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Best Index Brokers in the UK

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
Reviewed by:
Best Index Brokers UK

In a nutshell, the best index brokers in the UK are Plus500, Spreadex, and Trade Nation. Plus500 is known for its comprehensive trading platform and wide range of indices. Spreadex offers a unique blend of spread betting and traditional index trading, while Trade Nation stands out for its user-friendly platforms and competitive fees.

Looking for your perfect index trading broker?

I’ve tested, scored, and ranked the best index brokers and platforms in the UK.

Whether you’re looking for security, user-friendliness, or extensive trading options, I’ve got you covered.

Top pick
Best for tight spreads
Best for fixed spreads
4.8
4.7
4.6
Pros:
  • Intuitive, user-friendly platform
  • Demo trading account & learning academy
  • Fast and responsive customer service
Pros:
  • Trading platform is near-perfect
  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Great charting tools
  • Low spreads
Pros:
  • Low cost trading without commission
  • Spreads from 0.0 with commission
  • Choice of trading platforms
Disclaimer:
82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Disclaimer:
64% of retail investors lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
Disclaimer:
75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Top pick
4.8
Pros:
  • Intuitive, user-friendly platform
  • Demo trading account & learning academy
  • Fast and responsive customer service
Disclaimer:
82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Best for tight spreads
4.7
Pros:
  • Trading platform is near-perfect
  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Great charting tools
  • Low spreads
Disclaimer:
64% of retail investors lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
Best for fixed spreads
4.6
Pros:
  • Low cost trading without commission
  • Spreads from 0.0 with commission
  • Choice of trading platforms
Disclaimer:
75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

7 Best Indices Brokers UK Ranked

Here is a quick list of the best index trading brokers and platforms to use in the UK based on my hands-on analysis:

  1. Plus500 – Best online brokers UK for index funds
  2. Spreadex – Low-cost indices trading broker
  3. Trade Nation – Best index broker with low spreads
  4. eToro – Best index broker UK for beginners
  5. Interactive Brokers – Best indices broker for large selection
  6. City Index – Best for index trading tools
  7. IG – Best index broker for educational materials

Best Index Brokers UK Reviews

Choosing the best broker for index funds is crucial for newcomers in the market.

Having worked in the retail investment sector in London over the last four years, I had the opportunity to experience index trading first-hand.

Additionally, 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 brokers on the market.

Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best broker to trade indices in the UK based on four key criteria:

  1. Minimum deposit
  2. Index pricing
  3. Platform fee
  4. Indices available

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

All the platforms I’ve reviewed below are regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

You can also read about how we test platforms here.

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

1. Plus500 – One of the best online brokers UK for index funds

Plus500 - One of the best online brokers UK for index funds

Plus500 stands out as a premier index broker in the UK, especially suitable for beginners seeking an accessible and user-friendly trading experience.

Our evaluation highlights Plus500’s unique, proprietary platform, which simplifies index market navigation and offers quick access to essential resources.

This platform, coupled with an array of learning tools and 24/7 support, positions Plus500 as an excellent starting point for novice traders.

The broker requires a low minimum deposit of just £100, making it accessible for those new to index trading.

Plus500 distinguishes itself by featuring globally recognised indices such as USA 100, US-TECH 100, and France 40, broadening the scope for traders.

Additionally, the leverage trading options are notable, reaching up to 1:150, providing flexibility, and amplifying potential returns for professional traders.

An aspect that adds to Plus500’s appeal is its comprehensive asset offerings. Apart from indices, traders have access to a variety of securities including shares, commodities, and forex, facilitating portfolio diversification.

The broker’s mobile app is highly rated on both Google Play and the App Store, reflecting its commitment to providing a top-tier mobile trading experience.

However, it’s important to be aware of the associated fees. Plus500 charges a currency conversion fee of 0.7% and applies a spread for guaranteed stop orders.

Additionally, a notable downside is the £10 monthly inactivity fee, which is levied after just three months of inactivity.

