The Tier-1 financial regulator FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), is currently the gold standard for financial regulators. FCA regulated forex brokers have to adhere to, and follow, strict guidelines to keep their membership and to avoid pecuniary measures.

The FCA is the watchdog of the United Kingdom’s financial market, but operates independently from the UK Government. The FCA is financed by the registration fees charged to the supervised members, operating in the UK’s financial services industry.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Clients of FCA regulated brokers are covered by a £85,000 regulatory deposit insurance.
  • Client funds must be kept in segregated accounts, with top-tier banks, ensuring that those funds cannot be used by the broker.
  • Regulated brokers have the duty to implement Negative Balance Protection, to protect traders from losses bigger than their original investments.
  • The maximum leverage ratio for retail investors is 30:1. Traders classified as professionals can apply for higher leverage ratios.


In December 2012 the Financial Services Act 2012 was approved and the FCA, formerly FSA (Financial Services Authority) became into force in April 2013.

The FCA works alongside two other entities, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Policy Committee. The goal is to set the regulatory requirements for the UK’s financial sector. The FCA also works in straight connection with the Financial Ombudsman Service, a free arbitrage service that settles complaints between consumers and businesses providing financial services.

Overview: Best FCA Regulated Forex Brokers 2021

  • Tickmill UK - FCA regulated broker
    Tickmill UKFast execution speeds, ideal for trading with EAs.
  • FxPro - FCA regulated broker
    FxProGlobal presence, customer support in 21 languages.
  • FXOpen - FCA regulated broker
    FXOpen UKExcellent range of cryptocurrencies available for trading.
  • ThinkMarkets - FCA regulated broker
    ThinkMarketsCutting-edge proprietary trading platform.
  • Axi - FCA regulated broker
    AxiConnect your trading account to the PsyQuation analytics platform.
  • Pepperstone - FCA regulated broker
    PepperstoneCompetitive trading costs, fast deposits and withdrawals.
  • ForexTime | FXTM - FCA regulated broker
    ForexTime | FXTMNo-catch, real swap-free accounts available.
  • FXCM - FCA regulated broker
    FXCM UKLow minimum deposit, several trading platforms.

To learn more about each broker on our compilation of the best FCA regulated forex brokers, and their unique features, we have prepared a great introduction about each one, underlining their main qualities.

You can also check how other traders, with verified trading accounts, rate each broker, by clicking the “read the full review” link.


Tickmill broker

Tickmill UK
Fast execution speeds, ideal for trading with EAs.

PROS

  • Fast execution speeds (ideal for trading with EAs)
  • Good overall trading costs
  • High customer ratings
  • Great range of educational materials
  • Non-expiring demo account

CONS

  • Account verification process can be long at times
  • Expensive withdrawal fees if account is in USD
  • No cryptos or stocks trading accounts
  • Trading only via MetaTrader 4
Read the Tickmill full review

Established in 2014, Tickmill aims at offering a great trading environment with low market spreads and no-requotes, using STP and DMA models, with absolute transparency and with the latest in trading technology.

Tickmill offers a direct ECN trading environment and good exchange liquidity from top banks and other liquidity providers. Tickmill is highly rated with "pip and run" traders (scalpers), also with those using Expert Advisors (EAs) and algorithmic trading systems, thanks to Tickmill's fast execution speeds and trading servers extremely low latency.

With a proven track record of strong financial results and stable growth, Tickmill has put itself in an enviable position as a trusted market leader and a product innovator.



FxPro broker

FxPro
Global presence, support in 21 languages

PROS

  • No fees for deposits & withdrawals
  • Four trading platforms
  • Customer support in 21 different languages
  • Excellent educational trading materials

CONS

  • Expensive trading commissions on cTrader
  • Expensive overnight (swap) rates
  • Expiring demo account after 180 days
Read the FxPro full review

FxPro Group Limited is a global company providing innovative online brokerage services, regulated in both the UK by the FCA and in Cyprus by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Established in 2006, and with an outstanding profitable growth track record, FxPro's core business is acting as the primary source in online trading for global clients.

