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City Index Review

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.

The Annual Review (3 years running) is among the most cited in the industry. Our Head of Research, Steven Hatzakis, is frequently referenced as a leading analyst covering forex brokers and cryptocurrency. Learn more.

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 12,000 products across global markets (consisting of 4,500 CFDs and 8,000 spread-betting markets). City Index also offers cryptocurrency CFDs following the launch of bitcoin and nearly a dozen other crypto pairs.

Review Summary

Rank: 6th (of 28)

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.


  • Part of GAIN Capital Holdings (owner of
  • Large selection of CFDs across global markets.
  • Regulated in three major jurisdictions.


  • Separate account required to access products.
  • Average spreads higher on MT4 than its other platforms.

Is City Index Safe?

help 91
Trust Score

City Index is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 91 out of 99. City Index is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by six tier-1 regulators (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). City Index is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Learn more about Trust Score.

Regulations Comparison

FeatureCity IndexIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Year Founded1983197419921989
Publicly Traded (Listed) Yes Yes No Yes
Bank No Yes Yes No
Tier-1 Licenses6664
Tier-2 Licenses0412
Tier-3 Licenses0000
Trust Score91999898

Commissions & Fees

Rank: 3rd (of 28)

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 0.77 pips as of Q3 2018 the all-in cost for all traders is comparable to default pricing at peers such as CMC Markets, in terms of multi-asset brokers.
  • Active trader pricing launched in 2018 for high volume traders.
  • Offers both fixed and variable (floating) spreads pricing.


  • 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.

Further Reading

Fees Comparison

FeatureCity IndexIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Minimum Initial Deposit £100.00£250.00$2,000.00$0.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.7700.7500.9000.744
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.7700.3630.6000.744
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commissions & Fees 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 5 Stars

Platforms & Tools

Rank: 10th (of 28)

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.


  • City Index offers MT4 alongside two proprietary platform suites: AT Pro (desktop-based software for Windows) and Web Trader (web-based).
  • AT Pro offers robust charting (140 indicators, 25 drawing tools) and 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. Over 100 strategies come pre-loaded.
  • In 2018, City Index launched its Web Trader platform, marking a leap forward compared to its flash-based predecessor, Advantage Trader, as the new Web Trader software is built on HTML5, which supports the latest browser standards.


  • 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.


Further Reading

Tools Comparison

FeatureCity IndexIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes Yes No Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No No No No
cTrader No No No No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)139224781
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)25171724
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields1812128
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes Yes Yes Yes
Platform & Tools 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Customer Service

Rank: 11th (of 28)

To score Customer Service, partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2019 Review, 229 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.


  • Average Connection Time: <2 minutes
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 6 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 5.3 / 10
  • Overall Score: 6 / 10
  • Ranking: 11th (23 brokers)
  • View Infographic


Rank: 9th (of 28)

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.


  • 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.
  • News headlines from Thomson Reuters stream within City Index’s available platforms along with an economic calendar powered by FXStreet.


  • None.


Further Reading

Research Comparison

FeatureCity IndexIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Daily Market Commentary Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weekly Webinars No Yes Yes Yes
AutoChartist Yes Yes Yes No
Trading Central (Recognia) Yes No No Yes
Delkos Research No No No No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs No Yes Yes Yes
Economic Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Research 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Mobile Trading

Rank: 11th (of 28)

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.


  • 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.
  • Just over a dozen 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.


  • I would like to see additional research content, such as trading signals, make its way into the app, as some of the existing modules such as the Market Analysis tab redirects to the web.


Further Reading

Mobile Apps Comparison

FeatureCity IndexIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Android App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apple iOS App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - Forex Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch List Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies7264123
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable No Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave No Yes Yes Yes
Forex Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile Trading 4 Stars 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars

Offering of Investments

Rank: 4th (of 28)

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

Offering Comparison

FeatureCity IndexIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Forex: Spot Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)8491182183
CFDs - Total Offered450015000329999959
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No No No No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes Yes No Yes
Offering of Investments 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars

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, and further expanded its range of crypto pairs in 2018 to help cater to the growing demand of investors and traders looking for exposure on digital assets.

City Index’s crypto offering provides up to 2:1 leverage and limits trading to normal forex market hours.


Final Thoughts

Rank: 6th (of 28)

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 all traders regardless of experience level.

For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 81 variables. 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.

Steven Hatzakis

About the author: 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. 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 involves 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 02/18/2019 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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