The MetaTrader 4 (MT4) forex trading platform is offered by many forex brokers in the UK. When choosing an MT4 broker look for a fx broker that offers fast execution, range of CFDs and currency pairs and low spreads.
Our forex comparisons and broker reviews are reader supported and we may receive payment when you click on a link to a partner site.
Select the best forex broker in the UK with MetaTrader 4
Pepperstone is a MetaTrader 4 (MT4) broker that is regulated by top-tier financial authorities including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) as well as in Kenya (CMA), Germany (BaFin), and the Bahamas (SCB).
While the broker also offers MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader as trading platform options, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is generally the most popular choice due to its large forex community, professional-grade trading environment and sophisticated range of tools and features. Overall, Pepperstone is the best MT4 broker due to three key strengths:
When trading with Pepperstone, customers have the choice of two main trading accounts. The Standard Accounts which is commission-free and has spreads from 1.0 pips and the Razor Accounts with tighter spreads starting from 0.0 pips but requires you to pay a flat rate commission fee of £4.59 round turn for each standard lot. Pepperstone recommends an initial minimum deposit of $200 for both account types.
Additional features available to both Standard and Razor trading accounts using MetaTrader 4 include:
The broker’s ECN-style account is suited to those executing scalping, day trading and Expert Advisor trading strategies or those wanting Pepperstones lowest trading costs. As spreads are ultra-tight, Razor account holders pay commission fees on top of the spread as compensation to Pepperstone for facilitating trading. Commission costs are £4.59 round turn, per 100,000 traded.
When compared to the best forex brokers, Pepperstone offers the lowest spreads across all five major currency pairs. For instance, Pepperstone customers can trade average spreads of 0.13 pips for the USD/JPY fx pair, while those trading with the London Capital Group are offered 0.40 pips.
With tight spreads and competitive commission fees, Razor account holders pay low trading costs. Overall, Pepperstone’s Razor Account is great for UK traders wanting access to an institutional-grade trading environment with ECN pricing.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
Compare All Spreads >>
Standard Account types are excellent for those new to trading and desire an easy entry into forex and CFD markets. With no commission fees, Standard account holders can avoid complex fee calculations and therefore easily forecast trading costs. As Pepperstone’s compensation is included in the spread, Standard accounts trade with wider spreads than commission-based Razor accounts.
As shown below, Pepperstone’s commission-free spreads are significantly tighter than competing forex brokers. For the EUR/USD currency pair, brokers such as FXTM offer 2.00 pips, while Pepperstone clients can trade average spreads of 1.13 pips. Likewise, Pepperstone averages 1.33 pips for the USD/JPY fx pair when XM offers 3.30 pips – nearly 2 full pips wider.
As with most forex brokers, Pepperstone charges overnight financing fees (swap rates) on positions held open for longer than one day. Swap rates are interest-based fees and credits that are calculated using the interest rate differentials of each currency involved in the trade.
For those following Islamic finance practises and unable to pay or receive interest-based payments, Pepperstone offers a Swap-free Account (similar to an Islamic trading account). Swap-free accounts follow the broker’s standard account structure, with minimum spreads of 1.0 pip and no commission fees. Although account holders do not incur any interest-based swap charges, positions held longer than 10 days will have an admin charge that varies between $1-$50 USD depending on the currency pair held.
Pepperstone is a no dealing desk (NDD) broker that executes orders with straight-through-processing (STP). As an NDD and STP broker, Pepperstone fills clients’ orders using external liquidity providers such as top-tier banks and financial institutions. Using quality and external sources of liquidity enables the broker to offer institutional-grade pricing to retail investor accounts.
As well as ECN-style spreads, Pepperstone partnered with the Equinix Data Centre to ensure ultra-fast order execution on the MT4 platform. Equinix hosts Pepperstone’s servers in New York’s financial district, with low latency reducing slippage and increasing execution speeds.
Pepperstone execution infrastructure uses the best quality fibre optic cable to achieve average execution speeds of 30ms. Fast execution reduces the likelihood of slippage, which means you are likely to get the buy and sell price quoted by the provider.
One of the features that make MetaTrader 4 (MT4) so popular is the automated trading features and advanced analysis tools. Depending on your preferred trading device, MT4 is available as a desktop platform, mobile apps or as a webtrader platform online.
As a Pepperstone client using MT4, you gain access to the majority of financial products offered by the broker. Apart from Share CFDs, Pepperstone’s full product range is available including forex, indices, and commodity CFDs. Due to recent changes to FCA forex trading rules, retail traders are no longer to trade cryptocurrencies in the UK. Crypto trading with products such as Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash is restricted to professional traders only.
