When researching the best forex trading platforms in the UK, we focused on key factors like trading costs, execution speeds, currency pairs available to trade and trading tools.

According to our independent testing and analysis, these top brokers offer superior performance compared to other brokerages: execution speeds up to 50% faster than the industry average and spreads almost 38% lower than the aggregate.

Based on our analysis, the eight best forex trading platforms in the UK are:


  1. Pepperstone - Best UK Forex Trading Platform Overall
  2. OANDA - Best UK Forex Trading Platform for Beginners
  3. eToro - Best UK Forex Trading Platform for Copy Trading
  4. CMC Markets - UK Forex Trading Platform with the Most Currency Pairs
  5. IG Group - Best UK CFD Broker
  6. Eightcap - UK Forex Trading Platform with the Lowest Spreads
  7. Interactive Brokers - Best UK Forex Trading Platform for Shares
  8. XTB - UK Forex Trading Platform with the Best Customer Service


All the trading platforms we reviewed hold a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), meaning you can have confidence in your chosen broker and your funds are secure. The FCA oversees the conduct of financial services providers, including online brokers, and ensures transparency in the foreign exchange market within the UK.

All brokers we profiled are also members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

1. Pepperstone - Best Overall

Australian-based Pepperstone claimed the top spot based on their lighting-fast execution speeds, competitive trading costs and comprehensive MetaTrader 4 offering. Pepperstone executes market orders 40% faster than the industry average, and limit orders 50% faster, making it one of the speediest in the world.

Beyond order execution, this broker also stood out for the selection of tools and platforms available for trading. No matter what the style or strategy, Pepperstone has the tools and integrations necessary for success. In addition to MetaTrader 4, UK traders have access to MetaTrader 5, cTrader and TradingView trading platforms.


Fastest Execution Speeds

Prices change quickly in fast-moving markets, which means filling your order as soon as possible can mean the difference between a profit and breaking even.

A lag in execution can lead to undesirable outcomes in volatile markets, including slippage and requotes. Slippage occurs when execution delays lead to your broker filling the order at a less desirable price, while requotes refer to instances where the price moves so much that the broker has no choice but to decline the order and quote you a new price.

Pepperstone provides account holders with speedy execution by using an electronic communication network (ECN) routing system to fill orders. ECN routing allows brokers to efficiently transmit orders to the best-fit liquidity provider based on size, price and current market conditions.

The Herald:

We analysed broker execution speed by opening a live account with each broker and using an Expert Advisor to place 20 market and limit orders via the MetaTrader 4 trading platform. We then averaged the response times. 

In our tests, Pepperstone executed market orders in around 100 ms on average and limit orders in around 77 ms, compared to industry averages of 140 ms and 132 ms.

The Herald:

Only New Zealand broker BlackBull Markets outpaced Pepperstone, and not by a significant margin. For context, BlackBull executes a market order 10% faster than second-place Pepperstone, while Pepperstone executes a market order 48% faster than third-place broker Axi.


Trading Fees

Pepperstone offers a straightforward choice of two account types, which simplifies price comparisons.

  • Standard account. Pepperstone’s Standard account has competitive trading costs suitable for most budgets. Variable spreads start at 0.9 pips for some currency pairs and average around 1.40 pips across the major pairs.
  • Razor account. The Razor account offers tighter spreads, however, you will pay a commission to open and close your position. Commission prices vary based on your preferred platform: MetaTrader account holders pay £2.25, cTrader account holders pay US $3.00, and TradingView account holders pay US $3.50.


Pepperstone doesn’t require a minimum deposit to start trading and doesn’t charge funding or withdrawal fees when you move your money. This broker also doesn’t charge an inactivity fee to maintain your account if you take a break from trading.


Trading Tools

One of the main reasons why Pepperstone claimed the title of best overall? Its selection of available trading platforms:

  • MetaTrader 4. Designed for trading currencies and is available with additional indicators (called Expert Advisors) and trading tools via its Smart Trader Tools package.
  • MetaTrader 5. Many of the same benefits as MetaTrader 4 but with the extra functionality of access to centralised exchanges.
  • TradingView. Designed for advanced charting with sophisticated drawing tools.
  • cTrader. A sophisticated tool for complex algorithmic trading.


