If you are wondering who makes it onto the list of the best forex broker in the UK & Australia for 2021, look no further!
Welcome to the ultimate guide for finding what is the best forex broker in UK and who wins in the best broker for Australia? Firstly, we need to consider how to choose the best forex broker, then we can delve into which broker is best in both the UK and Australia, and why.
How to choose the best forex broker UK or Australia? What are the criteria?
1. Best forex brokers in the UK and Australia will have limited forex trading counterparty risk.
Forex trading can be inherently risky without worrying about your broker or counterparty adding any additional elements. Therefore, the first key point to qualify as a top forex broker is having a limited amount of risk so that your money is safe.
What does this mean in reality?
Quite simply having a track record of excellence in forex trading that has stood the test of time and a strong regulatory compliance culture.
We will want to see a minimum of 10 years trading as a forex broker with a solid record of customer satisfaction and no regulatory issues.
No brokers on-boarding UK traders offshore as standard practice will be considered. No brokers targeting Australian users without an ASIC licence will be on this list. You can be sure that first and foremost you are in a safe trading environment with all the forex brokers on this list.
2. Good trading conditions are a must for any best forex broker whether UK or Australian
All our top ranked brokers need to be providing good trading conditions across the board but especially on the most popular trading instruments per Country.
Ok, so what are considered good trading conditions?
Low spreads, low transaction costs and good access to a variety of forex markets.
Whilst we fully accept that forex brokers need to be able to turn a profit in order to run their business, and especially to provide a lot of supplementary features, there needs to be fairness.
We won’t include any brokers with inflated fees that are just there to line their pockets if they are only providing basic tools and services.
3. Mobile functionality is as essential for forex trading today as charts
Next on our list of requirements is a solid mobile offering for trading on the go.
It goes without saying that in 2021 we are more glued to a variety of handheld devices than ever and our trading experience should cater to that.
Simply having a desktop platform will not cut it any longer if a broker wants to be considered one of the best forex brokers in the UK and Australia. We want to see our users have the option to execute trades as easily on mobile or tablets as they can on the full version, not a stripped back imitation.
4. For a forex broker to be considered the best, they need to have a great customer support ethos
Understanding that traders are human beings and treating us fairly should be a basic right that all brokers offer but you would be surprised.
To be on this shortlist, brokers need to have shown that the culture of customer service is important, and that the user experience is at the forefront of what they are doing. After all this is a people-based business they are in. Even if not directly customer facing in the traditional sense when a user is trading online, there should be no dilution in the care given when any issue or query arises.
To be on the list of best forex broker UK and Australia, we need to see good contact hours, a good response time, and a variety of mediums to suit each user type. Telephone, email and live chat options are the minimum basics we would expect to see but additional channels are a benefit.
5. Showing a conflict of interest is not tolerated, work with traders not against them
We will eliminate any broker that has shown a propensity to put their own interests ahead of their traders or those that profit only when a user loses.
Does this eliminate all brokers with a dealing desk?
Short answer, no but there are some caveats. If it has become known that a brokers’ model is to profit solely from a traders losses, they are instantly off this list but we will not eliminate all brokers with a dealing desk as there are not always conflicts here (see our article about dealing desk and non dealing desk brokers for more on that).
The biggest exclusion point here is going to be broker account managers or sales team practices. If our feedback indicates that there is a culture for their account managers to push users to trade any more than they are comfortable with or encourage higher leverage usage than planned then for us that is not a top forex broker. We want to see account managers working with traders to help where needed, not push trades.
The culture of the broker throughout needs to match up with putting the trader first and providing the best service and framework for the trader to continue using their services. It is a hard thing to ensure but we would like to see that all throughout the business conflicts are eliminated.
What separates the rest from the best forex broker UK
FCA Regulated only
The best forex broker UK list below will only include those with FCA regulation, and we will prioritise those with a physical UK office. This is that the broker you choose is more accountable and committed to UK based traders. With the restructuring of UK and EU agreements still under way, it is more important than in the past that you have a broker that is abiding by local regulations which may in time stray a little further from that adopted in the wider European Union.
Industry Leading Trading Costs and GBP options
To get onto the list of best brokers in the UK, trading conditions will be more weighted towards the most popular trading pairs and assets for UK users. There should be ultra competitive options for GBP pairs, and great conditions for depositing and withdrawing in local currency. This is to ensure than users are not reducing their trading balance on each exchange from GBP to a different trading account currency.
