We take an in-depth look at IG, the people behind it and the trading products and investments services IG offers. In our 2020 IG review, we look at the key features that make IG stand out from other brokers and provide information on what matters to traders and investors.Visit IG Website
Risk Warning: 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
IG Customer Reviews
Here's what users have to say about them. If you've used them leave a review to vote in our Awards for a chance to win £1,000 in Amazon Vouchers.
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This company charges way too much for overnight fees , Its not really worth trading with them and when markets are volatile they raise their commission too . You cannot get hold of them by phone at all unless you are trying to signup then miraculously they are available , I am dubious about the reviews on here I think the 5 star one could be fake . RIPOFF
Response From IG:
Hi Darren, thanks for your review and sorry to hear you’re unhappy with our service.
Whilst IG have kept their overnight admin charges the same, market conditions have recently caused an increase in overnight adjustments made on some commodities such as oil. It’s important to note that this increase is not due to higher charges, but the adjustment we make due to our pricing model for spot commodities. More information on overnight funding can be found on the link below.
Similarly, our commission fees have not changed. With most of our leveraged products we make money from the spread. Fluctuation in the spread depends on the underlying market movement. During periods of high volatility, there is a higher chance of the underlying spread widening and when this happens it is also reflected in our prices.
For some markets we do offer future/ forward contracts which have a slightly wider spread and an expiry date but they're not subject to overnight funding, this is often a more cost effective option for longer term trades.
Given the significant increase in market volatility we are also experiencing a higher number of inbound calls which is why you may have experienced longer queue times. We’re working hard to get through these as quickly as possible but do apologise for the inconvenience.
Our primary aim is to provide the highest level of deal execution we possibly can and support you in your trading. We want our clients to trade profitably, and we’ve invested heavily in allowing all clients to do that – especially over periods of increased market volatility. As our client, it is in our interest to support you on this.
We hope this offers some clarity, however should you wish to discuss any of these topics further, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our client facing team.
it is a great company offering an amazing product, always in front in terms of offering and technology
Best platform to use, fast entry and exit. I usually use Spread betting just for the tax benefits and not the leverage.
IG is NOT an options trading platform. It is a spreadbetting / CFD platform. You can only take out CFDs or place spread bets with IG. You never actually own the options that the CFD or spread bet is based on. You are basically just betting on variations in the price of the option.
There are very few advantages to doing this. As option prices vary with the underlying, you may as well just bet on the underlying instead. Betting on the option instead just introduces another layer of complexity.
I have been with IG for many years, the main reason being I really like their charting software. However, since they have reduced leverage, after the European directive, their spreads have become even wider, probably to make up for the fact that one is forced to use smaller trade sizes. The worse thing currently about IG is the spreads that they apply to Indices and Equities. If they can reduce their spreads then I think it would be the best online broker for sure.
Super satisfied from IG
the platform is easy to use, with many useful features, probably one of the best if not the best CFDs provider
I have been with IG now for over 20 years. In the early years they provided excellent customer service. All were well mannered whenever I called up and all issues resolved promptly. However, over the last couple of years their customer services have really gone downhill. I was frequently kept on hold for long time. When there was an issue and I needed to close out my trades they took literally hours to close - hours seemed like eternity in trading, but yet this continued to happen again and again. When I asked for compensation it involved arguing over many emails with different people before I got my compensation. Their ordering system kept making errors and this meant I often had to call up. Their spreads weren't the best in the markets, so when combined with poor customer service it definitely is not worth staying with them.
- Trading Platform 5/5
- Customer Service 4/5: slow
- Mobile Apps N/A
- Spreads & Pricing 3/5: very expensive
- Market Range 5/5
- Trade Execution Speed 5/5
- Added Value 3/5: expensive
IG is a good broker but it is very expensive for the new trader, it ok for the rich they should have more concern for the newcomer. Trading forex, indices, stocks and indices with IG for 1-2 years on a daily basis)
IG offer access to over 17,000 markets through their investment, spread betting, CFD trading and share dealing service. IG also offer cryptocurrency trading, so you can trade Bitcoin and Ethereum (Ether) as a spread bet or CFD.
IG launched back in 1974 an abbreviation of Investor’s Gold Index. IG began offering a stockbroking service back in 2014 which allows you to invest in stocks via an ISA or SIPP account and ETF's through their Smart Portfolio service.
IG are listed on the London Stock Exchange. IG has Over 178,000 active clients as of May 2019 (source: iggroup.com).