Pepperstone account holders can trade all these platforms via Desktop, WebTrader, or the iOS and Android mobile trading apps.

Financial Instruments

Pepperstone boasts an impressive selection of financial instruments to trade, including over 90 currency pairs. In addition to popular pairs like EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/CHF, this broker offers a wide range of minor pairs and exotic crosses. Beyond the currencies themselves, you can also trade more than 1,200 currency CFDs and three currency indices.

Other financial markets to which Pepperstone offers access include commodities and shares, which you can trade as CFDs. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), indices and futures round out the offering.


Final Verdict on Pepperstone

With fast execution speeds, competitive spreads, and an excellent selection of trading platforms, Pepperstone stands out for its well-rounded trading experience, which suits traders of all experience levels.

Note: Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2. OANDA - Best for Beginners

Founded in 1996, New York-based OANDA has almost three decades of operational experience in the online derivatives trading space. That experience, combined with comprehensive risk management and easy-to-use trading tools, makes it the ideal first forex broker for a new trader.

However, even the more advanced traders will appreciate OANDA's commitment to transparency and investor protection. This broker holds the most licenses from Tier-1 regulators of any we reviewed.

In addition to the FCA in the United Kingdom, OANDA holds approvals from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Canadian Investments Regulatory Organization (CIRO) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Other jurisdictions in which OANDA holds regulatory licences include Dubai, Japan, and Poland.


Beginner Trading Resources

While experienced traders will (rightly) emphasise trading costs and powerful tools when comparing top forex brokers, beginners will have other considerations. Advanced charting isn’t much good if you’re still learning the difference between candlestick and Heikin-Ashi, and high leverage without powerful risk protection is a recipe for poor outcomes.

As Justin Grossbard, founder of the broker review resource CompareForexBrokers.com explains, "Beginner brokers need hand-holding features, like user-friendly interfaces and educational resources, to navigate the complex forex world. Advanced traders want sophisticated tools, like advanced charting and customizable trading algorithms, to fine-tune strategies and execute precise trades. Different stages, different needs—it's all about growth and adaptation."

OANDA caters to beginner traders with a straightforward platform that removes much of the visual clutter that comes with a robust trading platform. While it’s less easily customised than MetaTrader 4, OANDA Trade does a good job of keeping new traders focused and on-task. OANDA Trade also provides them with a more extensive selection of order types to help manage risk; these include a guaranteed stop-loss order, trailing stop-loss orders and the ability to set time conditions.

New traders can also benefit from OANDA’s generous demo account, which remains available indefinitely after approval. That means beginners can spend as much time as needed to explore currency trading with no pressure to open an account.


Trading Fees

OANDA aims for simplicity when it comes to pricing and fees. The broker has just one trading account, which is a commission-free trading account (called a Standard account) with variable spreads starting at 0.6 pips.

While this might seem like a drawback - raw spread accounts typically offer better pricing - OANDA posted some impressive results in our independent testing. To evaluate broker spreads, we opened live accounts and tracked high, low and average spreads for the major currency pairs across a 30-hour period.

Across the five most popular currency pairs, it averaged spreads of just 0.7 pips. That’s 74% lower than the industry average. Results for the EUR/USD pair were likewise compelling, with OANDA offering 0.6 pips against the industry average of 1.24.

The Herald:

OANDA also wins when it comes to administrative trading costs. It has no minimum deposit requirement and doesn’t charge fees to add or withdraw money from your account. The broker does, however, charge an inactivity fee if your account remains dormant for more than a year.


Trading Tools

The broker’s own trading platform, OANDATrade, scores high marks for its intuitive interface and easy-to-navigate charting. The mobile app is similarly straightforward but lacks some of the more powerful features of its web and desktop siblings.

For those who intend to focus on trading forex or who need advanced charting, OANDA in the UK also offers the option to trade via MetaTrader 4 or TradingView.


Financial Instruments

All the best brokers have at least 60 pairs to choose from and with 68 currency pairs available, OANDA is no exception. UK traders can also experiment with CFDs in the indices, commodities and bonds markets.