UK Oriented Instruments Can Be Tax Efficient
A product set with UK traders in mind such as CFDs linked to the UK FTSE index and LSE shares will be a plus. If the broker also offers direct listed shares and spread-betting as a trading option to limit capital gains liabilities, this can only be considered a great advantage.
A Trading Toolkit To Rival The Best
The full range of products that you as a trader would expect should be catered for. Gone are the days where you need to have a different broker or trading account for every type of trading. You can now have all those trading tools under one roof in a single toolkit. The winner of best forex broker UK will surely need to specialise in forex, but the added extras should not be overlooked.
The trading toolkit aspect will incorporate the platform that the broker provides for trading. If you have the option to trade from MT4, proprietary platforms, and great mobile trading, you have a step towards success as best forex broker UK.
Customer Support is king
Customer support will need to be provided in English and all through the typical UK based trading period. Out of core hours support when the US markets are in full swing will also be a plus point, bringing the global markets to the UK trader.
There you have it, the basis for our best forex broker UK list, now let’s get on with the awards!
Best Forex Broker UK
Pepperstone : Winner Best Forex Broker UK 2021
Pepperstone have been in operation for more than 10 years now and have a great overall proposition that makes them our number 1 forex broker in UK. Let’s take a look at the details behind the win.
With FCA regulation (Financial Conduct Authority 684312) and an expanding UK presence, Pepperstone are showing a strong commitment to UK based traders and providing great conditions to boot. Their customer service in the UK is multi-faceted and they have a UK based freephone number to boot (08000465473) which makes calling and taking time with their support team an effort which costs only time.
Great costs to trade and a wide range of products
Spreads with Pepperstone are as low as 0.0 on GBP based pairs (GBP/EUR & GBP/USD) with the Razor account. There are 11 additional currencies paired against GBP, ranging from the majors through to the exotics of MXN (Mexican Peso) and Swedish Krone amongst others. On the negative front, you can expect to see some wider variance in spreads if you are trading exotics and standard account spreads are from 1.0 for the majors but all-in-all these conditions are very hard to match.
Trade FTSE100 on MT5
Trading the FTSE 100 index via CFD with Pepperstone is very easy on their MT5 platform but the direct share CFD offering is limited to US stocks rather than any UK listed companies but by and large this should cater for most traders. If you know it is essential for you to trade individual FTSE listed companies, I suggest you move down to the next broker in this list who will have you covered.
As a further investment into the UK market, Pepperstone have recently launched a spread-betting offering which competes with the very best and provides 24hr a day access. You can use GBP as a standard account currency to limit your currency risk exposure and gain some great tax benefits (tax-free) on your trading activity.
No deposit or withdrawal charges, a choice of MT4, MT5 and CTrader as platform and it becomes more apparent to see that Pepperstone is no longer an up and coming broker trying to make a name for itself but an industry mainstay with a great overall package.
Easy to open account and no conflicts for this award-winning star
Operating as a no dealing desk broker means there are no conflicts and the customer support we experienced was both professional and rapid.
The awards Pepperstone have won over the years include 5 consecutive years of successes are no surprise to us at LeverageForex. 30 awards in 5 years speaks volumes and we are proud to add another badge of honour by naming Pepperstone as our best forex broker UK 2021.
2. eToro : Best trading app and a special mention for multiple asset trading
eToro are here on our list of the best forex brokers in the UK due in large part to their extensive offering, strong history, and the range of instruments available to trade. They back this up with strong regulation across many different jurisdictions (FCA, CySEC, ASIC, MiFID and FinCEN) which alongside 12 million registered users, shows the seriousness to which eToro are taking their goal of being global trading number 1 across multi-asset brokers.
Whilst eToro is not a pure forex broker in the traditional sense, having made their name as a social trading pioneer and have moved across the different assets swiftly. We would be wrong to dismiss eToro from this list based on the number of UK traders who engage in forex trading as a CFD.
eToro UK Ltd Offering
eToro UK Ltd are the branch of this broker with FCA regulation (FRN 583263) for UK traders. The broker also has a physical presence at 24th floor, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, and a local phone number for ease of contact (+44 (0203 868 7213)).
eToro provide options to deposit and operate your account in GBP and there have been some positive changes on the charges eToro used to make for withdrawals (reducing this down from $25 to $5).
There is a growing number of traders who are engaging in stock trading (both as a CFD or without leverage) and the product offering here from eToro is particularly engaging. Un-leveraged stocks have 0 transaction fees and there is a good range of FTSE listed stocks as options to invest in.
