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A FCA forex broker refers to a forex (Foreign Exchange) brokerage firm which is regulated and authorized by the UK authority called Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA are the financial regulatory body of the UK. Founded in 2012, this independent regulator has fast become one of the most trusted names in the financial regulation field.

They have garnered this reputation for excellence through their positive, protective attitude toward traders and the transparency with which they operate in a top-tier nation and region. If a forex broker wants to provide services in the UK, they must be FCA registered, although certain exceptions where forex brokers are already registered with other very respected bodies such as CySEC, or under ESMA regulation can apply.

In order to create the ranking of the best FCA regulated brokers we took into account several factors including:

  • An active FCA license and local offices
  • The costs and fees applied
  • The ability to create GBP accounts
  • The possibility to trade in spread betting
Table of Content


CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What are the best FCA forex brokers?

Below is our curated list of the best forex brokers regulated by the FCA, with details and information about the regulation, the features, and the characteristics.

1. IG Markets : overall trading experience

  • IG Markets is a London broker operating from a local office in Dowgate Hill, London, and authorized by the FCA since 01/12/2001 holding a license n° 195355.
  • A spread betting account with the same trading conditions is available at IG Markets for UK resident traders only under FCA surveillance.
  • You can open accounts with IG Markets using GBP as your base currency under FCA regulation and with a minimum deposit of £250.
  • IG Markets offer a wide range of trading instruments with more than 80 forex pairs with spreads from 0.6 pips on EUR/USD.
  • IG Markets maximum leverage is limited for retail clients by the FCA up to 30:1 but it can go higher up to 222:1 if you qualify for professional status.
68% of retail CFD accounts lose money

2. Pepperstone : best for day trading

  • Pepperstone offers its services in the UK and has been registered since 05/08/2015 under the FCA authorization n° 684312 with a local office in Gracechurch Street, London.
  • A Pepperstone spread betting account to enjoy tax-free profits is available under FCA oversight.
  • FCA-licensed clients can open accounts in GBP and there is no minimum deposit though Pepperstone recommends starting with at least £500.
  • Trading is made available in more than 60 pairs with spreads from 0 pips on EUR/USD.
  • Retail traders have a maximum leverage of 30:1 due to FCA’s limitations but you can raise it up to 500:1 by qualifying for professional trading with Pepperstone.
74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

3. FxPro : best for customer services

  • FxPro is FCA regulated since 10/09/2010 with license n° 509956 and registered with an address in Basinghall Street, London.
  • Spread betting is available to UK traders under FCA via the proprietary FxPro Edge platform.
  • FxPro provides for GBP accounts under FCA regulation with a minimum deposit of £100 even though the broker recommends £1000.
  • Forex trading with FxPro offers more than 70 currency pairs with both floating spread from 0.5 pips and fixed spread from 1.6 pips on EUR/USD.
  • Traders in the UK under FCA have limited leverage up to 30:1 on forex but if you qualify for professional trading with FxPro leverage is up to 500:1.
72.87% of retail investor accounts lose money

4. XTB : best for educational services

  • XTB is a forex broker regulated by the FCA since 17/01/2011 with a license n° 522157 and a local registered office in Canary Wharf, London.
  • XTB offers trading accounts in GBP and FCA traders can use it to deposit funds.
  • Traders under the FCA regulated entity of XTB have a range of 40 forex pairs with floating spreads from 0.1 pips on EUR/USD.
  • FCA imposes a 30:1 leverage limit on XTB retail clients though professional clients have a higher 200:1 leverage on forex.
79% of retail investor accounts lose money

5. Admirals : wide range of account types

  • Admiral Markets UK Ltd is the broker entity regulated by the FCA since 12/06/2013 with registration n° 595450 and a local office in Canary Wharf, London.
  • Admiral markets offer a spread betting account with a minimum deposit of just £100 and a minimum bet “stake” size of 0.1 per unit.
  • Opening a trading account with Admirals requires a minimum deposit of £250 or £1 if you choose a stockbroking account. Either way, GBP is an available base currency for all traders under FCA oversight.
  • Forex trading with Admiral Markets provides a range of 40 pairs with floating spreads from 0.1 pips on EUR/USD.
  • Admirals offer maximum leverage of up to 30:1 for retail clients as limited by FCA rules and 500:1 for professionals.
76% of retail investor accounts lose money

6. eToro : best social trading platform

  • eToro is authorized and regulated in the UK by the FCA operating since 09/05/2013 with a license n° 583263 and a local office registered in Canary Wharf, London.
  • Spread betting is unavailable through eToro but instead you can engage in social trading.
  • All eToro trading accounts are in USD even though there are many payment options supporting GBP deposits under FCA oversight. These are liable to a conversion fee.
  • The minimum deposit to open an eToro account in the UK is £50.
  • There is a good range of more than 45 forex pairs at eToro with floating spreads starting from 1 pip on majors such as the EUR/USD.
  • eToro retail clients have limited leverage up to 30:1 due to FCA regulation. To raise the available ratio up to 400:1 you must be qualified for professional trading.
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

7. CMC Markets : wide range of assets

  • CMC Markets UK plc is the trading name of the broker under FCA regulation with license n° 173730 obtained on 01/12/2001 and the broker has a registered office in Houndsditch, London.
  • Under FCA oversight, UK clients can open an award-winning spread betting account with CMC Markets.
  • CMC Markets supports the GBP as a base currency for accounts and for deposits.
  • Forex trading under FCA regulation offers over 330 currency pairs at CMC Markets with a minimum spread charged from 0.7 pips on EUR/USD.
  • As required by the FCA, retail clients trade with leverage up to 30:1 while professional clients with CMC Markets trade with higher leverage up to 500:1 on forex.
78% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider.