Final Verdict on OANDA

With low spreads, competitive fees, and a powerful suite of risk management tools, OANDA is an excellent choice for beginners with some currency trading knowledge but who need guardrails.

3. eToro - Best for Copy Trading

Headquartered in Israel, eToro has built a name for itself as a friendly, accessible trading platform suitable for casual retail investors and those with minimal time to devote to technical analysis. Its game-ified interface and active, message-board style communication give it a look and feel similar to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Behind the cheerful green and white, exterior, you’ll find some of the most powerful social trading and copy trading tools available in today’s market. eToro has gone all-out to create unique copy and social trading tools you won't find with any other broker.


Innovative Copy Trading Tools

Credited by some as bringing social trading and copy trading to the forefront of retail investing, eToro has developed some of the most innovative tools currently available.

The CopyTrader tool, for example, allows eToro account holders to select from a roster of high-performing traders, many of them professional investors, and mimic their positions with a single click. You can choose your trader based on returns, expertise, traded assets, or style. To manage your risk, eToro allows you to copy multiple traders simultaneously, which means you can effectively use one trader as a hedge against another.

If you prefer to trade independently but aren’t quite ready to develop your own strategy, eToro also offers SmartPortfolios. Formerly known as CopyPortfolios, these are themed baskets of investments aligned with a trading goal or financial market. Selected and balanced by professionals, they focus your funds on the markets and assets most likely to meet your needs.

Currently, popular SmartPortfolios include ‘AI Revolution’ and ‘Aussie Economy’, but you can also opt to mimic the strategies of asset management funds like Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway or C†drioinshares SAS.


Pricing and Fees

eToro offers a single retail investor account in the UK: a commission-free Standard account with variable spreads starting from 1.0 pips. When we averaged real-time spreads for the major currency pairs, eToro posted solid, if not remarkable, results of 1.30 pips. That’s below the industry average of 1.52 pips, but some currency pairs gave us pause. For example, the GBP/USD pair averaged 2.0 pips versus the industry average of 1.57.

eToro also comes with additional trading fees not found with other brokers. You’ll need to make a minimum deposit of US $10 to trade and pay a withdrawal fee of US $5 to remove money from your trading account.


Trading Tools

Aside from its novel social and copy trading tools, eToro’s selection of trading tools may leave experienced traders wanting. While it does incorporate advanced charting from TradingView, with over 100 technical indicators and 55 drawing tools, the platform has only three order types. For this reason, traders might find they are limited in risk management options,  which are helpful for more complex strategies.

The mobile app likewise offers an easy-to-use interface with sophisticated charting. The focus, however, remains on the broker’s proprietary social trading and copy trading tools.


Financial Instruments

eToro offers a solid selection of assets to trade, if not the widest or most diverse. Elsewhere in the world, this broker stands out for offering the most cryptocurrency CFDs to trade, but within the UK FCA rules limit crypto trading to professionals.

Retail investors with eToro can experiment with stocks, ETFs and over 32 different commodities. However, Forex traders may find the selection of currency pairs - just 55 - a bit thin.


Final Verdict on eToro

An excellent broker for traders with a casual interest in forex trading or retail investing but lacks the advanced trading tools and competitive pricing needed for active trading and technical analysis.

4. CMC Markets - Most Currency Pairs

A UK-based broker with headquarters in London, CMC Markets stands out for the variety of financial markets and assets available to trade. With over 12,000 different products ranging from forex pairs to stock CFDs to ETF CFDs to indices to commodities CFDs, this broker offers one of the most expansive collections of any broker.


Currency Pairs to Trade

Forex enthusiasts look no further - CMC Markets boasts an impressive 338 forex pairs. That’s fully three times IG Group, its nearest competitor and includes some unique crosses.

The Herald:

Equally impressive, CMC Markets account holders have access to 10,323 stock CFDs worldwide. It also offers a solid selection of 115 commodities CFDs with exposure to metals, energies and agricultural markets.


Trading Fees

While CMC Markets offers a single, Standard account type and acts as a market maker, it maintains admirably low spreads that beat industry averages. At 1.35 pips, its average across the major forex pairs beat the industry average of 1.52 pips by 10%. Perhaps not enough to entice active traders, but certainly respectable.