What makes IG different?
IG is one of the most recognisable and enduring brands in the trading and investing space. With a history dating back to 1974, it is easy to see how there can be some merit behind their “world’s no.1 spread betting and CFD provider”. The company offers margin trading through CFDs and rolling spot FX, as well as financial spread betting, physical share dealing and investment services. IG has its in-house, award-winning trading platforms, as well as third-party dealing software such as MT4.
Why Choose IG?
IG say they are the “World’s no.1 spread betting and CFD provider” and offer tight, fast spreads to traders, round the clock trading and plenty of educational resources to both new and experienced traders. With access to over 17,000 markets, an app-based interface and active and engaged community-led forums as well as telephone support. There are plenty of reasons to give IG a try. Our review can help you decide if they are right for you.
IG is a listed company and is quoted on the London Stock Exchange, under the ticker IGG, it has a shareholder base of both institutional and individual investors and is a constituent of the FTSE250 index. The company's head office is situated in the heart of the City of London, the UK's financial district
Pros and cons of IG
|Pros of IG||Cons of IG|
|Most established broker||No on-exchange futures|
|Wide market access||Some brokers offer tighter spreads|
|Large market access||£12 per month inactivity fee (24mths inactivity)|
|Flexible deposit and withdrawal options|
IG Group’s share price is around 713p and the company's market capitalisation is circa £2.50 billion, as of the time of writing.
Publication of full-year figures for 2019 shows IG group had had just three loss-making days over the previous five years of trading, giving the company as solid a foundation as you are likely to find in the margin trading business.
Are there any other benefits of using IG?
Apart from the obvious benefits of dealing with the oldest and most established margin trading broker.
IG offers some other useful features such as guaranteed stop losses, which fix the maximum loss you can incur on an open position.
IG does levy a charge for this service, but you only pay this, if the stop is triggered.
If you are trading physical stocks through IG, they will collect any dividends due and pay them into your account.
IG can also prepare a CTC or Consolidated Tax Certificate which summarises all UK and overseas dividends credit to your account, during a UK tax year, to simplify your accounting.
Costs & charges
How does IG charge fees and what are they?
Many of IG’s products and markets are offered to clients commission-free, clients instead pay the spread that IG makes in its two-way price but this does depend on where you live and how often you trade.
Commission on US shares can be as low as £0 if you have made more than 3 trades in the previous month and is charged at £10 if you’ve only made 0-2 trades in the last month.
Trading via the phone is more expensive, with a minimum charge of £50 per trade on US shares.
Trades on UK shares will face £8 commission for 0-2 trades in the previous month but this will drop to £3 if you made 3+ trades in the previous month.
The minimum phone charges for UK shares are £40.
Non - Trading Fees
Inactivity fees of £12 per month can apply if your account is not used for 24 months but still contains funds.
Other fees like physical share certificate dematerialisation (£100), rematerialisation (£100) and custody fees (£24 per quarter) also apply for clients looking to make use of these services.
You can find out more about IG’s fees and charges here.
Depending upon your trading strategy and how frequently you plan to make trades to understand if unlocking this cheaper tier makes sense for you.
DMA FX, offered to professional clients only, also charges commissions per million traded. It’s lower for trading more and is lowest on $1,500+ millions of USD at $10USD per million.
How does IG make money?
IG makes most of its money through the trading activity of its clients, of which it has around 178,000 worldwide.
When they are active IG looks to capture the spread, or the difference between the bid and ask prices, in their trades.
The more two-way trade there is in a market or instrument then the more spread IG can capture.
As a price maker, IG runs a certain amount of risk on its books as well, but strict internal hedging policies limit this exposure.
IG is also making a push into share dealing, investment services and institutional prime brokerage. All of which it hopes will add to its trading revenues.
Opening an account at IG
How to open an IG Index account
Opening an account with IG couldn’t be simpler. You’ll need to enter the following details on their website or through their mobile app to get started;
- personal details (full names and D.O.B)
- Enter your financial status and income details
- Tell IG Index about your experience trading through a short test.
- Verify your identity - you will need to include proof of your identity by uploading the relevant documents (Appropriate documents could be; passport details, NI, Driving Licence, utility bill, bank statement etc.) via IG’s secure document upload section.
How long does it take to open an IG account?
You can open an account with IG online and once you are verified, you can begin making trades that same day.
