Best CFD Trading Platform UK 2022

In our guide, we will go over the top rated CFD trading platforms in the UK. Picking the right CFD Broker as a UK trader should be a top priority. We base our lists on a variety of factors like: CFD fees, security, ease-of-use, charting and tools, education offered, research and more. We list the best CFD brokers that offer competitive prices, high security standards, and wide selectionof available securities.

You know the old saying: “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Without further ado… here are our top picks for the best UK CFD trading platforms

Best CFD Trading Platforms UK 2022

We analyzed and researched many CFD brokers based on a variety of data points. Brokers had to meet certain threshold tobe included in our list. The best CFD trading platform UK is:

  1. Plus500 – CFD Trading Platform UK Top Pick
  2. eToro – Best Copy Trading CFD Platform UK
  3. AvaTrade – Best Forex CFD Trading Platform UK
  4. XTB – Best UK CFD for Low Forex Fees
  5. XM – Best Low Spread CFD Broker
  6. Interactive Brokers – Best CFD Trading Software UK
  7. City Index – Best For Spread Betting
  8. Pepperstone – Tight Spread CFD Online Trading Platform UK
  9. Admiral Markets – Best MetaTrader CFD Broker UK
  10. CMC Markets – Low Cost CFD Trading Platform UK
  11. IG – Reputable CFD Platform with Great Educational Resources
  12. FxPro – Great CFD Trading Platform UK For Execution Speed

1. Plus500 – Our Top Pick CFD Broker UK

Plus500 Comparison

Our Score:

4.8/5

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Plus500 is a great trading platform for CFD trading in the UK. Plus500 was founded in 2008 and has become a world leader in the CFD industry. They are regulated by top-tier authorities, including Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
Their trading platform is intuitive, both on the web and as a mobile app. The minimum deposit at Plus500 is £100, and £500 for bank transfers. There are no withdrawal fees.
Trading fees are in line with the industry average. Plus500 has 0% commissions. They charge overnight funding, currency conversion, inactivity, and guaranteed stop order fees.
They currently support over 15 different base currencies and are constantly adding more.
For more, you can also Read Full Plus 500 Review.

Trading Platform Plus500
Founded 2008
Regulation FCA, CySec, MAS, ASIC, FSA, FMA
Offering Of Investments Shares, Forex, Commodities, Indices, Crypto, Options, ETFs
Minimum Deposit $100
Demo Account Yes
Withdrawal Fee $0
Inactivity Fee Yes
Deposit Methods PayPal, Skrill, Credit Card, Debit Card, Bank Transfer

Fees

Trading Fee Plus500
EURUSD Spread: 0.01%
GBPUSD Spread: 0.02%
Apple Fees Spread: 0.74%
Tesla Fees Spread: 0.75%
Amazon Fees Spread: 0.75%
S&P 500 Fees Spread: 0.02%
Options Fee Spread
Mutal Fund Fees N/A
ETF Fee Spread

2. eToro – Best CFD Copy Trading Platform UK

etoro logo

Our Score:

4.8/5

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

eToro is a multi-assets brokerage, founded in 2007. eToro is heavily regulated in top-tier jurisdictions including the FCA in the UK. They are the best CFD broker for beginners, thanks to their industry leading copy trading functionality.
Their web-based trading platform and mobile app is easy-to-use and is great for beginner to intermediate traders. Advanced users, looking for a more sophisticated solution, should look at Interactive Brokers.
eToro offers many products, including real stocks with 0% commissions. This makes it a great choice for UK traders looking beyond CFD trading.

eToro minimum deposit in the UK is $10 and $500 for Bank Transfers.

CFD trading costs are built into the spreads. Cryptocurrencies have a flat 1% fee.

For more you can read our eToro review here.