CMC Markets also has a RAW spread style account called FX Active, which has commission costs in addition to the spread. At £2.50, it’s a competitive commission compared to the more typical £3.00 or £3.50 associated with raw spread accounts but do note if you’re a volume trader, however, they could add up.

Shares are also available with CMC Markets. If trading shares on the EU and UK stock exchanges, you will pay a 0.10% commission, while fees are USD 0.02 for each share bought on NYSE or NASDAQ exchanges.

Startup costs with CMC Markets are negligible, with no minimum deposit, funding or withdrawal fees. After 12 months of inactivity, this broker charges a fee equal to £10 or 10 units of your base currency to maintain your account.


Trading Tools

CMC Markets offers a choice between its own award-winning Next Generation trading platform and the ever-popular MetaTrader 4. Next Generation’s clean interface allows for a high degree of customisation, particularly with respect to layouts.

Next Generation also features built-in pattern recognition tools that identify even sophisticated shapes like head-and-shoulders. In a nod to social trading, a client sentiment tool monitors the positions of other traders on the platform.


Financial Instruments

Beyond the 338 currency pairs and 10,000 global stocks CFDs, CMC Markets offers access to over 1,000 ETF CFDs and 135 commodities. Only one other broker we profiled claims a larger selection of tradable products.


Final Verdict on CMC Markets

For forex traders seeking a diverse portfolio or exotic crosses, CMC Markets makes for an excellent choice. Higher than average trading fees may dissuade scalpers and others who rely on high volume.

5. IG Group - Best CFD Broker

Founded in London in 1974, IG Group enjoys a stellar reputation worldwide as one of the most venerable and trustworthy online brokers. Known for pioneering the concept of spread betting platforms in the UK it’s equally known as a top broker for trading CFDs. IG Group offers 17,000 global stock CFDs along, as well as 98 forex pairs.

Considered an authority on the forex markets, derivatives trading and spread betting, its educational content and research tools are second to none. In addition to a mobile trading app, IG Group also offers a standalone educational app where you can access guides, how-tos, webinars and other materials.


CFD Markets to Trade

If you prefer to trade CFDs and other derivatives to forex or just prefer a rounded portfolio, IG group should align with your needs. Its collection of tradable assets tops 18,000 and includes:


  • 98 forex pairs.
  • 17,000 global stock CFDs representing some of the largest publicly-traded companies on the FTSE and the NASDAQ.
  • 80 stock indices covering economies from Taiwan to Brazil.
  • 19 bond CFDs, including American Treasury bonds and German Bund.

The Herald:

Trading Fees


An IG Group CFD Trading account offers many of the same benefits as a Standard account from another broker: commission-free trading with low fixed spreads. At 1.38 pips, the tested average across major currency pairs beat the industry average of 1.52 pips - but not by much.

IG Group also requires a minimum deposit of £250 to begin trading, though you won’t pay to fund your account or withdraw money.


Trading Tools

IG is rightly known for its award-winning platform, imaginatively called IG Trading Platform. Available for web browsers and iOS and Android apps, the platform has 33 technical indicators, 19 drawing tools, 17 timeframes, 5 chart types, and a high degree of customisation. It also includes a guaranteed stop-loss for better risk management and direct market access via Forex Direct.

IG Group is also the only UK broker to offer ProRealTime, a trading platform that caters to advanced technical analysis. This robust trading platform boasts over 100 indicators capable of tracking price, volatility and other factors.

IG Group account holders can also trade on the L2 Dealer platform, a direct market access tool that connects forex traders directly to the order books of international exchanges for exceptionally deep liquidity.

MetaTrader 4 is also available for forex traders interested in algorithmic trading.


Financial Instruments

From forex pairs to stock CFDs to indices, IG Group has trading products to fit every investment strategy or investment goal. Take care, however, to ensure that IG Group allows you to trade your desired products on your preferred platform, as some assets aren’t available to MetaTrader 4 users.


Final Verdict on IG Group

An institution in the world of forex trading with a wide range of CFDs to trade and an award-winning platform, IG Group is an excellent choice if you intend to trade for the long term and want a broker that will grow with you as you acquire new skills.

