The forex market moves incredibly quickly. This global market processes nearly £4 trillion in currency every single day. Users who want to stay ahead of the market may benefit from a STP broker.
In this guide, we’ll review the 5 most popular STP brokers in the UK and explain the benefits of starting to trade forex with an STP broker today.
Most Popular STP Brokers UK 2022
Many STP brokers charge a premium for their services and don’t offer all of the tools investors need to trade effectively in return.
Therefore, we focused our reviews on STP forex brokers that offer low spreads, powerful trading tools, and a wide selection of trading pairs. Here are the most popular 5 STP brokers in the UK for 2022:
Most Reputable STP Brokers UK Reviewed
eToro is one of the most affordable STP forex trading brokers in the UK. This brokerage charges zero commissions for CFD trading, and spreads for the popular EUR/USD currency pair are typically 1 pip or less even at peak trading hours. Holding a EUR/USD position leveraged at 30:1 only costs around $8 after swap fees. The platform offers CFD trading for 47 currency pairs, along with 14 commodities and 16 cryptocurrencies.
eToro is a social trading broker, which allows users to connect with millions of other traders. Users may also share trading strategies and follow other forex traders, or even use copy portfolios to mimic the trades of professional currency traders.
eToro also offers plenty of research and analysis tools to help you find trading opportunities. The brokerage has an in-depth charting interface with more than 100 technical indicators and drawing tools. You may also get access to an economic calendar and market news feed, which are essential tools for day trading forex.
The brokerage is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and all UK accounts are insured for up to £85,000 under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. eToro also provides 24/5 customer support, so users may get in touch anytime the currency markets are open.
|Stock Broker||Minimum Deposit||Fractional Shares?||Pricing System||Cost of Buying Stocks||Fees & Charges|
|eToro||$10||Yes – $10 minimum||0% commission on ALL real stocks, spreads for CFDs||Market spread is not included when buying real stocks||No Deposit fees, $5 withdrawal fee, $10 inactivity fee, no account management fees.|
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Skilling is another MetaTrader 4 broker that offers STP trade execution. This broker carries a wide selection of 73 currency pairs, which is beneficial for traders who want to trade exotic pairs. All trading is through CFDs, and retail traders may also use leverage up to 10:1.
Skilling offers two different pricing models for forex trading. The broker’s Standard account is 100% commission-free and offers extremely low spreads. The EUR/USD currency pair, for example, typically trades with a spread of 0.7 pips – well below the UK average of around 1 pip.
Alternatively, if you trade forex in large volumes, the Premium account has the chance to save you money by charging fixed commissions. You’ll pay $35 per $1 million traded, along with a reduced spread (0.1 pip for the EUR/USD pair).
Skilling offers 3 different trading platforms, which can get a little confusing but is nice for flexibility. The standard trading platform is designed for retail traders and includes dozens of technical indicators, a market news feed, and basic analysis. Another notable aspect of Skilling is that users have the option to compare multiple forex charts in the same charting window.
Skilling’s cTrader panel is designed for algorithmic trading. If you want auto-trading but don’t want to code, you may also want to connect Skilling to MetaTrader 4 and use pre-made forex signals.
Your capital is at risk.
Plus500 is one of the cheapest STP brokers in the UK. This platform charges an average spread of 0.7 pips for the EUR/USD trading pair. There are no account fees for most traders, and users do not have to pay an inactivity fee simply by logging into your account once every 3 months.
The broker carries CFDs for 70 currency pairs, which is more than enough of a selection for most traders. Using this feature, users may apply leverage up to 30:1. In addition, Plus500 is slowly increasing the number of cryptocurrencies it offers and is now up to 14 digital currency CFDs.
Plus500 arguably doesn’t have the most popular trading platform in the industry but has its added benefits. The charting software is available for web and mobile and includes nearly 120 technical indicators. However, users are not able to create their own indicators or set up forex signals.
Plus500 also gives users access to a detailed economic calendar and market sentiment gauge, which may be helpful in trading around short-term trends. The trading platform does have a market news feed, but it’s not very focused on forex and doesn’t offer a lot of breaking headlines.
Furthermore, Plus500 offers 24/7 customer service by email and live chat. The brokerage is regulated by the UK’s FCA.
IG has been operating in the UK since 1974 and is one of the biggest forex brokers in the world.
IG offers several incredibly powerful trading tools. IG’s proprietary trading platform is easy to use and highly customisable. At the same time, it supports complex trade alerts and comes with a set of ready-to-run forex signals. IG also gives you access to ProRealTime, an incredibly comprehensive trading platform that supports algorithmic trading, forex signals, and custom technical indicators. If you’re used to using MetaTrader 4, you have the option to also connect that platform to your IG account.
IG is also strong when it comes to analysis. The broker offers daily trade ideas based on its own signals and research. You may also access a detailed market news feed that’s based on Reuters headlines as well as an economic calendar. IG also frequently issues internal analyst reports, although these typically focus on stock trading rather than forex trading.
