The Best Trading Platforms UK in September 2023

Use our interactive tool to find UK trading platforms that offer a variety of asset classes across various markets. We review FCA regulated brokers that provide UK traders access to stocks, forex and crypto, among other financial instruments.

  • We only review licensed & regulated trading platforms;
  • Our experts analyse all the fees & spreads you need to know about;
  • Compare UK brokers that offer advanced trading tools and features.
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This guide provides an in-depth analysis of trading platforms in the UK that are regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).

There are numerous platforms online that present varied features and access to different asset classes. Traders can have different requirements and trading strategies to consider when selecting the most suitable broker to use. UK based traders may wish to identify the different types of services these platforms offer when looking to trade online. The most popular online trading platforms in the UK cater to both beginners and advanced traders, while providing access to an array of financial markets. These platforms are easy to use, present low fees and have 24/7 live chat customer support.

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7 Providers that match your filters

Payment methods

Features

Customer service

Classification

1or more

Mobile App

1or more

Fixed commissions per operation

£1or more

Account Fee

£1or more

Rating

Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0
What we like
  • Buy shares and ETFs with 0% commissions
  • Social and copy trading network
  • Invest and trade crypto with low fees
Fixed commissions per operation
Account Fee
Mobile App
9/10
Features
Cfds Copy Portfolio Etfs Funds Krypto Robo Advisor Stocks
Payment methods
Bank Transfer Credit Card Neteller Sepa Transfer Skrill
Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Account Info

Account From
£10
Deposit fees
£0
ETFS
300+
Inactivity fees
£10/month after 12 months
Leverage
Maximum 1:30, minimum 1:2
Operating margin
Yes
Minimum operation
£10
Stocks
3 000+
CFD Position
Fees are charged relative to the value of the position
CFDS
3 000+
Trading fees
£0
Withdrawal fees
£5

Fees per operation

Bonds
-
Cryptocurrencies
1%
CFDS
Spread – Currency from 1 PIP, commodities from 2 PIPS, indices from 0,75 points, stocks and ETFs from 0,15 %
DAX
N/A
Copy Portfolio
0%
ETFS
No commission
CFD Position
Yes, depending on the market that you trade
Stocks
No commision
Savings Plan
NA
Robo Advisor
No additional charge for copy trading
Funds
N/A

Rating

Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0
What we like
  • Commission-Free Trading
  • Free Demo Trading
  • Large number of tradeable assets
Fixed commissions per operation
Account Fee
Mobile App
8/10
Features
Cfds Etfs Krypto Stocks
Payment methods
Credit Card Paypal Sepa Transfer Skrill
Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0

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.

Account Info

Account From
£1
Deposit fees
£0
ETFS
130+
Inactivity fees
£0
Leverage
1:30
Operating margin
Yes
Minimum operation
0,01 lot
Stocks
2100+
CFD Position
XTB charges a 'swap' which is dependant on lot size and market.
CFDS
2100+
Trading fees
£0
Withdrawal fees
£0

Fees per operation

Bonds
N/A
Cryptocurrencies
No commission, spread on CFDs from 0.22%
CFDS
No commission, spread depending on market you trade
DAX
Spread from 0.9 pips
Copy Portfolio
N?A
ETFS
No commission
CFD Position
Yes, depending on the market that you trade
Stocks
No commission (UP TO EUR 100,000 MONTHLY TURNOVER)
Savings Plan
N/A
Robo Advisor
N/A
Funds
N/A

Rating

Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0
What we like
  • Low trading commissions
  • Zero withdrawal or inactivity fees
  • Trade Nation is compatible with MT4
Fixed commissions per operation
Account Fee
Mobile App
5/10
Features
Bonds Cfds Copy Portfolio Robo Advisor Stocks
Payment methods
Bank Transfer Credit Card Neteller Skrill
Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0

67.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Account Info

Account From
£0
Deposit fees
£0
ETFS
Variable spreads from 0.45 points
Inactivity fees
£0
Leverage
1:30
Operating margin
Yes
Minimum operation
£0
Stocks
1500+
CFD Position
2.5%
CFDS
100+
Trading fees
Spreads
Withdrawal fees
£0

Fees per operation

Bonds
1.8
Cryptocurrencies
N/A
CFDS
Yes, spreads from 0.3
DAX
From 0.9
Copy Portfolio
-
ETFS
0.45 points
CFD Position
Yes, depending on the market that you trade
Stocks
0.1%
Savings Plan
N/A
Robo Advisor
Variable spread
Funds
N/A

Rating

Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0
What we like
  • Trade over 8000 financial assets
  • It is possible to trade CFDs and place spread bets
  • Low commissions and fees
Fixed commissions per operation
Account Fee
Mobile App
6/10
Features
Bonds Cfds Etfs Funds Stocks
Payment methods
Bank Transfer Credit Card Neteller Paypal Skrill
Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0

67.3% of CFD clients lose money.

Account Info

Account From
£100
Deposit fees
£0
ETFS
360+
Inactivity fees
£10 equivalent/per month after 24 months
Leverage
1:30
Operating margin
Yes
Minimum operation
€1
Stocks
3000+
CFD Position
Variable spreads
CFDS
4000+
Trading fees
Spreads
Withdrawal fees
1 Free withdraw/ month, 1€ thereafter

Fees per operation

Bonds
Spreads, depending on the market that you trade
Cryptocurrencies
Spreads, depending on the market that you trade
CFDS
Spreads, depending on the market that you trade
DAX
-
Copy Portfolio
-
ETFS
$0.02 per share
CFD Position
Yes, depending on the market that you trade
Stocks
$0.02 per US share, 0.1% – 0.15% for other markets
Savings Plan
N/A
Robo Advisor
N/A
Funds
N/A

Rating

Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0
What we like
  • Zero commissions, low fees and tight spreads
  • +Insights feature tracking customers' activity
  • Access to over 2800 financial instruments
Fixed commissions per operation
Account Fee
Mobile App
6/10
Features
Cfds Etfs Funds Stocks
Payment methods
Bank Transfer Credit Card Paypal Skrill
Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0

81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Account Info

Account From
£100
Deposit fees
-
ETFS
90+ (Only CFDs)
Inactivity fees
£10 per month after 3 months
Leverage
Forex 1:30, Share & ETFs 1:5
Operating margin
Yes
Minimum operation
Varies on asset
Stocks
1500+
CFD Position
% relative to size of position and position value
CFDS
2800+
Trading fees
-
Withdrawal fees
-

Fees per operation

Bonds
-
Cryptocurrencies
Spread, depending on the market that you trade
CFDS
0.7 - 2 pips
DAX
commissions and variable spreads
Copy Portfolio
N?A
ETFS
Spread, depending on the market that you trade
CFD Position
Yes, depending on the market that you trade
Stocks
0.7 - 2 pips
Savings Plan
N/A
Robo Advisor
N/A
Funds
N/A

Rating

Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0
What we like
  • Users can access daily market analysis and real-time data
  • Low commissions and tight spreads
  • Available on mobile
Fixed commissions per operation
Account Fee
Mobile App
7/10
Features
Bonds Cfds Etfs Funds Krypto Stocks
Payment methods
Bank Transfer Credit Card Neteller Paypal Skrill
Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Account Info

Account From
$100
Deposit fees
$0
ETFS
60+ (only CFDs)
Inactivity fees
$50 after 3 months
Leverage
1:30
Operating margin
Yes
Minimum operation
0.001 Lot
Stocks
90+ (only CFDs)
CFD Position
Daily swap rate of 0.0058%
CFDS
1000+
Trading fees
$0
Withdrawal fees
$0

Fees per operation

Bonds
0.03 - 0.06 pips
Cryptocurrencies
Spreads, 0.1 – 2% markup across different cryptocurrencies
CFDS
Spreads, 0.1 – 2% markup across different assets
DAX
Variable spread
Copy Portfolio
-
ETFS
Spread, 5%
CFD Position
Yes, depending on the market that you trade
Stocks
Spreads, 0.13 – 0.2% markup across different stocks
Savings Plan
N/A
Robo Advisor
N/A
Funds
N/A

Rating

Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0
What we like
  • Trade Volatility 75 with cTrader
  • Integrates with MT4 and MT5 trading platforms
  • Very low VIX trading spreads
Fixed commissions per operation
Account Fee
Mobile App
7/10
Features
Cfds Etfs Krypto Stocks
Payment methods
Credit Card Paypal Sepa Transfer
Total Fees (for 12 months)
£ 0