6. Eightcap - Lowest Spreads

Australian broker Eightcap may not have some of the advanced functionality of other top forex brokers in the UK, but it more than compensates with its ultralight spreads. For traders in search of low fees, its spreads and commissions are hard to match.


Spread-only Account

Eightcap’s commission-free Spread-only account outperformed industry averages across the board for all major currency pairs when we tested 38 of the world’s top brokers.

The Herald:

The GBP/USD currency pair, for example, averaged 1.0 pips across a 24-hour period. That’s 44% tighter than the industry average of 1.57 for the same period. The EUR/USD pair also posted impressive results: 1.0 pips versus an industry average of 1.24.

The Herald:

Trading Tools

Eightcap is the only broker in the UK to specialise in TradingView exclusively. TradingView's point of difference is its range of charts and technical analysis tools. The platform has 14 chart types, 90+ drawing tools and 100+ pre-built indicators. You will also find a stock screener and a social networking community to learn from and share trading insights.


Financial Instruments

Eightcap offers a solid, if not stunning, selection of assets to trade. It covers the basics with 56 currency pairs, 14 commodity CFDs, 500 stock CFDs and 16 indices, but it’s not nearly as comprehensive as some of the larger brokers.

This broker also doesn’t offer ETF CFDs or spread betting.


Final Verdict on Eightcap

A no-frills broker suitable for traders on a budget, Eightcap can claim exceptionally tight spreads - but not much else. Its selection of trading products is limited, and the available trading tools and platforms miss out on some key functionalities.

7. Interactive Brokers - Best for Shares

An American broker with a history and global reputation to rival IG Group, Interactive Brokers, also known as IBKR, is among the most stable and trustworthy brokers worldwide. With some of the most advanced trading tools of any online broker, it’s particularly well-suited for share trading.


Shares Available to Trade

Note that Interactive Brokers does not support trading via MetaTrader 5, nor does its own platform, Trader WorkStation, connect directly to centralised exchanges. When we refer to ‘shares’, we’re speaking of share CFDs.

That said, Interactive Brokers has an excellent selection of global share CFDs to trade. It offers over 8,000 possible contracts based on some of the largest companies traded on major exchanges.


Trading Fees

Interactive Brokers offers two account types suited for individual traders: the IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro. This broker uses ECN execution and does not act as a market maker, which means it often offers better pricing than other brokers with more limited access to liquidity.


  • IBKR Lite. The IBKR Lite account charges no commissions to trade US exchange-listed stock CFDs and offers fixed pricing for options, ETFs and futures. The broker uses a tiered pricing model for currency trading, where the larger your trade, the more you pay. Fees are capped at 5% of the value of the trade, however.


  • IBKR Pro. The IBKR Pro caters to professional traders and offers tiered pricing for all asset classes.


This broker keeps indirect trading costs to an absolute minimum: no minimum deposit, no inactivity fee and no deposit or withdrawal fees.


Trading Tools

Conceived with experienced traders in mind, Interactive Brokers’ TraderWorkStation is as close as a retail investor can get to professional-grade analytics and tools.

The range of layouts, each tailored to a specific market or trading style, are particularly useful. The FX trading layout, for example, allows a trader to place a spot or futures order directly from the chart. Traders can also create and save their own layouts.

Interactive Brokers also provides two distinct mobile apps: IBKR Mobile and IBKR Global. IBKR Mobile focuses on a traditional, albeit powerful, mobile trading experience, while IBKR Global provides a more streamlined, pared down experience suitable for a phone.


Financial Instruments

Geared towards sophisticated investors and advanced traders, Interactive Brokers focuses primarily on CFD products for exchange-traded assets. It’s 8,200 global stock CFD selection has depth to satisfy an advanced trader, and its 85 currency pairs place it in the top three of the brokers we profiled.


Final Verdict on Interactive Brokers

A powerful trading platform and sophisticated suite of trading tools make this a great choice for intermediate and experienced traders who want to upgrade their trading experience.

The Herald:
8. XTB - Best Customer Service

Founded in Dubai in 2002, XTB has since grown to become one of the better-known CFD brokers outside of Europe. It earns top marks for customer service primarily for the speed with which it connects account holders to live operators as well as the multiple channels available to reach support..


