Founded in 1996, London Capital Group Holdings Plc (LCG) was an early pioneer in the online trading industry and was involved in several acquisitions and sales of online brokerage brands. After 20 years in operation, LCG has executed over $20 trillion worth of notional trade volume from over $1 billion in deposits.
In 2006, the company was listed on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), where it continues to trade today under ticker symbol LCG, with a market capitalization of nearly £10.5 million. It maintains offices in London, Cyprus, China and South Africa.
Today, LCG continues to offer traders access to multiple asset classes, including 62 forex pairs and nearly 5,000 instruments on its MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and LCGTrader (cTrader) platforms, providing a multi-asset solution to traders via its UK-based FCA-regulated entity, LCG Ltd.
Commissions & Fees
LCG’s spreads on its forex pairs vary, depending on whether you open a Classic or ECN account. Considering the low margin requirements available for major currency pairs and its range of platforms and account type, LCG’s pricing can cater to nearly every trader type.
For example, on the Classic account type, average spreads on the EUR/USD are 1.6 pips, while traders needing a more competitive spread can establish an ECN account with a $10 K deposit and have their all-in cost drop to 0.85 pips (0.4 average spread + 0.45 pip commission) after factoring the round turn commission of $4.5 per standard lot using the LCGTrader platform.
Meanwhile, the round-turn commission on MT4 is more than double at $10.00 per 100K, and not as competitive as the rate on LCGTrader when it comes to the ECN account.
|View All Fees||LCG||IG||CMC Markets||City Index|
|Commissions & Fees|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.850||0.363||0.772||0.690|
|All-in Cost GBP/USD - Active||1.050||1.092||1.115||1.220|
|CFDs - Total Offered||4754||15000||10172||10000|
The ECN account also provides more favorable margin rates in terms of maximum trade sizes than the Classic account, where the tiered margin levels are more restricted.
Furthermore, premium services are available to traders with at least £25,000 on deposit at LCG, along with a rebate program for active traders. Overall, the ECN account has an all-round advantage, but the high minimum account balance required makes the Classic account an easier choice for those on a tight trading budget.
LCG’s research offering includes content from an in-house team of analysts that provides technical and fundamental analysis in the form of videos and written articles covering multiple asset classes. There are also weekly webinars in which LCG staff conduct market analysis, helping to keep traders up to date on developments.
LCG also integrates research from third-party providers such as FXStreet to help power its economic calendar, and for traders with Premium Client status LCG offers Trading Central, which offers technical analysis, chart patterns, trade recommendations and signals.
In addition, Trading Central is available from within the account management portal for live account holders, providing traders access to premium research tools.
Integrating a stock screener, heatmap and more technical analysis posts about forex would help boost the LCG’s research offering. Overall, LCG’s research offering is just slightly more than the minimum according to industry standards for a multi-asset broker. It is one area in which there is room for improvement.
Platforms & Tools
LCG offers third-party online forex trading platforms from two of the most popular developers, including the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, and the cTrader platform – branded as LCGTrader, developed by Spotware systems.
While MT4 comes standard with little that varies from broker to broker on the surface of the platform, there can be significant differences in how the platform is set up when it comes to trading spreads and commissions, the available execution method, and other tools, features, and administrative areas that can affect your trading experience.
The main difference when it comes to LCG’s MT4 offering is its range of account types and applicable pricing and margin requirements across each option, among other differences when comparing its offered accounts. LCG also provides traders access to MT4 WebTrader – the web-based version of MT4, in addition to the standard desktop version.
As mentioned earlier, LCGTrader is the branded version of the cTrader platform for LCG, and comes as a web-based version, and for Windows desktop, as well as a mobile app for Android and Apple iOS devices.
The cTrader suite includes related trading applications from the developer, such as the cAlgo and cMirror platforms, where cAlgo is used for automated trading and cMirror is a social copy-trading platform, which can also be used at LCG.
Charting within the LCGTrader platform is one of the main attractions of the software as users get plenty of drawing tools and a good range of 64 indicators that are available by default. More advanced users can obtain custom indicators from the cTrader Developer Network (cTDN) or code them on their own.
Overall, there has been a lot of attention to detail across the LCGTtrader platform, as can be seen in the number of subtle features available, the range of layout customizations, and the scope of tools the software comes with by default, including over 60 indicators and drawing tools in the integrated charting module.
The native version of the mobile app for MT4 is available for Android and iOS devices straight from MetaQuotes – the developer.
For LCG, this means the broker simply uses the standard default MetaTrader mobile experience, where the main difference – like its other device options – is the account type used (with either the Classic or ECN account available), as not much else can be customized when it comes to the MT4 mobile app beyond spreads, execution method, and integrated news providers.
Moving on to LCG’s other mobile trading app that can be used with either account type, LCGTrader comes as a mobile app for Android and Apple iOS devices, and has been branded by the developer for LCG and on Google Play and iTunes.
Overall, the LCGTrader mobile app is highly versatile and brings a consistent theme with the web-version, thanks to its responsive design. This means nearly all the features available in the web version of the platform are in the mobile app too, including syncing watch lists.
In terms of margin requirements in the ECN or Classic account, different asset classes such as indices, commodities, shares, spot metals and bonds/interest rates, are categorized into four margin groups from 50:1, 100:1, 250:1, and 500:1, where each group has its own leverage limits based on notional trade size (tier 1-4 in each group) from level one (top level) to level four.
Forex has three margin groups representing major, minor and exotic currency pairs with regards to available leverage, and four tier levels for each group where each tier is tied to leverage limits based on trade sizes. Below is an excerpt from LCG that outlines the margin differences in the Classic account for both the MT4 platform and LCGTrader across the four tiers in each group for Forex.
While more favorable limits are available in LCG’s ECN account offering – in terms of maximum trade size – the margin requirements are not as low as those available in the Classic account (i.e. max leverage of 500:1 compared to 200:1), as seen in the excerpt below:
LCG brings two decades of experience as an online broker rooted in the UK and with EU-passports from its FCA-regulated entity, and the level of transparency required to maintain its listing as a publicly traded company and member of the LSE. We would like to see the brand obtain additional regulatory licenses in other jurisdictions to broaden the scope of its licensing.
Overall, traders looking for a multi-asset solution will find more competitive pricing on the firm’s ECN account offering, which requires at least $10,000 to be established, compared to the Classic account where spreads are higher but can be opened with any amount (no minimum).
With automated trading supported on both LCGTrader (cTrader) and MT4, LCG can be a viable choice for traders that wish to use these platforms as not all multi-asset brokers offer automated trading capabilities.
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 LCG Fees & Features
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. 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.