In the UK, the best forex brokers regulated by the FCA have low ECN spreads from 0.0 pips for the EUR/USD currency pair (the most traded foreign exchange pairing), choice of forex trading platforms (eg. MetaTrader 4) and range of CFDs.
Based on average spreads in 2021 the lowest spread forex brokers across each category are:
Pepperstone UK is the lowest spread forex broker in the UK, offering competitive spreads on more than 150 financial instruments. Pepperstone Group, the parent company of Pepperstone Limited, was established in Melbourne, Australia, in 2010 by a team of experienced traders. Pepperstone Limited is registered and authorised by the local regulatory agency as well as international watchdogs, including:
When trading with the FCA regulated Pepperstone branch, you will receive strong investor protections, such as negative balance protection, leverage caps, close out margins and the access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). To find out more about the risk management tools provided by Pepperstone, contact the broker’s customer support team.
As a true ECN broker, Pepperstone has been granted multiple awards globally, including ones that recognise its world-class trading conditions, professional customer support and reliable trading platforms.
Since low-cost trading is a key element of good overall trading experience, our team of experts have analyzed several leading Forex brokers in the UK and concluded that Pepperstone offers the lowest spreads to the UK traders. The brokerage offers variable spreads on its MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms, as price quotes are derived from multiple sources to ensure the best price is provided to the client. UK-based traders can choose between two account types with this broker:
This trading account type ensures ECN trading and is commission-based. Since price quotes are aggregated from 22 tier-one liquidity providers, Pepperstone can ensure extremely fast order execution of as low as 60 ms, which may suit scalpers. Depending on the trading platform, the trading account currency and what volume is traded (micro or standard lots), Pepperstone will charge the following commissions on Razor accounts (commissions are representative for the MT5 platform):
Additionally, the broker will charge a flat fee of 7 units per 1 standard lot on its cTrader platform. For example, for GBP/USD, it would translate into GBP 7.00 per lot traded. As far as average spreads on Razor accounts are concerned, on the most popular currency pairs they are as follows:
For a head-to-head comparison of UK authorised forex and CFDs brokers offering low spreads on ECN accounts, please study the table below.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
This trading account type allows for commission-free online trading, while UK-based clients can choose from more than 150 instruments and enjoy no dealing desk execution. On Standard accounts and the most popular currency pairs, Pepperstone’s average spreads are presented as follows:
The spreads, which reflect the difference between the bid price and the ask price of trading instruments come with a verified and tested market order execution speed of 85 milliseconds. Compared to other UK forex brokers, only FP Markets (95ms) can boost fast order execution speed below the 100 milliseconds mark.
Unfortunately, UK traders are no longer able to trade cryptocurrencies. Recent changes to FCA has led to a ban on cryptocurrency products for retail traders in the UK.
Pepperstone has the lowest spreads in the UK starting from as low as 0.0 pips (based on their 2021 UK spreads) for EUR/USD. Overall, our team of experts endorse Pepperstone for its variable spreads and fixed spreads account types. The low barrier to entry of GBP 200 tends to attract lots of UK traders. Make sure you claim your FREE demo account by clicking the link below.
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
Our research has concluded that among the leading regulated brokers in the UK that we’ve reviewed, Axi (formally AxiTrader) stands out clearly offering the best MT4 platform trading conditions.
The AxiCorp group was established in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 by a team of professional traders. Axi UK represents a trading name of AxiCorp Limited registered in England under registration number 06378544. AxiCorp is authorised and regulated by the following regulatory financial authorities:
Axi offers MetaTrader 4 package that includes a full set of functions such as charts, alerts and analysis tools. The most popular trading platform is available for:
What really impresses in Axi’s MT4 offering is the network technology used, which allows for considerable latency reduction. As a result, the probability to experience slippage is also reduced drastically, which translates into lower trading costs compared to a standard connection.
Due to lower latency, Axi’s system refresh speed is increased, which ensures better pricing received by clients. This is especially valid during times of high market volatility and/or low liquidity such as those surrounding major political events (presidential election).
Since Axi’s pricing is derived directly from a source of up to 20 independent market makers, the broker’s network is not reliant on ECN-style technology. As a result, the company’s pricing is delivered faster, refreshes faster, features more depth and fewer outages.
Axi’s specialised low latency network enhances clients’ back end execution, meaning they will enjoy faster speeds and greater reliability compared to the same setup in the same conditions on a different network.
With Axi’s MT4 offering, UK-based clients are granted access to over 150 trading instruments, including major, minor and exotic currency pairs, commodities and indices.