Trading Platform eToro
Founded 2007
Regulation FCA, CySEC, ASIC, FSAS
Offering Of Investments Stocks, ETFs, Forex, Crypto, Indices, Commodities
Minimum Deposit $50 - $100
Demo Account Yes
Withdrawal Fee $5
Inactivity Fee $10/month
Deposit Methods PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Credit Card, Debit Card, Rapid Transfer,iDEAL, Klarna / Sofort Banking, Bank Transfer, Online Banking - Trustly, POLi

Fees

Trading Fee eToro
EURUSD Varied Spread
GBPUSD Varied Spread
Bitcoin 1%
Apple Fees $0
Tesla Fees $0
Amazon Fees $0
S&P 500 Fees Varied Spread
Options Fee N/A
Mutal Fund Fees N/A
ETF Fee $0

3. AvaTrade – Best Forex CFD Platform UK

AvaTrade Logo

Our Score:

4.8/5

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

AvaTrade is a great Forex CFD Trading Platform for UK Traders. Founded in 2006 and regulated by top-tier authorities, this CFD broker is a great option.
They offer copy trading, but through ZuluTrade or DupliTrade.
We recommend it to UK traders looking for a regulated and secure CFD broker.
AvaTrade offers: Forex, Spread Betting, Shares, Commodities, Bonds, Treasuries, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, and Indices.
Trading costs are in line with the industry average. Avatrade Minimum Deposit is $100.
The inactivity fee is above the industry average – coming in at £50 per quarter after 3 months of inactivity.

For more you can read our AvaTrade review here.

Trading Platform AvaTrade
Founded 2006
Regulation FCA, ASIC, FSCA, FRSA, Israel Securities Authority, Financial Services Agency, Financial Futures Association of Japan
Offering Of Investments Forex, Stocks, Commodities, FXOptions, Cryptocurrencies, Indices, ETFs, Bonds
Minimum Deposit $100
Demo Account Yes
Withdrawal Fee $0
Inactivity Fee $50/month After 3 Months
Deposit Methods Credit and Debit Cards,Wire Transfer, e-payments

Fees

Trading Fee AvaTrade
EURUSD Spread: 0.9
GBPUSD Spread: 1.5
Apple Fees 0.13%
Tesla Fees 0.13%
Amazon Fees 0.13%
S&P 500 Fees 0.25 over market
Options Fee N/A
Mutal Fund Fees N/A
ETF Fee 0.13% - 0.15%

4. XTB

XTB is an online CFD and Forex broker with offices in London and Warsaw. They are primarily regulated by the FCA. As part of their long track record of reliability, XTB regularly publishes financial statements.

Commission charges are some of the lowest available. XTB has no minimum deposit amount.

ProsCons
Forex FeesHigh Shares CFD Fees
Deposit And WithdrawalInactivity Fees
Account Opening

5. XM

XM is regulated by CySEC. They won awards for responsive and attentive customer service as recently as 2020. XM is a social trading platform that allows users to copy the trading strategies of leading investors. Their platform has over 1 million users so there are a lot of options.

XM has a wide variety of educational material and research tools to help you. They have resources that are aimed at both novice and veteran clients.

ProsCons
Copy TradingCustomer Support
In-House Research
Demo Account

6. Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers have been around for decades. They started operating in the late 70s. Originally based in the UK under the FCA, they have expanded to offices across the globe.

Their platform is highly reliable and experiences next to no down-time.

Their platform is best for experienced clients.

Interactive Brokers collect and compile lots of market information, but they do not present it clearly. It can be overwhelming to newer users who aren’t accustomed to reading financial data yet.

ProsCons
Research ToolsTrading Platform Interface
No Minimum DepositAccount Opening
Long Track Record
City Index Logo

7. City Index

City Index is part of the GAIN Capital brand listed on the NYSE. They are regulated by the FCA as well as other highly-respected bodies globally.

On top of offering CFDs, they provide access to Forex and Crypto markets.

They are one of the most affordable brokers on this list. Their spreads and commissions are very low. Although they do charge inactivity fees, they are relatively low and only begin after a year of inactivity.

ProsCons
No withdrawal feeNo fundamental data
Easy to use platformTrading Tools
Plenty of tutorials on CFD trading

8. Pepperstone

PepperStone is based in Australia but is also regulated by the FCA.

They have a wide variety of account types on offer, including popular ECN and STP types. Accounts with Sharia-friendly investing are available if requested.

PepperStone offers trading with Forex, Crypto, and shares. They support MT4 and MT5 platforms as well as a host of other options.

