Please remember that when you trade, your capital is at risk. More than 65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with most of the providers below. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money before moving forward.

Best Forex (FX) Trading Platforms in the UK

Updated On: Aug 2, 2022
Best Forex Trading Platform UK

Contents:

Best Forex Trading Platforms

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best forex trading platforms in the UK. These are apps, websites, brokerages and platforms that allow you to trade national currency pairs using leverage.

Please remember that when you trade, your capital is at risk. More than 65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with most of the providers below. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money before moving forward.

All the providers listed below are authorised and regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Here are some of the best forex trading platforms in the UK:


FinecoBank - Market spread from 0.8 pips; 50+ currency pairs

FinecoBank Logo
Minimum Deposit
£0
Market Spread
From 0.8 pips
Currency Pairs
50+

FinecoBank is one of Europe’s largest banks, with 20+ years of leadership history in brokerage and over 30 million orders processed every year. Its core mission is to make online trading simple by providing direct access to the markets in just one click. With Fineco, you can access 26 global markets and trade over 20,000 financial instruments worldwide on a single account, including forex CFDs, UK and overseas shares, ETFs, funds and bonds. Fineco offers a wide selection of cross-currency pairs, including the most important FX market pairs, EUR/USD, GBP/USD, GBP/JPY and AUD/USD. Users can also invest and trade directly in GBP, EUR, USD, Swiss Franc and 20+ currencies. FinecoBank users enjoy advanced tools, interactive charts and automatic orders via the website, app or PowerDesk platform. In-house training to improve your trading abilities and acquire specific skills for Forex CFD trading is also available to all FinecoBank customers.

With FinecoBank, the spreads, which function as trading fees for forex brokers, start as low as 0.8 pips. Overnight position charges also apply based on the value and duration of your trade. FinecoBank’s products include a Trading Account and Stocks and Shares ISA.

Please note: When you invest, your capital is at risk. 71.97% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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Saxo Markets - Market spread from 0.4 pips; 190+ currency pairs

Saxo Markets logo
Minimum Deposit
£0
Market Spread
From 0.4 pips
Currency Pairs
190+

Saxo Markets is the UK division of Saxo Bank, a large European bank and investment platform that allows you to invest in 60,000+ financial products from stock markets around the world, including London, New York, Hong Kong, and 50+ other global markets. With Saxo Markets, you can invest in leveraged trading products such as forex, CFDs, futures, commodities and options, or cash investment products such as UK and overseas stocks and shares, bonds and ETFs. Saxo Markets offers a wide selection of currency pairs, including majors such as GBP/USD, EUR/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, USD/CAD, USD/CHF and EUR/GBP, minors, exotic pairs and spot metals. Saxo Markets traders benefit from extensive charting with 50+ technical indicators, integrated trade signals, news feeds and risk-management features via the SaxoTraderGO platform, which is available on desktop, tablet or smartphone. Advanced traders can access even more sophisticated trading features on SaxoTraderPRO, Saxo Bank’s desktop-only advanced trading platform.

With Saxo Markets, the spreads, which function as trading fees for forex brokers, start as low as 0.4 pips. Overnight interest rates and charges also apply based on the value and duration of your trade. Saxo Markets’ suite of products includes a Trading Account, Stocks and Shares ISA and SIPP.

Please note: When you invest, your capital is at risk. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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eToro - Market spread from 1 pip; 49 currency pairs

eToro Logo
Minimum Deposit
£0
Market Spread
From 1 pip
Currency Pairs
49

eToro is a multi-asset platform that allows you to invest and trade in stocks, forex, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, indices and commodities. Users can trade directly in the underlying assets or via contracts for differences (CFDs). eToro allows you to trade up to 49 national currency pairs, including majors such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, USD/CAD, USD/CHF and EUR/GBP. Users can also trade minors, exotic pairs and crosses. It is entirely free to open an account with eToro, and all registered users receive a US$100,000 demo account for free, which you can use to practise trading until you become confident. On eToro, the spreads, which function as trading fees for forex brokers, start at 1 pip. eToro also charges overnight fees relative to the value of your positions. Withdrawals incur a fee of US$5, and FX rates apply to non-USD deposits and withdrawals. eToro does not offer an ISA or SIPP.

Please note: When you invest, your capital is at risk. 78% 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. Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product with no UK or EU investor protection.

Other fees apply. For more information, visit eToro.

