City Index is the retail Forex broker arm of GAIN capital that has offered CFDs trading for over 35 years. With positive reviews of City Index UK and by Australian CFD traders the FX broker is known for 30:1 leverage, spreads from 0.5 pips and no min deposit.
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City Index’s parent company is GAIN Capital Holdings Inc, a large retail and trading provider around the world. GAIN Capital was founded in 1999, with the mission to provide traders with low-cost access to foreign exchange markets. City Index has been serving Australians since 2006 and has an office based in the heart of Sydney. City Index’s Forex trading Australian Financial Services License: 345646.
In our comprehensive City Index review, top three key strengths found in the platform were:
Top three key weaknesses found in the platform were:
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
There is a range of CFD trading options available with City Index. Forex exchange traders can have access in real-time to over 4,500 markets. With a City Index live account, you can trade indices, shares, crypto, forex and commodities through:
City Index offers 84 currency pairs for trade through the CFD trading platform MetaTrader 4. As below highlighted minimum spreads start from 0.5 points on EUR/USD and margin (leverage) is 30:1. The Forex broker offers two currency trading accounts. The first which is the most popular option is to trade currency as a contract for difference (CFD). Choosing this option allows other asset classes to be chosen that are explained below. The second option is to use MT4 to trade spot Forex, which means you can only trade currency. Below shows the CFD account average spreads.
City Index allows the trading of over 4,500 global shares as a CFD. This allows trading with leverage from 5:1 on leading shares from Amazon to Rio Tinto. Commissions start from $5 on Australian shares or 0.08% for larger trades. Traders can speculate on long or short positions using the CFD trading account.
With leverage from 10:1-20:1, City Index allows trading on 21 of the leading global indices. This included the Australia 200, UK 100, Singapore and Wall Street index. Fixed spreads start from 1 point with 24-hour support on offer.
Crypto trading is highly volatile and is unique against traditional technical analysis CFDs. Trading CFDs with crypto are high risk and spreads differ by the type of cryptocurrency as shown below. Complex instruments are involved, so it’s recommended to understand the risks for any retail investor accounts.
City Index clients can stay up to date with the latest prices of the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple). A live account with Citi Index will give you access to 6 crypto pairs. Australian traders can also benefit from trading Bitcoin against the AUD.
Note: Changes in FCA regulation in August 2021, means that traders in the UK can no longer trade cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency trading is still permitted with ASIC and MAS regulation.
Short selling opportunities exist with leverage up to 5:1 when predicting interest rate changes. This exists across the Eurodollar, Short Sterling and Euribor. Spreads start from 0.02 points across 15 global markets.
Overall, parent company GAIN Capital Holdings market power allows for City Index’s work to span across a range of products from currency, indices to crypto trading with affordable margin requirements. The main account type that allows for the full range of financial markets is the CFD account, whilst the MT4 account allows only for currency trading. Advanced traders are recommended to choose the CFD account, while those with MT4 trading experience may prefer the currency trading only account. With law variable spreads and advanced trading tools, City Index has one of the best ranges of markets of any CFD broker.
There is no minimum deposit for City Index CFD accounts. There are six main ways to fund a trading account in Australia:
Up to three debit or credit cards can be used for an account across Visa and MasterCard. When transferring funds from an Australian bank, no deposit fees are charged, and further no charges for funding through a bank transfer when the account is based in Australia. However, an overseas bank account will require an international bank transfer which may take longer with an extended transfer period.
The account opening procedures are straightforward. City Index offers a multi-currency deposit solution and can accommodate 9 base currencies (EUR, GBP, USD, CHF, HUF, AUD, CHF, JPY, PLN).
Another point that’s important in this comprehensive City Index review is the fact that it is fully regulated under the authority of the Australian Securities Investment Commission. Thanks to regulation by this body, traders choosing City Index can be sure that they are doing business with a reputable brokerage that must conform to all Australian investment laws. You can view the leading firms in the region on the forex broker Australia page.