76.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

Account Info

Account From
$0
Deposit fees
$0
ETFS
100+ (CFDs only)
Inactivity fees
$0
Leverage
1:30
Operating margin
Yes
Minimum operation
$0
Stocks
600+ (only CFDs)
CFD Position
0.05556%
CFDS
1200+
Trading fees
Spreads
Withdrawal fees
$0

Fees per operation

Bonds
N/A
Cryptocurrencies
No commission, spread on CFDs
CFDS
Spreads, depending on the market that you trade
DAX
-
Copy Portfolio
N?A
ETFS
Yes, depending on the market that you trade
CFD Position
Yes, depending on the market that you trade
Stocks
No commission, spread on CFDs
Savings Plan
N/A
Robo Advisor
N/A
Funds
N/A

15 UK Trading Platforms & Online Brokers 2023 – List

  1. eToro: eToro is a globally-recognised trading platform that boasts over 20 million users. The trading platform offers traditional trading as well as social trading and copy trading which allows users to diversify their trading strategy. eToro also provides low trading fees with 0% commission on some financial assets. Traders can access both traditional stocks as well as cryptocurrencies through the eToro online trading platform.
  2. XTBXTB is a trading platform that supports the MT4 charting tool. This tool provides users with advanced analysis features that can be used to conduct technical analysis. XTB supports the trading of stock, forex, cryptocurrencies and commodities. It is also possible to use the platform to trade with leverage of up to 500:1.
  3. AvaTradeAvaTrade is a regulated trading platform that provides a variety of account types to suit all traders including an Islamic trading account and a professional trading account. The online broker also provides traders with a dedicated account manager and efficient customer support options. AvaTrade commissions start at 0.1% and spreads start at 0.5 pips.
  4. Trade Nation: Trade Nation is a UK-based trading platform with teams around the world. Trade Nation can be used for spread-betting, CFD trading, forex trading and indices trading. The platform also provides a regulated signals software that can be used to assist trading decisions. Spreads start at 0.6 pips and there is no minimum deposit requirement to use the platform.
  5. Admiral marketsAdmiral Markets supports the trading of over 8000 CFD instruments in the UK. Traders can also access leverage trading and trading during extended hours through the platform. For research and analysis, Admiral Markets is compatible with the MetaTrader charting tool and also offers a variety of educational resources.
  6. PepperstonePepperstone is a CFD broker that also offers tax-free spread-betting in the UK. The platform also supports leverage trading of up to 1:30. Pepperstone is compatible with MT4, MT5and Ctrader which can all be used to conduct technical analysis. Users pay a spread on all trades except CFDs which have a 0.10% commission.
  7. Plus500: Plus500 is an online broker that supports multiple asset classes including CFDs, commodities, stocks and cryptocurrencies. The trading platform is also a partner of the NBA team, Chicago Bulls. Plus500 offers zero commissions and tight spreads. It is also possible to trade with leverage of up to 1:30.
  8. Eightcap: Eightcap is an online UK trading platform for forex and CFDs. The platform supports a variety of well-known charting tools including MT4, MT5 and TradingView. The broker also provides users with an AI-powered economic calendar that can be used for market analysis.
  9. Libertex: Libertex is a CFD and forex trading platform that offers spreads from 0.2 pips. It is possible to trade crypto CFDs, commodities CFDs and forex through the trading interface. The platform also supports options trading with 0% deposit commissions.
  10. Fineco Bank: Fineco Bank provides access to 26 global markets spanning stocks, ETFs, CFDs and forex. The platform is also a banking provider with a variety of investment options available for long term investors. Fineco Bank has a transparent fee structure and tight spreads.
  11. Skilling: Skilling is a CFD trading platform that provides access to over 1200 CFD instruments in 7 asset classes. The platform also offers fast transaction speeds and low spreads that start at 0.1 pips. It is also possible to choose from a variety of payment methods to suit different traders.
  12. IG: IG is a well-known trading platform that can be used for spread-betting and CFD trading. It is also possible to invest in stocks and shares through the platform in the UK. Traders can use the demo account to practice trading and then start trading live on the IG mobile app or desktop trader.
  13. Hargreaves Lansdown: Hargreaves Lansdown is an online UK investment platform that offers various investing accounts and trading tools. UK investors can access ISAs as well as high-yield savings accounts. The platform also provides a range of educational materials and real-time market data to assist investment decisions.
  14. Saxo Markets: Traders can trade assets with Saxo Markets by using the SaxoTrader GO platform. This tool offers a variety of features and real-time data. Saxo Markets offers low commissions and tight spreads as low as 0.4 pips. The platform also provides traders with risk management tools and customer support.
  15. Interactve Brokers: Interactive Brokers offers a number of features including trading APIs, a trading probability tool, advanced charting tools and a mobile application. It is possible to access multiple asset classes including stocks, options and commodities. The platform also provides a portfolio management feature.

Trading Platforms & Online Brokers for UK Traders in 2023  – Reviewed

With so many trading sites available in the online arena, knowing which provider to sign up with can be challenging.

Users may wish to research specific metrics about the broker before signing up. These factors include queries such as what commissions are charged, which asset classes can be traded, and how accessible the platform is.

To save traders time on researching, below we provide an in-depth review of the most popular trading platforms that currently cater to UK based individuals.

1. eToro – Regulated Trading Platform with Social Trading Featurestrading platforms UK

Launched in 2007, eToro is an online trading platform with more than 27 million clients as of Q2 2023. This platform allows users to trade a wide range of asset classes at the click of a button.

Something crucial for UK residents is the stamp duty issue, and eToro offers 0% for those customers. The commission-free environment of the online trading platform has been acclaimed within the industry, as eToro does not charge fees to trade with stocks, shares, and ETFs.

best trading platforms uk

eToro hosts more than 2,400 stocks from 17 different international markets, 250+ ETFs (exchange-traded funds), 60+ cryptocurrencies, and thousands of CFDs. Regarding the latter, this includes everything from gold and silver to oil and forex.

Apart from the assets already mentioned, each and every marketplace offered by eToro can be traded commission-free. This means that the only trading ‘fee’ needing to be factored in is the spread. There are no annual maintenance fees either, and deposits cost just 0.5%. After all, users can trade UK and foreign assets without needing to worry about currency conversion fees. It’s also a popular trading platform for scalping.

In terms of accessibility, eToro offers a mobile app for iPhone and Android. The process of finding an asset to place buy and sell orders can be completed with ease, as the platform is free from complex financial jargon.

eToro is also known worldwide for offering its CopyFunds portfolios, which are an expeditious and accessible way to get into online trading in a short time. Plus, there is even a Copy Trading feature that allows customers to invest passively.

This works by selecting a verified trader, choosing the desired investment amount (minimum $200), which then mirrors all ongoing trades in a user’s own eToro portfolio. For clients looking to trade smaller amounts, eToro requires a minimum stake of $25 of cryptocurrencies, $50 on stocks, and $200 on ETFs. Don’t miss our review to check why eToro is well-known as an automated trading platform UK traders can use.

online trading sites uk

eToro is authorized and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), one of the stricter financial watchdogs globally, providing a state-of-the-art regulatory environment for UK investors. It is also licensed by regulators in Cyprus and Australia. Crucially, by opening an account with eToro, client funds are covered by the FSCS. Finally, this cost-efficient UK trading platform supports a selection of payment methods – including debit/credit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets like Paypal.

eToro Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee Spread, 2.1 pips for GBP/USD
Crypto trading fee Spread, 0.75% for Bitcoin
Inactivity fee $10 a month after one year
Withdrawal fee $5

What we like:

  • eToro is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
  • Users can access social trading and copy trading features.
  • eToro offers a free to use demo account.
  • No fees for deposits or withdrawals.
  • Access news and real-time data.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Available on mobile.

What we don’t like:

  • Does not provide advanced price charts for technical analysis.
  • Selection of crypto assets is limited.
  • No leverage trading available.

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

 2. XTB – Online Trading Broker with MT4 Compatibilitybest uk trading platforms

To comply with new Polish regulations, X-Trade Brokers was formed in 2004 as Poland’s first leveraged foreign exchange brokerage house. Later, XTB Online Trading (XTB) went public in 2016, listing under the ticker symbol XTB on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

In this highly competitive and ever-changing online brokerage landscape, XTB has been steadily making inroads, currently offering access to various markets such as forex, shares, indices, metals, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA #522157) and is registered with the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF).

top trading platforms uk

In addition to MT4 (downloadable) and a functional mobile application, XTB’s platform is the web-based xStation 5 which is among the most popular trading platforms for mac. XTB’s considerably lower spreads set it apart from its competitors, but its ancillary costs are on par with industry standards.