Due to its rapid progression, FxPro's online trading services are available in more than 170 countries worldwide, and still growing. FxPro offers CFDs trading on 6 asset classes: Forex, Shares, Indices, Futures, Metals and Energies. The broker provides clients with access to top-tier liquidity and advanced trade execution, with no dealing desk intervention.



FXOpen broker

FXOpen UK
Great range of cryptos available for trading

PROS

  • Fast deposits and withdrawals processing times
  • Over 40 cryptocurrencies available for trading
  • Low latency and very fast trade execution
  • Supports deposits and withdrawals with Bitcoin
  • Non-expiring demo account

CONS

  • Trading is only available via MetaTrader 4
  • Expensive swap rates
  • Inactivity fee charged
Read the FXOpen full review

FXOpen was firstly founded as an educational centre, offering technical analysis and financial markets trading courses. In 2005 the company launched its brokerage services to satisfy the need for fair and transparent trading conditions, with an excellent customer support.

FXOpen clients can choose from a variety of trading accounts – STP, Micro, ECN and free unlimited demo accounts – and also social trading, via Zulutrade automated trading systems. The broker also offers its own PAMM technology, ideal for money managers and strategy followers

The broker offers a great range of tradable asset classes, with a special note for the CFDs offering on more than 40 cryptocurrencies pairs available for trading, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and Litecoin.



ThinkMarkets

ThinkMarkets
Cutting-edge proprietary trading platform

PROS

  • Great offering of worldwide stocks for trading
  • Fast and reliable order execution via Equinix
  • Accepts Bitpay: fund your account with BTC & ETH
  • Zero minimum deposit for the standard account
  • Non-expiring demo account

CONS

  • Rollover rates (swap) can be slightly above average
  • Spreads on cryptos can be higher
  • Scarce offering of forex education materials
Read the ThinkMarkets full review

Established in 2010, ThinkMarkets – formerly ThinkForex – is a premium online brokerage with headquarters in London and Melbourne, and offices in South America, the Asia-Pacific and MENA regions.

The broker provides access to CFDs trading including a great range of 1,000+ worldwide stocks, forex, cryptos, commodities, indices and futures. Trading with ThinkMarkets is available through some of the most recognized trading solutions: the industry-standard MT4, the next-generation MT5 (great for stocks trading), and their excellent proprietary trading platform (ThinkTrader), highly recommended by the forex community.



Axi broker

Axi
Trading analytics on the PsyQuation platform

PROS

  • Client Money Insurance policy with Lloyds of London
  • Accepts Japanese clients
  • Access to the PsyQuation analytics platform
  • Competitive trading costs
  • Excellent proprietary platform (AxiOne)
  • Zero minimum account deposit

CONS

  • Demo accounts expire after 30 days
  • Limited selection of tradable assets
  • High slippage can occur
Read the Axi full review

With headquarters in Australia, Axi (formerly AxiTrader) was created and based on a simple idea: be the broker that everyone would want to trade with. Axi offers services in leveraged CFDs trading, giving clients the potential to generate financial returns on both rising and falling prices across FX, indices, commodities, shares and cryptocurrencies.

Axi has also signed a Client Money Insurance (CMI) policy with the insurer Lloyds of London. The CMI policy automatically covers Axi retail clients and provides an extra layer of protection for retail account balances above US$20,000. Also, in the unlikely event of Axi's business being declared insolvent, and if there is a shortfall in segregated customer assets, the insurance policy would cover any outstanding amounts up to US$1 million per client.



Pepperstone broker

Pepperstone
Competitive trading costs, fast withdrawals

PROS

  • Competitive trading costs, tight spreads
  • Excellent range of social trading platforms
  • Fast deposits and withdrawals
  • Accepts Japanese clients
  • Non-expiring demo account

CONS

  • High slippage can occur at times of volatility
  • Bank withdrawals can be very slow
Read the Pepperstone full review

Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, the Pepperstone Group is an execution-only CFDs broker that provides sophisticated trading solutions for veteran traders, yet, simple enough for novice traders. Established in 2010, Pepperstone was founded by a veteran management team with years of experience in the forex and technology industries. 

