Safety and trust are two of the top concerns when choosing a stock broker. You want to be absolutely sure that the funds you send to your broker will be available when you need them, and then your broker is executing your trades faithfully every time.
Government regulations exist to provide this trust between brokers, their clients, and the broader public. So, the easiest way to ensure you’re picking a broker you can rely on is to choose one of the best FCA regulated brokers in the UK.
The FCA, or Financial Conduct Authority, is the UK’s top financial watchdog. It’s also one of the most widely respected financial regulators in the world.
In this article, we’ll review the 5 best FCA brokers in the UK today and explain why choosing a regulated broker is so important.
- 1 Top 5 FCA Brokers UK 2021
- 2 Best FCA Regulated Brokers UK Reviewed
- 3 2. Skilling – Best FCA Broker for Forex Trading
- 4 3. Capital.com – Educational Tools for New Traders
- 5 What is an FCA Broker?
- 6 Benefits of Choosing an FCA Broker
- 7 FCA Regulated Brokers Fees Comparison
- 8 How to Get Started with a FCA Broker
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 eToro – Best 0% Commission FCA Broker
- 11 FAQs
Top 5 FCA Brokers UK 2021
While a lot of UK brokers are regulated by the UK, many are regulated by financial watchdogs in other countries instead. Here are our picks for the 5 best FCA regulated brokers in 2021:
- eToro – 0% Commission Stock, Forex & Crypto Trading – Sign Up Today
- Skilling – Best FCA Broker for Forex Trading – Sign Up Today
- Capital.com – Educational Tools for New Traders – Sign Up Today
- Fineco Bank – Best FCA-regulated Share Dealing Account
- Plus500 – Lowest FCA-regulated CFD Spreads
Best FCA Regulated Brokers UK Reviewed
1. eToro – 0% Commission Stock, Forex & Crypto Trading
eToro is our overall favourite FCA regulated broker in the UK today. This broker offers trading on thousands of global stocks, including more than 800 shares. You can choose to trade stocks with CFDs, or buy shares outright for long-term investing. In addition, eToro has over 40 forex pairs and dozens of commodities available for CFD trading and 15 cryptocurrencies that you can buy outright.
Part of what makes eToro special is that all CFD trading with this broker is 100% commission-free. You just pay a spread to trade, and eToro’s spreads are typically cheaper than the industry average. eToro does charge a £4 fee on withdrawals, but that’s easy to overlook given that there are no monthly account fees.
eToro also stands out for its trading tools. The broker gives you access to a proprietary charting platform with more than 100 technical studies and drawing tools. On top of that, every stock in eToro is accompanied by in-depth analyst research to help inform your trade. eToro’s trading platform is available on web and mobile.
This broker also has a social trading network where you can connect with millions of other traders around the world. You can swap trade ideas, follow like-minded traders to see what they’re buying and selling, or even copy the moves of professional traders. eToro also leverages this network to display a market sentiment score for every asset, which can help you spot shifts in momentum.
eToro provides 24/5 customer support by phone and email.
- 0% commission CFD trading
- Buy shares outright
- Powerful trading platform with 100+ indicators
- Built-in social trading network
- 24/5 customer support
- Small withdrawal fee
67% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.
2. Skilling – Best FCA Broker for Forex Trading
If you’re interested in trading forex, Skilling is one of the top FCA-regulated forex brokers in the UK. This platform offers trading on over 70 different currency pairs, so you can trade exotics as well as major and minor currencies. All forex trades are 100% commission-free, and Skilling’s spreads start at just 0.3 pips.
Another reason Skilling is a great option for forex traders is that it offers MetaTrader 4 as a trading platform. MetaTrader 4 is one of the most widely used forex trading platforms in the world and it offers key features like forex signals and forex robots. Skilling also has its own cTrader platform, which enables algorithmic trading using the C# and .net coding frameworks.
Of course, you don’t have to be a technical expert to use Skilling. This broker also offers a web and mobile trading platform that comes with dozens of technical indicators built in, along with a news feed and economic calendar. New traders will especially like Skilling’s Trade Assistant, which walks you through the steps of placing a trade with simple explanations along the way.
Skilling offers a lot more than just forex trading, too. The platform offers access to over 700 share CFDs from the US, UK, and Europe. You can also trade dozens of commodities and indices. Trading on all of Skilling’s CFDs is commission-free, and the broker’s spreads are very competitive.
Skilling offers support by live chat or email, 5 days a week from 8 am to 10 pm CET.
- 70+ forex pair CFDs
- Very competitive forex CFD spreads
- Supports MetaTrader 4 and algorithmic trading
- Trade Assistant to help beginner traders
- Includes 700+ share CFDs
- No professional stock analysis
- Doesn’t offer phone support
Your capital is at risk.
3. Capital.com – Educational Tools for New Traders
Capital.com is a versatile FCA-regulated broker that can appeal to beginner and expert traders alike. The broker offers trading on over 3,000 financial instruments, including thousands of global shares and a whopping 142 forex pairs. All trading is through CFDs and Capital.com is 100% commission-free.