For traders who want to reduce costs, XTB is a viable option, considering the low cost of placing a trade (bid/ask spread) and not having to deal with extraneous charges such as wire fees. A non-U.K. account at XTB permits maximum leverage of 500:1, while a UK account allows up to 30:1. In addition, the platform focuses on customer service and offers relevant educational tools with research amenities that are suitable for novice traders.

XTB Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee 0.03%
Forex trading fee Between 0.05 – 1 pips incorporated into spread
Crypto trading fee $4
Inactivity fee After 12 months €10
Withdrawal fee 1.5% with credit cards

What we like:

  • Access multi asset trading.
  • Low fees for stocks and forex trading.
  • Trade with leverage of up to 30:1.
  • Compatible with MT4, MT5 and xStation charting tools.
  • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

What we don’t like:

  • High fees for cryptocurrency trading.
  • No social trading features.
  • XTB charges a withdrawal fee.

Capital at risk.

3. AvaTrade – Trading Platform Offering Variety of Trading OptionsUK trading platform

AvaTrade is a reputable online broker that offers a variety of trading options for traders all around the world. Founded in 2006, the broker is regulated by multiple financial authorities, including the Central Bank of Ireland, the Financial Services Commission of the British Virgin Islands, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

AvaTrade provides its clients with access to a wide range of financial instruments, including forex, stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. The broker also offers a user-friendly interface, educational resources, and top-notch customer support to provide help and assistance to users on their trading journey.

uk trading platform

In addition to its regulatory framework, AvaTrade offers a range of trading account types to suit the diverse needs of its clients. Traders can choose from a standard account, a demo account, an Islamic account, or a professional account. Each account type comes with its own unique features and benefits, such as tighter spreads, higher leverage, and dedicated account managers.

Moreover, AvaTrade ensures the security of its clients’ funds by segregating them from the broker’s own operational funds, while also offering negative balance protection. Comprising a range of trading tools, including market analysis and economic calendars, AvaTrade empowers its clients to make informed trading decisions. Whether a person is just a beginner or an experienced trader, AvaTrade offers everything to navigate the dynamic world of online trading.

AvaTrade Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Commission in spread between 0.1 – 2% markup across different assets
Forex trading fee Between 0.5 – 1.6 pips incorporated into spread
Inactivity fee After 3 months £50
Withdrawal fee 1.5% with credit cards

What we like:

  • AvaTrade provides daily market analysis to users.
  • Low commissions on CFD trading.
  • Over 1200 forex pairs are available on the platform.
  • Access to a range of educational resources.
  • AvaTrade has a mobile app which makes trading accessible.

What we don’t like:

  • AvaTrade is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Minimum trading deposit is $100.

Your money is at risk.

4. Trade Nation – Online UK Trading Platform with Built in Signals Softwareuk trading app

Next on our list of trading platforms in the UK is Trade Nation, a regulated broker that offers spread betting, CFD trading, forex trading and access to major indices.

Trade Nation is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, as well as by a number of other financial regulators around the globe. Furthermore, Trade Nation users can also access an FCA regulated signals software, which is one of the only regulated signals providers on the market.

Trade Nation has low fixed-spreads that start at just 0.6 pips. The platform also has a free demo account and no minimum deposit requirement through which it is possible to test out spread-betting strategies.

Traders can choose between the TN Trader platform or MT4 to conduct analysis and place trades. Trade Nation is available on both desktop and mobile for a seamless trading experience that suits all traders.

The platform provides traders with numerous educational resources and charting tools to help users make informed trading decisions. Trade Nation also provides real-time market insights from experts. Users can access Trade Nation’s customer support services 24/5.

Trade Nation Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Variable spread. 0.1% for UK stocks, 0.2% for European
Forex trading fee Variable spread. 0.8 pips average for GBP/USD
Inactivity fee None
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Trade nation prioritizes protection and will never mix customer’s money with it’s own money.
  • Low commissions and tight spreads.
  • No withdrawal or inactivity fees.
  • Free demo trading account available to UK traders.
  • Compatible with MT4.

What we don’t like:

  • No social trading or copy trading features available.

67.3% of CFD clients lose money.

5. Admiral Markets – Platform with Low Spreads & Extended Hours

trading platform uk

Admiral Markets was established in 2001 and considers themselves as a trading and investment ecosystem. The platform has a variety of features and offers users the possibility to trade and invest in over 8000 different market instruments. These comprise of CFDs for forex, commodities, indices, stocks, ETFs and bonds. Admiral Markets has many account types that offer different trading instruments, and varied parameters for leverage, account currencies and deposit & trade amounts. Users will want to evaluate which account type is best suited to their requirements before signing up. Admiral’s trading platform connects through both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, and also offers spread betting exclusively to UK clients.

Like many other UK trading platforms, Admiral Markets has a dedicated education section to assist traders on their journey. The platform offers several webinars, articles, tutorials, trading & forex courses, video guides and a trader’s glossary. Aside from education, Admiral Markets also assists their customers with dedicated analytics features. This includes a forex calendar, trading news section, global market updates, weekly trading podcast, fundamental analysis on micro/macro economic factors, a market heat map and market sentiment charts for bull/bear signals.

Admiral also provides traders with advanced trading tools through MetaTrader Supreme Edition and StereoTrader add-on downloads. SteroTrader is a MetaTrader trading panel and provides users with extra options that can enhance efficiency in trading. Features include dedicated asset statistics, multiple charting tools, and advanced trading controls and automation. MetaTrader Supreme gives users the most advanced tools to enhance their trading experience. This trading panel boasts advanced technical insights and analysis on virtually every financial instrument. The features include global opinion widgets, mini terminal for multi asset trading, tick chart trader allowing traders to better monitor price movements, connect tool giving real-time news analysis and importing of RSS feeds, a package of various indicators for better analysis, and a trading simulator giving traders the option to backtest their strategies.

Admiral Markets Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee $0.02 per US share, 0.1% – 0.15% for other markets
Forex trading fee £1.4 – £2.4 per 1.0 lots / Zero.MT4 account type spreads start from 0 pips
Inactivity fee €10 per month after 24 months of inactivity
Withdrawal fee One free withdrawal request per month for all payment methods and 1% thereafter. For bank transfer 10 EUR/USD/GBP/CHF thereafter.

What we like:

  • Traders can access over 8000 financial assets.
  • CFD and spread betting is available.
  • Low commissions on stock trading.

What we don’t like:

  • Does not provide advanced price charts for technical analysis.
  • Selection of crypto assets is limited.
  • No leverage trading available.

74% of CFD clients lose money.

6. Pepperstone – CFD Broker for Tax-Free Trading best trading platform UK

Pepperstone is the next platform in our review list. This broker is slightly different from others in that while it offers CFD trading, it also offers spread betting. With spread betting, any earnings made from trading are tax-free.

Users can trade stocks, indices, forex, and commodities on Pepperstone, all as either CFDs or spread bets, and with up to 1:30 leverage for both ways of trading. You pay a spread for trading all assets on Pepperstone apart from share CFDs, which have a commission of up to 0.10%.

pepperstone trading platform UK

While Pepperstone doesn’t have a proprietary platform, it’s compatible with cTrader, MT4, and MT5. cTrader is a platform that’s more suited for newer traders, while MT4 and MT5 are packed with advanced trading tools and designed for experienced traders.

Pepperstone trading platform uk

Overall, Pepperstone is an established spread betting platform and a secure broker registered by the FCA, so its users trade in confidence. It accepts a variety of payment methods, including PayPal, so traders can enjoy fast deposits and withdrawals.

trading platform

Pepperstone Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee $0.02 per US stock
Forex trading fee Spread, 1.59 pips for GBP/USD
Crypto trading fee Spread, 50 pips for Bitcoin
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

What we don’t like:

  • The platform mainly offers CFDs and crypto assets are limited.
  • No copy trading available.

Your capital is at risk.

7. Plus500 – Low Fee Trading Platform Listed on London Stock Exchangestock trading platform uk

Plus500 is a multi-asset group that offers state of the art trading platforms. The Plus500 Group was founded in 2008 and quickly expanded their operations to the UK by 2011. This trading platform is a UK based company that provides a variety of CFD trading services. Plus500 specializes in offering CFDs in commodities, shares, forex, indices, options and ETFs, and since 2021 boasts a global customer base of over 20 million users. It is noteworthy to mention that this UK trading platform is an FTSE250 company and is publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange. Additionally, the Plus500 Group has established subsidiaries worldwide across Australia, Cyprus, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.

best investment platforms uk

A highlight of Plus500 is that the platform has no commissions, low fees and tight spreads. Most of the services offered are free of charge and clients benefit from zero fees on deposits, live share CFD prices, real-time forex quotes, opening/closing trades, dynamic charts & graphs and roll over positions. The company is very transparent with what fees they do charge which includes overnight fees, currency conversion for trades which are not in the primary currency of users’ account, guaranteed stop order which derives slightly higher spreads, and inactivity fees.

