers and investors. However, the internet facilitated easy communication all over the world in the mid-to-late 1990s, helping the forex market to become more sophisticated.

This allowed British individuals to trade using retail forex brokers in the UK, creating one of the biggest and most liquid financial markets in the world.

The popularity of forex amongst UK investors can be attributed to its liquidity and the fact that it is open 24 hours a day, six days a week around the world. Furthermore, through derivatives, clients can hedge against volatile markets without owning any assets. Today, there is around $5 trillion being traded in the forex market every single day.

FCA Oversight

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the UK’s financial regulator, and it oversees the activities of financial services within the United Kingdom, including online forex brokers.

The organisation aims to maintain competitive and fair financial markets. This includes protecting British investors against FX brokers acting unlawfully or without their customers’ interests in mind.

Regulated forex brokers in the UK have to meet several requirements, including limiting leverage to between 1:2 and 1:30 depending on the volatility of the asset, segregating client money, and not offering misleading financial incentives and bonuses.

How Forex Brokers In The UK Make Money

There are several ways through which forex brokers in the UK make money:


The spread of an instrument is the price difference between the bid and ask price, where the bid price is the quoted price for selling a currency pair, while the ask price is the quoted price for buying the currency pair.

For example, if the broker displays the GBP/USD price as 1.1000/1.1001, then the spread would be 0.0001, or 1 pip.

Spreads can be either fixed or variable. Fixed spreads mean that the price displayed on the platform is the guaranteed price that your order will be executed at. Fixed spreads tend to be offered by market makers.

Variable spreads mean that the price will change depending on market conditions. For example, the market liquidity of GBP pairs increases greatly when the London session times open, which can facilitate extremely tight spreads. Similarly, major news releases can trigger participants to exit the market, which can widen the spread.

Variable spreads are generally offered by ECN and STP forex brokers in the UK.


Commissions are charges levied when customers open and close orders. These are commonly charged by ECN forex brokers as it is typically their main source of revenue. Commissions can either be charged as a flat fee (i.e. £2 per round per lot) or a percentage of the position value (i.e. 0.5%).

Importantly, the best UK brokers will offer low fees on forex pairs with the GBP, including the GBP/USD, EUR/GBP, GBP/CHF, and GBP/JPY. Near-zero pip spreads alongside competitive commissions are available at the top platforms.

Types Of Forex Brokers In The UK

Market Makers

Forex brokers in the UK who are market makers operate a dealing desk to execute orders.

They create or ‘make’ the bid-ask prices on their platforms. They can either match buy orders with sell orders already on their books or they can become the counterparty of the client’s positions by taking the other side of the position themselves. Market makers thus provide liquidity to the forex markets.

Market makers make money through spreads and by betting against the clients’ positions. Spreads are usually fixed and competitive due to the number of market-maker forex brokers in the UK.

Counterparties will try to hedge or cover your order by passing on the risk to someone else. However, this presents a conflict of interest, as they may bet against you and manipulate currency prices on their system.

ECN Brokers

ECN brokers, which stands for Electronic Communications Network brokers, provide real-time connections between yourself and other forex market participants.

True ECN forex brokers in the UK offer direct access to the best bid and ask prices. ECN forex brokers also have tight spreads at peak trading volume, which is favourable for high-volume traders.

As outlined above, ECN forex brokers in the UK tend to charge commissions on each position to make up for their tight spreads.

A key advantage to using ECN brokers is zero conflict of interest between clients and the brokers, as they are not the ones setting prices. In fact, it is in their interest for British customers to make money and trade in greater volumes.

STP Brokers

This stands for Straight Through Processing and is a no-dealing desk model.

STP forex brokers in the UK route client orders through liquidity providers who quote the bid and ask prices, rather than providing direct access like ECN brokers. The STP broker then amalgamates these quotes to provide British clients with the best prices. STP brokers typically make money by adding a spread markup.

How To Compare UK Forex Brokers

Forex brokers in the UK have their own advantages and disadvantages, making them more or less competitive for different clients. When searching for the best forex brokers in the UK, it’s important to consider the following factors:

Currency Pairs

Ensure that your list of top forex brokers in the UK contains platforms offering the forex pairs you want to trade. While most brokers offer popular forex pairs like GBP/USD, EUR/GBP, and GBP/AUD, minor and exotic pairs are less common. Most UK forex brokers will have a full breakdown of the assets offered on their website. However, if you want to trade a pair that you cannot see, such as GBP/ZAR, you can make an enquiry with customer service.