In terms of fee transparency, Plus500 excels, offering free real-time index quotes and insightful market analysis, which are invaluable for developing effective trading strategies.

With its focus on user-friendly experience, diverse asset options, and robust educational support, Plus500 is one of the best index brokers in the UK.

Read my full Plus500 review.

Pros:

  • Strong Corporate Background
  • Advanced Analytical Tools
  • Regulated Global Platform
  • Comprehensive Charting

Cons:

  • Limited Research Content
  • Less Suitable for Active Traders
  • Mediocre Research Tools

82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

2. Spreadex – Low-cost indices trading broker

Spreadex - Low-cost indices trading broker.

Spreadex is a distinguished indices trading broker in the UK, renowned for its tight spreads and extensive market range.

It offers traders the opportunity to engage in index trading across major global markets, with competitive spreads starting from just 1 point on the UK 100 and Germany 40, and 2.4 points on Wall Street.

It stands out for providing 24-hour trading on many of its indices, ensuring traders have access to global markets around the clock.

Traders can choose from over 30 indices markets, including those in Europe, the US, and Asia, making Spreadex a versatile choice for diverse trading strategies. The platform offers both spread betting and CFDs, allowing traders to tailor their approach to indices trading according to their preference and experience level.

A key aspect of Spreadex’s credibility is its regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), ensuring a secure and trustworthy trading environment. This regulation confirms that Spreadex adheres to stringent standards, offering traders peace of mind regarding the safety of their investments.

Spreadex is a top choice for indices trading in the UK, offering tight spreads, a wide range of markets, and round-the-clock trading. Its compliance with FCA regulations further enhances its standing as a reliable and professional trading platform.

Whether for seasoned traders or those new to indices trading, Spreadex provides an accessible and robust platform for engaging with global markets.

Read my full Spreadex review.

Pros:

  • Tight spreads on major indices
  • 24-hour trading availability
  • Over 30 global indices markets
  • FCA-regulated for security

Cons:

  • Limited to indices and financial markets
  • No demo account for beginners
  • The platform may be complex for new traders

64% of retail investors lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

3. Trade Nation – Best index broker with low spreads

Trade Nation

Trade Nation stands out as one of the premier indices trading platforms in the UK, noted for its adherence to stringent regulatory standards and its commitment to user safety.

Established in 2014, Trade Nation operates under the regulatory oversight of top-tier entities such as the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia, ensuring a high level of trust and security for its clients.

The platform boasts a remarkable track record, free from major regulatory incidents or fines, underscoring its reliability and ethical business practices.

Trade Nation distinguishes itself through its user-centric approach, offering a fully digital account opening process with no minimum deposit requirement, which facilitates easy access for traders of all levels.

Clients benefit from free deposit and withdrawal options, complemented by a selection of major currencies for the account base currency, enhancing the platform’s flexibility and convenience.

The platform’s web and mobile trading applications are designed with the user in mind, offering an intuitive interface, effective search functions, and guaranteed stops, albeit with room for improvement in areas such as safer login options.

Despite a relatively narrow product portfolio, Trade Nation compensates with competitive fees for stock and index CFDs, further solidifying its position as a cost-effective choice for traders.

Education and customer support are among Trade Nation’s strengths, with a plethora of quality educational resources and responsive support channels, though the absence of 24/7 support and live chat options are noted drawbacks.

Nevertheless, the platform’s commitment to enhancing trader knowledge and its provision of quality research tools underscore its dedication to customer success.

Trade Nation’s blend of rigorous regulation, user-friendly trading platforms, and comprehensive support and educational offerings make it a formidable choice for UK traders seeking a reliable and efficient indices trading experience.

Despite some limitations in product range and platform features, its strengths in regulatory compliance, cost efficiency, and user support establish Trade Nation as a noteworthy platform in the competitive trading landscape.

Read my full Trade Nation review.