Another unique feature of this UK trading platform is that they offer a +Insights social trading feature, enabling its users to analyse millions of Plus500 customers’ activity in real-time. This allows users to see other traders’ trends and analyse results top to bottom in a visual manner. Trades can also be immediately placed from the +Insights section allowing a similar function to social copy trading. Aside from this, Plus 500 offers other education and insights features to assist traders including a trading academy, an economic calendar section, market alerts, and news & market insights section. They also provide dedicated 24/7 support whereby users can get assistance through online live chat, email and WhatsApp too.

Plus500 Trading Platform

All in all, Plus500 is a viable option when considering trading platforms in the UK. Being regulated, they hold clients’ funds on a segregated basis following the FCA client money rules. Plus500 presents a user-friendly trading interface, offering both web and mobile services on IoS and Android, giving traders access to over 2800 financial instruments.

Plus500 Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Fees incorporated into spread between 0.7 – 2 pips
Forex trading fee 0.7% mark up for trades on instruments denominated in a different currency to user accounts
Inactivity fee $10 per month after 3 months of inactivity
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Plus500 provides a user-friendly application with charting tools and features.
  • It is possible to trade stocks, crypto assets and forex.
  • Low commissions and tight spreads.
  • Free demo account available for UK traders.
  • Plus500 is available on mobile.

What we don’t like:

  • There are limited education resources available on Plus500.
  • The platform charges inactivity fees after 3 months.
  • No automated trading available.

81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

8. Eightcap – New UK Online Trading Platform with Low Feesbest trading platforms

Eightcap is a relatively new broker that has quickly become the go-to choice for many online traders. For starters, it offers a fantastic range of assets, including CFDs for forex, indices, stocks and commodities, so it accommodates traders of all preferences.

What really sets Eightcap apart is its low fees. There are two account types – raw and standard – and both are very competitive in terms of pricing. Raw accounts have spreads from 0 pips and a small £3.50 commission, while standard accounts have no commission and spreads starting from just 1 pip.

best trading apps

Both accounts offer premium liquidity, fast execution, complete transparency with direct market access and no price manipulation, so traders can enjoy these benefits with whichever chosen option.

trading platform uk

Another highlight is that Eightcap is compatible with both MT4 and MT5, allowing users to have access to the wide range of advanced trading tools available on these two platforms.

trading platform uk

Traders can get started on Eightcap with a deposit of just $100, which can be made through a variety of different payment methods, including PayPal. Other benefits of trading with Eightcap include round the clock customer service and useful resources such as trading guides and free market analysis.

Eightcap Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee From 0 pips + £3.5 commission, or from 1 pip and no commission
Forex trading fee From 0 pips + £3.5 commission, or from 1 pip and no commission
Crypto trading fee From 0 pips + £3.5 commission, or from 1 pip and no commission
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Fixed trading fees on stocks, crypto and forex.
  • Traders can access CFDs as well as stcks, indicies, commodities and crypto assets.
  • Compatible with MT4 and MT5.
  • There are a variety of payment methods available on the platform.

What we don’t like:

  •  High minimum deposit of £100 for UK traders.
  • Limited account types available.
  • EightCap charges withdrawal fees.

Your capital is at risk

9. Libertex – Low-Commission Online Trading Platformtrading platforms uk

Libertex is a CFD trading platform that is popular with UK traders that seek a low spread forex broker. At the forefront of this is the platform’s zero spread offering. This means that irrespective of which asset is chosen to trade, there is no gap between the buy and sell price.

Consequently, this allows users to benefit from industry-leading quotes. Additionally, although Libertex charges a commission on each side of the trade, this is often very low. In fact, commissions at this virtual trading platform in the UK often sit below 0.1% per order.

trading app uk

As a prime example, the popular forex pair NZD/USD can be traded with a commission of just 0.012%. In terms of supported markets, Libertex offers CFDs on stocks, commodities, and currencies. As a CFD specialist, leverage trading is permitted on any trade of choice.

In line with FCA limits, users are capped to 1:30 on major forex trading pairs and less on other instruments. All CFD markets at Libertex also come with the option of going long or short, allowing trades to be placed on both rising and falling markets. Libertex offers two trading platforms to choose from.

libertex trading platform

This includes Meta Trader 4 and its own platform that was built in-house. Both options can be accessed online or via a mobile app. In the case of the MT4 trading platform, this can be downloaded to your desktop device – which is the route to take if installing an automated trading tool.

Opening an account with Libertex is seamless and can be done in minutes. The minimum deposit is just £100 and the platform offers a number of payment methods from UK debit/credit card, bank account transfer, or an e-wallet. Once you have funded your account, all future deposits come at a minimum of £10.

When it comes to safety, we should note that Libertex isn’t regulated by the FCA. However, it is regulated by leading EU licence issuers CySEC. Plus, Libertex has been offering online trading and financial services since 1997. As such, the provider has an accomplished track record that spans over two decades.

Libertex Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Commission scheme — between 01.5% and 0.2%
Forex trading fee Commission scheme — from 0.008% in EUR/USD
Crypto trading fee Commission scheme — between 0.1% and 0.2%
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Libertex offers low commissions and tight spreads.
  • Trade CFDs on stocks, commodities and forex pairs.
  • It is possible to trade with leverage of up to 1:30.
  • Compatible with MT4.

What we don’t like:

  •  Libertex is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Only CFD assets are available.
  • No copy trading features.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% 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

10. Fineco Bank – Online Trading Platform for International Tradinguk stock brokers

For traders looking to create a portfolio that covers both UK and international assets, Fineco Bank could be the way to go. This European financial institution has attracted a strong following in the UK trading scene for several reasons.

Firstly, Fineco Bank offers a huge library of financial markets. This covers traditional assets, like stocks, ETFs, and funds. Not only does this include companies on the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, but AIM stocks, too.

fineco trading platform

Further afield, Fineco gives access to dozens of non-UK exchanges. This includes markets in the US, Canada, Asia, Europe, Australia, and more. For traders interested in a shorter-term day trading strategy, Fineco offers thousands of CFD markets. As well as stocks, this includes forex, hard metals, energies, indices, and more.

These CFD instruments come with the added benefit of leverage and short-selling capabilities. Fineco Bank is also a popular UK stock trading platform as it offers competitive fees on its trading markets. In terms of buying UK stocks, the cost is  £2.95 per trade, while US stocks cost $5.95 per trade, and other markets are priced differently.

fineco bank trading platform

Either way, buying tradable assets at Fineco will attract an annual maintenance fee of 0.25%. CFD fees will depend on the asset. For example, stock CFDs are commission-free, while futures CFDs cost $0.70 per contract. Forex can be traded from just 0.8 pips on major pairs like EUR/USD.

For users wishing to get started with Fineco Bank for their online trading needs, the minimum deposit is just £100. However, depositors will need to transfer funds directly from a bank account as the provider doesn’t support debit or credit cards. Finally, Fineco Bank is regulated in several countries. This includes being licenced by the FCA, and funds on the platform covered by the FSCS.

Fineco Bank Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee £2.95 per trade in UK stocks
Forex trading fee Variable spread
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Fineco Bank offers a diverse asset selection.
  • Fineco Bank offers investment accounts for long term investors in the UK.
  • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
  • Multiple customer support options available.

What we don’t like:

  •  High minimum deposit of £100.
  • Limited payment methods are supported by Fineco Bank.
  • Fineco Bank charges an account maintenance fee.

69.44% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site

11. Skilling – Online UK CFD broker with leverage trading optionsskilling trading platform uk

Skilling is a broker that is relatively simple to use – especially when it comes to placing buy and sell orders. Plus, Skilling offers trading education – with the platform being packed with guides and explainers.