Forex traders can closely monitor market movement thanks to real-time pricing. They have the freedom to choose:
Another notable feature is the Autochartist MetaTrader Plugin, the world’s first market scanner that allows traders to view all symbols and all time periods from a single chart. It continuously scans markets for real-time pricing, automatically recognises trade setups and alerts clients to unbiased market analysis. The Autochartist feature is also available on a demo account with the broker.
The Autochartist MT4 Plugin allows for:
Axi offers a unique solution for money manager through its Multi Account Manager (MAM) software that it’s integrated with the MetaTrader 4 trading platform. UK professional traders interested to take advantage of Axi MAM solution can expect the following benefits:
In conclusion, Axi’s MT4 offering may suit all types of trading styles, from scalping to swing trading. Axi is handling more than $100 billion in trading volume for its client’s base of 40,000 trading accounts from over 100 countries that are managed from 8 international offices. The live forex spreads start as low as 0.8 pips on EUR/USD respectively 1.8 pips on GBP/USD (Standard Account).
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CFD trading is associated with costs that could pile up over time and reduce earnings. Therefore, choosing a Forex broker with tight spreads and low commissions is essential to preserve gains. Among the regulated brokers in the UK that we reviewed, City Index offers the lowest spreads in combination with no commissions.
City Index is a trading name of GAIN Capital UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales under registration number 1761813. GAIN Capital is authorised and regulated by the United Kingdom’s FCA with reference number 113942.
City Index offers a transparent pricing model. This means City Index clients will be aware of the total costs of trading before they open a position. With City Index, UK-based investors can trade over 12,000 financial markets with zero commissions on the following instruments:
Note * The only exception is Shares CFDs, where a commission is charged when clients open a trade and when they close a trade. Spreads start from 0.1% on UK stocks and commissions start from GBP 10.00 on UK shares.
When it comes to spreads, City Index offers two pricing models:
Note* The variable spreads may widen throughout the day due to variations in liquidity and volatility.
With variable spreads, City Index offers clients the minimum spread for a trading instrument plus an average spread for a specified historical period.
If we set our focus on trading the Forex market specifically, we should note the broker offers spreads as low as 0.5 pips on major currency pairs such as EUR/USD and AUD/USD. The following table visualises spreads associated with major and some minor pairs:
We should note that low spread Forex brokers usually pass on additional charges to retail clients, in case UK-based traders hold an open position overnight. A daily financing fee will be imposed on clients’ account every day during which they hold an open trade, including weekend days. City Index sets financing rates (also known as swap rates) by using the benchmark interest rate LIBOR +/- 2.5%.
When trading Forex, every night clients will pay a small financing charge on the exposure of their position. The financing charge depends on the interest rate differential between the two currencies in the currency pair. Overall, City Index is one of the best forex brokers in UK if you want to benefit from no commission trading. City Index platform is equipped with the latest technology, so if you want to test your trading strategy, you can open a demo account by clicking the button below.
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Established in 1995, OANDA Corp has an international presence being regulated across multiple continents. Our team of experts have chosen Oanda for its no minimum deposit requirement.
Note* While Oanda doesn’t enforce the no-minimum deposit policy, they recommend UK clients to deposit at least GBP 250.
Oanda provides its financial services under the supervision of the following regulatory agencies:
Unlike other regulated brokers in the UK we reviewed, OANDA has no minimum deposit requirement for clients to open an account with this brokerage. This is valid for the broker’s Standard Account. Still, we should note that UK traders will have to ensure sufficient funds on their trading account to meet OANDA’s margin requirements.
On the other hand, if UK clients choose to open a Premium Account with the broker, they will have to ensure an initial deposit of $20,000 (or the equivalent in GBP or EUR).
OANDA offers competitive spreads for the most popular currency pairs only on the Core pricing model. But on the downside, Oanda’s core pricing model is a commission-based model.
Oanda offers two types of pricing models:
Note* When compared to other UK-based brokers, Oanda’s $5 commission is relatively high (Pepperstone has the lowest commission of GBP 2.29).
The table below outlines Oanda’s live spreads (flexible spreads) on the major currency pairs:
In certain market conditions, the broker’s spreads could be wider than usual. This is especially valid when particular markets open or close as well as during major geopolitical events.
If UK clients choose to hold an active position overnight, the latter will be subject to either a financing charge or a financing credit, depending on whether it is a long or a short position.
For example, if a client holds a long position with 1 standard lot in GBP/USD overnight on April 24th, there will be a financing charge of $7.03, deducted from their account balance.
