To help select a good beginner forex broker in the UK, our team has compared the top CFD providers based on trading fees, customer support, trade speeds and the best forex trading platforms suitable for UK beginner forex traders.
The best forex trading platforms in the UK for beginner traders are the following.
Pepperstone is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and is one of the best brokers in the world thanks to its top trading platforms, tight spreads, low commission fees, and excellent customer support. You can trade CFDs and forex using either MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader, with each platform providing extensive tools and market access.
cTrader is a popular platform but better-suited if you are an experienced trader, while MT4 and MT5 are ideal trading platforms for all levels of experience, including beginners, with easy-to-use trading tools for analysis and automation.
There are two main approaches to fully automate trading. Social-copy trading software is account mirroring software that allows you to copy the trading strategies of experienced traders, rather than develop your own.
The second option is algorithmic trading, where you use trading robots known as Expert Advisors to monitor markets and enter or exit trades according to your algorithm’s pre-set parameters.
Pepperstone is a no dealing desk (NDD) broker that offers you an institutional-grade trading environment with low spreads and fees.
As a Pepperstone client, you can choose between two main trading account types – either a Raw or Standard Account. The account type that suits you best depends on whether you prefer tighter spreads while paying flat-rate commission fees, or wider spreads with no commission fees.
When trading forex with Pepperstone, the key difference between a Razor and Standard account type is the spreads and commission fees.
If you are a beginner trader may prefer a standard account type, where the compensation for Pepperstone’s services included in the spreads which allow for a simple pricing structure.
If you are an experienced trader, Pepperstone’s Razor account offers an environment ideal for scalping, day trading and expert advisor strategies. With the Razor account, you can trade ultra-low spreads while paying flat-rate commission fees.
A Razor account provides you with access to low spreads on a wide range of currency pairs. As spreads are so tight, you pay a flat rate commission fee per side of each trade, per 100,000 traded.
Pepperstone offers tighter spreads than many other leading brokers for a range of currency pairs including EUR/USD, EUR/JPY and AUD/USD forex pairs. While some brokers may have better spreads for certain fx pairs, Pepperstone offers the best value across the board.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
You can trade spreads inclusive of commission fees as a Standard Account holder. Pepperstone’s no commission spreads for the EUR/JPY, GBP/USD and USD/CAD are the most competitive compared to other top brokers. While Pepperstone offers spreads of 1.34 pips for the EUR/JPY fx pair, Forex.com spreads are nearly double, averaging 2.40 pips.
The EUR/USD and EUR/GBP currency pairs are close to broker’s such as Saxo Bank, with spreads being wider by just 0.01-0.05 pips.
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When placing orders with Pepperstone, the online broker offers fast execution speed. As a no dealing desk broker, Pepperstone quickly matches orders with liquidity providers, allowing for orders to be filled faster than most competing brokers.
Limit Orders allow you to buy or sell forex and CFDs at a specified price or better. This order type includes buy stop, sell stop, buy limit and sell limit orders. Pepperstone’s limit order execution speed lags just behind FP Markets and ties with Axi, making them one of the best brokers for fast orders.
Pepperstone also offers the fast execution for orders that are placed at the current market price, known as Market Orders.
After signing up to a Razor or Standard account type and choosing a trading platform, you will select a base currency and make an initial minimum deposit to start trading.
With such a simple registration process, Pepperstone one of the best brokers if you are a beginner trader. If you need customer support, Pepperstone’s award-winning customer service team is available 24/5 via live chat, email or phone.
A demo account is available with Pepperstone on MetaTrader 4 and 5 which is a useful tool for both traders with experience and beginner traders. Demo accounts are a great risk management tool as they allow you to practise trading strategies with virtual funds risk-free, in real-time market conditions.
If you are new to trading demos can help you familiarise yourself with different forex trading concepts as well as the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
eToro is the largest social trading network worldwide, popular for its user-friendly trading platform and account mirroring services. With regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK), Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC, Cyprus) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) you have the assurance you need that you are trading CFDs with a trusted broker.
eToro’s social-copy trading platform is well-known for its simplistic platform design and easy-to-use trading tools. There are many benefits if you are a beginner trader. First, you gain access to a vast trading community with millions of traders from over 140 countries. Second, eToro offers account mirroring services where you can copy the trading strategies of successful investors with proven track records. Known as Popular Investors, experienced traders receive bonuses for profitable strategies, providing incentivises for successful trades.