This UK trading broker specializes exclusively in CFDs, so users won’t be able to buy traditional assets. But, the platform allows trading of more than 800+ financial instruments – which includes stocks, commodities, indices, and forex. Skilling offers leverage trading on all these markets – in line with FCA regulations.

skilling online trading platform

Irrespective of which CFD asset class is being traded, Skilling does not charge any commissions. This low-cost CFD trading platform is also known for offering some of the tightest spreads in the industry. In fact, users can trade major currency pairs from just 0.1 pips during standard market hours.

skilling trading account

Although Skilling offers tools for newer traders, the platform is also used by seasoned pros that wish to trade via MT4 or cTrader. Once a desired third-party platform is connected to Skilling,further access to heaps of advanced orders and charting analysis tools is permitted. Skilling also offers a mobile trading app for placing orders while on the move.

skilling app

Although this trading app was only launched in 2019, it is heavily regulated. This includes authorisation from the FCA to accept UK traders, and full regulation with CySEC and the FSA. Once an account is opened with Skilling – which rarely takes more than a few minutes, traders can deposit funds instantly with a debit/credit card or e-wallet. The minimum deposit is just £100, which allows users to start trading with small amounts.

Skilling Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee 2 points in FTSE
Forex trading fee Variable spread
Crypto trading fee Commission, 0.2% in Bitcoin
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • The Skilling trading platform has an efficient design.
  • Skilling provides a variety of educational resources.
  • Trade over 800+ financial instruments.
  • Traders can trade with leverage and tight spreads.

What we don’t like:

  • Skilling mainly caters to CFD trading.
  • Limited crypto assets available.
  • No social trading features are available on Skilling.

75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

12. IG – UK Trading Platform for Long Term Investors

While many investors like to deploy short-term trading strategies, some might be in it for the long run. By this, we mean that some traders may be looking to buy stocks or funds and keep hold of the investment for several years. IG Trading is a UK trading platform that supports long term trading.

Launched in 1974, the brokerage firm is one of the most established in the UK trading scene. In fact, the platform is listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market valuation of approximately $3 billion. By opening an account with IG, traders will have access to thousands of traditional assets.

trading platforms uk

This includes heaps of UK stocks that can be purchased from £3 per trade. If, however, users place less than three trades per month, then the commission to pay is £8. IG also supports a full range of international markets – both big and small. In particular, a lot of investors in the UK will use IG to buy US stocks.

IG UK trading platform

This is because traders can get their commission down to £0 in the event of regular trading.  For users more interested in pre-built portfolios, IG offers ETFs, mutual funds, investment trusts, and even managed investment services. The fees on these products will vary depending on the chosen instrument.

Nevertheless, IG is also worth considering for traders looking to trade CFDs. The platform hosts more than 17,000 market assets, which also includes spread betting facilities. Other than stocks, all CFD and spread betting markets can be traded commission-free. When it comes to the trading platform itself, buying stocks and funds can be done through the IG website.

IG trading app UK

For users wishing to actively trade CFDs, the IG web-trader can be used or the account can be connected to MT4. IG also offers a mobile trading app, which is available on both iOS and Android devices.For traders wanting to open an account with this broker, the minimum deposit is £250. The account can be funded with a debit/credit card or bank transfer.

IG Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee £3 per trade in UK stocks
Forex trading fee Spread, 0.9 pips for EUR/USD
Crypto trading fee Spread, 40 pips for Bitcoin
Inactivity fee $18 for two years of inactivity
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • IG is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has been running since 1974.
  • Regular traders can trade commission-free on some financial assets.
  • Access over 17,000 financial instruments.
  • Compatible with MT4 and MT5.
  • IG is available on mobile.

What we don’t like:

  • High trading fees for UK stocks of £3 per trade.
  • IG charges an inactivity after 2 years of inactivity.
  • High minimum deposit requirement of £250.

Your capital is at risk.

13. Hargreaves Lansdown – UK based Broker for Traditional Stock Tradinguk investment platform

Like IG, Hargreaves Lansdown is a long-standing, reputable UK broker. It’s slightly different from newer online platforms in that it’s mainly focused on stock trading and investing.

Hargreaves Lansdown offers a wide range of services – share dealing accounts, stocks, and shares ISAs, including stocks ISAs, lifetime ISAs, junior ISAs, and cash ISAs, and pensions. Traders can invest in everything from stocks and ETFs to investment trusts, funds, bonds, and gilts. There’s a huge range of shares, ETFs, and funds to choose from, allowing users to invest in companies from all around the world.

Hargreaves Lansdown share trading platform

However, while Hargreaves Lansdown offers a range of trading and investment options, it’s also more expensive than some other online trading platforms. For example, while eToro offers zero-commission stock trading, Hargreaves Lansdown charges £11.95 per trade if you made less than 10 deals in the previous month, £8.95 if you made less than 20, and £5.95 if you made 20 or more.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment platform

That being said, it does have some really useful features which will be helpful to some investors. For starters, it has a vast amount of research material as well as some useful tools to analyse the markets. Users can also choose from ready-made portfolios, get help choosing stocks, ETFs and funds to invest in, and take advantage of the latest news and expert tips.

trading app uk

Hargreaves Lansdown is an extremely secure broker that’s licensed by the FCA. It also offers a useful mobile app making it easy to trade on the go. The platform also provides help and assistance whereby users can get in touch with the customer service team via email or telephone.

Hargreaves Lansdown Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Variable spread
Forex trading fee N/A
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Hargreaves Lansdown is an established UK brokerage that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Traders can access stocks, ETFs, investment funds, bonds and savings accounts.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown offers a range of educational tools.
  • Available on mobile app.

What we don’t like:

  • High trading fees of £5.95 per trade.
  • Traders cannot access cryptocurrencies or forex.

Your capital is at risk.

14. Saxo Markets – Reputable UK Online Brokersaxo markets trading platform

The next one in the pipeline is Saxo Markets. Based in Canary Wharf, London, the broker has been offering access to over 40,000 instruments across a wide range of asset classes. In terms of regulation, Saxo Markets is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is a popular trading platform for CFDs.

Users can trade forex, ETFs, CFDs, commodities, futures, forex options, listed options, stocks, and bonds, with Saxo Markets offering up to 1:30 in leverage – the standard for regulated brokers in the region.

One of the pluses that Saxo Markets holds, and makes it a heavyweight in the industry, is the offering of their own proprietary trading platform. In fact, the firm offers two platforms: SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO. The difference between them is that the PRO version allows the possibility to place algorithmic orders.

online UK trading platform

Overall,

Saxo Markets Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee £5.00 for UK stocks
Forex trading fee Spread, from 0.8 pips in EUR/USD
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee In the UK, £25 after one-quarter of inactivity
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Trade over 40,000 global assets inclduing ETFs, CFDs, forex, futures and options.
  • Saxo Markets provides leverage trading in the UK.
  • The platform is available on mobile devices.

What we don’t like:

  • UK stocks have a £5 trading fee.
  • Cryptocurrency trading isn’t available.
  • Saxo markets doesn’t support automated trading.

Your capital is at risk.

15. Interactive Brokers – Advanced Online UK Trading Platformtrading platform uk

For traders that are looking for advanced analysis tools– Interactive Brokers is likely to be up your street. This is because the platform comes packed with an abundance of supported markets and trading tools.

Regarding the former, Interactive Brokers gives you access to more than 135 markets in 33 countries. This means investors can trade stocks listed in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and more.

trading account uk

In other words, if there is a low-cap international stock that you wish to trade, there is every chance that it can be found on this UK trading platform. In addition to the stock market, Interactive Brokers also allows users to trade ETFs, mutual funds, and more. In terms of stock trading fees, traders can invest in US-listed stocks on a commission-free basis.

Online trading platform

If the chosen market is based overseas, then a commission will need to be paid that varies depending on the market. When it comes to safety, Interactive Brokers has an excellent reputation. Not only was it first launched in the 1970s, but it is heavily regulated by several US-based authorities.

Interactive Brokers Fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee $0.02 per US stock
Forex trading fee Spread, 1.59 pips for GBP/USD
Crypto trading fee Spread, 50 pips for Bitcoin
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free

What we like:

  • Access over 135 markets in 33 different countries.
  • It is possible to trade a variety of financial asset classes including ETFs, stocks, mutual funds and more.
  • US-listed stocks can be traded commission-free.

What we don’t like:

  • High spreads for forex and crypto trading.
  • Not compatible with MetaTrader.
  • Does not support social trading.

Your capital is at risk.

Best Trading Platforms in The UK – Fee Comparison

We’ve reviewed the UK’s trading sites, in terms of how they compare on fees, check out the table below to find out about the UK’s cheapest trading platforms with the lowest fees and no overnight fees.

