Forex trading by individuals first became popular in the UK in the late nineties. As technology advanced so did the demand for Forex trading. With the foreign exchange being one of largest, most liquid markets in the world, it wasn't long before more and more brokers emerged and the upward trend continued.
Of course, as the market grew so did the choice of Forex brokers. While many of them offered a strong, reliable platform on which to trade, there were also the emergence of those that were not so trustworthy. Never the less, choosing the right broker opens up a whole host of benefits to enhance your trading experience.
When choosing a Forex broker, how do you ascertain the good guys from the bad? How do you know who is going to make your trading experience the best it can be? Our mission is to provide you with a comprehensive list of brokers along with recommendations and reviews. Our breakdown of brokers and trading regulation requirements will help you to reach an informed decision.
If you are new to Forex trading or looking for the right broker, this guide will explain:
- The benefits and features offered by various Forex brokers
- How to tell if a broker is licensed or regulated to trade in the UK
- The local UK taxes and broker fees that you need to be aware of
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Local Broker Benefits
There are many things to consider when choosing the right UK Forex broker. Not only are you looking for those that are licensed and regulated to offer Forex trading in the UK, you are also looking at the various benefits of each platform and which ones best suit your requirements. These benefits will include:
Welcome Bonuses And Deals
With so many brokers offering their services to UK residents, the welcome bonus goes a long way to encouraging you to sign up to an account. There are a few different types of bonuses offered but in the main will either be a no deposit or a deposit bonus. As the names suggests, no deposit means that you can open an account and receive the bonus without depositing any funds. A deposit bonus requires an initial deposit and then is usually between 25%-100% of the funds deposited.
The Demo Account
A demo account is exactly as the name describes. It gives you the chance to try the platform without risking any of your own funds. While you are not trading on the live platform, the simulated version allows you to make virtual trades with virtual funds. Once you have opened an account you usually have a limited time to use the virtual funds.
Mobile App Trading
For many now, it is important to be able to trade on the go. Gone are the days of having to be glued to a desktop computer. Now, as long as you have a mobile device and internet connection, you can trade wherever you are. Many brokers offer either an app, available for iOS or Android, or a mobile friendly website.
A good Forex broker needs to be able to answer your questions and queries in a timely manner. By being accessible this invokes your trust. You should be looking for visibility when choosing a UK broker. Do they have contact numbers, email addresses, registered address, a Facebook page and a live chat assistant?
Legal And Regulation
Trading in the UK is perfectly legal and above board. It is also legal for foreign brokers to advertise their services to UK residents. Brokers must be licensed by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) if they wish to trade in the UK but other EU licensing and regulation also indicate a well-regulated broker. Some of the licenses to look out for are CySEC (Cyprus) BiFAN (Germany) and all brokers trading in the EU must adhere to EU standards; MiFID.
Most reputable, international brokers will have several licenses to allow them to trade in the various countries. This is another indication that the broker is trustworthy and not a scam. There are some unregulated brokers, but often they are waiting for a license. We only recommend those brokers that we are happy to put our name against but if you are unsure, carrying out further research should help to put your mind at rest.
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Paying Taxes And Fees
Earnings in the UK are subject to income tax above a certain level. Now Forex trading, unlike CFD, is subject to income tax however any losses can be used to claim tax relief. If you are unsure as to how income tax applies to your Forex earnings then you should consult an accountant and get professional advice.
If Forex is a second income and takes you into the higher income bracket, then you will be liable to pay tax at a higher level. For those who are subject to income tax, you will need to self-assess. This can be done either in paper format or online and has to be done at the end of the financial year.
The fees that you are likely to encounter from Forex trading include those that you have to pay on winning trades plus a few others:
To keep the fees to a minimum, consider the cheapest method of funding your account. As withdrawn funds will be sent back to the original source of deposit, work out which will cost less. Also, the fewer withdrawals you make, the less you are likely to pay in fees. Some brokers will charge a fee every time you request a withdrawal.
How we Recommend Brokers
We recommend UK Forex brokers based on extensive research and evidence that is gathered by our team of professionals. Our team consists of both trading experts and financial wizards who know the markets inside out. They know exactly what makes a good broker and how to find them.
Our team test each broker, putting them through their paces, so that they can bring you the very best. From testing the mobile trading experience, to examining the payouts, they are looking for a number of things. Are there a varied range of assets to choose from? Do they offer good welcome deals and incentives and what is their customer service like?
Once they have carried out their research, they put together a comprehensive overview of each broker so that you can make your choice based on factual information. In addition to providing extensive broker reviews they also look at the trading requirements for each country. To further enhance your trading experience, we look at the various tools available.
These include automated trading software or robots. We also offer trading guides to enable you to hone your trading skills and become a better all-round trader. We only put our name to brokers that we are confident will deliver you the best trading experience. All you need to do is then choose the best one for you and start trading with confidence.
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Is Forex trading in the UK legal and safe?
Forex trading in the UK is perfectly legal and safe if you choose the right broker. The UK market is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and most brokers also have MiFID regulation. The key to choosing the right broker is to ensure that they have recognised licensing whether that be in the UK or from another reliable source such as CySEC (Cyprus) or BiFAN (Germany).
Do I need to pay taxes on my trading profits?
If you are earning above the threshold for income tax then yes, you will need to pay income tax on your profits. Losses can be offset but you need to ensure that you are declaring your profits. If you are trading as a second income and earning profits at the higher level then you will need to pay the higher level of tax. You will be required to self-assess according to the tax laws which are set out by HMRC.
Can I test brokers before trading with real money?
If you sign up to a Forex broker that offers a no deposit bonus then you should be able to get at least your first trade free, if not more. Another way to test a broker is to use their demo platform. Most brokers will offer a demo account which is a virtual platform that simulates the live platform. Once you sing up to an account you have access to both virtual funds and the virtual trading arena.
Is it easy to make deposits and withdrawals?
As long as you have a way of funding your account then yes, it is easy to make deposits and withdrawals. Most brokers accept credit cards, debit cards and electronic wallets. A withdrawal request can take a few days to process and for the money to reach your account and you may be charged a withdrawal fee and currency conversion fee. It can take around three working days for funds to reach your account.
Can I trade using my mobile or tablet device?
As long as the Forex broker offers a mobile friendly trading experience then you can trade using a mobile device. They will either offer an app for OS or Android or a mobile responsive website. As most of you like to trade on the go, a broker that doesn't offer a good mobile trading experience will struggle to attract a good share of the market. Most traders want to be able to trade on the move and have access wherever they have an internet connection.