Compare CFD Brokers and Contracts for Difference Providers

Comparing the Main Global CFD Providers

There are 3 main CFD providers to choose from -:



Capital Spreads IG Group ETX Capital
Company Capital Spreads IG Markets

ETX Capital

Parent Establishment Date UK 1996 (FCA) UK 1974 (FCA) UK 2002 (FCA)
Regulated by
FCA (UK), ASIC (AU) NFA (USA), CFTC (USA), FCA Authority (UK), ASIC (AU), MAS (SG), FSA (JP).
Tradeable Markets

UK, US, European &
Global Shares & Indices, Commodities, FX, bonds
and interest rates.

Australian, UK & Global Share CFDs, Indices, FX, Commodities, Interest Rates, Bonds and Options. Australian, UK & Global Shares, Indices, FX, Commodities, Interest Rates, and Bonds
Platform Type
Market Maker Only. Both Market Maker and Direct Market Access.
Market Maker Only.
Web or Download Application Web Platform
Web Platform / Download / Mobile
Web Platform / Download / Mobile
Margin requirement

FTSE 100 shares, from 3%
FTSE 250 shares, from 5%
USA shares, from 5%
European shares, from 5%
Australia shares, from 10%

0.5% on Main Forex Pairs and most Indices. Major UK shares is 5%. while the constituents of major global indices are also margined at 5%. The Margin Percentage for all other shares will be 10% or higher.
Commission rate (stocks)

FTSE 100 Shares: 0.05% either side.
FTSE 250 Shares: 0.125% either side.
Small Cap & AIM shares: 0.125% either side.
US Shares: 0.125% either side.
Australian Shares: 0.125% either side.
Check 'Market Information' tab for pricing of other markets.

UK Shares CFDS 0.10% with a minimum commission of £10 for online dealing and a minimum commission of £15 for phone dealing. For US Stocks, the commission is 2 cents per share ($15 being the minimum ticket charge). DMA is available on UK and International Exchanges.
FTSE 100 Stocks - 8 bps in, 8 bps out US Stocks - 1.5 ticks in, 1.5 ticks out South African Stocks - 25 bps in, 25 bps out All other Stocks - 10 bps in, 10 bps out
Commission rate (CFD Stock Indices (Cash))

Amongst Others: FTSE 100: 1, Wall Street: 2, Nasdaq: 2, Dax 30: 1 , ASX200: 4 (Futures market), CAC 40: 1, EU Stocks 50: 3 (Futures), Japan 225: 20 (Futures), Japan All-Share: N/A, India 50: 8 (Futures), MIB 40: N/A, Netherlands 25: 1 (Futures), S&P 500: 0.4, Singapore Blue Chip: 2, Spain 35: N/A, Sweden 30: 2,

Amongst Others: FTSE 100: 1, Wall Street: 2, Nasdaq: 2, Dax 30: 1, ASX200: 2, CAC 40: 2, EU Stocks 50: 2, Japan 225: 20, Japan All-Share: 2, India 50: 4, MIB 40: 12, Netherlands 25: 0.6, S&P 500: 0.7, Singapore Blue Chip: 0.4, Spain 35: 8, Sweden 30: 2,
Wall Street from 1 tic, SP 5 tics, Nasdaq from 1 tic, FTSE from 1 tic, DAX from 1 tic, CAC from 1 tic, Ibex from 4 tics, Euro Stocks from 2 tics, Japan 225 from 15 tics, Australia 200 from 5 tics, Italy 40 from 10 tics.
Financing cost

Long positions: RFR* + 2%
Short positions: RFR – 2%
*RFR = Relevant Funding Rate

Cash rate 2.5% on long positions; Cash rate -2.5% on short positions Cash rate 3.5% on long positions; Cash rate -3.5% on short positions
Charting Tools Charts provided by IT Finance.
Professional Charts: IG currently have 3 chart levels - basic quick charts, advanced charts and (pro)realtime charts. Yes, basic and advanced charts (best forex trading tools and software UK Forex 2013)
Supplementary Tools

Economic calendar and market data, technical analysis, market squawk, planning tools, daily market commentary and weekly videos.