Spreads & Fees

Spreads and fees are often the most important aspect when looking for forex brokers in the UK as they have a direct and meaningful impact on profits. Nonetheless, we wouldn’t recommend choosing a UK forex broker based solely on their fee structure. Spreads will often differ across each FX pair, though as the GBP is a key currency, you can expect tight yet sometimes volatile spreads.

Lower spreads or even 0 spread brokers can be suitable for high-volume traders, although these brokerages may apply a higher commission rate. Additionally, forex brokers in the UK may charge transaction fees, inactivity fees, and overnight swaps, all of which you should find out and incorporate into your decision and calculations. The top-rated UK forex brokers will publish a transparent pricing schedule on their website so that you can compare costs before opening an account.


Regulated UK forex brokers are restricted by the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) leverage limits. Liquid assets, such as major forex pairs, tend to be available up to 1:30. However, minor currency pairs are usually offered up to 1:20. Importantly, the more leverage offered by the forex broker in the UK, the bigger the position you can open. However, higher leverage magnifies your risks as well as your profit potential.

Regulatory Status

As outlined above, the regulating agency for forex brokers in the UK is the FCA. We always recommend finding an FCA-licensed forex broker. The FCA is a globally recognized organization that provides safeguarding and protection for retail investors. The FCA can protect customers from fraud, set legislation to minimize risks, and provide investor compensation of up to £85,000 in the event of broker misconduct or insolvency through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). You can check that an online brokerage is regulated by running their company name or license number through the FCA’s database.

Payment Options

Another consideration when comparing UK forex brokers is the deposit and withdrawal methods available.

The best forex brokers in the UK will offer a wide range of payment options with low fees. Not only does this demonstrate commitment to user accessibility, but each payment option requires its own set of security checks.

Popular payment methods offered by UK FX brokers include Visa & Mastercard debit card and credit card, wire transfer, and e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller.

XTB, for example, offers free deposits via bank wire transfer and credit/debit cards while Skrill transfers come with a 2% fee.

Low Minimum Deposits

When opening a new profile with a forex broker in the UK, you will need to fund your account by at least the broker’s minimum deposit amount.

Beginners may find UK forex brokers with a low minimum deposit more accessible as they require less capital upfront. However, ensure you can access the full catalogue of tools and services, such as forex signals or copy trading.

Some UK forex brokers may offer a minimum deposit from just £10 all the way up to £1000 or more for access to advanced features or more competitive trading conditions. AvaTrade, for example, has a £100 minimum deposit requirement, though recommends a starting balance of at least £1000 to enjoy the full range of products offered.


While many international brokers offer promotional deals, such as welcome deposit bonuses, the FCA dictates that forex brokers in the UK are not permitted to do so.

Therefore, promotions and bonuses are a good way to gauge the legitimacy and regulatory status of a forex broker that claims to be regulated by the FCA.

It is also worth reviewing the forex broker’s educational content. The best UK forex brokers will provide access to free resources, such as integrated economic calendars with key announcements from the Bank of England, platform tutorials and guides, plus forex heat maps.


Forex brokers in the UK often offer more than one account option. Each account tends to have different conditions and will be geared towards different experience levels or strategies. For example, some firms will adopt an STP pricing model while others offer ECN spreads. Alternatively, some UK forex brokers will offer PAMM solutions while others provide an Islamic-friendly profile.

Importantly, the minimum deposit, range of tradable assets, the quality of the customer support and tools, plus the fee structure tend to be the key variants between UK forex accounts.


The platforms offered by forex brokers in the UK can make or break your experience in the forex market. The top-rated platforms for forex traders are MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5). These terminals offer a wide range of useful tools for market analysis and can be customized to suit your needs.

For FX brokers that offer different platforms, try to find out how many chart types, technical indicators, and additional functionalities are supported by the platform.

An example includes XTB’s bespoke xStation software. xStation offers 29 drawing tools, 37 technical indicators, an integrated economic calendar, market sentiment data and more.