We have added some weight here to the additional option to buy and trade cryptocurrencies (again with or without leverage) as this is a market that is growing in interest amongst UK traders.
eToro Trading App is great
Mobile functionality on the eToro proprietary trading app is a great plus and they keep things simple and clean. Being able to copy other traders at the push of your screen, check their previous performance and do this all in a very clean and simple way is something that some other brokers fail to replicate. The trending instruments section is another really neat tool on mobile to allow traders to pick up the days’ biggest movers on one simple screen.
Customer support with eToro is strong and the ethos there for providing what the traders want and need seems to be at the forefront of what they do. Having offices globally means that eToro are operating pretty much around the clock with a 24 hour livechat function on their website available Monday to Friday so you are never out of reach for long.
Spreads a little higher than pure forex brokers
We mark eToro down on some of the spread variances we see here compared to other pure forex brokers which start at 3.0 for the major forex pairs but in the grand scheme of things the overall value proposition of eToro still feels strong.
As a market maker it could be said there is a potential for conflicts with traders but based on the volume and liquidity of eToro and their track record of excellence over the past 13 years +, we see no reason to doubt the values of this best 5 ranked forex broker UK.
A deserving candidate for where you should trade as a UK trader if you are looking at multiple asset classes.
3. FXTM : Best Customer Support & Great Range of Supplementary Resources
About to come up for its’ 10 year anniversary, FXTM makes into this top forex brokers UK list by virtue of the fact they have a great customer support record and a history littered with award wins across the globe.
What are the UK credentials?
When it comes to best forex broker UK criteria, FXTM ticks the FCA regulation (license number 777911) and local office boxes (88 Wood Street, 9th Floor London EC2V 7QR) and have maintained a strong UK presence over the years. You can reach FXTM UK office by phone on (+44) 0203 514 1251. There is also live chat functionality over online, Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber or even the option to request a callback.
With spreads having recently been reduced by up to 65% bringing major GBP pairs down to as low as 0.4, FXTM are committed to competitive FX pricing and offer some of the lowest spreads in the industry on standard account options.
Newly added FXTM Trader
A new trading app (FXTM Trader) has been added alongside the standard MT4/MT5 app options and moves FXTM up this list with more than 250 instruments tradeable on the move.
The main thing bringing down FXTM in this list is not its’ forex offering, that is as strong as ever. We would like to see more variety for UK users to trade FTSE stocks and Cryptocurrencies which are not currently supported.
There has been a commitment at FXTM to help educate their users and provide a whole range of supplementary resources, seemingly at no cost to their traders based on the spreads and charging conditions. They have added an educational section to their main website and alongside this provide signals, daily market updates and commentary and various other useful resources to help you in your forex trading routine.
Copytrading and ECN options are ticks in the right boxes for FXTM
The Copytrading offering (otherwise found under FXTM Invest) allows to pick from a long list of ‘Strategy Managers’ where you can analyse past performance and see who is both performing best and most followed is a nice additional product offering for those who are looking for a more ‘hands off’ approach to trading.
FXTM offer ECN no dealing desk services to eliminate the risk of conflicts of interest and have a very competitive forex proposition. If you are going to trade forex and indices only in the UK, FXTM could very well be the partner you have been looking for and we are happy to include them in our list to find the best forex broker UK.
4. Plus500 : Best compliance culture & Best CFD broker UK
Plus500 was founded in 2008 in Israel and have since gone from strength-to-strength over the past 12 years without seemingly having to look back. With UK and Australian offices now having been opened, Plus500 is on the march to take on the industries biggest players and has carved out a niche as a super CFD broker that we just had to include on our list of top forex broker UK (despite the fact that all underlying assets are tradeable as CFDs).
Plus500 are declared as the UKs number 1 CFD broker (by total number of relationships) so are definitely well engrained with UK traders. The UKs most popular trading instruments are also all here; you can trade with Plus500 FTSE 100 stocks, Bitcoin, GBP/EUR & GBP/USD all under one proprietary platform.
Any conflicts of interest with Plus500?
As a market maker, Plus500 makes its’ money mainly from the difference in spreads on the bid and ask prices and do not operate a sales team which eliminates the risk of any conflicts.
Plus500 have a great track record of compliance and have FCA regulation with Plus500UK Ltd (FRN 509909). You will find a physical office for Plus500 in the heart of London (78 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ) and the Plus500 listed UK telephone number is (+44) 0203 876 1641. Customer support is also available online 24/7.
As one of the few forex brokers that is publicly traded, Plus500 is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market for listed companies under the symbol PLUS so transparency is well engrained within the business.