Trading Platform Stock trading fees Forex trading fees Overnight fees
eToro Free Fixed spread. 2 pips for GBP/USD. Overnight fees for CFDs. No overnight fees for non-leveraged stocks, ETFs, and crypto.
XTB 0% for stock CFDs with 0.3% markup in the spread Between 0.05 – 1 pips incorporated into spread Yes calculated using swap point rates. Some commodities and indices are exempt
AvaTrade Commission in spread between 0.1 – 2% markup across different assets Between 0.5 – 1.6 pips incorporated into spread Yes for leveraged positions, and for all other positions held over weekends
Plus500 Variable spread. 23.51 pips for Amazon. Variable spread. 0.7% of realised PnL Yes. Applies to all instruments.
Trade Nation Variable spread. 0.1% for UK stocks, 0.2% for European stocks, flat $0.04 spread for US stocks Variable spread. 0.8 pips average for GBP/USD Yes in Rolling Cash markets. No overnight fee for futures.
Admiral Markets $0.02 per US share, 0.1% – 0.15% for other markets £1.4 – £2.4 per 1.0 lots / Zero.MT4 account type spreads start from 0 pips Yes for all margin & leveraged positions. None for shares and ETFs.
Eightcap From 0 pip + £3.5 commission, or from 1 pip + no commission From 0 pip + £3.5 commission, or from 1 pip + no commission Yes. Taken at end of each trading day at 9 pm GMT as interest, which may be positive or negative.
Libertex 0%-0.46% commission. 0.0305% buy/ 0.0257% sell for Amazon. Commission. 0.005% for GBP/USD. Yes. Taken at end of each trading day at 9 pm GMT as interest, which may be positive or negative. For CFDs, the overnight fee is triple when holding from Friday to Monday.
Fineco Free for stock CFDs, £2.95 – £3.95 for real stocks. 2.95% + Variable spread. 1.0 pips for GBP/USD. Overnight fees for CFD positions 2.5%-3%
Skilling Variable spread. 22.81 pips for Amazon. Variable spread. 1.3 pips for GBP/USD. No overnight fees for stocks. For other assets, the overnight fee is taken at end of each trading day at 9 pm GMT as interest, which may be positive or negative.
IG £0 – £10 commission. Variable spread. 0.5% fee Yes. Applies to forex, stocks, commodities, and indices.
Hargreaves Lansdown £5.95 – £11.95. N/A No overnight fees.
Pepperstone $0.02 per US share, 0.10% for German shares, 0.07% for Australian shares. Variable spread. 1.51 pips for GBP/USD. 0.51 for premium account. Yes. Applies to all instruments.
Saxo Markets £5.00 for UK stocks. Spread from 0.7 pips for EUR/USD. Yes.
Interactive Brokers $0.0005-$0.0035 per share. Spread, 0.08 – 0.2 basis points (x) Trade Value per order Free for accounts with 3x margin requirement. CFDs at +/-1.5%.

UK Trading Platform Assets & Software Comparison

Fees aren’t the only thing you’ll need to consider when choosing the right trading platform for you. Let’s take a look at how UK brokers match up in terms of tradable assets, software, and features.

Trading Platform Assets Software Features
eToro Shares, ETFs, forex, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies Proprietary Social trading, copy trading, CopyPortfolios
XTB Forex, shares, indices, metals, commodities, cryptocurrencies Proprietary xStation5, MT4 Market news, market calendar, live webinars
AvaTrade Forex, stocks, indices, commodities, options, ETFs, bonds Proprietary web & mobile platform, MT4, MT5 Social trading, copy trading, spread betting, options trading, education articles & videos
Plus500 CFDs in indices, forex, commodities, shares, options, ETFs Proprietary Trader’s sentiments, risk management tool, news & market updates, +Insights section to analyse customer activity
Trade Nation Indices, forex, stocks, commodities Proprietary TN Trader, MT4 Insights hub, trading tools, market information, dividend projections
Admiral Markets CFDs for forex, commodities, indices, stocks, ETFs and bonds MT4, MT5, MetaTrader Supreme, proprietary mobile webtrader Fractional shares, spread betting, StereoTrader panel access in MetaTrader, education & tutorials, vast analytics section
Eightcap Shares, ETFs, forex, commodities, indices MT4, MT5 Economic news, market analysis
Libertex Shares, ETFs, forex, commodities, indices, options Proprietary, MT4 Webinars, economic news
Fineco Shares, ETFs, forex, indices, futures, funds Proprietary Technical analysis, historical reports, multi-charts
Skilling Shares, forex, commodities, indices Proprietary, cTrader, MT4 Complete charting package, algorithmic trading
IG Shares, ETFs, forex, commodities, indices, options, futures Proprietary, MT4, ProRealTime Spread betting, free signals, algorithmic trading
Hargreaves Lansdown Shares, ETFs, funds Proprietary Ready-made portfolios, expert insights
Pepperstone Shares, forex, commodities, indices cTrader, MT4, MT5 Spread betting, market analysis
Saxo Markets Forex, ETFs, CFDs, commodities, futures, forex options, listed options, stocks, bonds SaxoTraderGO, SaxoTraderPRO Algorithmic orders, one-click trading, options chains, charting packages.
Interactive Brokers ETFs, mutual funds, stocks, futures, options, forex IBKR Trading Platform, Workstation OptionTrader and Probability Lab for simplified single and complex multi-leg option trading

Your capital is at risk.

What Are UK Trading Platforms?

UK trading platforms are online tools for traders that can be used to buy, sell and swap financial assets. They act as a bridge between traders and the financial markets. These platforms enable users to participate in trading financial assets through a user-friendly interface. A number of UK trading platforms facilitate a variety of trading strategies, including long-term investing, day trading, swing trading and more. Traders can use the features that are offered in order to streamline the trading process and make better informed decisions when analysing the markets.

It is important to note that UK trading platforms may offer varied types of services catering towards different asset classes. Some trading platforms may offer more of a variety of stocks from different markets, while others may specifically be focused on cryptocurrencies. It is important to consider this when choosing which platform to use and evaluate whether it covers the necessary asset classes desired. Here is an overview of the various types of trading platforms that users may come across.

Different types of Trading platforms available online 

Stock trading platforms in the UK allow users to invest in and trade traditional stocks and shares. These platforms typically provide access to the most popular stocks from around the globe. Stock trading platforms in the UK are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that the platforms must adhere to regulatory guidelines that are put in place to protect investors.

Most UK stock trading platforms will provide features that can be used to make informed trading decisions. These include research and analysis tools, as well as real-time market insights. Traders can use the platforms to build a stock portfolio that can be accessed over the internet.

Forex trading platforms provide access to the foreign exchange (forex) markets. These platforms are designed to facilitate forex trading, which involves buying and selling currencies.

Forex traders typically use short term strategies to make small profits over a shorter time period. Therefore, forex trading platforms often provide advanced charting tools that can be used to conduct technical analysis.

UK Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms

UK cryptocurrency trading platforms are online applications that can be used to buy and sell crypto assets and DeFi coins. Crypto trading platforms in the UK are either centralised (regulated by a central authority), or decentralised (secured by blockchain technology). Both types of cryptocurrency trading platforms are legal to use in the UK.

Centralised trading platforms are often regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, decentralised crypto trading platforms in the UK are currently unregulated.

Much like other types of trading platforms in the UK, cryptocurrency exchanges provide traders with tools and features that can be used to make informed trading decisions. However, the exact features that are offered by crypto trading sites may differ. For example, crypto trading platforms may provide information about tokenomics that is not applicable to traditional stocks and shares.

Some UK trading platforms allow traders to access a variety of financial markets as well as cryptocurrencies, including stocks and shares, commodities and forex. However, the crypto assets bought on these are owned by a custodian and users will not be able to withdraw those assets to their own wallets. However, these platforms can be used to build a diversified portfolio that taps into each market. Diversification is a good way to minimise trading risk, especially during times of high market volatility.

Are Trading Platforms Free?

Most trading platforms don’t charge users to sign up, however, they do require users to pay some trading fees. So ultimately no, trading platforms are not free and charges can include commissions, spreads, deposit/withdrawal and maintenance fees. Below we outline some of the fee types, which are covered in greater detail at the fees section.

Commissions – One of the main methods that trading platforms make money is by charging users commissions on trades.

Spreads – The spread is the difference between the bid (sell) price and the ask (buy) price.

Overnight Fees – Overnight fees mainly apply to CFDs and some leveraged products. In order for platforms to keep positions open after daily trading hours, they will need to pay a cost and administration fee.

