Before you start spread betting you need to decide which spread betting platform to use.
Based on my in-depth UK market analysis I prepared this guide that features the best UK spread betting platforms.
Top Spread Betting Platforms in the UK for March 2023
Below is the list of the top 5 spread-betting platforms for UK investors.
- City Index
1) Pepperstone – Best UK Spread Betting Trading Platform for Beginners
When we analyse spread betting brokers, Pepperstone is one of the best ones available in the United Kingdom.
Pepperstone comes with an access to over 1200 financial instruments with narrow spreads and clients can start spread betting with low stakes from just 20p. Therefore we rated Pepperstone as the best spread betting broker for beginners from the UK. This broker is a safe bet in case you are a beginner who is just starting out. If you don’t want to commit large sums of money, you can start with just £10 but we recommend to deposit at least £200.
Pepperstone is a safe UK FCA regulated broker , which makes it one of the safest brokers to work with. During the testing phase I have found out that the platform also offers a variety of trading tools and features that make spread betting easier and more enjoyable!
Here are the factors that make Pepperstone a top spread betting trading platform:
I. Regulation & Licenses
This is a requirement for all spread betting brokers but some platforms are regulated in more jurisdictions than others. In the United Kingdom, Pepperstone spread betting broker is registered and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the biggest financial regulatory body in the UK.
II. Trading Platforms
The spread betting broker also offers traders an opportunity to choose from a variety of trading platforms including the MetaTrader 4 and 5, the cTrader platforms as well as, their associated web trader versions.
The Metatrader MT4 platform is very useful when building an automated trading system, but its web-based version comes short. This can be remedied by using the cTrader web platform, which works in a similar way to its desktop version.
Pepperstone also offers its traders a variety of research materials to improve their trading activity. It is one of the top spread betting platforms UK when it comes to education and research and beginner traders would find this information useful to kick starting their trading career.
In general, traders can choose from up to 11 available trading platforms when using Pepperstone as their broker. Some of these have very exciting tools that can help improve their profit potential in spread betting.
III. Leverage and Spread
Pepperstone spread betting broker provides leverage of up to 500:1 for professional traders while those who qualify as retail clients can access a leverage of up to 30:1. The low leverage limit for retail traders helps to protect them against unnecessary risk, which shows that the broker is conscious on client risk.
This spread betting broker also offers some of the tightest spreads in the market with the GBP/USD spread of 0.59 pips and the WTI Crude oil spread of 0.7 pips, among others.
IV. On the go trading via mobile devices
Pepperstone has mobile versions of all of top trading platforms including the MT4 and 5 and cTrader. This enables spread betting traders to trade from anywhere in the world where there is internet connection regardless of whether they are seated next to their computers. This can be useful for those who engage in intra-day trading.
VERDICT: Overall Pepperstone’s spread betting platform is the best with wide range of financial markets to trade, competitive pricing and very good analytical tools.
- Low Minimum Deposit £1
- No Capital Tax Spread Betting UK
- Regulated by the FCA UK
- Raw Zero Account
- Access to all main spread betting markets
- Competitive spread betting fees
- Not available for USA traders
- No real stocks available (only CFDs)
74,4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
AvaTrade is another excellent spread betting broker with a wide range of 1000+ financial instruments to trade with.
All spreads are narrow, all trades are of course without a commision. AvaTrade broker has got access to many platforms like industry standard Metatrader 4 and MT5 including their own proprietary platform running in web browser. Broker has a copy trading feature they call AvaSocial that allows their clients to copy the trades of other investors.
AvaTrade is regulated by the Irish Central Bank.
76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
3. City Index
Next, there is City Index which is another spread betting platform that offers an access to a massive range of over 8,500 financial instruments. City Index is another FCA regulated broker on this list.
Just like AvaTrade, they don’t charge any commission on spread bets, but they do add a trading fee into the spreads. You might also be charged an overnight fee if you keep your trade open overnight, but the amount can vary.
Be aware though, they do have an inactivity fee of £15 a month. But, the good news is that it only kicks in after you’ve been inactive for more than 2 years.
The only downside is that the minimum deposit amount is a bit high at £150 when you first open an account. So, if you’re a newbie and want to start with a smaller sum of money, you might want to look for a spread betting broker with a lower minimum deposit.
76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
What to consider when choosing a spread betting broker
So assuming that now you have some idea of what spread betting is, the next step would be to identify a trading platform that will help you learn more about the practice. Some novice traders will normally commit to learnings more about a new trading method before committing to trade.
This can be done by interacting with expert traders on popular online trading communities, independent websites like this one, or by hiring a professional coach.
Spread betting is often offered as an additional form of trading by brokers. Very few brokers offer spread betting as the only service on their platforms.
Therefore, when looking for the top UK spread betting platform , it is important to look beyond those that specialize in financial spread betting.
In the UK, Financial spread betting brokers are heavily regulated.
FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) is the main government regulator of all spread betting companies UK.
Access to financial markets
If you try to find the top spread betting platform UK that will fit your trading needs, always check first what financial markets and instruments the platform offers.
Majority of regulated UK spread betting providers provide the traders with access to the following market instruments :
- Shares listed on the London Stock Exchange and abroad (USA etc)
- Commodities and precious metals (Gold, Silver)
- FOREX currency pairs
- Stock market indices S&P500, NASDAQ100, VIX, FTSE100, DAX etc
Spread Betting Fees
Spread betting fees can be a little confusing for beginners.