With additional regulation in Cyprus (CySEC Licence No. 250/14), Australia (ASIC AFSL #417727), Singapore (MAS license no. CMS100648-1), South Africa (FSCA #47546), aswell as the Seychelles (License No. SD039), this goes to show that when it comes to compliance and regulation, there are very few that can hold a candle to this broker.
Trading app across all platforms
The Plus500 trading app is a great program that works as well in your hand as it does on the desktop version and it is no small feat for a broker that offers more than 1800 stocks and indices as trading instruments alongside more than 60 forex pairs.
The spreads offered by Plus500 are competitive, not as low as some pure forex brokers on major pairs but the range of products and services would allow for some leeway here as there are reduced costs with having to maintain multiple different accounts for each asset you trade.
Rapid execution of trades and a minimum deposit level of £100 makes Plus500 a really excellent place to ‘cut your teeth’ trading in the UK and has been many traders’ first foray into the trading space over the years. The excellence of the overall offering and the ease of trading is what keeps those traders coming back. Plus500 is absolutely one of the top brokers in 2021 and sneaks into our 5 top forex broker UK list despite being a CFD broker.
5. IG – Industry Giant with UK Real Stocks & Spread Betting Choices
How do we find the best broker in Australia?
ASIC Regulated brokers only need apply
The hunt to find the best broker in Australia will only include those with the appropriate local licencing, ASIC regulation. If a broker also has an Australian based office or local presence, then this can only be considered an advantage.
Brokers based on the other side of the world may want you trade with them, but they will likely not be aware of the nuances of the Australian market. In this case, a local presence will win out.
Strong Range of AUD Trading Pairs and a Localised Offer
We will make a concerted effort to focus only on brokers that offer great AUD conditions and variety. Alongside this, we would want to see other primary trading assets that are most popular with Australian users.
The best broker in Australia will need to be giving both a range of trading options that Aussie users want to see, with trading fee structure that fits the bill. That means spreads will be low, and no hidden commissions.
The option to deposit into (and operate) an account in Australian Dollars will be an added point that will help us to separate those at the very top of this list.
Trade ASX With Minimal Fuss
Forex brokers in Australia that have ASX200 listed stocks available alongside the main index will be needed here. A good indices range to trade alongside the local index will have an added weighting, as will those who offer strong commodities and mining ranges.
A broker with roots in Australia will know exactly what the local trader is looking for, and that will not be overlooked here.
Customer Support That Works When You Do
It is essential that users can reach customer support during the Australian working day, and that the customer support team understand the Australian financial services environment. We do not expect an online broker to replace a financial advisor, they will not, but the basics are expected.
Best Broker for Australia
1. Pepperstone – The local brand continues to impress, Best Forex Broker for Australia
This Australian giant of the forex industry is as local a broker as they come. Having been born and bred in Australia, by Australians, it can be said that Pepperstone know the market better than anyone.
There is a specific entity for Australia and the ASIC regulated arm, Pepperstone Group Ltd. When you are onboarding with Pepperstone, if you want to be sure you are registering with the Australia based arm you can click here.
As per our requirement, Pepperstone have ASIC regulation, ably backed up by FCA regulation for trading across Europe, and DFSA for onboarding in he Middle East. BaFin registration has recently been added for Germany, and Pepperstone is fast becoming the tale of a local Australia forex broker going global.
Pepperstone also have offices in Melbourne, and any complaints or issues can be handled comfortably by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. Now we havent found much room for complaint from our side, but it is always nice to know the local option is there!
Forex Specialist Wins The Forex Award
There is no denying that this Australian broker is a forex specialist, with spreads as low as 0.0 for AUD crossed Major pairs. You also have the option to trade MT4, MT5, or via cTrader so there are all the bases covered there.
Trading the ASX is supported via Indices CFDS, the only thing missing really is the option to buy individual ASX listed stocks. If this is a deal-breaker for you, take a look here at our best broker for Australia stocks.
2. eToro – Australian stocks with no commission, a great product lineup
eToro are a more global operator but have a particular play to be more localised to its’ Australian traders in the recent years. There is an Australian office, ASIC regulation, and a range of stocks that are now able to traded completely commission free.
The eToro Australia entity is eToro AUS Capital Pty Ltd, with offices located in Hunter Street, Sydney. The best telephone number to reach eToro support when trading with the broker in Australia would be 1-800 778 439.
eToro has rather recently dropped forex spreads by more than 60% across major pairs which shows that what was once more of an innovator for the novice trader, is fast developing into a really competitive global player. With spreads starting from 1 pip, the forex offer from the broker becomes more competitive by the day.