Pros:

  • Competitive fees for stock and index CFDs
  • Web and mobile platforms are designed for ease of use

Cons:

  • Limited product portfolio
  • Limited account base currencies

75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

4. eToro – Best index broker UK for beginners

eToro - Best index broker UK for beginners

eToro distinguishes itself as a top-tier index broker in the UK, especially for those seeking educational and social trading experiences.

Its user-friendly platform offers an intuitive entry into trading major stock indices through CFDs, allowing users to capitalise on price movements without the need to own the underlying assets.

A standout feature of eToro is its social trading platform, where users can connect, exchange ideas, and learn from other index traders, enhancing the communal aspect of trading.

For traders less confident in their strategies or looking to leverage the expertise of others, eToro’s copy trading platform is invaluable.

It enables users to mimic the trades of experienced investors, providing a practical learning tool. The broker’s commitment to education is further reflected in its comprehensive range of resources, including guides, videos, and webinars.

However, there are some considerations to bear in mind. eToro has a high minimum deposit requirement for copy trading, and all accounts must be managed in USD, which might lead to high foreign exchange conversion charges for some users.

The broker’s index pricing spans various major indices, such as FTSE 1 and NASDAQ 2.4, and while this variety is advantageous, the pricing can be wide for some indices.

In terms of fees, eToro requires a minimum deposit of £50. The conversion fee varies depending on the payment method, currency, and eToro Club level.

There are also overnight fees that vary with the value and direction of the position, a $5 fee for withdrawals, and a $10 monthly inactivity fee charged after 12 months of inactivity.

Overall, eToro’s blend of a user-friendly platform, social and copy trading features, and a strong focus on educational content, alongside its range of index trading options, secures its position as a suitable index broker for beginners in the UK.

The platform’s approach caters to both novice traders and those looking to expand their trading repertoire, making it a compelling choice for a broad spectrum of investors.

Read my full eToro review.

Pros:

  • Diverse Asset Classes
  • Commission-Free Trading
  • Seamless Account Opening
  • Social Trading Features

Cons:

  • Withdrawal Fees
  • Inactivity Charges

5. Interactive Brokers – Best broker for trading indices

Interactive Brokers - Best broker for trading indices

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) stands out as a leading choice for index trading in the UK, offering a comprehensive platform that caters to both novice and experienced traders.

Our assessment highlights IBKR’s extensive range of index markets, making it a versatile option for those looking to diversify their trading portfolio.

The platform is particularly appealing for its low trading charges, which is a significant benefit for budget-conscious traders.

For those new to index trading, Interactive Brokers provides an array of excellent research and learning tools, aiding in informed decision-making and strategy development.

More seasoned traders will find the platform’s features conducive to enhancing their skills, especially in index trading with CFDs.

One of the platform’s key advantages is its transparent and competitive index pricing, with indices like FTSE, DAX, Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P all offered at 0.005%.

This low-cost structure extends to the trading of on-exchange index futures and options, broadening the range of trading strategies that can be employed.

In terms of fees, Interactive Brokers maintains a user-friendly approach with a minimum deposit of $10, free deposits and withdrawals, and no inactivity fees.

This makes it accessible to a wide range of traders, from those starting with smaller budgets to more significant investors.

However, there are a few drawbacks to consider. The platform’s website can be challenging to navigate, particularly for beginners, and there is no option for index financial spread betting or guaranteed stops.

Despite these limitations, Interactive Brokers’ combination of low-cost index trading, a wide range of available indices, and powerful trading tools and apps make it a great option.

Its suitability for various trading levels, from beginners to experts, makes it a highly recommended platform for anyone looking to trade indices.

Read my full Interactive Brokers review.

Pros:

  • Versatile Trading Platforms
  • High Interest on Cash Balances
  • Extensive Range of Products
  • Competitive Trading Fees

Cons:

  • Complex Account Opening
  • U.S. Centric Educational Content
  • Limited Beginner Content

6. City Index – Best for index trading tools

City Index - Best for index trading tools.

City Index has established itself as a compelling choice for UK traders seeking a cost-effective way to trade indices.