One of the reasons we think Capital.com is great for newer traders is that its trading platform is so user-friendly. You can easily sort through the thousands of CFDs that this broker offers and save the ones you’re interested in to customisable watchlists. In addition, Capital.com offers a clear report on the fees you’ll be charged when placing a trade, so there’s never confusion about how much a position will cost you.
We also like that Capital.com has a huge online library of resources for traders. You’ll find in-depth articles on the basics of trading, as well as daily analysis of global markets to help you conduct your research. Capital.com also posts videos every few days that spotlight a hot asset or trend, which is useful for sparking trade ideas.
For traders who want more flexibility, Capital.com also offers integration with TradingView. This unique charting software enables you to borrow technical indicators from other traders and analyse price movements using a variety of tools that few brokers offer.
Capital.com is regulated not only by the FCA, but also by CySEC – the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. So, there are two sets of eyes on this broker at all times. Capital.com also offers 24/7 customer support by phone, email, and live chat.
- Huge selection of financial instruments
- 100% commission-free trading
- Clear fee reports when trading
- Excellent market research and analysis
- 24/7 customer support
- Doesn’t support price alerts
Your capital is at risk.
4. Fineco Bank – Best FCA-regulated Share Dealing Account
Fineco Bank is an Italian bank, so you might be surprised to learn that it’s regulated by the FCA. But in fact, Fineco has been operating in the UK for nearly two decades and has established itself as one of the country’s top brokerage firms.
Fineco Bank has a lot to offer, but what really stands out to us about this broker is its approach to share dealing. You can buy UK shares for just £2.95 per trade, US shares for $3.95 per trade, and European shares for €3.95 per trade. There are no spreads to worry about and no inactivity or other account fees.
This broker offers more than 10,000 shares to choose from, so you certainly won’t find the selection lacking. You can also choose from nearly 1,000 ETFs, more than 5,500 bonds, and thousands of stock options. Fineco Bank also offers commission-free share CFD trading, although this is only available for a limited selection of around 850 stocks.
Fineco Bank offers a very robust trading platform called PowerDesk. You can thoroughly customise the charting interface, apply any of dozens of technical indicators, and keep up with the market thanks to a real-time news feed. Fineco Bank also has an online stock screener, which we thought was really nice for discovering new shares to trade from around the world.
Fineco Bank is regulated by the Bank of Italy in addition to the FCA. It’s also a publicly traded company on the Milan Stock Exchange, so this broker is carefully watched by investors and releases routine financial reports. Customer support is available by phone, email, and live chat from 8 am to 9 pm, Monday to Friday.
- Low-cost share dealing
- 10,000+ stocks and nearly 1,000 ETFs
- Commission-free CFD trading
- Online global stock screener
- Publicly traded on Milan Stock Exchange
- Limited stock selection for CFD trading
Your capital is at risk.
5. Plus500 – Lowest FCA-regulated CFD Spreads
Plus500 is one of the most affordable FCA-regulated CFD brokers in the UK. This platform charges spreads starting at just 0.6 pips for forex trading and 0.5 pips for major stock indices like the S&P 500. All trades are commission-free and there are no monthly account fees and no deposit or withdrawal fees.
This broker has a wide selection of assets to trade, so it’s a good option if you’re interested in building a highly diversified portfolio. Plus500 has nearly 2,000 stock CFDs, 70 currency pairs, 25 commodities, and 26 indices.
Plus500 has a user-friendly web and mobile trading platform that can appeal to a lot of traders. It’s packed with technical indicators and drawing tools, and features a built-in news feed and economic calendar so you can stay on top of the events that are driving the market
We also like that the trading platform offers a market sentiment score, enabling you to monitor how momentum around an asset is changing throughout the trading day. However, we found that price alerts aren’t integrated between the desktop, web, and mobile versions of Plus500’s platform, which is a notable drawback.
Plus500 is regulated by several top-tier financial watchdogs in addition to the FCA. This broker comes under the purview of CySEC and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), plus regulators in New Zealand, Israel, Singapore, and the Seychelles. Customer service is available 24/7 by live chat and email.
- Inexpensive spreads and 0% commission
- Nearly 2,000 global shares to trade
- Versatile trading platform
- Regulated in numerous countries
- 24/7 customer support
- Price alerts don’t work across platforms
80.5% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.
What is an FCA Broker?
An FCA broker is a stock, forex, or CFD broker that is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA is the UK’s foremost financial regulatory agency. It was formed in 2013 when its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), was eliminated as part of a financial restructuring in the UK.
The FCA is responsible for overseeing brokerage and trading activity within the UK. For one thing, it ensures that brokers are following all trading requirements that have been put in place to keep traders and their funds safe. The FCA also issues new rules – for example, the recent ruling that banned trading of cryptocurrency derivatives in the UK came from the FCA.
Since its formation, the FCA has been viewed as one of the foremost financial watchdogs in the world.
Benefits of Choosing an FCA Broker
While some brokers are more trustworthy than others, the financial industry has a sordid history of taking advantage of individual traders when there aren’t strong regulations in place. One of the key roles of the FCA is to put rules in place that ensure retail traders are being treated fairly and to penalize brokers that run afoul of these rules.