To automate trading, MT4 users can develop and run Expert Advisors (trading robots/algorithms) or use MT4 or third-party social-copy trading services. Both algorithmic trading and social-copy trading can greatly reduce the time spent conducting technical analysis and researching financial markets. As well as saving time, automated trading removes the emotion from trading, which may be beneficial for beginner traders starting out.
To execute algorithmic trading strategies using Expert Advisors (EAs), Pepperstone’s MT4 customers can either write and develop their own using the MQL4 programming language or by downloading free or paid EAs from MetaTrader’s Marketplace online.
To optimise Expert Advisors, the MT4 platform offers backtesting features where traders’ can test EAs against historical data. MT4’s backtesting is single-threaded, and only one currency pair can be tested at a time.
Social-copy trading is a great option for novice traders wanting to learn more about forex trading from experienced investors. MetaQuotes proprietary account mirroring service, MetaTrader Signals, is available to all Pepperstone UK customers using MT4. You can simply copy the trades, strategies and signals of seasoned traders, eliminating the need to constantly monitor financial markets while learning from the best.
The wide range of trading tools (such as charting, technical analysis, and risk management tools) allow users to develop complex strategies on the MT4 platform. Inbuilt technical analysis, charting, and risk management tools include:
As well as the pre-installed trading tools, Pepperstone offers MT4 add-ons such as additional indicators and the broker’s Smart Trader Tools package. To supplement MT4’s pre-installed charting tools, users can download 2,000 free and 700 paid technical indicators from the MetaTrader Marketplace online.
The broker’s Smart Trader Tools is an add-on package freely available to Pepperstone MT4 users. Comprising of 28 additional technical indicators and Expert Advisors, Smart Trader Tools enhance your trading environment with different order and risk management tools, as well as market data and analysis features. To learn how to use the broker’s different add-ons, you can explore Pepperstone’s educational resources that range from tutorials to webinars.
To explore the MT4 platform and unique trading tools offered by Pepperstone, a demo account is available. MT4 users can access demo accounts for 30 days, with the broker providing $50,000 in virtual funds. The virtual account balance allows both beginner and experienced traders to practise different trading CFDs and forex within a risk-free environment before signing up for a live account.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
When trading CFDs with XTB, you have the choice of three asset classes – forex, indices and commodities. Although the broker also offers shares and ETFs, these asset classes are only available on the broker’s proprietary trading platform (xStation 5) and not MetaTrader 4 (MT4).
Depending on your desired commission fee structure, the broker offers two account types. If you want to trade forex with simple pricing, XTB’s Standard Account is commission-free. The brokers Pro account is charged flat-rate commission fees, yet you can access tighter spreads.
XTB provides access to over 48 different forex markets when using MT4. As discussed above, the broker’s two account types offer different average spreads:
Due to the high-risk nature of forex trading, the FCA allows higher leverage for frequently traded major currency pairs and enforces lower leverage caps for less commonly traded forex pairs. When trading major forex pairs with XTB, such as the GBP/JPY, EUR/USD and GBP/CAD, maximum leverage is capped at 30:1, while minor and exotic currency pairs such as the NZD/CHF or USD/PLN, the maximum leverage offered by XTB is limited to 20:1.
Similar to forex trading, XTB’s Pro account holders trading commodities and indices are charged a round turn commission fee of £6. Standard account can trade commodity and index CFDs commission-free.
Over 42 index CFDs derived from major financial exchanges around the globe are offered by the broker. Although the FCA allows maximum leverage of 20:1 when trading indices, limits vary between financial product. For example:
XTB offers access to 22 different commodity CFDs. Apart from a few specific asset classes (gold, emissions and government-issued financial securities), MT4 users are not charged overnight financing fees when trading commodities. Maximum leverage of 20:1 available.
Commodity CFDs derived from Gold permit leverage up to 20:1, while those trading emission contracts, T-Notes or Bunds can use maximum leverage of 5:1. XTB’s full range of commodity CFDs is shown in the table below:
To practise trading forex, commodities and indices on MT4, XTB offers an excellent demo account with a £100,000 virtual trading balance.
XTB Review >>Visit XTB >>
ThinkMarkets FCA regulated branch offers spread betting to residents of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Similarly to CFD trading, spread betting allows investors to speculate on price movements of a financial instrument without buying or selling the physical asset.
The key difference between spread betting and trading CFDs is that spread betting is more tax efficient. While any profit from trading CFDs is exempt from stamp duty, the gains are subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Profits from spread betting, on the other hand, are exempt from both stamp duty and CGT.
