While losing its publicly-traded status doesn’t help LCG’s credibility, LCG does offer excellent customer service and competitive pricing, specifically with its LCGTrader (cTrader) ECN account offering ($10,000 min deposit).
Top Takeaways for 2019
After spending several hundred hours testing 28 forex brokers over six months for our third annual forex broker review, here are our top findings on LCG:
- London Capital Group Holdings Plc (LCG) was founded in 1996 and is regulated in one Tier-1 jurisdiction making it a safe (average-risk) broker for trading forex and CFDs. However, traders should be aware that LCG was publicly-traded (NEX: LCG) until its shares were suspended due to an overdue regulatory filing in May 2019, causing the company's stock price to crash to nearly zero.
- LCG offers excellent customer service. The broker finished 4th (out of 23) in our national testing from locations across the United Kingdom.
- LCGTrader (cTrader) web and mobile platforms complement the broker's MetaTrader offering. Between the two, we recommend LCGTrader.
- Although it requires a $10,000 deposit, competitive pricing is available on LCG's commission-based ECN account on LCGTrader. LCG's MetaTrader pricing is double the pricing found on the LCGTrader platform.
- The range of advanced research tools is limited, and the desktop version of cTrader is not available, leaving MT4 the only alternative for algorithmic traders, despite the higher pricing.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to LCG clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||61|
|CFDs - Total Offered||4759|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Is LCG Safe?
LCG is considered average-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 81 out of 99. LCG is not publicly-traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by one tier-1 regulator (high trust), one tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). LCG is authorised by the following tier-1 regulator: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||No|
Commissions & Fees
For traders that can afford the $10,000 minimum deposit, LCG’s LCGTrader (cTrader) ECN account type offers, hands down, the best pricing at LCG. Trading through MT4 is very expensive.
Spreads: LCG’s spreads on its forex pairs vary widely, depending on whether you open a Classic or ECN account. For example, on the Classic account type, average spreads on the EUR/USD are 1.45 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 0.65 pips (0.2 average spread + 0.45 pip commission) after factoring the round turn commission of $4.5 per standard lot using the LCGTrader platform.
Account differences: Alongside far better pricing, 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. 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.
GSLO: In addition, the option to add a guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO) for an extra three pip charge is only available on LCGTrader.
Active Trader: Premium services are available to traders with at least £25,000 on deposit at LCG, along with a rebate program for active traders. Rebates range from £4 to as much as £9 per million depending on the volume-based tier.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$0.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1.45 (as of Oct 19)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.65 (as of Oct 19)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
Platform suite: LCG offers traders access to both MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and cTrader (branded as LCGTrader). Overall, the LCGTrader platform boasts several key advantages, including ease-of-use and pricing (see Commissions above), making LCGTrader our recommended platform choice.
MetaTrader: LCG offers both MT4 desktop and MT4 WebTrader, which is the web-based version of MT4.
cTrader: LCGTrader is the branded version of the cTrader web platform for LCG (LCG does not offer the desktop version). Compared to MT4, cTrader is easier to use and comes with more charting indicators (64 vs. 51).
Algorithmic trading: Given the desktop version of cTrader is not provided, MT4 is the only alternative for algorithmic traders, despite the higher pricing.
Overall, LCG’s research is respectable, providing an experience that is slightly above the industry standard. That said, integrating tools such as a screener, heat mapping, and more technical analysis posts about forex would help boost the LCG’s research offering.
In-house content: 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.
Third-party content: Complementing LCG’s own research is content from third-party providers such as FXStreet to help power its economic calendar. For traders with Premium Client status, LCG offers Trading Central, which provides technical analysis, chart patterns, trade recommendations, and signals.
Video content: It is worth noting that aside from the Week Ahead weekly video posts, the LCG Market Insight section is not very active.
LCG offers both MT4 and cTrader for mobile trading. With no proprietary mobile app offered, the mobile experience is just average.
Account types: At LCG, the MetaTrader mobile app can be used with either Classic or ECN accounts.
Preferred app: The LCGTrader (cTrader) mobile app is highly versatile and brings a consistent theme with the web-version, thanks to its responsive design. In other words, nearly all the features available in the web version of the platform are in the mobile app, including syncing watch lists. Compared to its MetaTrader mobile app, LCG Trader would be my preferred choice.
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com 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: <1 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 8 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 5 / 10
- Overall Score: 7.2 / 10
- Ranking: 4th (23 brokers)
LCG brings two decades of experience as an online broker rooted in the UK with EU-passports from its FCA-regulated entity. That said, the firm’s future is on rocky grounds. LCG shares suspended trading on the NEX exchange in late May 2019 when its market capitalization fell to £0.8m. LCG is, therefore, no longer a publicly-traded company. As of now, LCG is still providing service to traders despite its delisting. As we learn more, we will update the review accordingly.
Founded in 1996, London Capital Group Holdings Plc (LCG) was an early pioneer in the online trading industry.
In 2006, the LCG went public on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and at the end of 2017, the trading of its shares moved to the NEX exchange under the ticker symbol LCG. Unfortunately for shareholders, LCG's stock suspended trading on the NEX exchange in late May 2019.
2019 Review Methodology
For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers over a six month time period. Each broker was graded on 81 different variables and, in total, over 60,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors 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.