Additionally, as a global spread betting broker, City Index is authorized and regulated by tier-one regional entities from across 3 continents (Europe, Asia and Australia). City Index has to comply with the rules and standards imposed by the following global regulatory authorities:
All Citi Index client funds are held in segregated accounts. Additionally, in an event of insolvency, there is a deposit compensation scheme. Following the money rules imposed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), investors are entitled to compensation of up to £85,000. However, the compensation scheme only protects forex traders from the United Kingdom and Dubai. It seems that the city of London provides extra security measures due to the FCA rules.
Traders using City Index have multiple ways to reach out to the company’s support staff when they need to, including:
In addition to these methods of contracting support, traders can also try to find the answers to their questions in the FAQ section of the brokerage’s website. This set of common questions will provide answers and solutions for most issues. When more rigorous support is needed, however, City Index’s staff is there to help. Customer Support is available 24/5 ready to answer all your inquiries directly on their website at cityindex.co.uk.
City Index offers two trading platforms that will be determined by the type of trading account chosen.
The more sophisticated CFDs account requires the use of AT Pro desktop platform or their web-based options.AT Pro has built-in strategies and even allows traders to create their own strategies using .NET, Visual Basic or C# coding language.
There are also advanced charting options with over 100 technical indicators.AT Pro also allows for automated trading signals to show exit and entry points through charts. Back-testing facilities also help view the performance of past trading signals.
AT Pro has in-depth market analysis, including an economic calendar as well as custom indicators for advanced trading. Advantage web trader is the lighter AT Pro option for mobile trading. This doesn’t require any downloads using reliable and fast HTML 5 technology. Mobile trading is also available through iOS and Android trading apps.
The basic trading software on City Index is MetaTrader 4, which is the dominant standard trading software in the Forex market. On City Index, the standard MT4 platform is upgraded with variable Forex pricing and access to all of City Index’s market analytics. These upgrades, on top of an already well-proven system, give this version of the MT4 platform versatile function while keeping it relatively user-friendly. The MT4 web platform and mobile apps are also ideally suited for mobile trading with stop-loss orders, watchlists functionality and Reuters news integration.
A key component of a City Index review for beginner and experienced traders trying to decide whether this platform is right for them is the leverage structure. Leverage is low, in the UK (FCA), Australia (ASIC) and Dubai (UAE), leverage is capped at 30:1 for major forex pairs. In Singapore (MAS) it’s even lower at 20:1.
As stated in the overview, City Index only offers leverage ratios of up to 30:1. Since many Forex brokers offer leverage of 400:1, 500:1 via offshore regulators and financial hubs, this puts City Index behind the curve in the leverage department.
Effectively, 30:1 leverage will limit the volume of currency a trader can work with on any given position relative to his or her personal investment. A trader opens a position with $100 leveraged at 30:1 will be able to trade with $3,000. This lower leverage results in:
Though City Index has some noticeable weaknesses in the area of leverage, it also has some strengths. The fact that the leverage ratio on any given trade can be set anywhere between 20:1 and the maximum of 30:1 can be very helpful for more conservative traders trying to reduce their exposure to risk. For traders who need higher leverage for opening large numbers of positions or as part of their overall trading strategy, however, the 30:1 ratio can be a handicap.
To view the leverage restrictions imposed in the UK and Europe, jump to City Index For Traders In The United Kingdom section.
Due to the increased risk leverage brings to CFDs trading, our City Index review noted that they offered guaranteed stop-loss orders. While placing such an order has increased costs, it means you can’t lose more than the amount set for trade. This means a compensation scheme exists that will refund any losses exceeding the amount set. A traditional stop loss is not a fool-proof risk management strategy, as in extreme volatility slippage may occur. This means losses may exceed an amount set, as the forex broker couldn’t achieve the price set. Another risk management feature offered is trailing stop-loss orders.
Clients should be aware that there is a fee incurred for inactivity for longer than 24 months or more. the inactivity fee charged by City Index AU is $15 equivalent in the local currency. For +3 years of account inactivity, your trading account will be reactivated only after clients go through the account reactivation form one more time.