ProsCons
Low inactivity feesResearch
Zero charge deposits and withdrawalsCFD Commissions
Risk Management Tools
Admiral Markets Logo

9. Admiral Markets

Admiral Markets is based in Estonia and offers CFDs and Forex. They are regulated by the FCA in the UK and other authoritative agencies.

AM has thousands of assets available. Their system supports MT4 and MT5 as well as WebTrader.

ProsCons
Segregated FundsMinimum Deposit
Wide Selection of 3rd party Trading PlatformsNo Fixed Spreads
“Zero to Hero” 21-day training course
CMC Markets Logo

10. CMC Markets

CMC Markets is a long-trusted publicly-listed forex broker. They are based in the UK and regulated by the FCA as well as other agencies. CMC offers one of the widest selection of tradable instruments at over 10,000 instruments. Unlike most other firms, their customer support is open 24/7. This attention to detail when it comes to customer service is what sets them apart from their competitors.

CMC Markets has hours of educational content on their website which is great to get beginners right into the swing of things.

ProsCons
Research ToolsCFD Commissions
Well RegulatedSpreads
Customer Service
IG Logo

11. IG

IG is one of the largest retail brokers in the world. They are regulated by trusted authorities in many regions, including the UK’s FCA and BaFin in Germany.

IG uses a proprietary trading platform. The UI is customizable and quick to learn.

ProsCons
Trading PlatformFees
Company HistoryAccount Opening
Release Financial Statements
FxPro Logo

12. FxPro

FxPro is a No Dealing Desk (NDD) broker regulated by many industry authorities globally. They have been operating since 2011 and have a positive track record of reliability.

They have options for Islamic-friendly accounts, although these exclude CFD options.

The FxPro platform facilitates copy-trading, which allows users to mimic the trading strategies of high-profit portfolios. Their platform is best for beginners looking to start.

ProsCons
Account OpeningCustomer Support
Allows Hedging and ScalpingEducation and Research

What is CFD Trading?

CFDs (Contract for Differences) are contracts between investors and financial institutions on a future value of an financial product. Contracts are bought or sold and are linked to an underlying instrument. Traders do not own the instrument they are speculating on. Instead, they use the CFDs to speculate on whether the instrument trends upwards or downwards over a specific period.

Here is a video from Capital.com that explains how CFDs work.

YouTube video

Regulation and specifics in the UK 

CFD trading is legal in the UK, but it is subject to a set of region-specific regulations. These regulations cover tax status on CFD earnings, as well as rules on leverage maximums. Brokers in the UK are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They are the determining body that sets limits on leverage and stop-losses. They also monitor and enforce adherence to their regulations and rules.

Limits in the UK are set at 30:1 at a maximum.

The FCA has insisted that a position will automatically close if funds fall below half the initial margin amount. Losses are also not allowed to exceed more than the total funds in the account.

New legislation in 2018 enforced them to report on the total percentage of their accounts that make losses. This reporting has led to some eye-opening numbers in that the majority of retail clients lose money.

Profits made are subject to capital gains tax. On the other end of the spectrum, losses incurred are tax-deductible.

Pros and cons

CFDs carry risk. While it is possible to make large returns due to leverage, it also amplifies the potential losses. Here are a few pros and cons of CFD trading in the UK.

If you’re looking for more information, skip to the end of this article where we’ve put together an FAQ as well as other important information on the subject.

Pros

  • Using leverage can lead to massive profits from a relatively small capital.
  • It’s possible to make money from both positive and negative movement of the underlying asset.
  • Commission on CFD tends to be lower than traditional trading vehicles.

Cons

  • Overnight fees for any contracts that run over a trading day.
  • Using leverage increases the potential loss.
  • You do not own the underlying instrument.

How To Start CFD Trading In The UK?

  1. Open an Account with a CFD Broker – Once you pick a broker, visit their official website. Simply click “open account” and fill in your personal information. The account opening process is completely digital.
  2. Verify your Identity – You will have to verify your identity by providing an ID and a utility bill or bank statement.
  3. Deposit Funds to Your Account – Once you are verified, it is time to deposit funds to your account. Most CFD brokers allow a good selection of deposit methods. These include bank transfers, credit cards and debit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrency. The minimum deposit varies, so make sure to check that beforehand.
  4. Start Trading – Once you verify your account and deposit funds, you can start trading.

