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Best High-Leverage Forex Brokers in the UK

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
Reviewed by:
Best high leverage forex brokers UK

In a nutshell, the best high-leverage forex brokers in the UK are XTB and Pepperstone. XTB offers an award-winning proprietary trading platform and Pepperstone is favored for its low spreads and strong customer service.

Looking for your perfect high-leverage forex broker?

I’ve tested, scored, and ranked the best high-leverage forex brokers in the UK.

Whether you’re looking for top-notch security, user-friendliness, or low spreads, I’ve got you covered.

Best Forex Brokers With High Leverage Ranked

Here is a quick list of the best high-leverage forex brokers to use in the UK based on my hands-on analysis:

  1. XTB – Best for low trading fees
  2. Pepperstone – Best for low spreads
  3. AvaTrade – Best for professionals
  4. Interactive Brokers – Best for advanced traders

Best Options Compared

Here I’ve compared the forex brokers based on four key rating criteria you must consider and compare:

RankBrokerLeverage availableNumber of currency pairsAverage spread EUR/USDMinimum deposit
1XTBUp to 500:1571.0£250
2PepperstoneUp to 200:160+0.77$200
3AvaTradeUp to 400:1550.9$100
4Interactive BrokersUp to 40:11050.2$0

Reviews

Research shows the UK has the largest share of forex trading at 43% globally, making it the largest forex trading center worldwide1.

If you are looking to get started trading forex in the UK, you’re in luck!

There are a variety of excellent high-leverage forex brokers available to UK traders, each with its unique features and benefits.

Having worked in the retail investment & trading sector in London over the last four years, I had the opportunity to experience the dynamic and fast-paced forex market first-hand.

In my role 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”, I was able to work with and test some of the biggest UK forex brokers on the market.

Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best high-leverage forex brokers in the UK based on four key criteria:

  1. Leverage available
  2. Number of currency pairs
  3. Average spread EUR/USD
  4. Minimum deposit

Factors such as usability, trading platforms available, research tools, educational materials, and additional features were also considered.

All the high-leverage forex brokers I’ve reviewed below are regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or similar.

You can also read about how we test platforms here.

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

1. XTB – Best for low trading fees

XTB - Cheapest high leverage forex broker UK

XTB stands prominently as one of the best high-leverage forex brokers, offering an impressive leverage limit of up to 500:1 for those fitting the criteria. This translates to a potential trading capital of $500 for every $1 risked, providing traders with robust leverage across major and minor forex pairs.

For the more exotic pairs like EUR/TRY, traders have leverage of up to 1:40. Beyond forex, XTB’s allure extends to commodities trading; gold enjoys a generous 1:500 limit, other commodities stand at 1:67, and a distinct 1:5 for stocks across multiple global markets such as the US, UK, Italy, and Germany.

A definitive edge that XTB brings to the table is its low fee structure. Traders are greeted with commission-free trading across all markets, with competitive spreads starting from just 0.8 pips on major forex pairs, and fee-free deposits through debit/credit cards and bank wires.

However, a 2% fee on Skrill payments should be noted.

Moreover, the absence of a minimum deposit requirement makes XTB an appealing choice for both beginners and seasoned traders. The platform of choice, xStation 5, boasts advanced charting tools and technical indicators, ensuring traders have the cutting-edge resources they need.

Though it lacks support for third-party platforms like MT4 or MT5, its multi-device compatibility is a boon for traders on the go. Coupled with a free demo account for budding traders or strategy testers, XTB solidifies its commitment to user-centricity.

Furthermore, XTB’s regulatory framework spans multiple jurisdictions such as the UK, Poland, Spain, and Belize, ensuring a layer of trust and compliance.

Diving into the specifics of forex trading at XTB, traders can navigate through over 48 currency pairs with ultra-thin spreads from 0.1 pips. The broker’s array of learning and market analysis tools further enhance the trading experience, ensuring traders are well-equipped and informed.

Whether you’re a novice looking to dabble in forex or a professional seeking high-leverage potential, XTB’s blend of features, low fees, and robust platform makes it a compelling choice in the high-leverage forex broker landscape.

Key rating criteria:

Leverage availableNumber of currency pairsAverage spread EUR/USDMinimum deposit
Up to 500:1571.0£250

Pros:

  • Free and speedy deposit and withdrawal process
  • Swift and simple account opening

Cons:

  • The product portfolio is primarily limited to CFDs
  • Charges an inactivity fee

2. Pepperstone – Best for low-spreads

Pepperstone - Low-spread & high leverage forex trading platform UK

Pepperstone, a renowned platform in the realm of leveraged CFD trading, has solidified its reputation by providing access to an extensive 1,200 market array, encompassing everything from commodities and indices to forex and cryptocurrencies.

Its offering extends to stocks across several major markets, including the US, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, and the UK.

