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Best Forex Brokers for Professionals in 2020

Steven Hatzakis

The annual forex broker review (four years running) is the most cited in the industry. With over 50,000 words of research across the site, we spend hundreds of hours testing forex brokers each year. How we test.

The best forex brokers for professional traders go above and beyond from their default retail account offerings, to further distinguish the products and services they make available for savvy investors.

From discounted commissions to advanced order types and trading platforms, the best brokers will have tailored solutions and services dedicated specifically to the demands of professionals seeking premium and VIP accounts.

The definition of what constitutes a professional trader, day trader, or accredited investor may vary depending on where you are in the world. In many countries, there may be a different legal distinction, tax status, and regulatory obligation for professional traders, compared to retail investors.

When trading like a professional, your needs may differ considerably from the needs of a retail trader (i.e., see our guide for beginners for contrast). That’s why it’s essential to choose a broker that is not only highly-regulated and trusted but one that also caters well to your specific needs.

Best Forex Brokers for Premium and VIP Accounts

Here's a summary of the best forex brokers for premium and VIP forex accounts.

  • Saxo Bank - Best VIP account offering
  • CMC Markets - Powerful web platform, liquidity rebates
  • Interactive Brokers - Low commissions, advanced order types
  • City Index - Active trader discounts and perks
Saxo Bank

Best VIP account offering

Regulated across significant jurisdictions around the world, Saxo Bank is a trusted brand that caters well to professional traders, including through its VIP account offering for savvy investors. Complex order types and the ability to switch between instruments from within its trade ticket window are examples of how Saxo Bank shines for professional traders. Read full review

CMC Markets logo

Powerful web platform, liquidity rebates

CMC Markets is a highly-regulated and trusted global broker, catering to professional traders through its Next Generation platform. CMC Markets provides professional traders with competitive pricing and advanced trading tools. ( of retail CFD accounts lose money.) Read full review

Interactive Brokers logo

Low commissions, advanced order types

As a trusted broker regulated across multiple major financial centers, Interactive Brokers has a long-standing history providing competitive pricing and sophisticated tools, including advanced order types, to help meet the needs of professional traders. Read full review

City Index logo

Active trader discounts and perks

Part of Gain Capital Group, City Index has a long history as a trusted and highly-regulated brand offering forex and CFD traders access to multiple platforms and competitive spreads. City Index caters well to professional traders through its Active Trader account, which offers tiered pricing. Read full review

Qualifications to Become A Professional Trader

According to MiFID rules applicable to the EU, and UK, the FCA outlines in its regulatory handbook that “Elective Professional Clients” are those who meet at least two of the following three criteria:

  • Persons who have carried out significant size transactions (i.e., 50K) on the relevant market at an average of 10 times per quarter over the last four quarters.
  • Has a financial investment portfolio that exceeds EUR 500k (including cash)
  • Negative balance protection
  • Persons who have worked in the financial sector for at least one year in a professional position with relevant knowledge of the products and services sought.

Leverage Limits for Forex Traders

ESMA imposed leverage limits for retail traders in the EU, effective since August 2018. These leverage limits do not apply to clients designated as professional traders in the EU. Traders who are not professionals will be subjected to the following leverage limits:

  • 30:1 for major currency pairs
  • 20:1 for non-major currency pairs, gold and major indices
  • 10:1 for commodities other than gold, and non-major indices
  • 5:1 for individual equities (shares) and different reference values (i.e., custom indices)
  • 2:1 for cryptocurrencies

What tests do I have to pass to become a professional trader in Europe?

As per MiFID regulations throughout Europe, including the UK, traders are given a quantitative test with multiple questions to assess their financial knowledge, usually online during the account application process.

Who is the regulator in the UK for forex and CFDs?

In the United Kingdom (UK), the primary financial market regulator is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates forex trading and CFD markets.

What does the term “elective professional trader” mean?

The process in the EU and UK for professional traders is elective, as the trader invokes their right to be designated as a professional. This right is, of course, based on meeting the qualifying factors, as well as proving their knowledge by passing the brief assessment test.

What obligations do professional traders have?

Compared to retail traders who have fewer responsibilities, professional traders in the EU are responsible for keeping their brokers informed of whether their status changes as a professional trader.

How can you succeed as a professional trader?

Whether you already have a trading methodology refined or are just getting started with creating a new one, the best traders are consistent. They use time-tested trading systems to quantify their results over time. Overall, your average profits must be higher than your average losses (after accounting for trading costs) to succeed as a professional trader.

How much can a professional trader earn?

The amount you can earn as a professional trader depends partly on several factors. For example, your specific financial goals, risk-tolerances, trading style, and the amount of capital available in your trading account are all contributing factors, in addition to prevailing and future market conditions.

How can you build a consistent track record while trading?

To build a successful track record, professional traders will forward-test their trading strategy on a small balance, before scaling it to more significant amounts. By applying small changes over time, traders can have greater control over their results by managing the risk/reward ratio to match their specific trading goals.

More Forex Guides


For our 2020 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 30 international forex brokers. Each broker was graded on 105 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.

While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.

All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses." Learn more.

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Steven Hatzakis

About the author: Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/20/2020 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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