City Index’s price improvement technology is equipped to provide forex traders with better prices. With over 35 years of experience in CFD trading, forex and spread betting, City Index’s cutting-edge technology has three main advantages:
City Index can offer reliable execution due to its large base of over 50 liquidity providers through GAIN Capital’s proprietary ECN, GTX. Below, our team of industry experts will examine the full range of advantages that come with City Index’s trade execution process:
Additionally, Citi Index allows customizing your trade settings by offering three very powerful features:
Compared to other online CFD providers, City Index supports multiple order types and the ability to program your entry and exit points. Like most CFD providers, City Index acts as a Market Maker and is the sole counterpart of your trades. The most advanced order types offered by City Index include:
Our team of experts felt the obligation to provide our readers with additional information on the guaranteed stop-loss order. While the GSLO order comes as a handy solution to minimize losses, forex traders need to be aware that it can only be used under certain parameters. The GSLO order can be used as follows:
Note* You can reach the Customer support at any type if you have other inquiries about the guaranteed SL.
Forex traders have the option to explore the market using more sophisticated trading tools and advanced charting package. Forex traders are depending on these technical tools to make sound trading decisions. The core technical tools can be summarized below:
The charting solution offered by City Index is excellent. The charting software comes with a lot of built-in features that are designed to help forex traders to spot new opportunities in the financial markets. It’s essential for forex charting software to come with particular features. City Index charts have a plethora of advantages including:
When you open an account with City Index, you also gain access to an impressive educational trading academy. City index offers retail investors and professional traders hundreds of lessons available at their fingertips. The educational material encompasses a broad range of topics from lessons on how CFDs work and a trading strategy course that is valued at over $5,000.
You can learn to trade with City Index Training Academy and have access to the following types of educational material:
The global research team at City Index has been awarded multiple times for their level of professionalism. The market analyses that can be found on the city index section are constantly featured on the mainstream media (MSM) publications such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, BBC or Sky News.
The weekly forex outlooks and forecasts published every Monday morning at 10.00 am is another insightful tool that will prepare forex traders for the week ahead.
City clients can also join the exclusive trader development program if they want to learn from an ex-Goldman Sachs professional trader. The program is run by Tony Sycamore from TECHFX TRADERS, which has over 20 years of trading experience. The trading strategy course is divided into three main sections that are intended to take a complete novice trader and turn him into a professional trader:
Note, to have access to the trader development program, one would only need to open an account with City Index and make a minimum deposit.
Traders with City Index in the United Kingdom should be aware of a few details not found with City Index in regions outside Europe.
City Index is registered at the following address – Devon House, 58 St Katharine’s Way, London, E1W 1JP.
FCA (in line with ESMA guidance) allows more generous leverage to professional traders, as it is understood professional traders have the experience to trade with leverage responsibly and the resources to handle losses that would be difficult for retail traders to absorb.
The leverage differences are as follows
Traders will also receive priority services, cash rebates, access to a client relationship manager and credit facilities.
To qualify for a professional account you will need to show you meet the following criteria
City Index offers offer spread betting as an option for trading in the United Kingdom. Spread betting is similar to CFD trading in that it is a form of margin trading and most of the same instruments are available with the same leverage however traders do not buy contracts of the underlying instruments. Instead of contracts, clients are betting on price movements of the financial products.
Spread betting is popular in the United Kingdom as there are no capital gains taxes, which means more profits.
No. Unfortunately, City Index doesn’t allow scalping or any other forms of high-frequency trading on their platform. All other forms of trading styles are welcomed at City Index including hedging. A better choice would be IC Markets or Pepperstone, which both welcome scalping along with offering the lowest spreads in the forex industry.
City Index runs a market-maker pricing model through its proprietary dealing desk. In other words, City Index creates its own market for retail traders to buy and sell financial instruments. By comparison, ECN brokers operate through a no-dealing desk (NDD) where client orders are matched directly with various liquidity providers (LPs).
Compare the Best MT4 ECN Brokers for 2021, to get the best deal for your trading needs.
GBP 100 is the minimum deposit at City Index or 100 units of the account base currency. City Index clients can fund their account via debit/credit card, bank transfer and PayPal. All deposits into your City index account are free of charge.
Overall City Index is a strong brokerage that beginning and intermediate Forex trading Australia enthusiasts should consider when looking for a new place to trade online. Although limits exist in regards to its trading platforms and leverage restrictions – these may be issues for some traders, not enough to offset the advantages this brokerage offers.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.