Over recent years, each market that eToro target seems to take to this broker as smoothly as the last, and we feel that Australia will be the same. They are now in clear position as one of the best brokers in Australia, whether trading forex, stocks, or cryptocurrencies.
Global Boker with Local Dedication
There is real dedication to Australia being shown from eToro. Customer Support is operating when you need it, payment support for AUD is as good as any, and the range of products on offer to trade is as wideas you could possibly want.
The one thing that holds eToro back is a little lack of sophistication in its’ trading platform. It is a very user friendly and simple platform to use, but for anyone who has come from an MT4 trading background and has become accustomed to the more detailed nature will find eToro a little simple. If you are starting your trading journey however, eToro are pretty much the perfect option in terms of keeping it simple.
Copytrading is something that not a huge amount of Australia based brokers offer, so is another area, alongside crypto trading, that eToro get some bonus points compared to some of teh other brokers on this list.
3. Avatrade – Best Global Regulation with an Australian touch
Avatrade is very much a global player, and is one of the most regulated forex brokers in the World. It should come as no surprise then that Avatrade proceeded to secure their ASIC regulation, operating under Ava Capital Markets Australia.
The Avatrade Australia regulation is supported by others in Japan, Ireland, Poland, South Africa, UAE, and BVI. This commitment to regulation in all operational markets is a great positive from the Avatrade team.
In terms of Australia physical presence, Avatrade have an office in Park Street, Sydney and a local telephone number for support (+61 272018721) which is always a positive. Customer support is also provided 24 hours a day, 5 days a week so that you will never find Avatrade out of reach, regardless of the market you are trading on.
Negative Balance Protection as standard
A positive coming from Avatrade’s extensive regulatory framework is the existence of negative balance protection, regardless of the entity you are contracting with. This is a strong plus, and is designed to protect you as a trader.
Whilst Avatrade Australia have a competitive range of instruments to trade, including stocks CFDs, there are no ASX listed companies to trade. You can still trade the ASX as an index, alongside a strong range of AUD forex pairs so will not be short on options, but this is something that pulls Avatrade down slightly in this list of best forex brokers Australia.
Overall, a very solid choice if you are looking for a forex broker in Australia. Avatrade will provide you a safe and trusted trading environment, a great range of platforms supported, and a customer service team that can be reached when you need them. A strong top 5 rated broker.
XM are another global broker with roots in Australia and a forex focus. With ASIC regulation under the company name Trading Point of Financial Instruments Pty Ltd, XM are a broker that has a strong track record of excellence.
There is a good range of instruments across all financial markets, with the ASX listed stocks that can be traded as CFD currently sitting at 20. Whilst this is not as high as some other brokers, the variety across other instruments such as commodities, forex, and indices are very solid.
10+ years in the markets is reassuring
With 10 years of history under their belt, alongside 7 years as an award winner in some shape or form, XM are a trusted forex broker in Australia without a doubt. You will find the physical XM office in George Street, Sydney and local telephone support available 24 hours a day, 5 days per week (+612 8607 8385).
If you are looking for one of the best brokers in Australia, and do not purely want to buy stocks in local companies, XM are one of the top 5 trusted.
5. Admiral Markets
You will find Admiral Markets Australia office in Castle Street, Sydney. The pre-requisite ASIC regulation is held by Admiral Market Pty Ltd so do make sure you have selected the right entity when operating an account here. As Admiral Markets are also regulated by the FCA, ad CySEC, they are a broker that has a clear focus on regulation in their core markets.
Australian traders with Admiral Markets will find a great range of assets to trade, including Australian listed ASX shares, and ETFs, which are less common amongst the competition. Whilst the broker is offering 0% commission on stocks and ETFs, this is currently excluding Australian and Japanese listed shares.
The costs to trade the major forex pairs including AUD are low, with spreads from 0.5 on standard accounts. Whilst Admiral Markets may not necessarily stand out massively in one area, they are very competitive across all markets they offer. This is hard to compete with and a massive plus, especially to those amongst you who trade more than a single instrument type.
CFD Dividends and ETFs at scale – A serial Award winner
You will be eligible to earn dividends on shares CFDs with this Australia based broker and have access to 300+ ETFs and more than 3000+ global stocks, With more than 40 awards bestowed on Admiral Markets in 19+ years, this is a broker that does not seem to do anything badly, one of the best brokers in Australia.