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IG Review UK 2024

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
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IG review UK
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

IG is widely regarded as one of the UK’s best trading platforms. But, is this all hype, or does IG genuinely have the secret formula for making a perfect trading platform?

In this review, I’ll show you the good, the bad, and the ugly of the IG trading platform, so you can make an informed decision about whether to use it or not. 

Throughout this review, I’ll analyse the platform’s core features, rating them on a qualitative points-based scale. These points then translate into star ratings. For more information on how we test view here.

This article was reviewed by Tobi Opeyemi Amure, a trading expert and writer at InvestopediaInvesting.com, and Trading.biz.

Overall Rating – 4.5 stars

Overall, I give IG a rating of 4.5 stars, based on an overall score of 78 and an average of 86.7%.

IG is a near-perfect trading platform. UK users can trade a variety of assets with an excellent trading interface and rest assured that their money is safe.

However, high fees and poor customer support may deter some users who want to trade for less.

Top pick
IG - Award-winning trading & investing platform
4.5

Award-winning platform suitable for beginner investors or experienced traders.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Here’s a breakdown of how IG performed in each category:

CategoryPointsStar ratings
Fees6.33
Safety9.85
Onboarding8.84.5
Deposit & withdrawal methods9.55
Markets8.84.5
Tools9.45
Investment & trading platform9.65
Education9.65
Customer service6.23

Fees – 3 stars

IG’s trading fees are higher than similar platforms like Plus500. However, on the plus side, there are no non-trading fees.

Deposit and Withdrawal Fees

It’s completely free to deposit and withdraw funds from the IG platform. This is much more attractive than close competitors such as eToro, which charges as much as £5 per withdrawal.

You will be charged an inactivity fee, after two years of inactivity. For UK users, this is set at £12 per month. To prevent the inactivity fee, you simply need to log on to your account and make a trade.

Real Stocks and Shares

IG charges a flat £10 fee to buy or sell a US stock. However, you can circumvent this fee entirely if you make over three trades per month.

To buy or sell a UK stock, IG charges £8 per transaction. You can similarly reduce to this £3 if you make more than three trades per month.

These fees are probably too high for anyone who trades infrequently, and you’d be better off trading on a platform like Trading 212. However, other platforms such as Interactive Investor charge as much as £4 per trade.

So on balance, IG’s real stocks and shares fees aren’t extortionate, especially when you consider how much the platform has to offer.

CFD Fees

Unfortunately, the IG’s CFD fees are very high compared to average spreads from close competitors.

For instance, if you were to trade $2,000 worth of Apple CFDs, you would be charged up to $15. eToro, on the other hand, charges just $2 for the same transaction.

Forex Fees

IG’s forex spreads are much lower than competitors. For instance, the usual spread for GBPUSD is 0.9 pips. On eToro, it’s currently 2.0 pips.

So, if you’re looking to trade Forex, IG’s fee structure makes it a very attractive option. 

The options fees are also lower than competitors. However, IG does not currently offer options trading in the UK. 

Custody Fee

IG also charges a custody fee of £24 per quarter or £96 per year. However, if you make more than three trades per quarter, you won’t have to pay the fee. 

The custody fee is another reason why IG isn’t a great platform for those who only make one or two trades per month. When you trade at this frequency, you have to endure all the downsides of IG but don’t get to experience the main benefits. 

Smart Portfolio Fee

IG offers a ‘Smart Portfolio’ investment option, allowing users to invest in a portfolio of ETFs managed by BlackRock.

It’s essentially a way for you to invest in an actively managed portfolio, created by one of the top asset management firms in the UK.

However, by investing in IG’s smart portfolio, you need to pay a Total Cost of Ownership Fee. This will vary from person to person, as the total fee is calculated by assessing a management fee, spread costs, and underlying ETF costs.

Pros

  • No non-trading fees
  • Trading fees can be reduced through increased trading

Cons

  • Inactivity fee
  • Custody charge
  • Trades are not free to make

Safety – 5 stars

IG is easily one of the safest investment platforms in the United Kingdom.