That means that when you use an FCA broker in the UK, you have the UK government behind you to ensure that your trading proceeds smoothly. FCA regulated brokers are less likely to engage in shady practices like mixing their own funds with client funds.
They’re also more likely to treat your trades fairly. That means you shouldn’t experience slippage as a penalty for trading profitably or arbitrary execution delays that could prevent you from winning trades.
Another key element of trading with an FCA broker is that, in the event that you run into problems with your broker, there’s a route for mediation available. If your broker does something that they shouldn’t do, you can complain to the FCA and the agency will step in to investigate. This holds brokers accountable to their clients.
Importantly, trading with an FCA broker also gives you a measure of protection in case your broker goes out of business. The Financial Services Protection Scheme, which is managed by the FCA, insures retail trading accounts for up to £85,000. So, if your FCA broker suddenly declares bankruptcy and can’t repay the money you’ve deposited, the UK government will step in and reimburse you for the money you would otherwise have lost.
FCA Regulated Brokers Fees Comparison
FCA brokers aren’t necessarily more expensive than brokers that are regulated in other countries or brokers that aren’t regulated at all. That’s because the FCA doesn’t put strict limits on how much brokers can charge for trading as long as the fees follow all UK financial rules.
Most FCA regulated brokers make money in a few different ways. They can charge commissions, which are fixed fees of a few pounds that are assessed every time you place a trade. They can also charge spreads, which are variable fees baked into the difference between the buy and sell prices for an individual financial instrument. Spread fees are especially common in forex and CFD trading.
Brokers can also charge non-trading fees. For example, some brokers have monthly account charges, while others charge fees for things like deposits and withdrawals. Inactivity fees are common, too – these fees are typically charged when you don’t place a trade with your broker for a specific amount of time.
Let’s take a closer look at how some of these fees differ at the top FCA brokers we reviewed:
|Monthly Account Fee||Commissions||EUR/USD Spread||Inactivity Fee||Deposit & Withdrawal Fees|
|eToro||£0||£0||1.0 pips||£10 per month after 12 months||£4 withdrawal fee|
|Fineco Bank||£0||£2.95 to $3.95 for share dealing
£0 for CFD trading
|Plus500||£0||£0||0.6 pips||£10 per month after 3 months||None|
Make sure to check what fees you will be responsible for before signing up with a broker. Also look for clear fee reports when placing a trade.
How to Get Started with a FCA Broker
Ready to start trading with an FCA broker? We’ll show you how to get started with eToro, which offers a wide variety of assets, 0% commission trading, and advanced charting and research tools.
Step 1: Open an Account
To begin, head to eToro’s website and click ‘Join Now’ to open a new account. You can create an account with your email, or use your Google or Facebook login. The FCA requires that new users verify their identity before they can start depositing and withdrawing funds. So, you’ll need to verify your identity in order to get started with eToro. Just upload a copy of your driver’s license or passport and a copy of a recent bill that shows your address to complete this step online.
Step 2: Fund Your Account
Next, fund your new account. eToro requires a minimum deposit of £140, which you can pay by debit or credit card, bank transfer, PayPal, Neteller, or Skrill. Card and e-wallet transfers are available for trading immediately.
Step 3: Start Trading
Now you’re ready to start trading with eToro. From your account dashboard, enter the name of a stock, forex pair, commodity, or another financial instrument that eToro offers. Click ‘Trade’ to open a new order form.
In the order form, enter how much money you want to trade. Depending on whether you’re buying an asset outright or trading CFDs, you can choose to apply leverage to your trade. Then select a stop loss price and take profit price, if desired, and click ‘Open Position’ to execute your trade.
Choosing the best FCA regulated broker in the UK is important to ensure you get a safe and reliable trading experience. FCA regulated brokers follow all UK government regulations around trading and are required to follow rules designed to protect retail traders. The FCA is one of the top financial watchdogs in the world, so you can rest assured that an FCA broker is trustworthy.
Ready to open an account with the best FCA broker? Click the link below to get started with eToro today!
eToro – Best 0% Commission FCA Broker
67% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.
What agencies are the top-tier financial regulators?
The FCA is widely considered one of the world’s foremost financial regulators. FINRA in the US, ASIC in Australia, CySEC in Cyprus, and FSA in the Seychelles are also top-tier regulators.
Are FCA regulated brokers more expensive?
FCA brokers are not necessarily more expensive than non-regulated brokers. Even when they are, the extra safety that you get from choosing a regulated broker is well worth the cost.
Does the FCA put limits on leverage for CFD trading?
Yes, the FCA puts limits on how much leverage retail traders can use when trading CFDs. The limits are 30:1 for forex, 20:1 for indices, 10:1 for most commodities, and 5:1 for stocks.
What is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) insures your brokerage account for up to £85,000. In the event that your broker goes out of business, the UK government will reimburse you for lost funds.
Can I trade cryptocurrencies with an FCA broker?
The FCA allows cryptocurrency trading in the UK, but not crypto derivatives trading. So, you can buy cryptocurrencies outright, but you cannot trade cryptocurrency CFDs with an FCA broker.