Mobile Apps

For those who want to access their forex account or execute positions on the go, mobile applications are a must.

MT4 and MT5 automatically come with supported mobile apps, though UK brokers that offer proprietary terminals may provide their own bespoke applications that better integrate with their systems. Interactive Broker’s mobile app, for example, provides the full functionality of its desktop counterpart. Access advanced quotes and research, plus powerful trading tools such as the Order Entry Wheel.

Note, you can check out app reviews on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Additional Features

Forex brokers in the UK may offer a range of additional functions and tools to enhance the customer experience. Passive tools, such as economic calendars and education centres, can make your life easier, while other features, such as EAs and robots, social trading, and forex scalping, can provide additional profit routes.

Customer Support

The best forex brokers in the UK are responsive and reliable, especially given that your capital may be on the line.

Ensure there is a range of options to connect with the customer service team, such as telephone, email and live chat. Pepperstone, for example, provides 24/7 customer support meaning you won’t be kept waiting for urgent help.

However, if your broker doesn’t provide 24-hour support, make sure their contact hours align with the times you normally trade. In the UK, the forex market is at its most active just after 8 am GMT when the London session opens.

Final Word On Forex Brokers In The UK

Choosing the best forex brokers in the UK can be a difficult task. However, breaking it down into the features above can be a useful tool to speed up your search and support easier decision-making.

The top-ranked UK brokers will have FCA regulation alongside a competitive fee structure, a responsive customer service team and convenient deposit and withdrawal methods.

Whether you’re narrowing your search to the top 10 or the top 5 UK forex brokers, our comparison table can help kickstart your search.


What Are The Best UK Forex Brokers For Beginners?

Beginners will benefit most from the high levels of regulation, provided by FCA-regulated brokers, along with user-friendly platforms, low minimum deposits and responsive customer support.

Beginners should also ensure that they select a broker that offers a demo forex account. Some recommended brokers for beginners are Pepperstone, eToro, FXCM, and CMC Markets.

What Is the List of FCA Regulated Forex Brokers in the UK?

There is an extensive list of forex brokers in the UK with an FCA license, including IG, AvaTrade, and Admiral Markets. You can check a broker’s regulatory status on their website or find a list of registered UK FX brokers on the FCA database. Our experts recommend finding a trusted, regulated forex broker in the UK to ensure a safe and legitimate experience.

What Is the Maximum Leverage That I Can Get with Forex Brokers in the UK?

The leverage limits offered to clients depend on whether the broker is FCA regulated or not.

Unregulated forex brokers can offer generous leverage ratios of up to 1:100 or more. However, this comes with amplified risks of losses that can extend beyond the balance of your account. Given the risky nature of leverage trading, the FCA has capped forex leverage to 1:30.

What Is The Best Forex Broker In The UK?

It is not possible to say that one brokerage or another is the best forex broker in the UK. There are many top brokers that can compete for that title. You should not try to find the best broker. Instead, you should try to find the right forex broker for you. The best broker for one person’s needs is not necessarily the best broker for another trader. With this said. IC Markets is a very good broker that was named our forex broker of the year and the FCA-regulated broker AvaTrade was named the best overall broker.

Which Forex Brokers In The UK Have 0 Pip Spreads?

Zero pip spread brokers in the UK are beneficial for high-volume traders like scalpers.

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What Are ECN Brokers?

ECN brokers are providers that offer electronic communication networks for traders to access the global currency markets. However, these providers may charge higher commissions, which can affect trading costs.

What Is the Minimum Deposit Required to Trade Forex in the UK?

The minimum deposit required to trade forex in the UK varies between brokers. Some brokers allow traders to open an account with as little as £10, while others require a minimum deposit of £1,000 or more.

Is it Possible to Make a Living Trading Forex with a UK Broker?

It is possible to make a living trading forex with a UK broker, but success requires commitment, discipline, and choosing the right broker. While some traders have become very wealthy through forex trading, this is not typical and most traders will not achieve this level of success.

Here you can find some of the richest forex traders.

What Are the Top Forex Brokers in the UK?

There are many good forex brokers in the UK, and it is difficult to say which one is the best. Traders should consider factors such as regulation, trading platforms, customer support, and trading conditions when choosing a forex broker.