City Index Review
Backed by GAIN Capital, City Index is a trusted brand that traders choose for its advanced trading platforms, excellent mobile app, diverse market research, education, and extensive range of markets.
Top Takeaways for 2021
Here are our top findings on City Index:
- Part of GAIN Capital and publicly traded under StoneX Group (NASDAQ: SNEX), City Index is regulated in three tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading.
- City Index’s proprietary platforms, ATP Pro (desktop) and Web Trader (browser), offer a brilliant combination of advanced trading tools and integrated research. I do not recommend City Index’s MetaTrader offering, which includes a smaller product range.
- Thanks to offering a competitive package that will satisfy any trader, City Index finished Best in Class across multiple core categories in 2021, including Offering of Investments, Platform and Tools, Research, Mobile Trading, Education, and Crypto Trading.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & Tools|
Is City Index Safe?
City Index is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. City Index is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by three tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust). City Index is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
Like other brokers in the UK, City Index offers spread-betting across its available markets, providing tax efficiencies for UK residents, compared to CFDs. City Index also offers forex options and forwards. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to City Index clients.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's UK entity, nor to UK residents.
City Index offering of investments:
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||4500|
|Forex Pairs (Total)||65|
|US Stock Trading (Non CFD)||No|
|Int'l Stock Trading (Non CFD)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
Commissions and Fees
Overall, pricing on City Index’s forex, CFDs, and spread-betting products are in line with the industry average. For the best pricing, use City Index’s proprietary platforms or MetaTrader.
CFD account: With typical average spreads on the EUR/USD of 1.1 pips, as of August 2020, the all-in cost for all traders is slightly above the industry average, while behind the best forex brokers in this category, such as IG and Saxo Bank.
MetaTrader: Compared to its flagship platforms, spreads on City Index’s MetaTrader4 (MT4) account are the same on the EUR/USD over the same period referenced above.
Active trader rebates and discounts: The rebates in the UK for professional traders range from £4 per million if you do more than £25M per month, and can reach £7.5 per million for volumes above £300M per month. Likewise, in Australia, rebates range from AUD $4.5 per million for tier one to AUD $13 per million for tier-3.
City Index pricing summary:
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1.1 (Aug 2020)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||1.1 (Aug 2020)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
|Execution: Agency Broker||No|
|Execution: Market Maker||Yes|
Platforms and Tools
City Index’s proprietary ATP Pro (desktop-based) and Web Trader (browser-based) platforms deliver a rich experience with access to City Index’s full product offering. I do not recommend MetaTrader (MT4) at City index due to its limited range of tradeable markets.
Advanced Trader Pro (AT Pro) desktop: While Web Trader is designed for everyday traders, AT Pro is built for experienced traders. AT Pro offers robust charting (139 indicators, 25 drawing tools) and a Development Studio with automated trading functions, including the ability to backtest potential strategies using historical data. Over 100 trading systems come pre-loaded.
Web Trader: I found WebTrader is responsive, flexible, and easy to use. Charts are powered by Trading View and come with nearly 90 indicators and a vast array of drawing tools. It was easy to search across markets, from popular watchlists to accessing integrated research.
The only caveat with Web Trader is setting up a new workspace as widgets must be manually arranged. Aside from that minor nuance, the platform offers a good variety of features, including support for complex order types such as OCOs and trailing stops. Watchlists sync with mobile, and there is module linking, so clicking on a symbol will update the existing chart.
Advantage Web: For whatever reason, City Index still offers its older, legacy platform, Advantage Web, which relies on Adobe Flash. Flash isn’t even supported anymore in modern browsers, so needless to say, Advantage Web is best avoided.
City Index trading platform:
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||139|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||25|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||18|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
City Index delivers high-quality market research that scores above the industry average.
Research tools: Highlights include daily editorial from City Index’s team of analysts, Trading Central’s suite of research tools - which are conveniently integrated directly into City Index’s flagship platforms - and news headlines from Thomson Reuters. There is also an economic calendar powered by FxStreet and an SMS alert service for clients that wish to receive trading ideas directly to their phone.
Written articles: There are multiple research and analysis articles published each day on City Index’s website and platforms, produced by in-house staff and third-party analysts. Thanks to clean filtering options, City Index makes it easy to explore research and news.
Video content: City Index offers long and short length video. The Day Ahead series offers traders longer video clips at nearly ten minutes each, compared to the shorter daily market updates on City Index’s YouTube channel. Both provide a good balance of quality news and analysis from the firm’s in-house research team, alongside analysts from Trading Central.
City Index research:
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
City Index offers a rich experience of educational content that will satisfy beginner traders.
Written content: Ten articles in City Index’s training center cover basic categories, ranging from forex and CFD trading to managing risk. I found additional articles, including advanced subjects such as one titled “Options Trading Strategies.”
Video format: There are six videos available from City Index’s Trading Academy series, a television show about novice traders learning over six weeks. Its Celebrity Trader series has a similar theme, except celebrities give their views and trading tips. Eighteen videos are available on the video library on City Index’s website. Archived webinars such as the “Become A Trader” series are available on City Index’s YouTube channel, with six videos each at least an hour long.
City Index education:
|Has Education - Forex or CFDs||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos||Yes|
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)||Yes|
|Tutorials/Guide (PDF or Interactive)||Yes|
The City Index mobile app is cleanly designed and competes alongside category leaders IG, CMC Markets, and Saxo Bank. The app offers a smooth experience whether you are adding alerts, depositing money into your account, reading news headlines, or placing trades. The MT4 mobile app is also available at City Index.
City Index mobile app tools: Charts are powered by Trading View and come loaded with over 80 indicators, and there are even more drawing tools available to assist your technical analysis. Trading Central is also directly integrated into the City Index mobile app, with several modules available, including the Technical Insights, Featured Ideas, and Analyst Views sections. Finally, there is support for complex order types, including OCOs, the ability to close all trades in one order for a given instrument, and trailing stop-loss orders.
City Index mobile trading:
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||88|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||Yes|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
Across its offices in Europe and Asia-Pacific, City Index provides multiple options for traders to access global markets, including 65 spot forex pairs, 15 forwards, and over 4500 CFDs on several trading platforms.
Hands down, City Index caters well to traders regardless of experience level.
About City Index
Founded in 1983 in the United Kingdom, City Index has grown to become one of the leading multi-asset brokers after its acquisition in 2015 by GAIN Capital Holdings, the operator of FOREX.com. City Index’s parent, StoneX Group Inc (NASDAQ: SNEX), is a Fortune 500 company. City Index is a trading name of GAIN Capital, which holds $3.9B in customer equity as of Q2 2020, and caters to over 295,000 traders worldwide. City Index has over 30 years’ experience providing traders with Contracts for Difference (CFDs) and spread-betting derivatives. Read more on Wikipedia.
2021 Review Methodology
For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.
Each broker was graded on 108 different variables, including our proprietary Trust Score algorithm. This innovative scoring system ranks the level of trustworthiness for each broker based on factors such as licenses, regulation and corporate structure (read about Trust Score here).
As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy.
Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors with 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.
About the author: Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. 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.