To find suitable Popular Investors, you can search for trading strategies that match your risk level, markets and location. You can copy strategies surrounding a range of CFDs, with forex, commodities and Share CFDs available. To keep up to date with market changes, the social trading platform offers a real-time news-feed function that shows analysis conducted by Popular Investors you follow.
As a beginner trader, you may want a well-diversified portfolio to start out. eToro’s CopyPortfolios are an excellent option, with two different portfolio types available:
XTB is an FCA regulated broker that offers you a choice of either a standard account type with no commission or a pro account with low spreads with a flat-rate commission for each lot you trade. When trading CFDs via xStation, the broker’s proprietary trading platform, over 3,000 financial markets are available using desktop, web or mobile apps.
The mobile trading app is suitable if you are a beginner trader as it provides an easy to use and modern design. There is also a range of comprehensive trading tools including interactive charts and technical indicators. XTB mobile app features include:
When trading on the go, you can manage the high risk of CFD trading by utilising different order types. These include market orders, limit orders and stop-loss orders. You can also set up various customisable alerts and notifications to stay up to date with market news and trading opportunities.
You can view the best forex broker for beginner traders to compare XTB to other leading providers.
XTB Review >>Visit XTB >>
If you want to familiarise yourself with forex markets via a user-friendly interface, Plus500’s proprietary trading platform is an excellent choice. Plus500’s platform is available as a web trader platform or mobile trading apps (compatible with iOS and Android devices). Whether you’re trading online or via mobile apps, Plus500 offers a range of order types to manage the high risk of CFD trading.
Besides signing up to a trusted regulated broker, you can reduce the high risk of CFD trading by utilising the broker’s trading platforms risk management tools such as order types.
Plus500 is a regulated broker overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK as well as other financial authorities worldwide. On top of FCA regulation, Plus500’s listed on the London Stock Exchange. Being a public listed company increases transparency as it requires the broker to frequently disclose financial information. As a customer of Pluss500’s UK subsidiary, you receive various forms of investor protection to help you manage the high risk of forex trading.
While Plus5o0 also offers brokerage services in Australia (ASIC), NZ (FMA), Singapore (MAS), South Africa (FSCA) and Israel (ISA), if you register with these subsidiaries you will not receive the same strict investor protection UK traders receive, except for segregated client funds.
View Plus500 Review >>Visit Plus500 >>
*Your capital is at risk ‘76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
FXCM is a top UK forex broker well known for its social trading tools. While automating trading via algorithms (i.e. Expert Advisors and cBots) may be too complex if you are a beginner trader, social trading is a simple way for you to automate CFD and forex trading.
Social-copy trading services allow you to fully automate trading by mirroring the strategies of other traders’. Account mirroring services such as ZuluTrade allow you to follow trading signals developed by experienced investors while engaging in a social trading community.
FXCM provides ZuluTrade as a platform option where you can easily find and copy trading signals, reducing the time you spend developing strategies and implementing trades. Social trading platforms such as ZuluTrade are beneficial to those new to trading as it removes human emotion from the process. Additionally, the inbuilt risk management features such as the ‘Margin Call Meter’ helps you manage your trading accounts and minimise potential losses.
When compared to MetaTrader and cTrader platforms, the social trading platform may lack technical analysis tools. Yet, you do not need advanced analysis tools as trading is fully automated.
FXCM recommends opening a ZuluTrade demo account first before you trade with real money. Once beginner traders are comfortable with the social trading platform, you can open a live ZuluTrade account by contacting FXCM’s customer support and filling out the necessary paperwork.
View FXCM Review >>Visit FXCM
Markets.com is a commission-free forex broker that follows a market maker business model. The broker offers an excellent range of forex and CFDs with forex, commodities, indices, bonds, ETFs available, plus thousands of different shares.
The fx broker follows tier-1 regulation, including that set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Therefore, Markets.com provides negative balance protection and as a UK resident, you receive protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
To add another layer of transparency in terms of financial reporting and disclosure, the broker’s parent company, PlayTech, is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange and a component of the FTSE 250 index.
As a market maker with dealing desk execution, Markets.com offers one main account type. It requires a small initial deposit of $250 to open an account, and you will gain access to tight spreads as low as 0.40 pips, with no commission fees. The combination of tight spreads with no commission fees and a low initial deposit makes it a great option if you are a beginner trader.