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Pepperstone - Market spread from 0.6 pips; 60+ currency pairs

Pepperstone logo
Minimum Deposit
£0
Market Spread
From 0.6 pips
Currency Pairs
60+

Pepperstone is a forex broker that allows you to trade in forex, stocks, commodities and other assets via contracts for differences (CFDs). The Pepperstone platform boasts low-cost spreads, fast execution speeds and access to over 1,200+ trading instruments. With Pepperstone, you can trade more than 60 national currency pairs, including majors such as EUR/USD, EUR/GBP, GBP/USD, USD/CAD, USD/CHF, USD/JPY and AUD/USD. Users can also trade minors, exotic pairs and crosses. It is entirely free to open an account with Pepperstone, and all registered users gain access to a free demo account which you can use to practise forex trading until you become confident.

On Pepperstone, the spreads, which function as trading fees for forex brokers, start at 0.6 pips. Pepperstone charges commissions on CFD Razor accounts when trading forex and a swap rate (overnight fee) for holding CFD positions overnight. Other fees apply. Pepperstone does not offer an ISA or SIPP.

Please note: When you invest, your capital is at risk. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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XTB - Market spread from 0.1 pips; 48 currency pairs

XTB logo
Minimum Deposit
£0
Market Spread
From 0.1 pips
Currency Pairs
50+

XTB is an easy-to-use, fully customisable European trading platform and one of the largest stock exchange-listed FX & CFD brokers in the world. It provides retail traders instant access to hundreds of global markets. With XTB, you can trade forex, stock CFDs, ETF CFDs, indices and commodities. XTB also has an extensive library of educational materials containing videos, webinars and courses suitable for both beginners and experienced investors. When you sign up, you will have access to a dedicated account officer who will help you understand your needs and how XTB works. It’s free to open a trading account with XTB. Deposits in GBP and EUR are free of charge, but withdrawals below £60 have a £12 processing fee. Inactive accounts also attract a monthly fee of €10.

XTB has offices in over 13 countries, including the UK, Germany and France, and over 450,000 customers worldwide. XTB does not offer an ISA or SIPP.

Please note: Contracts for Differences (CFDs) are leveraged products and carry a significant risk of loss to your capital, as prices may move rapidly against you, and you may be required to make further payments to keep any trades open. Between 74 and 89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. These products are not suitable for all clients. Please ensure you fully understand the risks and seek independent advice.

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What Is Forex Trading?

Forex (foreign exchange or FX) trading involves the speculative buying and selling of national currencies with the goal of making a profit.

If you’ve ever travelled out of the country, received or paid someone in a currency other than your local currency or visited a post office, bank, or bureau de change to buy travel money, you have already participated in the foreign exchange market. 

But unlike buying and selling foreign currencies in a bureau de change or bank for personal or even commercial use, when you trade forex, you do not actually receive the foreign currency in your bank account. Instead, you are participating in a contract that specifies that if the currency you purchase increases in value, you take the profit, and in the same way, if it drops in value, you accept the loss. This is called “over the counter” or OTC trading, which means there is no physical exchange of the actual currency.

People and institutions use forex to hedge currency and interest rate risk, speculate on geopolitical events, diversify portfolios or simply make a quick financial gain.

Because countries need to trade with one another to thrive, the foreign exchange market tends to be the largest and most liquid asset market in the world. According to a 2019 triennial (three-year) report from the Bank for International Settlements (a global bank for national central banks), trading in FX markets reached US$6.6 trillion per day in April 2019, up from US$5.1 trillion three years earlier.

How Does Forex Work?

People and institutions trade forex for a variety of reasons, including to hedge currency and interest rate risk, speculate on geopolitical events and diversify portfolios.

  1. Forex for Hedging: When you buy or sell goods and services in a foreign country, you are at risk of losing money due to fluctuations in the values of international currencies. Institutions that trade globally on a large scale are at an even bigger risk of losing significant amounts of money due to currency fluctuations. To mitigate this risk, foreign exchange markets provide a way to hedge currency risk by fixing a rate at which the transaction will be completed. This is accomplished by buying or selling currencies in the forward or swap markets in advance, which locks in an exchange rate.
  2. Forex for Speculation: Many factors affect the supply and demand for currencies, such as international trade, interest rates, tourism, geopolitical events, and economic strength. As a result, there is an opportunity to profit from changes in the value of one currency compared to another. If, for example, a forex trader expects the price of the USD to increase against the GBP. The trader can buy the GBP/USD pair on the forex market and sell it for a profit when the price rises.
  3. Forex for Diversification: Traditionally, before the advent of cryptocurrencies, people who wanted to diversify their investment portfolios with exchange-traded securities that go beyond stocks, ETFs and bonds used forex. Forex can be a good addition to your portfolio, provided you are not overleveraged and understand how the forex markets work.

