FCA-Regulated broker comparison
What is the best FCA-regulated forex broker that offers a demo account?
IG is our pick for the best FCA-regulated forex broker. Year after year, IG has shown itself to be the best broker in the forex industry. Highly trusted and regulated in a staggering eight Tier-1 jurisdictions, IG holds a Trust Score rating of 99. Though IG does offer MetaTrader 4, IG’s proprietary web-based trading platform steals the show with its wide variety of rich features, market research, and powerful trading tools. Fans of social copy trading will appreciate IG’s seamless integration of trading signals into its web platform. IG has won countless Annual Awards from our sister site, ForexBrokers.com, and is a fantastic choice for forex traders of all experience levels.
IG Trading Platform Screenshots
The benefits of trading with an FCA regulated broker
The primary mission of the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), akin to other regulators of financial markets, is safeguarding investors and traders and maintaining the integrity of the U.K.'s financial markets. Recognized for its rigorous and comprehensive rules, the FCA has earned a reputation as a top-tier regulatory body. The FCA is also the governing body responsible for overseeing brokers within the country who legally provide forex and various other derivatives to both retail and expert traders. Here are some of the benefits of trading with FCA-regulated brokers:
- Client fund protection: FCA regulations require brokers to segregate client funds from their own operational funds, providing an extra layer of security for traders. In the event of a broker's insolvency, client funds are protected and can be returned to investors. View FCA requirements.
- Regular audits: All FCA-regulated brokers undergo periodic audits to ensure compliance with established regulations.
- Fair dispute resolution: If there's a dispute between a trader and an FCA-regulated broker, traders have the option to approach the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for an unbiased resolution.
- Strict leverage caps: The FCA imposes standardized leverage limits on various financial instruments for retail clients, mitigating excessive risk exposure.
Benefits of FCA regulation
Trading with an FCA-regulated broker provides benefits such as client fund protection, transparent pricing and execution practices, and adherence to professional conduct standards.
The risks of trading with unregulated brokers
Trading with unregulated brokers can expose investors to a range of risks and potential financial losses. It is essential to be aware of the warning signs associated with scam brokers and understand the dangers of engaging with them. Here are some of the risks of trading with unregulated brokers:
- Potential scams: Unregulated brokers may engage in deceptive tactics and/or misleading advertising to attract unsuspecting traders. They may promise unrealistic returns or offer excessively high leverage options without disclosing associated risks adequately. Scams can lead to substantial financial losses.
- Lack of oversight: Regulated brokers are subject to regular monitoring by financial authorities and must comply with industry standards and ethical practices. Unregulated brokers operate outside this framework, making it difficult for investors to seek recourse or recover lost funds.
- Lack of fund safety: Unregulated brokers aren't obligated to hold client funds in segregated accounts. This could lead to misuse of client funds for the broker's operational or other activities.
- Fraudulent practices: Without regulatory oversight, brokers can engage in deceptive and manipulative practices such as price manipulation, order slippage, and stop-hunting.
- Withholding profits: Some unregulated brokers might delay or refuse withdrawal requests, making it difficult or impossible for traders to access their profits.
Always choose a regulated broker
Trading with unregulated brokers can be incredibly risky. Unregulated brokers lack oversight, transparency, and accountability.
How to identify an FCA-regulated broker
To identify an FCA-regulated broker you can perform an FCA license check by visiting the official FCA website and using their registration number lookup tool. This will allow you to verify if a broker is indeed authorized and regulated by the FCA. The same license number should also be featured on the broker's website, either at the bottom of the website, or listed in a dedicated regulation page.
BrokerNotes.co 2023 Overall Rankings
To recap, here are our top forex brokers for 2023, sorted by Overall ranking.
At BrokerNotes.co, our data-driven reviews of online brokers are based on our own extensive testing of each broker's products and services as well as the qualified observations of our expert editorial team. In conjunction with our sister site, ForexBrokers.com, we’ve published well over 100,000 words of research and collected thousands of data points across hundreds of variables. Our in-depth trading guides are created with the same rigorous, data-driven approach.
Our proprietary Trust Score rating system tracks data from over 100 regulatory jurisdictions to help forex traders understand the regulatory status of their forex broker and choose a broker that they can trust.
Our editorial team is led by Steven Hatzakis, an industry veteran with decades of experience and a deep understanding of the forex market. Our team conducts thorough testing on a wide range of brokers, platforms, products, technologies, third-party trading tools, and mobile apps. We also test for the availability of high-quality educational content, actionable market research resources, and the accessibility and capabilities of mobile platforms. All of our ratings and rankings are based on the collection and validation of thousands of data points and our in-depth product testing.
Part of our testing process involves in-depth research into commissions and fees. We dive into each broker’s trading costs, such as VIP rebates, inactivity fees, custody fees, bid/ask spreads (we always strive to determine the average spreads for each broker to better serve our readers), and a variety of other fee-based data points.
All websites and web-based platforms are tested using the latest version of the Google Chrome browser. Our Desktop PCs run Windows 11, and we use MacBook Pro laptops running the latest version of macOS to test trading on the go.
When testing mobile apps or mobile products, we test on both Apple and Android devices. For Apple, we test with the iPhone XS running iOS 16, and for Android we use the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra devices running Android OS 13.
All of the content on BrokerNotes.co is researched, fact-checked, and edited by members of our editorial team. Our ratings and rankings are driven by our independent data collection. We may use generative AI tools to assist in some of the rote aspects of our content production processes, but the substance of our content, as well as our opinions and evaluations are based on our extensive research and product testing. Read our Generative AI policy to learn more.
Our rigorous data validation process provides our readers with quality data they can trust. Click here to learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more about foreign exchange risk.
About the Editorial Team
Reink Media Group is compensated if you access certain of the products or services offered by eToro USA LLC and/or eToro USA Securities Inc. Any testimonials contained in this communication may not be representative of the experience of other eToro customers and such testimonials are not guarantees of future performance or success.
Trading Leveraged Products such as Forex and Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors as they carry a high degree of risk to your capital. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, taking into account your investments objectives and level of experience, before trading, and if necessary, seek independent advice. Please read the full Risk Disclosure.