City Index is a well-regulated, multi-asset broker that offers competitive spreads for forex and CFDs across multiple trading platforms. The broker caters to the needs of various clients, from beginners to advanced automated traders, but does not offer an active trader program for high-volume investors.

By Steven Hatzakis / April 4th, 2017 / Updated: March 6th, 2018

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Trust Score
  • Separate account required to access products
  • Web-based platform relies on outdated Flash
  • Average spreads higher on MT4 than its other platforms

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Founded in 1983 in the United Kingdom, City Index has grown to become one of the leading multi-asset brokers in London, and in 2015 was acquired by GAIN Capital Holdings (NYSE: GCAP), the operator of

City Index has over 30 years’ experience providing traders with Contracts for Difference (CFDs) and spread-betting derivatives, and further expanded its forex offering with the acquisition of IFX Markets, Finspreads, and FX Solutions years before GAIN Capital acquired the company.

Today, City Index continues to operate as an independent brand under GAIN Capital in the UK and in Asia, bringing a multi-asset solution that gives traders access to over 10,000 products across global markets.

Commissions & Fees

City Index offers competitive spreads on Forex, CFDs and spread-betting products. With average spreads on the EUR/USD of 0.72 pips, the all-in cost for all traders is comparable to default pricing at peers such as CMC Markets, in terms of multi-asset brokers.

View All FeesCity IndexSaxo BankCMC MarketsIGXTB
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.6900.6000.7720.363N/A
All-in Cost GBP/USD - Active1.2200.9001.1151.092N/A
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.6901.0000.7720.7500.900
Average Spread GBP/USD - Standard1.2201.3001.1151.280N/A
Commissions & Fees 3.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Overall 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars

Overall, City Index ranks highly in the commissions and fees category for beginners, yet deeper discounts from active trader programs offered by other multi-asset brokers such as IG and CMC Markets can help lower trading costs further – if you are a high-volume trader.

Before the end of 2016, City Index switched its spread model from fixed to variable pricing (floating spreads) to help reduce commissions and fees clients pay for trading.

Customer Service

Since City Index is a trading name of GAIN Capital, the parent company of, when you speak to City Index staff, you are actually talking to a GAIN Capital representative.  Depending on where you open your account, local office hours will affect the scope of support you have access to, with calls being redirected to the US or handled by the UK office. For more on this section read our review.


Premium research from Recognia is available free when you open a live account with City Index. Part of Trading Central, Recognia is widely respected for its focus on automated technical analysis and pattern recognition, providing bearish and bullish events you can use to assess trading ideas, depending on market sentiment and technical expectations.

City Index Recognia Charting Analysis Trade Ideas

Faraday provides additional third-party research content. In addition, news headlines from Thomson Reuters stream within City Index’s available platforms along with an economic calendar powered by FXStreet.

City Index AT Pro Desktop Economic Calendar

Overall, there are several channels for both standard and premium research at City Index, helping the firm score in-line with the industry standard for this category.

Platforms & Tools

City Index offers three platform suites, two of which are proprietary technology and one is from MetaQuotes Software Corporation, developer of the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform, well known for its algorithmic trading capabilities and customizable indicators.

Besides MT4, as far as City Index’s proprietary technology is concerned, the AT Pro platform is a desktop-based software for Windows that also supports automated trading and comes with over 100 strategies pre-loaded. Advantage Trader is a web-based platform that is also available as an app for mobile smartphones and tablets.  

Starting with the first platform, as its name implies, AT Pro is not for beginners but is better suited to professionals or experienced traders because it is complex and has several advanced functions.

For example, AT Pro offers a Development Studio with automated trading functions similar to the MT4 platform when it comes to back testing, so before using it live, you can see the comprehensive test results of how a strategy would have performed over historical data.

City Index AT Pro Desktop Development Studio

The charting was also comprehensive as AT Pro desktop comes packed with nearly 140 technical indicators you can choose from for technical analysis, which is far more than the industry standard for charting.

The charting was also comprehensive as AT Pro desktop comes packed with nearly 140 technical indicators you can choose from for technical analysis, which is far more than the industry standard for charting.

City Index AT Pro Desktop Charting

The drawing tools were also impressive, with at least 25 tools available including various Fibonacci retracements, channels and Gann lines, in addition to basic trend lines that can be drawn, and other bare charting essentials.