Overnight SWAPS fees
Demo spread betting account
Demo account have historically proven to be an important tool for beginners in the world of financial spread betting.
Opening a demo spread betting account can help you gain experience in the market without risking your finances. You will be able to notice the key differences and similarities with traditional forex trading. This can also help you decide whether to stik with traditional fx trading or add spread betting to your portfolio.
Start with a small stake spread betting accounts
Unlike general forex trading, financial spread betting applies a fixed rate on every point lost or gained in a trade.
The trader chooses the fixed amount he is prepared to lose and wants to gain per pip. It can be £1 per point or £10 per point.
For a beginner, it is important to start with the lowest stake per point level you can get. So, in the case of £1 per point, a trader would gain or lose £50.00 is the trade swings by 50 points.
The benefit of a low stake spread betting platform UK is that a trader limits the potential risk of loss. On the downside, it also limits the potential gains made on a winning stake.
It all depends on the risk appetite of the trader.
How to Get Started with the Spread Betting Broker
Open a Spread Betting Account
Verify your Spread Betting Account (KYC check)
Decide and Select Spread Betting Market
Place Your First Spread Betting Order
What is Spread Betting
Spread betting is an online trading strategy where investors try to predict the direction a given derivatives asset could move within a specified time. They then stake a fixed amount to be gained or lost per every pip the asset adds or loses during an open session. By definition, a spread in the global financial markets represents the difference between the bid and ask prices for a listed asset.
In spread betting, the spread is the difference between the price of the asset at the time of opening a trading position and the time the position expires. Spread betting is only legal in the United Kingdom and various parts of continental Europe.
However, taxation differs from country to country, with the UK being one of the most tax attractive markets for spread betting traders with literally zero capital gains tax in most cases!
What is Forex Spread Betting?
Forex spread betting is a type of speculation on the foreign exchange market whereby the participant attempts to make a profit by correctly predicting the direction of the currency pair’s exchange rate.
It is a popular way to participate in the foreign exchange market for both experienced traders and newcomers alike. Unlike traditional forms of currency speculation, such as spot forex trading, forex spread betting does not involve the actual purchase or sale of the underlying currency. Instead, profits or losses are realized based on the movement of the currency pair’s exchange rate.
Forex spread betting is typically conducted through a broker or a spread betting firm. Participants do not need to have a large amount of capital to get started, as they can trade on margin. This means that they only need to put down a small percentage of the total value of the trade-in order to open a position.
However, It can be a risky proposition, as the participant is effectively wagering on the future direction of the currency pair’s exchange rate. However, with proper risk management techniques, such as stop-loss orders, traders can limit their losses and potential for substantial profits.
Differences between Forex Spread Betting and Financial Spread Betting
Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the difference before deciding which one is right for you.
Forex spread betting allows you to bet on the movement of currency pairs. You can go long or short on a currency pair, and you don’t need to have any underlying ownership of the currency. Financial spread betting, on the other hand, allows you to bet on the movement of financial instruments such as shares, indices, and commodities.
One of the main advantages of forex spread betting is that it’s a leveraged product. This means that you can trade with a smaller amount of money than you would need to buy the currency outright. Leverage can both increase your profits and your losses, so it’s important to use it wisely.
Another advantage of forex spread betting is that it’s a tax-free product. This means that any profits you make are not subject to capital gains tax. Where financial spread betting is not tax-free, it may be eligible for special tax treatment depending on your circumstances.
The main disadvantage of forex spread betting is that it’s a high-risk product. Currency prices can move very rapidly, and it’s easy to lose money if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s also important to remember that leverage can magnify your losses as well as your profits.
Financial spread betting is a less risky product than forex spread betting, but it’s still important to remember that prices can move quickly and you can lose money if you don’t know what you’re doing.
So, which is right for you? It depends on your individual circumstances and investment goals. If you’re comfortable with the risks, then forex spread betting could be a good option. If you’re looking for a less risky product, then financial spread betting may be a better choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is financial spread betting so popular in the UK ?
First and foremost, all gains from financial spread betting are tax free in the UK. You are able to spread bet on shares, commodities, precious metals, stock market indices and forex in a tax efficient way, meaning you will not have to worry about taxes on profits from spread betting! In fact spread betting falls under gambling in the UK, which is free from capital gains tax.
Q: Is Spread Betting Safe?
Despite the advantages of spread betting, there are also some risks associated with this type of trading. The most important thing to remember is that spread betting is a speculative activity and there is a real risk of losing money.
It is important to trade with a reputable spread betting firm and to only bet with money that you can afford to lose. Spread betting can be a risky way to trade, but it can also be a profitable way to trade if it is done correctly.
Q: Do I get any Tax Benefits With Spread Betting?
Spread betting is a type of gambling that is not taxed in the UK. This means that any winnings you make from spread betting are tax-free. This is a big advantage over other forms of gambling, such as horse racing, which are taxed at a rate of 20%.
Another advantage of spread betting is that you can offset your losses against your winnings. This means that if you have a losing bet, you can offset it against a winning bet, and only pay tax on the net amount. This can be a big advantage if you have a lot of winning bets and only a few losing bets.
So, spread betting can be a great way to make money in the UK, and there are many tax benefits that come with it. If you are thinking about starting to spread bet, make sure to consult with a financial advisor to make sure it is right for you.
Read also: Best CFD Brokers in the UK
Risk disclaimer: Spread bets and trading CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% of retail investors 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.