When spread betting with ThinkMarkets, the pricing structure is similar to the broker’s standard account type, where traders pay no additional commission fees on top of the spread. Spread betting is offered for four asset classes, with the following financial instruments available:
When spread betting on MT4 with ThinkMarkets, traders gain access to the same technical analysis and trading tools as those using the platform for CFD trading. To establish whether CFD trading or spread betting is the best style of trading for you, ThinkMarkets offers a demo account for MetaTrader 4.
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
Social-copy trading is becoming increasingly popular as it reduces the time one needs to develop and execute trading strategies. As an FXCM client using MetaTrader 4 (MT4), there are two ways to automate trading via account mirroring services – ZuluTrade and Trading Signals.
ZuluTrade is a third-party social-copy trading network that can be directly integrated into the MT4 platform, while Trading Signals is MetaTrader’s proprietary account mirroring service. Regardless of the copy trading provider you use, FXCM offers two main pricing structures.
ZuluTrade, one of the most popular account mirroring providers, enables FXCM customers to implement copy trading strategies directly within the MT4 platform.
ZuluTrade’s established social network allows you to follow and copy the strategies of successful traders, eliminating the need for lengthy technical analysis and constant monitoring of financial markets. FXCM clients can automate trading by either:
Beginners and seasoned traders alike can enjoy the benefits of copy trading with ZuluTrade on MT4. Those new to forex trading can learn from the best while building confidence and experienced investors gain the opportunity to earn additional profits by developing strategies for others’ to copy.
Alternatively, FXCM MT4 customers can automate trading using MetaQuotes proprietary social-copy trading network. As the social-copy trading features are inbuilt into the MT4 trading platform, users can easily find strategies to follow based on signal providers’ past trades, risk profiles, and success rate.
FXCM allows users to explore the benefits of Trading Signals via a demo or live account, through the ‘Signals’ tab on the MT4 platform.
View FXCM Review >>Visit FXCM >>
When trading with City Index MetaTrader 4 clients gain access to over 80 foreign exchange markets. No choice of account types or ECN-style pricing is available, with all spreads commission-free, averaging 1.8 pips for the GBP/USD fx pair.
To minimise losses and maximise gains, two key risk management features are offered by the broker – order types and a demo account. As forex and CFDs are complex instruments, it is important to utilise risk management tools while acknowledging the broker’s various risk warnings.
As a City Index MT4 user, four order types can be used to manage the high risk of trading. The three basic order types that are freely offered by City Index are stop-loss, limit and trailing stop orders. A premium order type (guaranteed stop loss) is available, yet traders are required to pay a fee.
Stop losses can be used to minimise losses when markets move in unfavourable directions. To eliminate the risk of large losses, traders can specify a price (worse than the market price) where the trade will be automatically closed.
To lock in profits, limit orders automatically close trades when a preset price, that is better than the current price is met.
Similar to a standard stop loss, those using trailing stops specify a particular number of pips away from the current price, allowing the stop to move with the current market price. By trailing the current price by a certain amount, profits are protected while gains are not limited.
For a small fee, premium order types provide guarantees that an order will be executed at the price you have specified. While basic order types may potentially be executed at a different price to what the trader desires because of gapping, guaranteed stop-loss orders ensure an order will be filled at the price specified regardless of price gapping.
Whether you are a beginner starting out with no forex trading background or a seasoned trader with years of experience, demo accounts are an excellent risk management tool for all levels of experience.
With 12 weeks’ access and a £10,000 virtual trading balance, MT4 demo account users can explore different financial markets, practise trading strategies and learn to use the wide range of technical analysis tools available on MT4. Before signing up to a live account that carries a high risk of losing money, demo accounts allow you to learn in a risk-free environment, in real-time conditions.
As conducting research and technical analysis can be time-consuming, choosing a broker with strong technical analysis tools can help you easily stay up to date with forex and CFD markets.
While MetaTrader 4 offers advanced inbuilt technical analysis tools, FxPro provides online and third-party resources that can save you time and effort when trading. The four key analysis tools offered by FxPro are:
The third-party technical analysis provider uses multiple sources of information to monitor and analyse a range of financial instruments, saving you time and effort conducting research. Technical analysis features provided by Trading Central include:
Trading Central is fully compatible with MetaTrader 4. Although the third-party service usually costs a subscription, FxPro MT4 users gain free access to the technical analysis features.
FxPro’s economic calendar, market news and holidays can be viewed on the broker’s website, while MT4’s features and tools can be trailed via a demo account.
View FxPro Review >>Visit FxPro >>
With over 80 fx pairs available on MT4, Forex.com provides excellent market access compared to other United Kingdom forex brokers. Competitors such as IC Markets and Plus500 offer less than 60 currency pairs, with a fewer minor and exotic fx pairs available to trade than Forex.com.