Our analysis found that City Index’s zero commission structure is a major advantage for traders aiming to maximise their profits while minimising costs.

Although the broker doesn’t charge commissions, it compensates with competitive spreads, starting from as low as 0.3 points.

With a minimum deposit requirement of just £100, City Index is accessible to a wide range of traders.

One of the standout features of City Index is its versatility in offering index trading both as CFDs and through spread betting.

The broker provides a diverse selection of over 40 global indices, including specific UK sector indices, ensuring traders have a wide array of options.

Additionally, City Index is known for its swift trade execution and highly customisable platform, catering to various trading styles and preferences.

City Index also excels in providing educational and analytical resources. The broker offers trading signals and post-trade analytics, which are valuable tools for developing trading strategies and improving performance.

Their education and analysis program is designed to support traders at all levels, from beginners to more experienced market participants.

However, there are some limitations to consider. City Index does not offer Direct Market Access (DMA) for index trading and the options for CFDs or spread bets on indices are somewhat limited compared to other providers.

Moreover, while the platform doesn’t charge a signup bonus, it does impose a 2% deposit fee and a $15 inactivity fee.

In terms of spreads and fees, City Index offers competitive pricing across various assets, including major indices with spreads starting from 0.4 pts, EUR/USD spreads from 0.5 pts, and spot gold spreads from 0.5 pts.

The commission on shares trading is reasonable at 0.08%.

Overall, City Index’s combination of low trading costs, a wide range of indices, effective educational and analytical tools, and a user-friendly platform earns it a top spot as one of the best index brokers in the UK.

Its offerings are well-suited for traders looking for a balanced mix of affordability, variety, and quality in their trading experience.

Read my full City Index review.

Pros:

  • Multiple Trading Platforms
  • Regulated and Reliable
  • Advanced Web Trader Platform
  • SMART Signals Subscription

Cons:

  • Inactivity Fees
  • Limited Deposit/Withdrawal Methods

7. IG – Best index broker for educational materials

ig index brokers

IG stands out as a premier index broker in the UK, offering an extensive range of over 80 indices for trading.

Recognised as the world’s No.1 provider for spread betting and CFDs, IG distinguishes itself with deep liquidity and competitive spreads, starting from as low as 1 point on the FTSE 100 and 0.4 on the US 500.

This makes it an attractive option for traders looking for tight spreads on major indices.

A unique offering of IG is its weekend trading on indices, allowing traders to capitalise on market opportunities even when the main markets are closed.

This feature underscores IG’s commitment to providing flexibility and continuous trading options for its users.

IG’s platform is particularly notable for its excellent index liquidity and the wide variety of indices available for trade.

Additionally, the broker provides valuable index trading signals and analysis, aiding traders in making informed decisions.

However, it’s important to note that IG does not offer index futures, and index options are only available as CFDs or spread bets.

As a trustworthy and FCA-regulated brokerage, IG Index is well-suited for both beginner traders and experienced investors.

The broker’s platform is user-friendly and offers a wide range of trading instruments and investment vehicles, including ISAs and Smart Portfolios.

The minimum deposit requirement is £250, making it accessible to a broad spectrum of traders.

IG Index is also lauded for its low fees, 24-hour customer support, and award-winning brand reputation.

The platform’s extensive research tools, intuitive interface, and diverse account options further enhance its appeal as a top-rated trading platform in the UK.

In summary, IG’s blend of excellent liquidity, a wide range of indices, valuable trading tools, and strong regulatory compliance solidifies its position as a top choice for index traders in the UK.

Its offerings cater to a variety of trading needs and preferences, making it a highly recommended broker for those looking to trade indices.

Read my full IG review.

Pros:

  • Low Foreign Exchange Fee
  • Advanced Web Trading Platform
  • Flexible Deposit and Withdrawal Options
  • Low Trading Fees for Frequent Traders

Cons:

  • No Funds Offering
  • No Fractional Share Ownership
  • High Stock CFD Fees

How to Choose the Best Index Broker in the UK?