Pepperstone Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with number 684312, offering direct access to multiple liquidity providers in the forex market, without the usual burdens of a deal desk. Pepperstone aims at making the overall forex trading experience better, more professional and convenient for traders, by offering competitive trading costs and tight spreads on all Major pairs.



ForexTime | FXTM broker

ForexTime | FXTM
No-catch, real swap-free accounts available

PROS

  • Swap-free available for ECN MT4 accounts
  • Accepts Japanese clients
  • Cent accounts available
  • Low commissions on ECN accounts
  • Great range of educational materials
  • Non-expiring demo account

CONS

  • Stocks trading not available in the UK
  • Cryptocurrencies trading not available in the UK
  • Maintenance fee after 6 months of inactivity
Read the ForexTime | FXTM full review

ForexTime (FXTM) is an international online Forex broker, headquartered in Cyprus. Forextime UK Limited is a company registered in England and Wales under number 10599136. With registered office at 9th Floor, 88 Wood Street, London EC2V 7QR, Great Britain, Forextime UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

FXTM provides online services in CFDs leveraged trading, giving clients the potential to trade on different asset classes including the FX market, indices, commodities, shares and cryptocurrencies. Services are available to a wide range of clients including retail investors, institutional investors, and portfolio management services.

One of the great features of this broker is the option on the client portal (dashboard) to enable swap-free on ECN accounts. Accounts can benefit from a swap-free policy, in place for an average of 4 trading days, for most currency pairs.



FXCM UK broker

FXCM UK
Low minimum deposit, several trading platforms

PROS

  • Excellent range of trading platforms
  • Accepts Japanese & Canadian clients
  • Low minimum deposit of $50
  • Competitive trading costs
  • Excellent range of trading materials (inc. FXCM App store)
  • Non-expiring demo account

CONS

  • Spreads can widen substantially at times of market volatility
  • Limited selection of 85 assets available for trading
Read the FXCM full review

FXCM Inc. (NASDAQ: FXCM) is a global online provider of CFDs trading, and related services, to retail and institutional customers worldwide. Forex Capital Markets Limited is regulated by the FCA in the UK. At the heart of FXCM's client offering is a No Dealing Desk trading environment. Clients benefit from FXCMs large network of liquidity providers enabling it to offer competitive spreads on major currency pairs.

FXCM clients can trade via the most complete suite of trading platforms, taking the advantage of mobile trading, one-click order execution and trading from real-time charts. Trading with FXCM can be done via Metatrader 4, Trading Station, Tradingview, NinjaTrader. FXCM also provides access to Social Trading via the ZuluTrade platform.

In a very originally move, this broker has also created it's own FXCM App Store where traders can find several (free and paid) custom-made indicators, EAs, scripts and other available trading tools.



Conclusion

The FCA can be compared to a kind of shield through which the investor is able to protect himself from suspicious behaviour or disputes related to forex brokers.

Forex brokers registered, or operating, in the UK, consider the FCA licencing to be of paramount importance. In fact, its authoritative accreditation is synonymous with safety and greater professionalism, providing traders with the opportunity to make their investments and trade in a safe and transparent environment.

Obtaining an FCA licence, or regulation, means taking the protection of traders seriously and ensuring that they are always treated fairly in accordance with the guidelines issued by the FCA, together with the authorisation to trade officially.

Financial firms registered with the UK’s FCA are also members of the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme), an independent compensation fund of last resort for customers of authorised UK financial services firms, covering eligible clients claims up to £85,000.

Thus, it is essential that traders make sure to operate through FCA regulated forex brokers in order to take advantage of the highest standards of safety, where the risks of running into fraud or improper broker behaviour, are nearly non-existent.

Finally, in order to verify if a forex broker possesses the FCA license, it is necessary to visit the Financial Services Register official site and check the company by name or reference number.