However, there are still anti-money laundering checks that brokers have to perform so make sure you have all your ID to hand and provide all the information requested when you are asked.
Is there a minimum deposit for IG?
The minimum deposit that IG accepts by debit or credit card is £250.00 ($300.00 USD) or foreign currency equivalents.
Minimum trade sizes vary by product, but IG offers what it calls a reduced minimum trade size to clients, during their first 31 days of trading. And it does this for both Spread Betting and CFD accounts.
The reduced minimum trade sizes are set at a fraction of the standard minimum trade size. So, for example, the minimum trade size on an index CFD falls to 25p per point from £1.00, and a Spread bet on an index to 13p per point from the standard minimum of 50p.
The maximum amount that you can deposit into your account is £20,000 per day if you are adding funds using a card but you can add more with a bank transfer.
How to get started trading or investing with IG
- Open your account (either a live funded account or a demo account)
- Find the market or product you want to trade
- Select markets or recently traded to open your first trade
- Choose what you think will happen, either going long or short.
- Enter the value of your trade
- Monitor your activity through the “positions” section of your account
You can find and update your account details within the “more” section of your account and add alerts for notifications when prices shift via the “alerts” screen.
You can also add markets and popular ETFs to your watchlist and see products you’ve recently traded here.
IG’s trading platform is well laid out and both intuitive to interpret and to use. The home screen displays charts, market quotes and clear call to action buttons such as “place a trade”.
You can create watchlists for markets and major shares so that you can quickly and easily see the markets and products most relevant to you.
Your recently traded markets are also stored here which will allow you to look back at your historic activity.
You can easily monitor your open positions and close them at a mouse click or the tap of an icon through the IG app.
How to add money to your IG account
You can top-up the balance in your IG account with any of the following payment methods;
You can add funds to your IG account using commonly accepted credit cards including MasterCard and Visa.
Credit card payments come with a 1% fee for Visa and a 0.5% fee for MasterCard.
At this time the IG Index does not accept American Express payments.
Debit and Bank cards
As with credit cards, IG accepts major debit cards but unlike credit cards do not charge a fee.
Account top-ups made with Visa or MasterCard are both free of charge.
You can add funds to your IG account using PayPal, once the first transaction is completed you will have tied your PayPal account to your IG Index account and you can only have one PayPal account associated with your IG account. Using PayPal to add funds is free.
Bank transfers can take up to three working days to clear, meaning there may be a delay between making the deposit and being able to begin trading.
Although, if you can provide proof of payment via email then you may be able to use the funds before they clear.
Bank transfers are free of charge. There are different accounts to pay the money into depending upon where you live in the World. You can find the details here.
You can add money to your IG account by using one of the following methods: a credit card, a debit card, PayPal, or a bank transfer. IG has a dedicated payment portal within its My IG customer area. Credit and debit cards provide the fastest means of deposit, though you will need to register each card with IG before you can use it to transfer funds, and only one PayPal account, at a time, can be used to fund your IG account. Note that bank transfers can take up to three business days to reach your trading account, though if you can provide proof of payment you may be allowed to trade against the transferred funds sooner.
How to withdraw your money from IG
Withdrawing money from your IG account should be straightforward and can be actioned using the payments portal in the My IG customer area, through live accounts > withdraw funds.
IG does not charge fees for withdrawals from your account.
You can withdraw money back onto your card or via PayPal but each method has differing limits and restrictions.
|Withdrawal method||Minimum withdrawal||Maximum withdrawal||Daily withdrawal limit||Time for funds to clear|
|PayPal||£100*||£5,500 each time||None||24 hours|
|Bank card||£100*||£20,000||£20,000 per day||2-5 working days|
|Bank transfer||No limit||No limit||No limit||Same day before 12 pm could take 3 working days to clear|
*unless there is less than £100 available in your account. You are then able to withdraw the full balance via PayPal or bank card, although same day bank transfers are charged at £15.00.
Differences in maximum and minimum withdrawals exist for different currencies. Check specific currency withdrawal limits.
IG Trading Platforms & Mobile Apps
What trading platforms does IG offer?
With IG's trading platform you can instantly see a summary of market prices, spreads, margin rates with a clear and easy to view layout.
IG offers platforms on mobile phones (app-based trading), dedicated trading signals and alerts, APIs, MT4, ProRealTime and Algorithmic trading.
One of the main benefits of the IG trading platform is the low latency trading with the average execution time of 0.014 seconds this allowed IG to process and execute over 86 million trades during 2019.