Staying within the bounds of FCA regulations, Pepperstone sets the leverage cap at 30:1 for retail clients, but professionals with qualifying credentials can amp up their leverage game to an impressive 200:1.

Among its many commendable features, Pepperstone presents traders with two core account types, each catering to specific trading needs.

The standard account, offering spreads beginning from 1 pip on EUR/USD, is commission-free. In contrast, the razor account piques interest with its institutional-grade spreads, starting from a razor-thin 0.0 pips on primary pairs, albeit with a commission of $3.50 per slide.

Traders also relish the versatility of choosing from platforms like MT4, MT5, cTrader, and TradingView. The absence of a minimum deposit requirement, combined with options like debit/credit card and bank wire facilities, further sweetens the deal.

Check out our roundup of the best MT4 brokers in the UK.

Not limiting itself to just CFDs, Pepperstone ventures into spread betting arenas, exclusively accessible for UK and Ireland residents. A distinguishing feature is the depth of its analytical resources—daily market insights, live coverage of significant economic events, and expert commentaries keep traders well-informed and ahead of the curve.

Over 60 currency pairs await exploration, and with spreads starting at 0 pips for major pairs, cost efficiency remains paramount.

Additionally, the platform’s user-friendly nature, complemented by a robust set of learning resources and social/copy trading platforms, enhances the trading experience.

The $3.50 commission per lot stands as a point of consideration, but with 62 currency pairs to delve into, Pepperstone ensures traders are spoilt for choice.

Read my full Pepperstone review.

Key rating criteria:

Leverage availableNumber of currency pairsAverage spread EUR/USDMinimum deposit
Up to 200:160+0.77$200

Pros:

  • Provides access to over 60 currencies through top-notch desktop and mobile platforms
  • Features currency indices to capitalise on forex market volatility
  • Highly rated for customer satisfaction and value for money

Cons:

  • More competitive pricing is available for CFDs and spread betting

3. AvaTrade – Best for professionals

AvaTrade high leverage forex trading broker.

AvaTrade stands out in the forex brokerage space, notably for its high-leverage offerings tailored for professional traders. While retail clients can harness leverage up to 30:1, the seasoned pros have the door open to a whopping 400:1.

Such a powerful leverage ratio can be a double-edged sword, amplifying both potential profits and losses, underscoring the importance of trading prudently and armoring oneself with robust strategies.

AvaTrade boasts an impressive list of over 45 currency pairs, granting traders a broad spectrum of forex markets to explore.

The AvaTradeGO app is a gem, receiving commendable ratings and feedback across digital stores like Google Play and the App Store. This intuitive app facilitates seamless trading on the move, complemented by a suite of top-tier platforms like MT4, MT5, AvaSocial, and Ava Academy.

To dip your toes into the AvaTrade experience, a modest initial deposit of £100 suffices. What elevates AvaTrade further is its status as a stellar high-leverage broker for both MT4 and MT5 users.

These platforms entice with commission-free trades and enticingly competitive spreads, with the popular EUR/USD pairing averaging a mere 0.9 pips.

Beyond these platforms, AvaTrade unveils its proprietary trading suite, laden with a plethora of analysis tools, and an options trading platform supporting over 40 forex pairs and even gold. For those inclined towards automated trading, platforms like AvaSocial, DupliTrade, and Capitalise.ai stand ready.

But, a word of caution for UK traders: AvaTrade isn’t directly regulated by the FCA. However, this isn’t a red flag, as its regulatory adherence spans various global jurisdictions, including the Central Bank of Ireland.

In terms of fees, an inactivity levy kicks in, with $50 being charged after three dormant months, and another $100 following a year.

AvaTrade offers a rich forex trading experience, marrying high leverage with a diversified platform ecosystem. As always, potential clients should do their due diligence, especially concerning regulatory nuances and fees.

Read my full AvaTrade review.

Key rating criteria:

Leverage availableNumber of currency pairsAverage spread EUR/USDMinimum deposit
Up to 400:1550.9$100

Pros:

  • Comprehensive and timely forex news updates
  • Intuitive and user-friendly app interface
  • Extensive selection of over 250 currency pairs

Cons:

  • Inactivity fees that may be considered relatively high
  • Forex fees that are deemed average in comparison

4. Interactive Brokers – Best for advanced traders

Best high leverage forex broker for advanced traders.

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) firmly establishes itself as a formidable contender in the high-leverage forex broker space. At the heart of IBKR’s offering is its state-of-the-art proprietary trading platform, the Trader Workstation (TWS).

Boasting a rich palette of sophisticated tools, TWS covers an impressive range of technical and economic indicators. Users will find customisable trading screens, pinpoint drawing tools, comprehensive risk management features, and an uninterrupted stream of real-time market data.

Additionally, the platform supports an extensive variety of order types, spanning from take-profits to brackets and OCOs. The breadth of markets catered to by IBKR is commendable.