Foreign Exchange Fees – Trading platforms will charge currency exchange fees when buying foreign currency stocks or when depositing funds that are not in the primary currency of the account. 

Inactivity Fees: For trading accounts that remain inactive the platforms will charge a monthly fee. Most platforms enforce this after 3 months for inactivity.

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Trading Platform in The UK

best trading platforms in the uk 2023

With hundreds of online trading platforms available to UK residents, it is important to consider certain factors before opening an account. It is understandable that users may have different requirements and priorities when selecting the most viable platform. For example, some traders may wish to access specific markets such as UK forex or stocks, while others may have a preference for lower fees and commissions. Some traders may specifically be looking for a platform that can accommodate algorithmic trading.

Regardless of the preference there are many different features on offer when considering the right UK trading brokerage platform. To save our readers time, below we list some important features to consider that UK trading platforms present.

Regulation and Safety

To be regarded among the best UK brokers, a trading platform would need to be licensed by at least one reputable financial body. Ideally, this should be with the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – which is responsible for keeping the United Kingdom trading and investment industry safe and transparent. By sticking with an FCA broker in the UK, users will benefit from a range of safety nets.

This includes:

  • Segregated Funds: UK trading platforms that are regulated by the FCA keep client funds in segregated bank accounts. This means that the platform cannot touch its clients’ money to service its own debt.
  • Risk Warnings: All FCA-regulated platforms must clearly present the risks associated with trading. This is usually displayed on the homepage with a percentage outlining the number of retail clients that lose money.
  • Regular Audits: UK brokers that are FCA-regulated will need to have their books audited on a regular basis. This ensures that investors can trade in a safe and secure environment.

In addition to the above, those regarded as the safest trading platforms also tend to be covered by the FSCS. This means that user funds are protected up to the first £85,000 – should the platform cease to exist.

The eToro trading platform is one example – not only is it authorised and regulated by the FCA, but CySEC and ASIC, too. It is also registered with FINRA in the US – meaning that you have regulatory oversight on several fronts.

Assets

There are thousands of financial instruments across dozens of asset classes that can be traded online. But not all UK trading brokers will give access to every single global marketplace.

To be considered among the leading trading platforms in the UK, traders expect access to the following tradeable markets:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Indices
  • Funds
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, users should be considerate of whether the platform provides trading CFDs or allows users to buy the asset outright. If it’s a CFD instrument, the trader does not own the underlying asset. In turn, this does allow traders to short-sell with ease and apply leverage of up to 1:30.

online trading platform

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

CFDs may not be suitable for users taking a more traditional approach to investing. This is particularly the case for investors wanting to build a long-term investment plan, as CFDs attract overnight financing. To ensure access to both types of instruments, traders may consider choosing a trading platform in the UK that gives access to both traditional assets and CFDs.

For example, eToro allows its clients to buy 2,400+ stocks, 250+ ETFs, and 16 cryptocurrencies. It also allows trading of thousands of CFD markets, which in addition to the aforementioned, include forex, commodities, and indices.

Trading Platform Fees

Before choosing an online trading platform, it is important to understand the fees and commissions charged by the platform. Some platforms charge fees for trading, while others may have no fees, but instead charge a commission on each trade. It is important to compare the fees and commissions of different platforms to determine which one offers the best value. After all, the amount that traders need to pay to trade online can vary quite considerably.

The main fees to consider when seeking a suitable broker for UK traders are covered below:

Share Dealing Fees

Share dealing fees not only relate to the purchase of stocks, but other traditional assets like ETFs, mutual funds, and investment trusts. In all but a few rare cases, a chosen trading platform in the UK will charge a flat dealing fee.

This means that irrespective of how much is invested, the fee will remain the same. It goes without saying that this benefits investors that are looking to trade larger amounts.

  • For example, let’s suppose that you signed up with popular UK stock broker Hargreaves Lansdown.
  • If you purchased £150 worth of BT shares, the provider would charge you a flat dealing fee of £11.95.
  • This means that in percentage terms, you’re paying a commission of almost 8%.
  • Then, when you cash out your BT shares, you’d need to pay the £11.95 fee again.

If, however, a trader used eToro – the above transaction would have cost nothing in commission. This is because the platform offers zero commissions on buying stocks and shares. Plus, the platform even waives the 0.5% stamp duty tax that traders ordinarily need to pay on UK share purchases.

Trading Commission

If users decide to trade assets via a CFD instrument, then the chosen platform will charge a variable fee. This is more beneficial to entry-level traders, as they won’t be penalised for placing small orders.

As always, the amount of commission to pay can vary depending on rates offered by different UK trading platforms.

  • For example, let’s say your chosen trading platform charges a CFD commission of 0.2% per slide
  • If you stake £500, you will pay a commission of £1 to enter the position
  • If you close the trade when it is valued at £750, your 0.2% commission will amount to £1.50

Sure, this might not sound like a lot to pay. However, these costs can quickly add up – resulting in profitable trades becoming somewhat unviable. This is especially the case when you use a trading platform that has a minimum commission policy in place.

Fortunately, the UK brokers that we reviewed on this page allow trading of CFDs commission-free. This includes eToro, Skilling, and Plus500.

Spreads

If you’re wondering how UK brokers make money when they don’t charge a commission – this comes via the spread. This is simply the difference between the buy and sell price of the financial instrument being traded.

  • For example, let’s say a trader is trading Apple stocks on eToro
  • The trading platform is currently quoting a ‘buy price’ of $135.10
  • It is quoting a ‘sell price’ of $134.85
  • Calculating the difference between the two prices gives us a spread of 0.18%

This means that when the trader opens the Apple trade on eToro, the position is instantly 0.18% in the red. In other words, the trade needs to increase in value by 0.18% for you to get back to the break-even point. In this example, a spread of 0.18% is very competitive.

Other Trading Platform Fees

The main costs to explore in depth are related to share dealing fees, commissions, and spreads. However, there are other charges that your chosen platform might have in place, which includes:

  • Overnight Financing: When trading CFDs, traders will always need to pay an overnight financing fee if the position remains open past a certain time of the day. For example, at eToro, this kicks in after 10 pm UK time. This is why CFDs are only suitable for short-term strategies, as they are charged by all UK trading platforms
  • Transaction Fees: Some UK online brokers allow traders to deposit and withdraw funds fee-free, while others will implement a charge. This might be based on the chosen payment method or because traders are using a platform that is denominated in a currency other than GBP.
  • Inactivity Fees: Certain UK brokers charge a fee if your account remains inactive for a certain amount of time.
  • FX Trading Fees: In a lot of cases, UK brokers charge an FX fee when traders wish to buy, sell, or trade a non-UK-listed asset. For example, Hargreaves Lansdown will charge its standard share dealing fee of £11.95 to buy US stocks, plus a 1% FX mark-up.

All in all, fees and commissions can and will have a major impact on the ability to make gains, so users should make sure they understand what they are paying before opening an account.

What Is The Cheapest UK Trading Platform?

It is difficult to pinpoint one trading app as the cheapest because all apps come with different fees and commissions. For the cheapest platform fees, eToro comes out on top because it does not charge for owning an account or depositing funds and charges low spreads. However, the platform does charge $5 for withdrawing funds which is worth considering before withdrawing any money out of an account.

Research and Analysis Tools

Trading platforms in the UK should provide users with a range of research and analysis tools that can be used to make informed trading decisions. This is helpful for novices when looking for trading sites that offer both beginner and advanced research tools as well as educational guides about how to use them.

online trading UK

For example, eToro offers real-time market insight, a financial news feed, expert analysis and helpful price charts that can be used to determine profitable trading opportunities. Advanced traders may also want to look for platforms that offer advanced charting tools and indicators for technical analysis.

Some good research and analysis tools to look for when choosing the most feature rich UK trading platform include:

Market News

Market news is helpful for determining potential trading opportunities. The news can have a huge impact on the price of stocks so it is important to be aware of  influential news stories. Reliable platforms should provide real-time news that is updated to reflect the most recent stories.

Real-time Market Data

Trading platforms should provide real-time market data that can be used to analyse stocks. The financial markets move quickly so it is essential that any data provided by platforms is up-to-date.

Price Charts

Most trading platforms will provide easy-to-navigate price charts. It is possible to use these charts to conduct analysis and make predictions about future price movements.

Guides and Educational Resources

Whether you are new to trading in the UK or you are an experienced trader who wants to improve your skills, it is helpful to choose a platform that provides educational materials such as in-depth guides. This can help improve trading skills and navigate the different functionalities of the platform.