For one, IG is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which ensures the company acts honestly and fairly.

Beyond this, IG is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). This means that you can access the majority of the company’s financial records.

Finally, IG was established in 1974 and has since displayed nearly 50 years of legal and honest conduct. It also survived the 2008 financial crisis, evidencing its financial stability. 

The only thing that IG doesn’t possess is a banking licence. However, this is standard practice for Investment Companies and doesn’t take away from the decades-long track record of the company.

Negative bank balance protection is offered to EU customers. However, because of the effect of Brexit, this no longer applies to UK clients. 

Pros

  • Regulated by the FCA
  • Listed on the LSE
  • Established for nearly 50 years

Cons

  • Company doesn’t hold a banking license 
  • No negative balance protection

Onboarding – 4.5 stars

IG’s account opening process was simple and headache-free. However, the process did take longer than expected.

Creating an account on IG.

Account Opening

Opening an IG account is incredibly simple, and I didn’t run into any problems during the process.

To create an account, you must head over to IG’s website or download the app from the App Store or Play Store. From here, you can put in your basic contact information, along with your residence. 

Next, you need to choose your account type. For UK users, there are three accounts available.

These are:

  • Spread betting
  • CFD
  • Share dealing

You can choose to open one or all of these accounts at once, simply by checking or unchecking the boxes.

Once you choose the account type, you’ll be prompted to fill out some information about your employment and financial status. If your answers don’t meet IG’s requirements, there is a risk that your account will be rejected at this stage.

However, for most people, this won’t be an issue. 

Next comes a short financial aptitude test. As long as you have basic trading knowledge, this test shouldn’t trouble you. 

Verification

After completing the test, you need to verify your account by uploading a form of ID and proof of UK residency. You can use a passport or driver’s license for ID verification, and a bank statement or utility bill for proof of residency.

The verification process was extremely easy, and I was able to upload my documents within a couple of minutes. However, getting my account verified took a couple of business days, and was considerably longer than other platforms. 

Pros

  • Easy account opening
  • Extremely thorough checks

Cons

  • Onboarding and verification took a while
  • Account may be rejected due to income/financial knowledge

Deposit & Withdrawal Methods – 5 stars

Depositing and withdrawing funds couldn’t be easier on IG. There are plenty of ways to deposit and withdraw funds, and there are no associated fees.

Depositing funds on IG.

Deposits

Depositing money into your IG account is completely free, and there are a variety of ways to make a deposit, including:

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank transfer
  • PayPal
  • Prepaid cards 

The only sticking point is that you cannot select your base currency. Rather, it’s tied to the currency used in your jurisdiction. You can change this, but doing so involves a convoluted email process which can feel like more effort than it’s worth.

There’s also a minimum deposit of £250 for credit/debit card deposits, but no minimum deposit for bank transfers. 

Withdrawals

Withdrawals can be made via the same methods, and the process is very simple. What’s more, withdrawing money is completely free, which is much more attractive than eToro’s £5 fixed fee, for instance.

Withdrawals can take a few business days to hit your account. However, this all depends on where you live, the method of withdrawal, and the time of withdrawal.

Pros

  • No fees
  • Plenty of deposit and withdrawal methods are available

Cons

  • Changing currency is a hassle

Markets – 4.5 stars

On the whole, IG offers an excellent selection of assets to trade.

However, some asset groups like bonds and cryptocurrencies are missing. 

Different markets available on IG.

Real Stocks

The majority of IG clients are not offered real stock trading. However, the UK is one of the few jurisdictions which do have access to stocks.

There are around 11,000 unique stocks and investment trusts to choose from, across 14 markets. You can also choose from 2,000 ETFs, which is more than four times the amount offered by eToro. 

CFDs/Forex

IG offers a very diverse selection of CFDs for users to trade, and in terms of sheer numbers, beats nearly every other UK platform.