UK Forex traders can deposit money on their Oanda account using 5 types of payment options:
At Oanda, there are no deposit fees, but UK clients can incur a withdrawal fee of GBP 10 for the first withdrawal processed within a calendar and GBP 20 for any subsequent withdrawals. If you want to have access to life forex quotes and currency rates but without committing any money, you can opt for an Oanda live account.
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The low spread forex brokers we reviewed so far offer either variable spreads only or a combination of variable and fixed spreads on their products. When it comes to the most competitive fixed spread brokers in the United Kingdom, our research clearly points to FxPro.
Established in 2006, FxPro Financial Services Ltd is an international online UK CFD provider based in London, United Kingdom, which serves retail and institutional clientele in 173 countries. FxPro Group Limited is the parent company of:
FxPro is not an ECN or STP broker. FxPro is self-labelled as a true No Dealing Desk Execution model, which means customer orders are executed with no dealing desk intervention. The brokerage offers two types of execution models:
With instant execution model, clients will have their orders filled at the price they see on the screen or they can receive a requote. With market execution model, client orders will be filled at the volume-weighted average price.
FxPro offers fixed spreads only on its MT4 Account. UK-based traders are able to choose from 4 major and 3 minor currency pairs with fixed pricing. The broker will have the spread fixed, depending on specific time intervals during the trading session. For example, when trading GBP/USD on MT4 Fixed Spread Account, the spreads offered will be as follows:
Note* We should note that depending on the market conditions and available liquidity, the GBP/USD spread can reach 3.5 pips.
FxPro will charge no commissions for CFD trading on its MT4 and MT5 account types. However, UK-based clients trading Forex currency pairs on FxPro cTrader account will be charged $4.5 per side for every 1 standard lot traded. Click the link below to open your FxPro demo account, but be prepared to follow the same standard process that comes with a live account.
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Headquartered in London, CMC Markets is a leading online CFD provider having offices across Europe and the Asia Pacific region. CMC Markets UK plc is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by:
Among the best 20 Forex brokers in the UK we reviewed, CMC Markets offers the best spread betting conditions.
Spread betting, just as CFD trading, is associated with a high risk of losing capital as leverage is used. At present, CMC Markets offers spread betting only to residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Clients are allowed to spread bet on more than 9500 global instruments in asset classes such as:
Spread betting is a form of derivatives trading, which is not subject to stamp duty and capital gains tax in the UK. Clients are able to speculate on the price movement of trading instruments without the need to actually buy or sell a particular asset. They simply buy or sell a specified amount per point of movement for the selected asset, also known as spread bet stake size.
Let us consider a simple example. A client decides to place a buy spread bet on Barclays Plc on the expectation the stock will gain value. Barclays was trading at 164/165 (with the spread being equal to 1). The client opens a long position at £10 per point of movement.
In two weeks’ time, the stock indeed surges to 220/221, while the client decides to close the position. Thus, she sells at 220, the current sell quote. Since the price has moved 55 points in her favour (220 sell price – 165 buy price originally), her stake of £10 is then multiplied by that amount to generate a profit of £550.
CMC Markets has no minimum deposit requirement on its Spread Betting Account and offers spreads of as low as:
UK-based clients are able to spread bet without paying any commissions, however, if a position is held overnight, there will be holding costs. In Forex spread betting, holding costs will be calculated as follows:
CMC Markets best UK spread betting platform comes with the following key features:
Overall, CMC Markets offers competitive costs for trading CFDs and spread betting. Professional clients that open an account with this award-winning provider can qualify to gain monthly cash rebates (CMC Markets paid £14.1 million in cash rebates during the previous fiscal year).
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Our team of experts at Compare Forex Brokers is regarded as being the main source of authority when it comes to broker review content. Our low spread forex broker UK review is the result of extensive research of evaluating the forex spreads among the leading FCA-regulated FX brokers in the UK.
The foreign exchange brokers based in the UK come with different flavours, aka different levels of spreads. For example, among the leading financial services providers in the UK, Pepperstone scored the highest points in our review scoring system. The Pepperstone ECN account can boost an average spread of 0.13 pips on EUR/USD and respectively 0.44 pips on GBP/USD. At the same time, City Index offers the lowest average spreads for the zero commissions account.
Our list of low spread forex brokers in the UK was reduced down to the best 6 brokerage trading firms. Our devoted team of investing professionals kept the options at a minimum to make it easier to choose a low spread broker. If you want to view brokers outside of the UK, then our international low spread broker page is for you.
Risk Warning Notice: Before deciding to invest in the interbank market, learn about the potential risk involved with high leveraged products. Forex and CFD trading may not be suitable for all investors, as you might lose all your funds.
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.