You can set price alerts to trigger when a market touches your price, moves by a certain percentage or matches pre-set technical indicators.
If you’re looking to trade using a particular currency you can choose the base currency of your account to reduce currency conversion rate charges.
There is also a feature that allows you to automatically trade through setting orders to open with limit and stop open orders which can be set to expire at a specific date or correspond to another position.
The IG trained platform allows you to mitigate risk and protect your profits with a range of stop-loss and limit order features – including guaranteed stops.
Trading Platform Video Walkthrough
Access IG anywhere with their mobile app
IG’s in house trading platform is available as a fully functioning app for both iOS and Android devices (which run Android version 5.0 or later).
These are available in the respective app stores, search IG trading to find them.
You can monitor the markets by using the apps and your account, look at charts, place deals and receive trade signals and price alerts via email, SMS or push notifications.
The app allows you to quickly access your account with Touch ID on iPhones.
Test IG with a free demo account
IG offers demos accounts for both Spread Betting and CFDs you can apply to try an IG demo account here.
Signing up for an IG demo account could be a good way to familiarise yourself with IG’s dealing platforms and the markets they offer, without risking any real money and when ready, you can make the move to live trading.
Demo accounts can also be a good place to test trading and investing strategies before risking your own, real money.
Trading with IG
How many markets can you trade with IG?
IG offers its clients access to
- Interest Rates and ETFs.
Indices remain one of IG’s most popular products and the company makes a market in 81 leading equity indices for CFDs and 69 for spread betting.
These include the FTSE100, the DAX 30, S&P 500, Dow 30 and Nasdaq 100. In many instances, IG offers the longest trading coverage in these instruments every week, when compared to its peers.
You can also trade some indices and currency pairs on the weekend.
What is the maximum leverage IG offers?
Leveraged trades can allow you increased exposure to the markets and the chances for greater profits, but also for greater losses. IG is no different, here’s what kind of leverage they can offer you.
Levels of leverage today are determined by account type and legal jurisdiction, as well as the instrument traded. In Europe and the UK, the maximum leverage that retail clients can utilise is 30:1 on major currency pairs. With leverage set at 20:1 on major indices.
Professional clients can access leverage of up to 500:1 but they must first meet strict financial and experience criteria to qualify as such.
Anytime trading and investing with IG
IG offers 26 global indices around the clock and makes markets in a more select list over the weekend. There may be short trading breaks in some products.
Elsewhere IG matches exchange hours in individual equities, and they offer out of hours trading on 70 leading US equities.
As a general rule IG is open for business from 9pm on Sunday for Forex (11 pm for other markets) until 10 pm on the following Friday.
Note that these hours may vary around UK and US holidays. Information about the trading hours of individual products can be found on the trading platform under the deal ticket, market info tab.
Choose products that suit you
IG offers several routes to market. IG clients can trade more than 17,000 different instruments and IG also offers its clients a choice of margin trading, through CFDs, or Spread Betting.
With spread betting offering potential tax advantages for individual UK taxpayers.
Among IG’s markets are continuous prices in 10 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. Bitcoin Cash, Stellar (XLM), NEO and EOS are also offered.
In FX, IG offers its clients more than 85 individual pairs and crosses from across the major, minor and exotic currency groupings.
Can you scalp with IG?
In theory yes you can scalp using IG Group, as they don't charge commission on CFDs or Spread Bets on indices.
Retail customers don’t pay commission on rolling spot FX trades.
The offset is that spreads maybe a little wider than you might find elsewhere, but not prohibitively so.
Can you make money trading with IG?
It’s always up to you to make the money, but IG provides its customers with plenty of trading support tools, including charts, market analysis, trading signals, sentiment data and educational resources to empower you to understand even more about the markets you are looking to trade on.
With all of this supporting information and up to date trend analysis through their daily webinars, you shouldn’t be short of trading opportunities and ideas to start to trade.
IG offer competitive spreads, and a wide choice of markets and product coverage to its customers.
Investing with IG
As well as offering trading through spread betting, forex and CFDs IG also offers investment accounts. Investing is of course different to trading as it focusses on long term capital growth rather than short term speculation.
Types of investment account offered by IG
With IG's standard share dealing account you can invest in thousands of UK and international shares and ETFs. Investing in US shares is commission-free as IG will make money on the currency conversion of GBP to USD of 1%.