The CFD offerings are as follows:

  • 10,500 stock CFDs
  • 100 stock index CFDs
  • 1,900 ETF CFDs
  • 47 commodity CFDs
  • 12 bond CFDs

Forex trading is also sublime. There are currently 98 currency pairs to trade with, which is more than direct competition such as Plus500. 

Crypto

IG technically does offer cryptocurrency trading. However, this is reserved for professional traders who need to meet a certain threshold such as a financial instrument portfolio greater than €500,000.

Options

UK users cannot trade options through IG. However, certain jurisdictions, including Ireland can.

Bonds

Likewise, bonds are not offered through the IG platform. This is very disappointing, as it will limit your ability to diversify and reduce risk. 

Smart Portfolio

One of the best features of IG is its Smart Portfolio offering. This allows you to invest in a portfolio of ETFs actively managed by BlackRock, and is an excellent way to diversify your portfolio. 

Currently, there are five different portfolios to choose from. They are all excellent and are simply not offered by other platforms. 

Pros

  • Smart portfolio options are excellent
  • Major asset groups (stocks, CFDs, Forex) are all available

Cons

  • UK users cannot trade options
  • Crypto trading is not offered to the majority of users 
  • Bond trading is not offered

Tools – 5 stars

IG’s selection of tools is nothing short of flawless. No matter what you need, you will be able to find it, and there are even extra amenities like an open community, to make your trading experience even better. 

Research Tools

IG signals.

IG’s suite of research tools is extensive. Firstly, you’ll have access to 32 technical indicators and charts. You can also edit and save charts for future reference, and even mark them with key economic dates. 

IG also offers trading ideas, via the ‘Signals’ tab. These ideas are easy to read, and accurate more often than not. 

Finally, you’ll be able to find fundamental data on most assets, helping you to make informed trading decisions. 

News Feed

IG economic calendar.

Equally excellent is IG’s news feed page. Created by Thomson Reuters, (the company behind leading media software such as Westlaw) this platform updates in real-time, pulling relevant news pieces from the web directly to your dashboard.

You can also see relevant posts tending on X.com (formerly known as Twitter).

If you’re not a fan of written news, you can also keep up to date via IGTV, which offers users four video updates each day. These are informative, yet not overly long, and perfect for keeping up to date on the big news.

The only drawback is that this feature is only available on the browser version, and is not supported on mobile apps. 

Community Platform

IG has yet another ace up its sleeve with its community platform. This essentially allows users to collaborate and share different trading ideas. It’s equally an excellent place for beginners to receive advice from experienced traders. 

Trading can be a lonely game sometimes. But, with IG’s community, you’ll truly never feel alone.

Pros

  • Excellent charting tools
  • Fundamental data
  • Innovative community platform
  • Great news feed

Cons

  • The news function is not available on mobile

Investment & Trading Platform – 5 stars

As a platform, it’s hard to critique IG. Both the mobile and web platforms are excellent, making a trade is easy and the trading tools are near-perfect.

IG web platform.

Web Platform

IG’s web platform is extremely easy to use, thanks to its well-thought-out and surprisingly simple design. Everything can be found via the search bar, or through its constituent menus.

Customisability is also strong, and you’ll have the ability to move tabs around, turn on one-click trading, and even save your navigation preferences. This allows you to make the platform your own, making for an excellent user experience. 

Finally, you can choose from an array of notifications to stay up to date with the market. Alerts can be selected for pretty much any event, including price alerts, economic alerts, position editing, indicator alerts, and more. 

Mobile Platform

The mobile platform is very similar to the web version, sharing the same customisability and easy navigation. Though, there are a couple of features missing such as the news update tab.

Furthermore, you can only set price alert notifications, which is far more limited than the web platform. 

Making a Trade

IG trading platform.

To make a trade, all you need to do is click on the asset type you would like to trade, and then search for the specific asset. From here, you’ll have the option of placing an order via a variety of order types.

