Our Top Picks

In the United Kingdom, CFD (Contract For Difference) trading is widely used by investors and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In this top ten we have chosen and studied some of the best UK CFD brokers.

In forming this listing, we have considered the following:

  • Regulation and offices in the UK
  • Number of CFD assets
  • Spreads offered
  • Leverage provided
Table of Content

Round-Up

UK CFD Brokers Number of CFD assets UK regulation
Pepperstone 200+ 684312
XM 1000+ 120/10 (CySEC)
XTB 2100+ 522157
FxPro 400+ 509956
IG Markets  17000+ 195355
Admirals  4000+ 595450
ActivTrades 500+ 434413
CMC Markets 11500+ 173730
ThinkMarkets 3600+ 629628

Warning

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 UK CFD brokers?

Below our curated list of the best UK brokers for CFD trading, with details of features and characteristics.

  • Pepperstone has a strong presence in the UK with a registered office and FCA regulation (n° 684312).
  • 200+ CFD assets, including forex, indices, stocks, ETFs, commodities, and crypto.
  • Spreads on forex start from 0 pips on 60+ forex pairs depending on the account type chosen by UK Pepperstone traders.
  • Pepperstone offers UK clients retail leverage up to 30:1 and professional leverage up to 500:1 on major forex.
74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs
  • XM is available in the UK and has top regulatory oversight in place, including from CySEC (n° 120/10).
  • XM has in its offer over 1000 CFD assets, including forex, indices, commodities, and 1150+ stocks.
  • XM spreads in the UK start from 0 pips depending on the account on 50+ forex pairs.
  • UK retail clients find leverage on major forex up to 30:1.
72,82% of retail investor accounts lose money
  • XTB Limited is regulated by FCA (n° 522157) with a registered office in London.
  • XTB clients in the UK can choose from 2100+ CFD assets. These include forex, stocks, indices, commodities, and crypto.
  • XTB UK clients find spreads starting from 0.3 pips on forex.
  • In the UK, the leverage provided on major forex is up to 30:1 (retail) and up to 200:1 (professional).
79% of retail investor accounts lose money
  • FxPro UK Limited is regulated by the FCA regulator (n° 509956), with a registered office in London.
  • FxPro UK clients find over 400+ CFD instruments to invest in, including forex, shares, futures, indices, commodities, and crypto.
  • UK traders can find both variable and fixed spreads from 0.1 pips depending on the account type.
  • The FxPro leverage goes up to 30:1 (retail) and up to 500:1 (professional) on major forex in the UK.
72.87% of retail investor accounts lose money
  • IG Markets Ltd (UK) is regulated by FCA (n° 195355) with a registered office in London.
  • IG, thanks to its long history, is considered by many the best CFD broker UK.

  • UK clients have access to over 17,000 CFD markets to trade on, including forex, indices, commodities, stocks, bonds, ETFs, sectors, options, turbo warrants, and digital100 assets.
  • In the UK, IG spreads start from 0.6 pips on 80+ forex pairs.
  • Leverage on major forex is up to 30:1 for retail clients and up to 222:1 for professional clients.
69% of retail CFD accounts lose money
  • Admiral Markets UK Ltd is regulated by FCA (n° 595450) with a registered office in London.
  • Over 4000 markets are offered in the UK by Admirals, including CFDs on energies, metals, indices, stocks, ETFs, bonds, and cryptocurrencies.
  • Admirals spreads start from 0 pips on forex depending on the account type.
  • In the UK, the leverage provided on Admirals major forex is up to 30:1 (retail) and up to 500:1 (professional).
76% of retail investor accounts lose money
  • ActivTrades PLC is authorized and regulated by the FCA regulation (n° 434413) with an office in London.
  • ActivTrades offers 500+ CFD assets for their UK clients: these include forex, commodities, indices, shares, and crypto.
  • Spreads start from 0.5 pips on 45+ ActivTrades forex pairs in the UK.
  • UK clients have access to leverage up to 30:1 (ActivTrades retail) and up to 400:1 (ActivTrades professional) on major forex.
75.7% of retail CFD accounts lose money
  • CMC Markets UK Plc has an FCA regulation (n° 173730) with a registered office in London.
  • There are 11500+ CMC Markets CFDs assets offered in the UK, including 300+ forex, commodities, indices, stocks, bonds, and crypto.
  • The spreads charged by CMC are from 0.3 pips for UK clients.
  • The leverage offered by CMC in the UK is up to 30:1 for retail traders and up to 500:1 for professional traders on major forex.
78% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider.
  • TF Global Markets (UK) Limited is authorized and regulated by the FCA (n° 629628 ) with an office in London.
  • ThinkMarkets offers in the UK 3600+ CFDs, of which 3500+ are CFD shares and ETFs.
  • ThinkMarkets spreads start from 0 pips depending on the account type chosen.
  • The maximum leverage UK clients find is up to 30:1 (retail) and up to 500:1 (professional).
72.88% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Is CFD trading legal in the UK?

Contract for Difference (CFD) trading is legal in the United Kingdom, and also stringently regulated by the FCA to ensure the protection of both the traders and the financial markets.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the body responsible for overseeing CFD trading activities. This is to ensure a transparent and secure trading environment.

Any CFD broker who wishes to operate within the UK boundaries must possess a valid license issued by the FCA. The authority doesn’t take the licensing process lightly. It scrutinizes the operations, finances, and systems of brokerages to ensure they meet the necessary standards.

Furthermore, in cases where a British CFD broker commits fraudulent activities or operates without the required FCA license, there are severe consequences. Such brokers may have their websites obscured, thereby making them inaccessible to potential and current clients. In addition, hefty fines can be levied on them. In extreme cases, the heads or primary stakeholders of the offending CFD broker may face jail time, demonstrating the seriousness of the regulatory environment in the UK.

Are there CFD trading limitations in the UK?

While CFD trading is legal and popular in the UK, it doesn’t come without its set of regulations and limitations. These are in place to safeguard the interests of retail traders and prevent potential market manipulations. The main CFD trading limitations in the UK are 2

  • Leverage limits to 1:30 depending on the asset class
  • Cryptocurrencies cannot be traded with leverage

The maximum leverage allowed for retail traders is in fact 1:30. However, for those classified as professional traders, they might be granted a higher leverage, going up to 1:500. It’s important for traders to understand the risks associated with leverage. While it can amplify gains, it can also magnify losses.

Trading cryptocurrencies as CFDs is permissible in the UK. However, one significant limitation is that no leverage is permitted when trading crypto CFDs. This decision has been made keeping in mind the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, which can lead to massive losses if traded with high leverage.

Beyond the above-stated rules, there aren’t any other specific restrictions on CFD trading in the UK. However, traders are always advised to stay updated with any new regulations or changes that the FCA might introduce.

Is CFD trading taxable in the UK?

The taxation system in the UK makes a distinction based on the amount gained from CFD trading. The earnings or profits made from trading CFDs are indeed taxable.

A clear threshold has been established at £6000. If a trader’s earnings from CFDs exceed this amount in a tax year, they are liable to pay capital gains tax on the amount exceeding the threshold. However, if the earnings remain below the £6000 mark, traders are not required to pay any taxes on their CFD gains.

Traders should always consult with a tax advisor or accountant to ensure they comply with the current tax regulations and understand any deductions or allowances they might be entitled to.


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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