With a wide range of currency pairs yet limited CFDs, Forex.com is best-suited to those wanting to focus on forex trading as products such as Share CFDs are not accessible.
Forex.com’s standard account and pricing structure are commission-free, with no additional fees charged on top of the spread. Examples of minimum and typical spreads for commonly traded fx pairs are:
If an ECN-style account is preferred over commission-free pricing, traders can sign up for a DMA Account. Direct market access (DMA) allows commission account holders to access tighter spreads, with the ability to view multiple levels of pricing from top-tier liquidity sources (market depth).
As well as the depth of market pricing, DMA Accounts are rewarded with reduced commission fees for trading high volumes. Unfortunately, though you can trade lower spreads with potentially discounted commission charges, DMA Accounts cannot trade Forex.com’s full forex range, with only 58 currency pairs available.
To practice trading currencies on MT4, Forex.com offers a demo account with a $10,000 virtual balance and access granted for 30 days.
View Forex.com Review >>Visit Forex.com >>
AvaTrade is an MT4 broker that offers the software as a desktop trading platform, webtrader, or mobile trading app. An excellent option for those trading on the go, AvaTrade requires a low minimum deposit of $100 to start trading CFDs on the MT4 mobile apps. Likewise to MT4’s webtrader and desktop platforms, advanced technical and fundamental analysis tools can be used to identify trading opportunities, while order types can be used to manage the high risk of CFDs.
As well as trading CFDs derived from a range of asset classes, AvaTrade’s MT4 users based in the UK and Ireland can execute tax-efficient spread betting strategies that are not liable to Capital Gains Taxes (CGT). Regardless of whether you are trading CFDs or spread betting, you can access over 60 financial markets, including shares, which many brokers do not offer on MT4:
Mobile trading apps are available on iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded via Apple’s app store or Google Play. Desktop, webtrader and mobile apps can all be used to access the broker’s demo accounts that are funded with a $100,000 virtual trading balance.
Visit AvaTrade >>
When implementing Expert Advisors (trading robots) tight, ECN-like spreads will help forex traders maximise profits. Axi (formally AxiTrader) offers institutional-grade pricing via its Pro Account, making it a great choice for those wanting to focus on algorithmic trading.
As Pro Account holders are offered ultra-tight spreads starting from 0.0 pips, Axi charges a flat rate commission fee as compensation for facilitating trading ($7 USD round turn).
Alternatively, if a commission-free pricing structure is preferred, Axi offers a Standard Account type with spreads starting from 0.4 pips. Both Standard and Pro accounts are available through MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
You can either develop your own EAs or download existing programs from the MetaTrader Marketplace online. As well as automating technical analysis, EAs can be used to automatically enter and exit markets, saving time researching and placing trades.
When using MT4, EAs are written using the MQL4 programming language, with backtesting features available to optimise EAs prior to execution.
As well as algorithmic trading with Expert Advisors, Axi customers using MT4 gain access to the following features:
If you want to practise developing and implementing EAs, or purely wanting to explore MT4’s features, Axi offers a free demo account. The free trial comes with a $50,000 virtual balance along with 30 days access.
View Axi Review >>Visit Axi >>
With fast order execution on MetaTrader 4 (MT4), tight spreads and a wide range of trading tools, Pepperstone is a top choice for those wanting a UK broker regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
When using MT4, Pepperstone clients signed up to a Razor Account can access ECN-style spreads starting from 0.0 pips thanks to the broker’s top-tier liquidity sources and NDD execution. As well as low spreads, Pepperstone customers can automate trading with Expert Advisors or social-copy tools, perform advanced technical analysis and access add-on features to enhance your MT4 trading environment.
To try out Pepperstone’s sophisticated MT4 features, demo accounts are offered by the top forex broker. For a more in-depth analysis of Pepperstone’s pricing, trading platforms and services, you can read our full review by clicking the link below.
Trading with a forex and CFD broker that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, formally the FSA) provides UK traders with various investor protection policies such as negative balance protection, close out margins and access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if needed.
Although online trading platforms provide risk management tools like order types, forex and CFDs are complex derivative instruments that come with a high risk of losing money. Regulators such as the FCA (UK), ESMA (Europe) and CySEC (Cyprus) enforce strict forex trading rules to ensure retail traders are protected from large losses. If you trade forex and CFDs with an offshore broker, you will not receive strong protections as in the UK.
To check a broker is licensed by the FCA, you can check the broker’s registration number against the regulator’s register.
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.