One final note on AT Pro: when it comes to searching for products to trade across markets or when you want to create a watch list, spread-betting instruments are included alongside traditional forex pairs and CFDs. This means searching for a particular symbol may return multiple instruments for the same symbol, which could make it difficult for beginners to select from multiple results that look the same.

City Index AT Pro Desktop EURUSD Contracts

Moving to the firm’s other platform, Advantage Trader is a web-based platform that caters to a wider audience and may be a more suitable choice if you are new to trading or don’t use algorithms. 

Advantage Trader relies on Adobe Flash, which is outdated and becoming increasingly phased out of web apps. Thus, to help its overall ranking as a modern platform, I would like to see the platform transition to HTML5 in 2017, as other brokers, including XTB and Saxo Bank, have upgraded from their previous platforms. Nonetheless, exploring the platform is easy and the layout is clean.

City Index Advantage Trader Web

Looking at the charting package, I found 27 indicators available and a range of 16 tools in the drawing toolbar. Other chart functions also made for a rich experience; for example, past news events show on the chart history. One hurdle worth mentioning is that changing symbols is limited only to those stocks that are already in a watch list; otherwise, a new chart must be opened separately.

City Index Advantage Web Charting

One final note on charting in Advantage Trader is that the charts are versatile. Everything from saving chart settings as a custom profile to trading from the charts – including amending and closing open positions that are displayed visually on the chart – was seamless. Charts can also be linked to other platform tools using window linking.

City Index Advantage Trader Web Module Linking

Advantage Trader is a great foundation for beginners and offers a modern design. Yet upgrading the platform to HTML5 would help boost the user experience since the platform is not as responsive because many browsers don’t fully support Flash.

Overall, as a multi-asset broker, City Index offers a variety of platforms for traders and can therefore meet the needs of most traders, regardless of experience level or trading style. AT Pro would be my choice of platform as it packs great tools, including integrated research and advanced alerts, while still including algorithmic trading, giving it an edge over MT4.

Mobile Trading

The City Index mobile app, which I tested on Android, comes with a good range of features and was rich in many key areas including the watch list, charting, and economic calendar.  Whether you are adding alerts or depositing money into your account in the app, or accessing news headlines and research, you will find many options that help make for a positive experience inside a cleanly designed layout.

City Index Mobile Forex Rate Quote

Moving to the charting module in the mobile app, the icon to add drawing tools and indicators appears once the app is put into landscape mode, an industry standard practice – although some apps show the icon in portrait mode as well. Nonetheless, seven studies can be added to a chart and you can carry out basic technical analysis with trend lines, which are all positive charting features in a mobile app.

City Index Advantage Web Charting

Charting aside, the app is rich with tools and features and even squeezes in educational content and live chat, which you don’t find often.

Overall, the City Index mobile app scores well in this category and is on par with other multi-asset brokers such as IG, CMC Markets and Saxo Bank.

Other Notes

Like other brokers in the UK, City Index also offers the option to trade many of its CFD products as a spread bet. Since spread-betting carries certain tax efficiencies for UK residents, it is a beneficial alternative to CFDs if you reside in the UK.

In terms of leverage, the required margin rates to open and maintain a trade will vary when trading CFDs and forex, depending on the quantity where one of five margin tiers will apply – also known as the margin factor. These tiers range from 0.5% margin up to a CFD quantity of 870 to as much as 20% for traders with more than 6,500 in CFD quantity.

Final Thoughts

Through its offerings in Europe and Asia, City Index provides multiple options for traders to access global markets, including 66 forex pairs and a wide range of 10,000 CFDs on several trading platforms. The broker caters well to both beginners and experienced traders.

Beyond its extensive range of products, multi-asset traders can confidently choose City Index for competitive spreads, premium research tools, and versatile charting including mobile, all under the backing of GAIN Capital, which is one of the largest retail brokers globally.  


For our 2017 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 20 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 255 variables. Learn more.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to foreign exchange trading, 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 currency pair. 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.

View all City Index Fees & Features
Steven Hatzakis

Reviewed by Steven Hatzakis 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. Over the past 18 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

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Trading CFDs and FX involves a high degree of risk. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 4/05/2017 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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