UK Trading Platforms Tools & Features Explained

Some UK brokers have limited features, allowing users to only buy and sell assets – and nothing more. In other cases, a chosen provider might offer an abundance of tools and features that can enhance investment endeavours to the next level.

Below we cover a selection of useful tools and trading apps UK investors can make use of.

Fractional Ownership and Low Minimums

Not all UK traders want to risk thousands of pounds on a single investment. On the contrary, some might just be starting out and thus – want to trade with small stakes. That’s why many traders prefer UK brokers that offer ‘fractional ownership’.

For those unaware, this means that traders can own or trade a ‘fraction’ of an asset, rather than needing to purchase it outright. An example of this is eToro which allows users to trade cryptocurrencies from just $25 upwards.

uk trading app

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

In the case of stocks, the minimum is just $50. This means that traders don’t need to fork out over $800 to buy a single Tesla share or $100,000 on a USD/AUD lot.

In line with fractional ownership, trading apps in the UK allow investors to get started with a small amount. This means a low minimum deposit that is affordable for traders of all budget levels.

Automated Trading

Automated trading is getting more and more popular in the online space. The main concept is that users can actively trade without needing to do any research. In fact, some automated trading tools will go one step further by placing orders on traders’ behalf. Not only does this suit traders with no experience, but those with little time to analyse the markets.

best trading apps uk

There are several ways in which trades can be automated. Some in the UK opt to purchase a trading robot, which is then installed into a platform such as MT4. In order to do this, traders will need to ensure that your chosen provider supports this third-party platform.

With that said, the safest way to engage in an automated trading platform is to do this directly through an FCA broker. eToro, for example, offers a Copy Trading feature that does not attract any additional fees. All users need to do is decide which verified eToro trader they wish to copy, and the platform will then mirror all trades in their own portfolio.

Orders

Irrespective of which trading platform you use or the asset you wish to access, you will always need to place a series of orders to execute your position.

This essentially lets your chosen trading platform know what you want to achieve. All UK brokers will offer buy and sell orders, as this is required to enter and exit your trade.

Most UK providers in this space will also offer risk-management orders. This should include stop-loss and take-profit orders at a minimum, but trailing stop-loss and guaranteed stop-loss orders are also very useful.

Research and Analysis

Unless an investor is planning to trade recklessly, a position should never be executed unless it is based on some form of research. Otherwise, it may as well be gambling. To aid in the research process, many online trading platforms in the UK will offer an assortment of analysis tools.

For example, platforms like eToro give access to pricing charts on all of its supported assets. It also offers fundamental data on major stocks, as well as guidance on current market sentiment. Most UK brokers also offer direct access to financial news, which is especially important for long-term investors.

Demo Account

Demo accounts are invaluable to traders in the UK. These are offered by many platforms and allow traders to gain access to real market conditions without risking any money. Instead, users will be trading with paper funds.

For example, eToro offers demo accounts that come pre-loaded with $100,000. Traders will still have access to the same markets, prices, and trading volume – which is for testing the waters before making a real deposit. Even for users who have some experience of online trading, demo accounts are also used to try out new trading strategies.

Mobile App

mobile trading app

Trading platforms in the UK usually offer a mobile investment app that is compatible with Android and iOS. Sure, you might be planning to trade via your desktop computer or laptop.

But, there might come a time when you need to place a trade when you are on the move. A prime example of this Gamestop (GME) – which prior to writing this guide, saw its share price drop by 60%.

As such, if you had a position in this stock and were unable to close it until you got home, your losses would have been significant.

On the other hand, if you had access to a mobile trading app, you could have exited the position instantly and reduced your losses by some distance.

The most popular mobile trading apps also offer other key account features. For example, the eToro mobile app allows you to check the value of your portfolio in real-time, deposit and withdraw funds, and even speak to customer support via live chat.

Payment Methods

When you go through the process of opening an account with a trading platform, you will be asked to deposit some funds. Trading platforms with instant deposits allow you to do this immediately with a debit or credit card. Similarly, platforms like eToro, Libertex, and Skilling also accept e-wallets.

With that said, some trading platforms in the UK only support bank account deposits. This can take a few days to reach your trading account, meaning it won’t be suitable if you want to buy an asset immediately. You also need to check what fees are attached to your chosen payment method.

Customer Service

It’s always good to consider what customer support channels are offered by the trading platform. Ideally, the provider should offer a live chat feature. Telephone support is also a notable feature as users can speak with a live agent in real-time. If, however, the platform only provides email support, then clients may have to wait several hours to receive a response.

How to Get Started with a UK Trading Platform in 2023

This section of our guide will show users how to get started with an online trading platform. We provide a walk-through of the process of opening an account, making a deposit, and placing first trades.

Step 1: Open a Trading Account

Open a free account at an FCA regulated platform. You’ll first enter your name, email and choose a password.

Read the terms and conditions, privacy policy and accept those.

Step 2: Confirm Identity

An FCA-regulated trading platform will need to verify your identity to meet anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

To do this, upload a copy of your:

  • Valid passport or driver’s license
  • Utility bill or bank account statement (issued within the last 3 months)

You can upload these documents at a later date as long as you are not depositing more than $2,250 (about £1,700).

Step 3: Deposit Funds

If you want to use a demo account first, you can do this to get comfortable with how the trading platform works.

When you’re ready to trade with real money, you can choose from the following payment methods:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • Maestro
  • Paypal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bank Transfer

Step 4: Search for a Trading Market

Once your deposit has been processed you can start. On the dashboard, click on the ‘Trade Markets’ button to see what assets are supported. Or, if you already know which asset you want to trade, search for it.

Step 5: Place a CFD Trade

Once you click on the ‘Trade’ button next to your chosen asset, an order box will appear.

You then need to fill in the following fields:

  • Buy/Sell: If you think the asset will rise in value, place a buy order. Or, place a sell order if you think the asset will fall in value.
  • Amount: Enter your stake into the ‘Amount’ box.
  • Leverage: Apart from cryptocurrencies (as per FCA regulations),

If you wish, you can also place stop-loss, trailing stop-loss, and take-profit orders on your trade.

To complete your trade, click on the ‘Open Trade’ button.

Latest Trading News in 2023

  • London stocks fell as the sudden rise in oil prices sparks worries of inflation which is causing a decline in the FTSE100. Oil regained the $90 per barrel price due to production cuts from Russia and Saudi Arabia. This has caused markets to react negatively and is adding to inflationary pressures for central banks.
  • The UK’s second biggest city, Birmingham, declares financial distress. Birmingham is home to over 1 million people and states that long standing issues and mismanagement of funds by the government has led them to see cuts of £1 billion since 2010. The city is feeling the effects of under-funding due to rampant inflation, increased costs for adult social care, and reductions in business rates income.
  • UK workers will be worse off in 2024 than in 2019, while pensioners who have savings and no mortgage will benefit from the rise in total gross income from interest on savings. Higher interest rates, steep tax rises and a stagnant economy are causing UK workers to suffer from the worst income falls in a 5 year period since the 1950’s, resulting in a 4% decrease in household income.
  • Recent statistics show that universities in the UK contribute over £100 billion to the UK economy. A report led by London Economics found that the higher education sector constituted over 760,000 jobs across the UK, contributing £116 billion to the economy in 2021-2022.
  • The UK government encourages innovative manufacturing and automotive projects. Over £50 million worth of grants has been awarded to cutting edge projects focusing on battery innovation, energy storage R&D, self-driving technologies and lower transport emissions.

There is quite a bit of choice when selecting a suitable UK trading platform. Many of them have long entered the online trading marketplace and it is becoming increasingly accessible to invest online. Whether it’s stocks, forex, cryptocurrencies, or CFDs, trading platforms in the UK provide access to thousands of global markets across different asset classes.

eToro has a wide user base in the UK and is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The platform offers access to a variety of asset markets, has substantially low fees, with zero commission trading.

UK Trading Platforms FAQs

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Michael Graw

Michael Graw

Michael Graw is a freelance journalist who covers finance, trading, and technology. His work has been published on numerous high-profile websites that cover the intersection of markets, global news, and emerging tech. Michael has also written for StockApps, Buyshares and LearnBonds

Before starting his career as a freelance writer, Michael studied at Cornell University where he obtained a BA in Microbiology. He then went on to recieve a Ph.D in Philosophy from Oregon State University. With 6 years of finance writing under his belt, Michael is an expert in his niche and has built up significant industry knowledge during his time as a writer. Michael writes informative content with the goal of supporting readers to make better financial judgements.