When choosing the best index broker in the UK, consider the following factors:

  1. Regulatory Compliance: Ensure the broker is regulated by a reputable authority like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to guarantee security and fairness.
  2. Platform Usability: Look for a user-friendly platform that suits your experience level, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned trader.
  3. Fees and Commissions: Compare the fee structures, including spreads, commission rates, and any hidden costs, to find a cost-effective option.
  4. Range of Indices Offered: Check if the broker offers a wide range of indices, including both local and international options, to diversify your investment.
  5. Customer Support: Reliable customer service is crucial for resolving issues and queries, so consider brokers with strong support channels like live chat, email, and phone.
  6. Educational Resources: Especially important for beginners, brokers that offer educational materials, webinars, and tutorials can help in making informed decisions.
  7. Trading Tools and Resources: Advanced charting tools, analytical resources, and trading signals can enhance your trading experience and success rate.
  8. Account Types and Minimum Deposits: Make sure the broker offers account types that fit your investment size and style, and check for minimum deposit requirements.
  9. Execution Speed and Reliability: Fast and reliable trade execution is essential in the fast-paced world of index trading.
  10. Mobile Trading Options: If you prefer trading on the go, ensure the broker has a robust and intuitive mobile app.

What Is Index Trading & How to Trade Indices?

Index trading involves buying and selling a group of stocks that represent a segment of a stock market. These groups, known as indices, track the performance of a specific set of stocks from a particular market, sector, or industry.

For example, the FTSE 100 represents the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

To trade indices, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a Trading Platform: Select a reputable broker or trading platform that offers access to the indices you’re interested in.
  2. Understand the Index: Research the specific index you want to trade. Each index has its unique composition and factors influencing its performance.
  3. Develop a Strategy: Decide on your trading strategy. This could be based on technical analysis, fundamental analysis, or a combination of both.
  4. Open and Fund Your Account: Register and fund your trading account. Ensure you understand any fees or commissions charged by the platform.
  5. Start Trading: You can trade indices through derivatives like CFDs (Contracts for Difference), ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds), or futures. These instruments allow you to speculate on the price movements of an index without owning the underlying stocks.
  6. Monitor and Manage Your Trades: Regularly monitor your trades and the market. Use risk management tools like stop-loss orders to protect against significant losses.
  7. Close Your Position: When you’re ready, close your position to take a profit or cut a loss. The profit or loss is determined by the difference between the price at which you entered and exited the trade.

It’s important to remember that index trading, like all forms of trading, carries risk. It’s recommended to start with a clear understanding of the markets and perhaps practice with a demo account before trading with real money.

Final Thoughts

The best index brokers in the UK have revealed a diverse range of platforms catering to different trading needs and preferences.

From Plus500’s beginner-friendly approach and low trading costs to IG’s vast array of indices and advanced trading tools, each broker offers unique features that make it stand out in the competitive world of index trading.

Whether you’re a novice trader or a seasoned investor, these brokers provide the tools, resources, and user-friendly platforms necessary for effective index trading.

With their varied strengths in mind, traders can confidently select a broker that aligns with their specific trading goals and strategies, ensuring a successful and informed trading experience in the dynamic UK index market.

FAQs

What is the cheapest broker for index funds UK?

eToro is recognised as the cheapest broker for index funds in the UK, offering competitive pricing with low fees and no commission on stock trading, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious investors.

Can I buy index funds without a broker?

Yes, you can buy index funds without a broker by purchasing them directly from a fund company or through a robo-advisor platform. These methods typically offer a straightforward approach, but the available fund choices may be more limited compared to using a broker.

Which broker is best for indices trading?

Plus500 is widely regarded as the best broker for indices trading, offering a user-friendly platform, competitive spreads, and a wide range of global indices. Its tools and features cater well to both beginners and experienced traders.

How much money do I need to trade indices?

The amount of money needed to trade indices varies based on the broker’s minimum deposit requirement and the margin requirements for index trading. Some brokers allow starting with as little as $100, while others may require more.

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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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