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Overall

City Index is a multi-asset forex broker, regulated in the UK and Singapore, that offers competitive spreads 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 3rd, 2018 / Updated: August 15th, 2018

help 92
Trust Score
Dislikes
  • Separate account required to access FOREX.com products
  • Web-based platform relies on outdated Flash
  • Average spreads higher on MT4 than its other platforms

Review Sections:

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 FOREX.com.

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, including its recent introduction of cryptocurrency CFDs with the launch of Bitcoin.

Trust Score

Trading with a forex broker traders can trust is crucial to success. Unfortunately, forex fraud and scams are common in the industry.

Here at ForexBrokers.com, we maintain the largest independent regulatory database available on the web. Using 28 different variables, we have created a proprietary 1-100 score (the higher the better) of overall trustworthiness, which we call the Trust Score. Here is our trust summary of CityIndex.

City Index
Trust Score92
Year Founded1983
Publicly-Traded Company (Listed) Yes
Regulated in Major Hub Yes
Regulated in Emerging Hub No
Authorised in the European Union No
CFTC Registered (USA) No
FCA Regulated (UK) Yes
IIROC Authorised (Canada) Yes
FINMA Authorised (Switzerland) No
ASIC Authorised (Australia) Yes
SFC Authorised (Hong Kong) Yes
MAS Authorised (Singapore) Yes
FSA Authorised (Japan) Yes
FMA Authorised (New Zealand) No
CySEC Authorised (Cyprus) No

Offering of Investments

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to CityIndex clients.

City Index
Minimum Initial Deposit £100.00
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)65
CFDs - Total Offered10000
Exchange Traded Securities: US No
Exchange Traded Securities: International No
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes

Commissions & Fees

City Index offers competitive spreads on Forex, CFDs and spread-betting products. With average spreads on its Advanced Trader platforms on the EUR/USD of 0.69 pips as of Q1 2017, the all-in cost for all traders is comparable to default pricing at peers such as CMC Markets, in terms of multi-asset brokers. Meanwhile, spreads on City Index’s MT4 platforms are considerably higher with average spreads of 1.6 pips on the EUR/USD over the same period.

Overall, City Index ranks highly in the commissions and fees category for smaller lot traders. That said, deeper discounts from active trader programs offered by other multi-asset brokers such as IG and CMC Markets, as well as the broker’s parent company GAIN Capital, 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, and now offers both pricing options.

City Index
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.69
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.69
Active Trader or Premium/VIP No

Customer Service

Since City Index is a trading name of GAIN Capital, the parent company of FOREX.com, 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 FOREX.com review.

Research

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 research

City Index provides additional third-party content from Faraday research. Rounding out the broker’s research offering are 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.

City Index
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
AutoChartist No
Trading Central (Recognia) No
Delkos Research No
Acuity Trading No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs No
Client Webinars Yes
Client Webinars (Archived) Yes
Videos - Beginner Trading Videos Yes
Economic Calendar Yes
Calendar Includes Forecasts Yes
Economic News Sentiment Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting No

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. To learn more about MT4, read our guide to MetaTrader.

Besides MT4, City Index’s proprietary technology encompasses the AT Pro desktop-based software for Windows that also supports automated trading and comes with over 100 strategies pre-loaded. Advantage Trader is the web-based version of the AT Pro and comes 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 2018, 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 and operated smoothly for a Flash-based web app.

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 AT Trader Bitcoin Chart

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 further.

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.

City Index
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac) No
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Proprietary Yes
MetaTrader4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Currenex No
ZuluTrade No
MirrorTrader No
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)25
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)139
Watchlists - Total Fields18
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

Mobile Trading

The City Index mobile app comes available for Android and iOS devices, and 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.

City Index
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally Yes
Charting - Technical Studies/Indicators7
Watch List Syncing Yes
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes

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.

City Index introduced cryptocurrency CFDs with the launch of several bitcoin-related pairs including BTC/USD, BTC/EUR, BTC/GBP and BTC/AUD, to help cater to the growing demand of investors and traders looking for exposure on digital assets.

City Index bitcoin spreads

City Index’s crypto offering provides up to 4:1 leverage and limits trading to normal forex market hours.

Final Thoughts

Through its offerings in Europe and Asia, City Index provides multiple options for traders to access global markets, including 65 spot forex pairs, 15 forwards, and over 10,000 CFDs on several trading platforms. The broker caters well to both beginners and experienced traders. That said, adding an active trader program would help level the playing field against its peers, when it comes to catering to high-volume 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.

Methodology

For our 2018 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 43 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 140 variables. Learn more.

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.


Steven Hatzakis

Reviewed by 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 19 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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Ratings Overall

Summary

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Education

Best in Class

2018
8 of 43

Overall
  • Commissions & Fees
  • Offering of Investments
  • Research
  • Education
  • MT4
2017
7 of 20

Overall
  • Overall Ranking
  • Offering of Investments

Commissions & Fees

Commission Notes

City Index does not offer a commission-based account; instead, it earns commission fees from within the spread, based on providing execution as a market maker. This can be an advantage compared to agency brokers who must rely on third-party market makers for execution and add a commission rate in addition to spreads when orders are sent out for execution (although each execution method has its pros and cons, which you will see when comparing dealing desk and non-dealing desk brokers).

Since City Index provides execution as a market maker, earning fees from the prevailing bid/ask spreads, there is no extra commission added in the accounts and platforms City Index offers, although spreads may vary by platform as explained below:

AT Pro and Advantage Trader:

  • At the time of our 2017 review, the average spread at City Index on the EUR/USD was 0.72 pips, based on a time-weighted average taken from all spreads for that pair over the course of the prior month and updated regularly.

MetaTrader4 (MT4):

  • At the same time during our 2017 review, the average spread for the EUR/USD on the MT4 platform at City Index was more than double at 1.8 pips, although generally the minimum spreads will be the same between platforms.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 4/03/2018 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The ForexBrokers.com 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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