Free Level 2 Data (subject to one trade per month). Free Professional Charts (subject to 4 trades per month), Free Reuters News, Commentary, Equity Research, Ransquawk, Economic Calendar, Price Alarms. ?
Monthly Costs/Other Costs No monthly fee. There is a fee to access stock exchange prices like the LSE L2 prices but this is reimbursed if you trade once in that monthly period. There is also a £30 charge per month (opt-in) for accessing the Real Time Charts which is reimbursed if you trade 4 times on IG Markets within the contract month. No
Inactivity Fees No inactivity fee. yes (inactivity fee if not traded in 2 years) yes (inactivity fee if not traded in 2 years)
Client money held in segregated account  Yes Yes Yes 
Minimum  required to open standard account $0
No minimum
Supported base currencies All major currencies
(GBP / USD / EUR / CHF / JPY / SGD / AUD / CAD / SEK and others available on request)
All majors
Do you earn interest
on free equity?
No. No. No.
Client service support  In-house support.
Each client is allocated their own personal Account Manager. Good.
Level of Customer Support  Quite Good. Excellent. ?
Do you provide CFD specific education/
Permanent Demo Account is available along with user manual guide. Yes. TradeSense is for anyone wanting to learn  more about trading CFDs whilst trading with reduced minimum trading sizes during the training period. Available with all new accounts. Yes.
Stop Loss Orders Automatic stop losses*, limit orders, one-cancels-other (OCO orders) and if done (contingent) orders, Stop and Limit Orders, Contingent Orders, Trailing Stops.
Free stop loss and trailing stops.
Do you offer GSO orders? Yes
Guaranteed stop loss orders are offered on all markets and attract minimal fee. Yes.
Do you offer limited risk accounts? Yes, in that we place automatic stop losses on every opening trade.
Yes. No.
Do you offer discount on volume trades No If trade $2,000,000/ month then 0.08%. No.
Company Capital Spreads IG Markets

ETX Capital

Note: You MUST apply through this site to guarantee any commission listed.

When trading contracts for difference it is important to choose the right CFD provider. Choosing a CFD provider should come down to a number of other considerations than dealing commissions and margins alone although you would be forgiven for believing these to be the most important prerequisites given the emphasis placed on headline-grabbing ultra-low spreads and margins.

Generally most people look for the best commission rates, reliable trading platform, and widest product range however there are many other aspects of a CFD provider which you should consider. Price is one factor that attracts traders but websites are also offering goodies to help pull in even more speculators. With CFDs (Contracts For Difference) gaining in popularity and in press coverage, here's a useful guide to help you choose the CFD provider that is right for you.

There are different types of CFDs, depending on the CFD provider you are dealing with. These are not standardised products and each provider can have different brokerage rates, interest rates, dealing platforms, and so on.

CFD margin rates also differ from one provider to another so it is usually best to check out the respective provider's website to see what their margin rates are. As a general rule, you can trade shares listed on the main indexes with most CFD brokers with only a 5-20% deposit requirement.

You need to examine the features provided and find the one that satisfy your needs. Of course, there is no stopping you from having an account with more than one CFD broker although then you would need to have funds in both accounts for trading. It will depend on the markets you want to trade, the size of your trading account, the frequency of your trading and the trading platform (DMA or Market Maker?) you want to use.

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Top CFD Providers rated by Canstar Cannex

There are a number of CFD providers to choose from, meaning CFD traders have a range of choices, but choice can be confusing. In the comparison table above, we compare commissions at different sized trades, so that you can get a feel for how each provider charges. In addition, different CFD brokers have different strengths and weaknesses. CFD providers also have different features, different commission rates, different stock CFDs/markets - unfortunately, it is hard to find everything you're after in one package and I've found that it pays to have accounts with different brokers. Sometimes on the surface a certain CFD provider might looks cheaper. I cannot be too explicit on this if you know what I mean. However, with the stiff competition in the market, CFD brokers are constantly upgrading their services and trading platforms.

Below I have listed the major points to consider before choosing a CFD broker -:
  • Margin Percentages: This could range from anything between 1% and 75%.
  • Commission charges: This could vary from 0% to a fixed amount.
  • The Trading Platform: Make sure the platform is reliable and offers a good charting software.
  • What markets do you intend to trade? Check out the CFD provider and the number of CFDs available to trade.
  • How do you want to trade? If you intend to trade stocks you need to decide whether you want to trade CFDs through a Market Maker or Direct Market Access?
  • Do you want to be able to guarantee your stop losses? If you do, then you need to find a provider that offers guaranteed stop loss orders as not offer this feature.

Choose your CFD provider like you would choose your stock broker. With many CFD providers vying for your business, you should do your homework and choose carefully who you deal with. Make sure that your CFD provider gives you access to domestic markets as well as other international markets that will provide maximum trading opportunities.

After my review of the different trading platforms it is easy to see that each trading platform has its strengths and weaknesses. If you invest in forex trading Deal Book 360 might be appropriate for you, if you like effortless web based software go for Pure Deal, if you only invest in ASX CFDs then web IRESS (although costly) could be an option.

Trading CFDs? Do yourself a favor - check the executions you are getting. A good broker deserves commission, but not from bad execution!