XTB also holds licences from multiple European regulators, including the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego (KNF) in Poland and the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) in Spain.


Customer Support - 24/5


When something goes wrong with a trade, the last thing you want is to spend hours hunting for phone numbers or email addresses in an attempt to reach a human being with the answers you need. Likewise, sitting on hold for an extended period when your question isn’t terribly complex can feel like a waste of time.


XTB’s thoughtful approach to customer service ensures that account holders connect quickly and easily with a knowledgeable representative by seamlessly escalating issues. The broker does use an automated chatbot as its first line of defence but will automatically connect you to a live representative or provide a phone number if it can’t answer your query.


Wait times to speak to a support agent were never more than a few minutes when we conducted our tests - even during peak trading hours. We also tried out a series of questions during our calls, ranging from straightforward to complex, and received accurate and applicable responses in all cases.


Trading Fees


A CFD trading account with XTB offers variable spreads starting from 0.3 pips and no commissions. The broker performed well in our tests, beating the industry average by .16 pips or 11%.


XTB does not require a minimum account to start trading and does not charge a fee to add or withdraw funds from your account.


Trading Tools


XTB’s evocatively named xStation5 includes several popular features, such as watchlists, alerts, 1-click trading, and trading directly from the chart.


Users can configure custom alerts to receive automatic notifications when the market approaches significant price levels, eliminating the need for constant monitoring. Traders can also create personalised watchlists to track their favourite instruments and access live quotes directly.


The 1-click trading feature facilitates timely order execution without a secondary confirmation, a valuable tool for short-term traders.


xStation5 also shares comprehensive trading statistics and offers live insights into trading performance within a dedicated dashboard.


Financial Instruments


Although XTB offers a respectable 54 currency pairs, its primary appeal lies in its selection of CFD products. In particular, its 23 commodities CFDs.


In 2023, XTB expanded its product offering to include over 3,000 real shares and ETFs.


Final Verdict on XTB


Though perhaps better suited to CFD traders than those interested in forex, those who like the assurance of a nearby helping hand will find a lot to like about XTB.


What is the best forex trading platform in the UK?

According to our analysis, Pepperstone is the best forex trading platform in the UK. In addition to the fastest execution speeds of any UK broker (77s ms for limit orders), it also offers the widest selection of trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4 and 5 and cTrader.

Is forex trading safe in the UK?

Yes, forex trading is safe in the UK, provided you work with an FCA-regulated broker. While online trading carries a number of inherent risks, trading via a licensed broker protects you from fraud, market manipulation, scams and loss.


Many of the top forex brokers in the UK also participate in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which reimburses retail traders for losses under specific circumstances.

Is forex trading legal in the UK?

Yes, forex trading is legal in the UK. The FCA oversees forex brokers and other financial services providers and ensures that they abide by the rules set out to ensure fair, transparent markets.

How do I choose a UK forex broker?

When choosing a broker, you’ll want to take into account your experience level, trading style and market exposure. If you plan to use a scalping strategy, for example, fast execution speeds are a must. If you’re interested in stocks and ETFs, and not just CFDs, then you’ll need access to MetaTrader 5.


By far the most important factor? Choosing a broker licensed by the FCA or another Tier-1 regulator. Working with a licensed broker ensures that you benefit from laws and regulations intended to protect your capital from misuse by the broker, as well as market manipulation.


This is particularly important with forex trading and CFD trading, as many brokers act as market-makers and will sit on the opposite side of your positions.

What taxes do forex traders pay in the UK?

Forex traders in the UK who trade CFDs can expect to pay capital gains taxes and, in the case of professional traders, income taxes. If you spread bet forex, however, your profits are tax-exempt. In neither case will you pay stamp duty tax.

Can European forex traders trade with a broker in the UK?

Yes, EU residents can trade forex via a UK broker. In many cases, however, the UK broker will direct you to its EU entity.

What is spread betting?

Spread betting entails speculating on the price movements of a particular financial asset by assigning a set amount of money to each pip of movement. Similar to CFD trading, you don’t own the underlying asset.