These include market, limit, stop, trailing stop, and guaranteed stop. You can likewise use order time limits such as GTC and GTD.

This process was very simple to understand, and making a trade was as easy as pushing about three buttons. 

Overall Experience

Overall, it’s hard to fault IG’s trading platform. Everything you need can be found at the touch of a button. The charting tools are sublime. The indicators are excellent, and throughout my experience, I haven’t thought of one thing I would change. 

Even day trading on IG is a viable option. The platform can support the pace of day trades far better than other platforms.

However, the spreads are higher than ideal, which can make profitable trading more effort than it’s worth.

On the bright side, key markets such as MT4 are supported. You can even choose to trade through the MT4 platform. 

Pros

  • Web and mobile platforms are excellent to use
  • Trading is simple to make
  • Extremely customisable

Cons

  • The mobile platform doesn’t include the same features as the web platform

Education – 5 stars

The educational material offered by IG is flawless. There is material for every investor, no matter your experience, as well as tools like a demo account that allow you to put this knowledge to the test. 

Resources

IG educational courses.

IG’s educational resources cater to all traders. There are three levels; these are beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each section offers videos, tutorials, and articles relevant to your experience level.

You can also benefit from frequent live webinars and tutorial content, to help you get the most out of your IG account.

Other leading platforms in the UK simply do not offer this level of education, and IG is leaps ahead of its competition. 

Demo Account

Another excellent feature is IG’s demo account. This allows you to practice various trades with virtual money, helping you to hone your skills and put your knowledge into practice without risking any of your own money.

I’ve tried a lot of demo trading accounts, and IG’s version is by far one of the best. It’s simple to understand, easy to navigate, and ultimately a perfect way for any trading prodigy to dip their toes in the water for the first time. 

However, it should be noted that this demo account can only be used for CFD trades and not traditional share trading. So, if you’re not interested in IG’s CFD account, the demo account will be ultimately useless to you. 

Pros

  • An array of resources for every level
  • The demo account is great

Cons

  • Demo account doesn’t work for normal share trading

Customer Service – 3 stars

IG offers customer support via live chat, phone calls, and email. However, compared to other platforms, the quality of the service feels lacklustre at best.

IG customer service.

Phone Support

IG does offer phone support, which the majority of other trading platforms don’t. However, trying to get an issue sorted on the phone felt like a lot more effort than it was worth.

When I called IG for the first time, it took several minutes to connect to an agent. And honestly, I struggled to get a cohesive answer to my question. Other users have reported similar wait times, with a few not even being connected.

Email 

Email support was similarly lacklustre. While it’s supposedly available 24 hours a day, I did not receive an email reply until the following day. Considering that other platforms often reply in the space of a few hours, this felt extremely slow. 

On the plus side, the answers were beneficial, and most questions will likely be answered by the first email. 

Live Chat

The live chat feature is the most disappointing. IG advertises this as available 24/7. However, in reality, it’s only online during peak times. Even when it is online, it can still take you several minutes to connect to an agent. 

When you do get through to an agent, the support is great, and most queries will be answered quickly and efficiently.

However, the fact that IG advertises 24/7 service, but doesn’t fulfill this did leave a sour taste in my mouth.

Pros

  • Email, phone, and live chat support available
  • Relevant answers provided

Cons

  • 24/7 chat isn’t 24/7
  • Email replies take a long time
  • Phone support could be better

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, there’s a reason why IG is one of the most popular trading platforms in the UK. It’s simply excellent.

Granted, the customer service could be better, it’s expensive to use, and it’s probably not the best platform for individuals looking to make a few trades on a lower-level basis. 

However, if what you want is a trading platform that will do everything you want it to do without you even needing to ask, IG is the platform for you.

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Will Fenton is the founder of Sterling Savvy. He is a personal finance expert and writes about trading, investing, budgeting, and other financial topics.

Along with his education in Economics & Finance, he has experience working in the financial services industry in London working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”.

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