IG Smart Portfolios
IG smart portfolios automatically build a portfolio of investments based on your investment goals and risk profile. Smart Portfolios are cheaper than traditional wealth managers as they are automated, but you don't get the personal advice you would with an experienced investment adviser.
With the IG flexible stocks and shares ISA you can invest in anything you would be able to with the IG share dealing account, but you do so within in tax-free ISA wrapper so you don't have to pay capital gains tax.
The IG allows you to invest as you would with the share dealing account or build a Smart Portfolio whilst you take control of your retirement funds on a self-directed basis.
What research does IG provide traders
IG offers a wide range of research on all the markets you can trade on.
On the trading platform, there are technical indicators provided by a third-party technical analysis firm.
IG, have their own in-house market analysts that provide daily commentary on the major market instruments and movements.
IG also has an in-house TV Studio where they invite expert analysts to discuss the market and provide insight into potential trade through their "trade of the week" video.
Learn strategies with IG academy
There is a huge amount of educational material on the IG website. The IG trading academy is the central hub where this comprehensive educational material can be found.
The IG educational trading academy offers webinars, online courses, live sessions and tests so you can track your progress as you learn about financial trading.
The academy can offer useful resources to every client from those starting to learn to trade to more experienced traders and investors.
IG’s news feed can help you understand how the markets react to the latest news and highlight the impacts of the latest news on markets around the globe.
IG runs daily live trading webinars for clients to attend. These live sessions allow you to learn from the experts at IG and their archive stores historic episodes for you to rewatch at your leisure.
These sessions are run globally, to help give clients in locations around the world access to expertise and information specific to their region.
These daily webinars aim to help up skill clients and develop trading knowledge.
IG’s demo account allows you to become familiar with the operation of the trading platform and the way that markets move, in a realistic simulation of the real markets, but without risking any cash.
How do I contact IG?
IG phone numbers
IG Group has dedicated customer service contact numbers for new (0800 195 3100) and existing clients (0800 409 6789)
Useful IG email addresses
There is also an email address specifically for new clients who may have questions or queries email@example.com
IG’s twitter is available 24 hours a day but different accounts exist depending upon what you need to make contact with them for.
IGSquawk - news and client sentiment, 24 hours per day.
IG Client Help - customer services twitter account - Mon - Fri 24 hours per day.
There is also a specific help and support page on the website with IG’s full contact options details and options for the press, marketing inquiries and more.
IG’s community & dedicated customer service
IG also offers an online community and forums for its customers and clients.
The forums and blogs in the community area contain lots of useful information and articles, as well as trade ideas, comments and ongoing topical conversations between IG clients.
Should you ever need to complain to IG the complaints procedure is set out in a PDF online
IG also offers 24/7 customer support via twitter, email or on the telephone if ever you have questions or queries to ask.
Regulatory Status & Safety of Funds
Are IG regulated?
IG is regulated and authorised in the UK by the FCA or Financial Conduct Authority.
Retail client funds held in trading accounts, with IG’s UK businesses, are covered by the FSCS or Financial Services Compensation Scheme that guarantees up to £85,000 in the event of failure of the business.
As a global brand, IG is also regulated by other countries through their local regulators in regions where they operate.
These regulators can offer deposit protection schemes of their own, but these will vary.
Find out more about IG’s international regulatory information here.
What happens to my money if IG go bust?
As IG Group is regulated in the UK by the FCA and there are contingencies in place should a UK broker, such as IG, go bust.
Firstly, all retail client monies must be segregated from the firm's cash, and they must be held in a designated client money account at a major clearing bank.
This ring-fencing of client money is the first layer of protection.
In the event of a business failure, an administrator will be appointed, usually a leading firm of accounts.
Their role is to secure the firm's assets and if no buyer can be found for the business, to make sure that the maximum value can be extracted from the sale of those assets, to return as much of the client money to the firm's clients as possible.
This process may take some time however and it can be months rather than weeks. In the event of a shortfall of funds, clients can seek compensation of up to £85,000 from the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Account security & login methods
Security features are an important consideration when choosing your broker and IG understands your desire to protect the money in your account.
With the IG authentication app, you can enable two-factor authentication on your IG account. Whenever you login you'll receive an app notification with a code to verify that it is you attempting to login and access your details.
If you’re using the IG app on your iPhone to manage trading and investing you can enable TouchID to make logging in faster and simpler.
There is no way to implement FaceID at this time but we will update this guide once IG add support to their apps.