How Are Currencies Traded?

Currencies are traded on the forex markets and are usually traded in pairs. This is because when you buy one currency, you simultaneously sell the other. Each currency has a three-letter symbol similar to the ticker symbols you find on stock exchanges (for example, AAPL represents Apple Inc. on the NASDAQ Stock Market in the US).

In the forex market, we use GBP for the British pound sterling, EUR for the euro, USD for the United States dollar and so on. Currency pairs are quotations of two different currencies, with the value of one currency being quoted against the other. For example, GBP/USD. 

Each currency pair comprises two elements: the first is known as the “base currency”, and the second is the “quote currency”. The base currency is always equal to 1, while the quote currency is the value of the second currency. For example, if GBP/USD = 1.3, this means that £1 = US$1.3. Alternatively, you could say it would cost US$1.3 to buy £1. An easy way to think of this is - any time you look at the value of a currency pair, you are looking at the value of the second currency.

Currency pairs on the forex markets typically have two prices: the “Ask” price, which is the price you buy a currency pair and the “Bid” price, which is the price you sell a currency pair. 

It is relatively easy to enter and participate in the forex markets. The markets are open 24 hours a day, five days a week: starting each day in Australia and ending in New York, and anyone with a smartphone and internet connection can access them. Additionally, participating in the FX markets requires very little of your own money to start, as most forex brokers provide the opportunity to use leverage (credit) to increase the size of your portfolio.

Finally, since trading foreign exchange is a macroeconomic endeavour, one need not bother with understanding the nuances of microeconomic factors.

How to Trade Forex for Beginners

To trade forex from home or anywhere with internet connectivity, you need to do the following:

  1. Learn forex terminologies: FX trading requires specialised knowledge of terminologies and an understanding of how the markets work. To succeed as an FX trader, one must understand forex terminologies such as ask and bid prices, leverage ratios, contracts for differences (CFDs), types of forex accounts, bear and bull markets, lot sizes, margins, pip, pipette, spread, sniping and hunting, spots, forwards and futures markets, among others. Scroll down to see our short definitions of some of these terms.
  2. Understand leverage ratios: Leverage is when you use borrowed money to multiply your returns. The FX broker typically provides this loan, and it can usually be accessed with just a click of a button. Leverage ratios in forex differ significantly from what you find in equities markets. The leverage ratio in forex markets can go as high as 400:1. A 400:1 ratio, for example, means that the broker will multiply your current capital by 400, thereby increasing the size of your portfolio and, as a result, the size of your profits or losses. While this may sound scary, it is important to note that the highest leverage ratio available to a retail forex trader in the UK is 30:1. Additionally, the financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), makes sure that FX brokers provide protections that guarantee a client cannot lose more than the total funds in their CFD account.
  3. Open a forex trading account: Once you are comfortable with leverage and know a few terminologies, it is time to set up a forex trading account. This is the easy part. Visit any of the brokers listed above, enter a few personal details, verify your personal information, add a payment method and fund your account. You should always check that the provider you sign up with is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All the FX brokers listed on Koody are regulated by the FCA.
  4. Research currency pairs: Currency pairs are quotations of two different currencies, with the value of one currency being quoted against the other, for example, GBP/USD. Currency pairs are divided into two main categories: majors and minors. The currencies that trade the most volume against the USD are called majors. Such currencies include EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, USD/CAD and USD/CHF. The EUR/GBP is also a major currency pair. All other currency pairs are called minors, exotic pairs or crosses. The major currency pairs tend to have the most liquid markets and trade 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday.
  5. Understand market drivers: The drivers for currency price movements are different from those for equity markets. Market drivers include macroeconomic factors such as interest rates, inflation rates, geopolitical events, economic policies, international trade and balance of payments. A good understanding of FX market drivers can help you make decisions about what currency pairs to buy or sell and when.
  6. Develop an FX trading strategy: To become a successful forex trader, you need a trading strategy that incorporates sound fundamental and technical analyses. You must also avoid impulsive behaviour and only trade currency pairs that you have researched thoroughly. Additionally, you must apply a bit of common sense to know when to exit a losing position, even if you feel like you have lost a significant amount of your initial capital. Lost money can always be recovered in future trades if you maintain composure and create and stick to strict buy and sell rules.
  7. Pay attention to fees: As we have stressed in this article, trading forex typically involves leverage which is the same as taking a loan from a financial institution. Loans are usually associated with all sorts of fees: overnight fees, spreads, etc. It is important to keep on top of them so as to avoid unwelcome surprises.
  8. Start trading forex: Once you’ve built enough confidence to enter the forex markets, hit the trade button and start trading.