8. FXTM : best for professional traders

  • Exinity UK Ltd is the trading name of FXTM in the UK regulated by FCA since 01/02/2018 with license n° 777911 and a registered office in Katharine’s Way, London.
  • FXTM account currencies include GBP and it is available for any funding option under FCA regulation.
  • FXTM provides access to more than 60 forex pairs charging spreads from 0 pips on EUR/USD depending on the account chosen.
  • The maximum leverage available on FXTM is 200:1 though it is for professional traders as according to the FCA retail clients can trade with up to 30:1 on forex.
81% of retail investor accounts lose money

9. City Index : solid and trustworthy broker

  • City Index is the trading name of StoneX Financial Ltd, a company registered with the FCA since 24/03/2006 with license n° 446717 and a physical office in London Wall, London.
  • UK traders can spread bet on over 8,000 global markets with the broker.
  • City Index was the winner of the “Best Spread Betting Provider” award in 2019.
  • GBP deposits and accounts are guaranteed with City Index under FCA oversight.
  • City Index opens access to more than 80 forex pairs and tight spreads from 0.5 pips on EUR/USD.
  • The leverage you can apply with City Index depends on your status as according to FCA, retail traders are limited to 30:1 while professionals have a higher ratio up to 400:1.
70% of retail CFD accounts lose money

10. ActivTrades : best for insurance coverage

  • ActivTrades is a broker in the UK operating with an FCA license n° 434413 since 27/10/2005 and a registered local office in Thomas More Square, London.
  • Spread betting is available with ActivTrades under FCA with a minimum stake of 10p per point and up to £100.
  • ActivTrades support GBP deposits and multi-currencies accounts including GBP.
  • FCA licensed clients can trade more than 45 forex pairs at ActivTrades with low spreads from 0.5 pips on EUR/USD.
  • According to the FCA restrictions, ActivTrades can provide up to a 30:1 leverage for retail clients and up to a 400:1 leverage to professional traders.
75.7% of retail CFD accounts lose money

How does the FCA work?

Similar to other top financial regulatory bodies, the FCA works to provide the following services within the financial sector:

  • Promoting the growth of the UK market
  • Financial firms oversight
  • Customer protection

All of the above roles are critical to the smooth running of the financial sector in the UK and in gaining the trust of the traders within that sector. As an independent body, the FCA has broad powers of discretion particularly on the brokers that they allow to operate in the United Kingdom. Therefore, they will often work in collaboration with the likes of ESMA in allowing certain brokers to operate within the UK, and vice versa on the understanding that these brokers will be compliant with FCA regulation. This collaboration provides a degree of positive flexibility to forex traders, particularly after Brexit.

What are the characteristics and benefits of FCA?

When it comes to the more exact rules and regulations put in place by the FCA, these can be quite stringent at least in terms of leverage which is limited to a 30:1 maximum as it also is by CySEC for retail customers. This can be increased but only for those considered professional traders. A professional trader, after satisfying certain criteria, can access leverage of up to 400:1.

Unlike some regulatory bodies, CFDs and some other derivative products are deemed legal to trade as are cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, FCA is one of the few regulatory bodies that permit spread betting.

Still traders are kept very well protected with negative balance protection and segregated accounts holding both mandatory. The ICF (Investor Compensation Fund) provided by the FCA also protects investors for amounts up to £85,000 in the case of insolvency or bankruptcy.

What are the prohibitions with FCA?

There are a couple of things that are certainly not allowed when you are trading under FCA regulation from a broker perspective, and this includes enticing traders through any kind of bonus.

All bonus types, including welcome and deposit bonuses, are not permitted. Loyalty or active trading programs that can help reduce your cost of trading though, are allowed.

Differences between FCA regulated and FCA licensed brokers

This difference is something to take note of under FCA regulation. FCA regulated brokers are those that go through the entire FCA registration process for brokers to offer their services within the UK. This can be a long and costly process.

An FCA licensed broker on the other hand is one that has not gone through this process, but is regulated in another area or by another authority and is recognized and approved for trading in the UK under license from the FCA. A perfect example of this is the operation of ESMA regulated forex brokers from the EU that are allowed to operate in the UK.

How to check if a broker is FCA regulated

Double-checking the FCA regulation of your chosen broker could not be easier. Simply, head over to the FCA official website as a first step. When you are there, you can easily search the FCA register using the business name of your broker. This business name sometimes differs from the trading name and can often be found at the bottom of your broker homepage.

How does FCA intervene in case of financial abuse?

The FCA does have and use broad discretionary powers to issue fines and bans to brokers who do not follow the regulations set down by the body. They act particularly in the interest of traders and as recently as March 2020 moved to ban short-selling of stocks in more than 80 companies to protect the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

How FCA can help you

If you think a broker is not acting in a legal way,or that they have breached FCA regulation in any way, you can contact FCA going on their FCA Official Website to follow up and investigate the matter.

filippo ucchino

About The Author

Filippo Ucchino
Co-Founder - CEO - Broker Expert
Filippo is the co-founder and CEO of InvestinGoal.com. He has 15 years of experience in the financial sector and forex in particular. He started his career as a forex trader in 2005 and then became interested in the whole fintech and crypto sector.
Over this time, he has developed an almost scientific approach to the analysis of brokers, their services, and offerings. In addition, he is an expert in Compliance and Security Policies for consumers protection in this sector.
With InvestinGoal, Filippo’s goal is to bring as much clarity as possible to help users navigate the world of online trading, forex, and cryptocurrencies.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk. The present page is intended for teaching purposes only. It shall not be intended as operational advice for investments, nor as an invitation to public savings raising. Any real or simulated result shall represent no warranty as to possible future performances. The speculative activity in forex market, as well as in other markets, implies considerable economic risks; anyone who carries out speculative activity does it on its own responsibility.
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