How to pick a CFD Broker?

Every broker is different. Depending on where the company is based, it will be subject to different regulations. We’ve gone over some of the most important factors to consider below.

Regulation ⚖️

Brokers that are listed in more than one country are subject to regulations of all the areas in which they are listed. Regulation affects things like leverage maximums, although in the UK it is limited to 30:1. Consider whether the regulations that your broker adheres to, forces them to keep your funds in segregated accounts.

Fees & Commissions 💲

Brokers earn their money from people trading on their platform. Some have a monthly or yearly subscription fee, while most make their money with spreads. Many charge inactivity fees and overnight fees for holding positions open overnight.

Securities Available 📈

Make sure that the security you want to trade is available. Not every trading platform offers the same markets. Finding a broker with a wide range of securities is important, but it’s not the only thing you should consider. Brokers such as eToro have a wide range of securities.

Account Types 🧾

Usually you have different options of account types to choose from. The type depends on many variables, such as the funds deposited and subscription fee. For example, upgrading accounts lets you trade with lower fees and other benefits. An important account type is a demo account. This lets you try out trading strategies before opening a real money account.

Trading Platforms 🖥️

Trading platforms execute buy and sell orders and collect data. Some offer third party platforms like the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 (MT4/MT5), cTrader, or other platform. Most of the reputable brokers have their own platform.

Customer Support 📝

One of the most frequent complaints from clients is poor customer service. Support is often restricted to office hours. Serving customers from multiple time zones can complicate the process. AvaTrade is one broker in particular who is well known for having good customer support.

Leverage and Margin ⚙️

Leverage and margin are controversial aspects of CFD and retail trading. Maximums are set to 30:1 according to UK law, all of the brokers on this list keep to that limit. The number 30:1 means that you can increase your initial investment (your margin) by 30 times to secure a larger position.

A downside is that, while you can earn larger profits, you can also lose more than your initial investment.

Trading Tools 🔧

Trading tools are useful in understanding a particular market. It is important you know about the tools offered beforehand. Some of these tools will be useful to you, others may only be helpful to traders looking for other things.

One of the most useful, if often overlooked tools, is access to an economic calendar. Market fluctuations might seem random, but they are often linked to specific calendar dates. For example, if you bought CFDs based on the stocks of a Japanese company, it will be helpful to have access to the Japanese financial calendar.

Minimum Deposits 💰

Most brokers require a minimum deposit. Some brokers offer £0 minimum deposit, which is useful for some just looking to start. However, you cannot start trading if you don't have funds on your account.

Negative Balance Protection 📉

Some brokers offer negative balance protection. This is a great risk management tool, which helps protect your account going negative.

FAQ

Are CFDs Legal In the UK?

CFD trading in the UK is legal. This is dependent on your broker adhering to the regulations set out by the FCA. The FCA sets out several guidelines that brokers must follow. One of these provisions is that leverage maximums are set to 30:1. They argue that leverage higher than that is too risky for retail clients. Recently, the FCA prohibited CFD brokers from offering cryptocurrency derivatives. This means that you cannot trade speculating the value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

How to Open an Account?

The steps to open an account depend on the broker you’ve chosen. Before opening a real account, consider opening a demo first.
Brokers will usually require to verify your email and personal details. After setting up an account, you will be required to link your bank card or other accepted forms of payment. Even brokers who do not have a deposit minimum will require this. After receiving proof of your details and verifying your account details, you can start trading.

Do CFD Traders Pay Tax in the UK?

Traders who earn a profit on CFD trading will be required to pay Capital Gains Tax if their earnings exceed their annual CGT threshold. Traders do not have to pay Stamp Duty. If a trader loses money trading CFDs, they can write off their losses as tax-deductible.

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Ziga Breznik

Author

About the author

Ziga Breznik is the owner and head of research at PublicFinanceInternational.org – he is an active investor in the forex, crypto and stock markets – he has seen trading platforms disappear along with his investments – especially during the “crypto boom”. Ziga learned the hard way that finding a reputable and trustworthy online brokerage is key to long-term success in the financial markets. He founded PublicFinanceInternational.org as a platform where he shares his research with one goal in mind: to provide unbiased and trustworthy online brokers reviews.