Forex Market Opening Times

The forex market is open 24 hours a day, five days a week: starting each day in Australia and ending in New York.

Unlike individual stock exchanges, such as the New York, London or Frankfurt stock exchanges, which work to specific opening hours and hence have a stop-start nature, forex markets work non-stop five days a week from 9 pm GMT on Sunday until 8 pm GMT on Friday. 

The ability of the forex markets to trade over 24 hours is due in part to different international time zones. The forex market has four main trading hubs, each working across different time zones: Sydney, London, Tokyo and New York. When FX trading stops in one location, it continues in another. Forex is also traded in Zurich, Frankfurt, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Types of Currency Traders

There are four main types of forex traders: scalper, day trader, swing trader and position trader.

  1. Scalper: A scalper is a trader who looks to make quick profits from small price changes in the market. A scalp trader holds their positions for seconds or minutes at most with the goal of making many small profits that add up to a decent amount at the end of the day.
  2. Day trader: A day trader is a short-term trader who closes their positions on the same day it was opened. The duration of a day trade can be hours or minutes, but each trade is always liquidated on the same day. Like scalp trading, the goal here is to make many small profits that add up to a decent amount at the end of the day.
  3. Swing trader: A swing trader is a trader who holds their position for longer than a day, but never more than a few weeks or months. Swing trades can be useful during major announcements by governments or times of economic tumult.
  4. Position trader: A position trader holds their position for an extended period of time, usually many months or even years.

Forex Trading Terminologies

To succeed in forex trading, you need to understand the terminology. Here are some important forex terms to get you started:

  1. Forex account: A forex account is a trading account for buying and selling currency pairs. There are three main types of forex accounts based on lot sizes: micro (trade up to 1,000 units of a currency pair in one lot), mini (trade up to 10,000 units in one lot) and standard (trade up to 100,000 units in one lot). You should not be intimidated by the lot sizes, as each lot includes leverage. So if a forex broker offered you a 20:1 leverage ratio, for example, you only need US$50 of your own money to open a micro forex account.

  2. Lot size: Currencies are traded in sizes called lots. There are four main lot sizes: nano (consists of 100 units of a currency), micro (consists of 1,000 units), mini (consists of 10,000 units) and standard (consists of 100,000 units). Naturally, the higher the lot size, the higher the profits (or losses) you stand to make from your trades.

  3. Leverage: Leverage is when you use borrowed money to multiply your returns. The FX broker typically provides this loan, and it can usually be accessed with just a click of a button. Leverage ratios in forex differ significantly from what you find in equities markets. The leverage ratio in forex markets can go as high as 400:1. A 400:1 ratio, for example, means that the broker will multiply your current capital by 400, thereby increasing the size of your portfolio and, as a result, the size of your profits or losses. While this may sound scary, it is important to note that the highest leverage ratio available to a retail forex trader in the UK is 30:1. Additionally, the financial watchdog, the FCA, makes sure that FX brokers provide protections that guarantee a client cannot lose more than the total funds in their CFD account.

  4. Contract for difference (CFD): A contract for difference is a trading product that enables you to buy and sell currency pairs in the forex market without owning the underlying asset. CFDs are based on agreements with the broker and rely on heavy use of leverage. You should carefully assess the risks associated with CFDs or other leveraged products before committing to them, as the resulting losses can often be greater than initially expected.

  1. Margin: Margin in forex trading refers to the amount of your own money used to open a position. If you open a position with US$500 at a 5:1 leverage ratio, for example, your total exposure or the total amount of money in that trade would be US$2,500. Since only US$500 of the money came from your pocket, that US$500 is the margin and the remaining US$2,000 is leverage.

  2. Ask price: The ask price is the price at which a trader is willing to buy a currency pair.

  3. Bid price: The bid price is the price at which a trader is willing to sell a currency pair.

  4. Spread: A spread is the difference between the bid and ask prices in a foreign currency trade. Since FX brokers do not charge commissions for trades, one of the ways they make money is through spreads.