If you qualify as a professional trader, Markets.com offer a Pro Account where you can gain access to higher leverage and a dedicated account manager.
As well as MT4 and MT5, you can also use the broker’s proprietary trading platform, Marketsx, to conduct analysis and place orders.
You can access Marketsx online, via a web trader platform or through mobile trading apps for iOS and Android devices. Both versions of the software offer an excellent range of tools to enhance your trading experience, including:
Markets.com’s market sentiment tools are one of the best features offered by the broker and trading platform. The tools help you determine whether most market participants are feeling positive or negative about a specific financial instrument.
On top of the sophisticated sentiment features, you can also use various technical and fundamental tools to develop trading strategies that include complex instruments and techniques.
View Markets.com Review >>Visit Markets.com >>
To avoid downloading and installing a desktop trading platform, as a beginner you may initially prefer a web trader platform. CMC Markets proprietary web trading platform, Next Generation, offers comprehensive trading tools and educational resources to develop trading strategies while providing market access to a range of asset classes.
The web-based platform lets you choose either a standard view or advanced view, allowing beginner traders to opt for a simplified interface when they’re starting out. If you are new to forex trading, you can benefit from the extensive trading tools and platform features, such as:
If you are using the online brokers Next Generation platform, you can access foreign exchange markets as well as the following CFD products:
To supplement CMC Markets impressive market access and Next Generation platform you can learn about risk management, trading strategies and unique platform features with the broker’s library of educational resources.
CMC Markets award-winning educational resources consist of webinars, ebooks, videos, articles and trading courses designed for beginner, intermediate and experienced traders. Topics discussed include forex and CFD trading, technical indicators, fundamental analysis, and trading platforms.
CMC Markets is regulated by top-tier financial market authorities such as the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority, UK), BaFin (Germany), ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) and the CFTC (Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, US).
View CMC Markets Review >>Visit CMC Markets>>
cTrader is a popular forex trading platform offered by FxPro. You can use either a webtrader platform or mobile trading app (iOS and Android) to access the trading software.
Mimicking a professional fx trading environment, cTrader is suited to traders wanting low spreads and ultra-fast execution. Spreads are as low as 0.0 pips on major currency pairs such as the EUR/USD, so you pay a flat rate commission fee as compensation to FxPro for their brokerage services.
Commission fees depend on the volume traded, $45 charged per million traded and $4.5 per 100k. To assist customers with calculating commission fees for different trade sizes, base currencies and currency pairs, the fx broker provides a commission calculator on its website.
As well as major, minor and exotic fx pairs, cTrader users can build diversified trading strategies using other asset classes like indices, energies and metals.
FxPro cTrader customers benefit from the following trading features and tools:
In terms of risk management, you can use a range of order types to mitigate losses. Besides standard market orders, the following order types are available to manage the high risk of forex trading:
For traders wanting even tighter spreads and lower commission fees, you can sign up to the broker’s VIP account type. To qualify as a VIP, you need to deposit an amount of $50,000 into your trading account. After you make the required minimum deposit, a FxPro account manager will reach out to process a VIP account application.
View FxPro Review >>Visit FxPro >>
With access to over 12,000 financial markets, City Index is a popular FCA regulated broker in the United Kingdom. On top of excellent CFD market access, City Index’s web trading platform offers advanced trading tools, a customisable workspace and a range of risk management features. The user-friendly trading platform is an easy introduction to CFD trading, with forex, shares and indices available to trade.
The highly regulated broker is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and overseen by many financial authorities around the world. In the United Kingdom, where financial authorities permit spread betting, the City Index by Gain Capital UK subsidiary follows regulation set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
UK traders receive some of the strongest investor protection available to retail investor accounts worldwide through the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
As a UK resident, you may receive tax benefits when spread betting opposed to CFD trading. City Index offers the best UK spread betting platform. Click here to find out more.
If you are new to forex and CFD trading and want a tried and tested trading platform, award-winning customer support and ultra-tight spreads, Pepperstone is the best broker for UK traders. The regulated broker is overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and provides a range of risk management tools beneficial to beginners. To start trading forex and other CFDs such as indices and commodities with Pepperstone, you can easily open an ECN-style or no-commission account online, with a demo account available for 30 days.
Open a demo account >>Visit Pepperstone >>
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.