Traders have a vast universe of assets at their fingertips, spread across 150 markets. This includes but is not limited to stocks, funds, futures, options, currencies, and commodities.

While the fee structure is contingent on the asset, market, and account type, certain highlights stand out. US clients using the IBKR Lite account, for instance, can indulge in commission-free trading for domestic stocks and ETFs.

Meanwhile, options and futures trading commences at a mere $0.15 and $0.25 per contract, respectively. Forex enthusiasts will appreciate the low starting point of 0.08 basis points and spreads initiating at 1/10 of a pip. Diving deeper into the forex offerings, IBKR’s reputation is bolstered by its access to high liquidity and real-time quotes from 17 leading global forex dealers.

Traders can navigate through a selection of over 100 forex pairs, encompassing 24 currencies. While the tools are honed for professional traders, IBKR ensures accessibility across the board.

Leverage limits stand at 40:1 for major pairs and 20:1 for other categories. A cherry on top is the broker’s friendly approach to fees.

Forex trading is kept cost-efficient, there’s an absence of a mandatory minimum deposit, and inactivity fees are nowhere to be found. This inclusive stance ensures traders of all calibers can delve into the forex waters with ease.

And for those still on the fence, IBKR extends a “Free Trial” version, allowing a risk-free exploration of its offerings. In conclusion, Interactive Brokers merges high leverage with a vast market offering and advanced trading tools, making it a must-consider for seasoned and newbie traders alike.

Read my full Interactive Brokers review.

Key rating criteria:

Leverage availableNumber of currency pairsAverage spread EUR/USDMinimum deposit
Up to 40:11050.2$0

Pros:

  • Competitive trading fees
  • Extensive product offerings
  • Abundant high-quality research tools

Cons:

  • Lengthy and complex account setup process
  • Intricate desktop trading interface
  • Limited customer service due to understaffing

How to Choose? Factors to Consider

Choosing the best high-leverage broker in the UK requires careful consideration of several factors.

High leverage can significantly amplify both gains and losses, making the choice of broker crucial for your trading experience and risk management.

Along with the key rating criteria I used to rank the brokers, here’s what to look for:

  • Regulation and Licensing:
    • Ensure the broker is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This guarantees a certain level of safety, professionalism, and compliance with local laws.
    • Check if the broker offers protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which can safeguard your funds up to a specific limit.
  • Leverage Offered:
    • Understand the maximum leverage the broker provides. While high leverage can amplify profits, it also intensifies potential losses. Always trade responsibly.
    • Remember, for retail clients in the UK, leverage is capped at 30:1 for major currency pairs due to FCA regulations. However, professional clients may have access to higher leverage.
  • Trading Platforms:
    • Analyse the trading platforms the broker supports (e.g., MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader).
    • Check for platform stability, ease of use, available tools, and indicators, and ensure it meets your trading style and needs.
  • Costs and Fees:
    • Compare spreads and commissions. Some brokers offer low or zero spreads but may compensate with higher commissions.
    • Look for any hidden fees, such as inactivity fees or withdrawal charges.
  • Range of Markets:
    • Ensure the broker provides a wide variety of instruments and currency pairs if you wish to diversify your trading portfolio.
  • Account Types:
    • Examine the different account offerings. Some may have accounts tailored for beginners, while others cater to professionals.
  • Customer Service:
    • A responsive customer support system can be crucial. Test their availability, responsiveness, and knowledge.
  • Education and Research:
    • Especially for new traders, having access to educational resources can be invaluable.
    • Check if the broker offers webinars, tutorials, news updates, and analysis tools.
  • Deposits and Withdrawals:
    • Ensure the broker supports multiple payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. Also, check for any associated fees and the speed of transactions.
  • Reputation and Reviews:
    • Read reviews from other traders and industry professionals.
    • Look for any recurring issues or complaints, keeping an eye out for mentions of withdrawal difficulties or platform glitches.
  • Safety of Funds:
    • Investigate how the broker stores and protects your funds. Many reputable brokers keep client funds in segregated accounts away from their operational funds.
  • Demo Account:
    • Utilise demo accounts to test the platform’s interface, tools, and customer service without risking real money.

Final Thoughts

High-leverage forex brokers in the UK provide traders with the opportunity to magnify their potential profits, but this comes with increased risks.

While several brokers offer enticing leverage options, it’s imperative to select one that aligns with your trading goals, offers robust security measures, and is regulated by relevant authorities.

But, for beginners, I’d recommend XTB as the best high-leverage forex broker in the UK.

FAQs

What is the highest leverage in the UK?

The highest leverage in the UK offered to retail traders by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is 30:1 for major currency pairs and 20:1 for minor pairs.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/quarterly-bulletin/2019/2019-q4/the-foreign-exchange-and-over-the-counter-interest-rate-derivatives-market-in-the-uk ↩︎

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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