  5. Bear market: A bear market in forex trading is a period of continuous decline in currency prices, usually about a 20% drop from recent highs. Bear markets are typically caused by depressing economic fundamentals, investor fear, uncertainty, natural disasters, pandemics such as COVID-19, etc.

  6. Bull market: A bull market in forex trading is a period of continuous rise in currency prices, usually a 20% rise from the lows reached in a bear market. Bull markets are usually associated with low unemployment, positive economic news, increased consumer confidence and strong economic growth.

  1. Long: When a trader takes a long position, it simply means that the trader has purchased the underlying asset, in this case, the currency pair. Anytime you buy an asset on an exchange, you are going long. Market participants go long when they anticipate that the price of an asset will increase in value and they can profit from it.

  2. Short: A trader shorts a currency pair when they believe the price will drop in future. Shorting is when a trader borrows a currency pair from a broker, sells it at the current price, and waits for the price to decrease. Once the price drops, the trader repurchases it at a lower price in order to make a profit.

  3. Pip: A pip is a “percentage in point” or “price interest point”. It represents a one-digit movement in the fourth decimal place of a currency pair. For example, if the GBP/USD moves from US$1.28032 to US$1.28042, then it has moved by one pip. A pip is used to measure the change in the price of one currency in relation to another.

  4. Pipette: A pipette in forex trading is a one-digit movement in the fifth decimal place of a currency pair.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the best forex trading apps for beginners?

Here are some of the best forex trading apps for beginners:

  1. eToro - Market spread from 1 pip; 49 currency pairs
  2. Saxo Markets - Market spread from 0.4 pips; 190+ currency pairs
  3. FinecoBank - Market spread from 0.8 pips; 50+ currency pairs
  4. XTB - Market spread from 0.1 pips; 48 currency pairs
  5. Pepperstone - Market spread from 0.6 pips; 60+ currency pairs

2. What is forex?

Forex literally translates to foreign exchange, which refers to trading or exchanging one currency for another. “Forex” is a portmanteau of the words “foreign” and “exchange”.


3. What is the forex market?

The forex market is where national currencies are traded. It has four main trading hubs, each working across different time zones: Sydney, London, Tokyo and New York. When FX trading stops in one location, it continues in another. Forex is also traded in Zurich, Frankfurt, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore.

4. What is a currency pair?

A currency pair is a quotation of two different currencies, with the value of one currency being quoted against the other, for example, GBP/USD = 1.2878.

5. Which currencies can I trade in?

You can trade majors, minors, crosses and exotic currency pairs. The currencies that trade the most volume against the USD are called majors. Such currencies include EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, USD/CAD and USD/CHF. The EUR/GBP is also a major currency pair. All other currency pairs are called minors, exotic pairs or crosses. The major currency pairs tend to have the most liquid markets and trade 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday.


6. What is a forex broker?

A forex broker is a financial services institution that facilitates currency trading between parties on the forex markets. Forex brokers are also known as forex trading platforms, currency trading brokers or forex trading apps.


7. Is forex trading worth it?

Forex trading can be a profitable venture and a good way to diversify your investment portfolio. To become a successful forex trader, you need a trading strategy that incorporates sound fundamental and technical analyses. You must also avoid impulsive behaviour and only trade currency pairs that you have researched thoroughly. Additionally, you must apply a bit of common sense to know when to exit a losing position, even if you feel like you have lost a significant amount of your initial capital. Lost money can always be recovered in future trades if you maintain composure and create and stick to strict buy and sell rules.


8. Are forex markets regulated?

Yes, forex markets are regulated. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates forex trading in the UK. 

9. How do I open a forex account?

To open a forex account, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Choose a forex broker or trading platform.
  2. Enter your personal details and verify your identity.
  3. Select a payment method and fund your account.
  4. Research currency pairs.
  5. Start trading.

10. Who are the best forex brokers in the UK?

Here are some of the best forex brokers in the UK:

  1. FinecoBank - Market spread from 0.8 pips; 50+ currency pairs
  2. Saxo Markets - Market spread from 0.4 pips; 190+ currency pairs
  3. eToro - Market spread from 1 pip; 49 currency pairs
  4. Pepperstone - Market spread from 0.6 pips; 60+ currency pairs
  5. XTB - Market spread from 0.1 pips; 48 currency pairs

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