The main drawback to IG is its pricing structure. On its face, IG looks relatively affordable. The broker doesn’t charge commissions and the average spread for the EUR/USD trading pair is just 0.6 pips. However, IG has very high swap fees, exchange fees, and other fees that quickly increase the cost of trading. A $20,000 EUR/USD position with 30:1 leverage costs over $17, compared to just over $8 at eToro.
Your capital is at risk.
What is an STP Broker?
An STP (straight through processing) broker is a forex broker that passes your trades directly through to liquidity pools for execution. This is different from market maker brokers, which send your trade to a trading desk where it can be matched with other incoming orders.
In essence, STP brokers automate the process of foreign exchange trading. Instead of holding up your trade at the brokerage to be looked over by the trading desk, it’s passed ‘straight through’ to a bank or another liquidity pool where it can be fulfilled. Typically, there are several liquidity pools available, so STP brokers automatically choose the one that’s offering the most beneficial price quote for your trade.
STP Broker features
There are many features that STP brokers provide, let’s analyse a few of these factors.
First, it’s fast. Your trade doesn’t need to sit at a trading desk and be manually fulfilled. Everything is electronic, and there’s no delay in matching your order with a liquidity pool that will fulfill your trade. The biggest holdup when placing trades with an STP broker is the speed of your Internet connection, not the trade execution process itself.
That’s a big deal in the forex markets, which move incredibly quickly. If you’re scalping based on small price movements or trying to trade around a breaking news announcement, millisecond delays may also have a big impact on your trading performance. Using an STP forex broker ensures there’s never a delay.
In addition, since there’s no delay, there are no requotes. The price you see when you hit execute is the price you get.
Another feature of an STP broker is that these brokers don’t bet against their traders. With a market maker broker, your broker acts as the counterparty to your trade – so it’s incentivized for your trade to lose. With an STP brokerage, the broker isn’t the counterparty to your trade. So, the broker is incentivized to execute well and collect its commission or spread.
STP brokers may also frequently offer better spreads compared to market maker brokers. That’s because they connect your order with several large liquidity pools (like major banks and investment firms), instead of acting as the counterparty and giving you access to just a single small liquidity pool. Since you have more access to liquidity, you get tighter spreads and better execution prices.
STP Brokers Fees Comparison
Before using an STP broker, users should see how much fees they would be paying per trade. STP forex brokers typically charge two different types of trading fees: commissions and spreads. Commissions are flat, per-trade fees. You’ll pay a commission both when you enter a trade and when you exit it.
|Average EUR/USD Spread||Fixed or Variable Spreads||Account Fees||Inactivity Fee|
|eToro||1.0 pips||Variable||£4 withdrawal fee||$10/month after 1 year|
|Plus500||0.7 pips||Variable||None||$10/month after 3 months|
|IG||0.6 pips (high swap rates)||Variable||None||$12/month after 2 years|
Spreads are variable fees that rise when liquidity for a forex pair is low and fall when liquidity is high. The spread is the difference between the bid and ask price for a forex pair, so you won’t notice it as a fee when you place the trade.
Most forex brokers charge spreads, and they may vary widely between brokers for the same currency pairs or throughout the trading day.
If you’re holding forex CFD positions overnight or using leverage, you could also be charged swap fees that can add up quickly. Be sure to compare these fees between brokers if you are not strictly day trading forex.
It’s also a good idea to check on non-trading fees before you commit to a broker. Some brokers charge deposit or withdrawal fees, currency conversion fees, or inactivity fees.
How to Get Started with a STP Broker
The next step is to begin your trading process with an STP Broker.
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to invest with an STP Brokerage.
Step 1: Account Sign-Up
Choose your preferred STP stockbroker and visit their website and begin the sign-up process. Typically, you will be required to fill-in your personal information, and create a username and password for the account.
Many popular STP Brokerages also require a verification process, which can be completed by providing a few documents. \
- Normally, a valid photo ID will be required. For example, A Passport Copy or Driver’s License.
- Next, you may be required to provide proof of address. A bank statement or utility bill should be sufficient.
Step 2: Deposit Funds
Next, fund your trading account. A reasonable STP broker may charge somewhere around a $10 deposit for you to get started. Choose the preferred payment method that your STP Broker offers and deposit cash into your account.
Step 3: Start Trading
Once the deposit is completed, users can browse through the selection of Forex pairs their STP Brokerage offers. After you choose the forex pair you wish to invest in, insert the amount and confirm your transaction.
Using an STP broker is key to staying ahead of market movements as a forex trader. These brokers don’t delay your order execution, and they typically offer better execution prices and more liquidity compared to market maker brokerages. Plus, you have plenty of options when it comes to finding an STP broker in the UK that offers low-cost trading and advanced trading platforms.