UK CFD share trading platforms let you buy and sell UK companies via Contracts for difference so you can potentially profit when they go up or down and trade on leverage to maximise your risk capital. We have ranked, compared and reviewed some of the best FCA-regulated CFD trading platforms for UK share to help you choose the most appropriate stock broker for your investment objectives.
Our picks for the best UK share CFD accounts are based on over 7,000 votes in our annual awards, our own experiences testing the accounts as well as an in-depth comparison of the features that make them stand out compared to alternatives.
- City Index – best for UK share CFD trading signals and post-trade analysis
- IG – best for UK share market access
- CMC Markets – best for UK share CFD client sentiment
- Pepperstone – best for UK share CFDs on MT4/MT5
- Saxo Markets – best UK share CFD DMA (direct market access) platform
- Interactive Brokers – Best professional trading platform for UK share CFDs
- Spreadex – best for customer service when trading UK share CFDs
- XTB – best for basket trading of UK share CFDs
Use our comparison of UK CFD share trading platforms apps to compare each provider by the number of UK stocks you can trade and the commission, spreads and fees. We only include accounts that are authorised and regulated by the FCA where your funds are protected under the FSCS and where customers have voted for them in our awards survey.
|US CFD Stock Trading Platform||UK CFD Shares Available||UK CFD Trading Costs||UK CFD Overnight Financing Charges||More Info|
|5,000||0.8%||SONIA +/-2.5%||See Offer70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider|
|500||0.02%||Not Available||See Offer|
60% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
|745||0.10%||SONIA +/-0.0082%||See Offer66% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider|
|192||0.10%||SONIA +/-2.5%||See Offer79.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider|
|3,500||0.05%||SAXO RATE +/-2.5%||See Offer70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider|
|na||0.1%||SONIA +/-3.75%||See Offer77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider|
|3,925||0.10%||SONIA +/-2.5%||See OfferYour capital is at risk. 73% of retail CFD accounts lose money|
|1,575||0.2%||SONIA +/-3%||See Offer 64% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Spreadex|
77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
How to choose an equity CFD broker – the three different types….
There are many different types of CFD trading platform for UK shares and each type caters to a very specific audience without much cross-over. Here’s a quick breakdown of the three main types:
- Private client (retail)
- DMA (direct market access)
- Institutional (professional traders0
Retail (Private Client CFD Brokers)
The majority of private traders will fall into this category. CFD brokers provide access to stocks, commodities, indices, FX and fixed income market through CFDs.
The main advantage trading CFDs on stocks instead of physically buying them is that you can use leverage to increase your exposure. A stock with a deposit margin of 10% for instance would enable you to buy (or short) £10,000 worth with only £1,000 on account. CFDs for private and retail traders are generally used for short term speculation rather than investing in the long term. You also have the ability of going short, meaning you can speculate on the price of a share going down as well as up.
The disadvantage of this of course is that as exposure increases, so does risk. By using leverage to trade it is possible to lose your entire account balance with just a 10% movement in the share price. As such the regulators are looking to put limits on the amount of leverage private clients with limited experience have access to.
CFDs are generally not a good tool for longer-term positions as there is an overnight financing charge (as the broker is essentially lending you money to fund your position) of around 2.5% over the LIBOR rate. So holding a position any longer than a month or so becomes less economical than paying the stamp duty (0.5%) on normally stock broking purchases.
Private client CFD brokers like IG, Spreadex (Read our Spreadex Review…) and City Index, are execution only which means you have to make your own trading ideas. There are a few advisory CFD brokers around, but these should generally be avoided as brokers work on commission so have a vested interested in their clients trading more so may provide advice.
Most retail CFD broker will earn revenue from clients by either widening the market spread or not hedging client positions.
DMA (Direct Market Access) CFD Brokers
For more experienced CFD traders getting direct market access is an essential for trading. DMA, or direct market access mean that you work your orders direct on the exchange order book rather than trading from a CFD brokers widened price.
The main advantages of trading with DMA are that you get better prices because you can work limits inside the bid/offer. However, you are charged commission on trades, so must factor this in as an extra cost to your P&L.
DMA is also essential if you are a particularity big traders. Even in FTSE 100 stocks there is often not more than a few hundred thousand pounds worth of stock at the market price. If you are buying or selling a large position being able to nip away at the best price or work automated orders to drip feed your trades into the market are essential. This is called level-2 pricing and also shows you the market depth allowing you to execute orders more efficiently.
Institutional Contracts For Difference Brokers
For hedge funds, family offices or professional traders it institutional CFD brokers like IG provide online execution platforms and experienced voice brokers to handle large orders than need finessing in the market place.
The key advantage for hedge funds using CFDs are a trading tool is that they provide anonymity as you don’t actually own the underlying assets of a CFD. You are just entering into a contract based on the different between the opening and closing price of a stock.
This what how CFDs were first used, and have gradually become available to private traders. For hedge funds and family offices looking for an institutional CFD brokers you can compare prime brokers here using our interactive prime broker finder tool.
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