Good Money Guide Home > Compare Professional Trading Accounts

Professional trading accounts offer both professional traders and high net worth traders access to the markets with the best spreads for large trades and frequent activity. Compare brokers for professional traders to get the best account for your activity.

Featured Trading BrokersAccount TypesKey InformationTypical CostsMore Info

IG

CFDs: Yes
Spread Betting: Yes
Direct Market Access: Yes
Pro Account: Yes
Investments: Yes
Futures & Options: No
Total Markets: 17,000
Active Clients: 178,000
Minimum Deposit: £250
Founded: 1974
Inactivity Fee: £12 pm
HQ: London, UK
EURUSD: 0.6 pips
UK 100: 1 point
Wall Street: 2.4 points
Gold: 0.3 points
UK Shares: 0.10%
US Shares: 0.10%
See Offer
Your capital is at risk. 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

CMC Markets

CFDs: Yes
Spread Betting: Yes
Direct Market Access: Yes
Pro Account: Yes
Investments: No
Futures & Options: No
Total Markets: 9,300
Active Clients: 53,308
Minimum Deposit: £100
Founded: 1989
Inactivity Fee: £10 pm
HQ: London, UK
EURUSD: 0.7 pips
UK 100: 1 point
Wall Street: 2.4 points
Gold: 0.3 points
UK Shares: 0.10%
US Shares: 2¢ per share
See Offer73% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider

Pepperstone

CFDs: Yes
Spread Betting: Yes
Direct Market Access: No
Pro Account: Yes
Investments: No
Futures & Options: No
Total Markets: 178
Active Clients: na
Minimum Deposit: £100
Founded: 2010
Inactivity Fee: £0 pm
HQ: Melbourne, Australia
EURUSD: 0.09 pips
UK 100: 1 point
Wall Street: 2.4 points
Gold: 0.05 points
UK Shares: na
US Shares: 2¢ per share
See Offer 79.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider

City Index

CFDs: Yes
Spread Betting: Yes
Direct Market Access: No
Pro Account: Yes
Investments: No
Futures & Options: No
Total Markets: 12,000
Active Clients: 126,000
Minimum Deposit: £100
Founded: 1983
Inactivity Fee: £12 pm
HQ: London UK
EURUSD: 0.5 pips
UK 100: 1 point1
Wall Street: 2 points
Gold: 0.3 points
UK Shares: 0.08%
US Shares: 1.8¢ per share
See Offer70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Trade Nation

CFDs: Yes
Spread Betting: No
Direct Market Access: No
Pro Account: Yes
Investments: No
Futures & Options: No
Total Markets: 2,500
Active Clients: 7,500
Minimum Deposit: £0
Founded: 2020
Inactivity Fee: $0 pm
HQ: London, UK
EURUSD: 0.6 pips
UK 100: 1 point
Wall Street: 1 point
Gold: 0.4 points
UK Shares: na
US Shares: na
See Offer
57.1% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Markets.com

CFDs: Yes
Spread Betting: Yes
Direct Market Access: No
Pro Account: Yes
Investments: No
Futures & Options: No
Total Markets: 8,000
Active Clients: 11,00
Minimum Deposit: £100
Founded: 2008
Inactivity Fee: $100 pm
HQ: Cyprus
EURUSD: 0.6 pips
UK 100: 2 points
Wall Street: 2 points
Gold: 0.5 points
UK Shares: 0.1%
US Shares: 0.1%
See Offer
77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

ETX Capital

CFDs: Yes
Spread Betting: Yes
Direct Market Access: No
Pro Account: Yes
Investments: No
Futures & Options: No
Total Markets: 5,000
Active Clients: 55,000
Minimum Deposit: £100
Founded: 2007
Inactivity Fee: £25 pm
HQ: London UK
EURUSD: 0.6 pips
UK 100: 1 point1
Wall Street: 4 points
Gold: 0.4 points
UK Shares: 0.1%
US Shares: 2¢ per share
See Offer77.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Spreadex Financials

Spreadex

CFDs: Yes
Spread Betting: Yes
Direct Market Access: Yes
Pro Account: Yes
Investments: No
Futures & Options: No
Total Markets: 10,000
Active Clients: 60,000
Minimum Deposit: £100
Founded: 1999
Inactivity Fee: £0
HQ: St Albans, UK
EURUSD: 0.6 pips
UK 100: 1 point
Wall Street: 2.4 points
Gold: 0.4 points
UK Shares: 0.1%
US Shares: 0.15%
Visit IG Website 69% of retail investors lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider

Saxo Markets

CFDs: Yes
Spread Betting: No
Direct Market Access: Yes
Pro Account: Yes
Investments: Yes
Futures & Options: Yes
Total Markets: 19,000
Active Clients: 525,000
Minimum Deposit: £500
Founded: 1992
Inactivity Fee: £25 pq
HQ: Copenhagen, Denmark
EURUSD: 0.6 pips
UK 100: 1 point
Wall Street: 3 points
Gold: 0.6 points
UK Shares: 0.05%
US Shares: 2¢ per share
See Offer 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
What's in this guide to professional trading accounts? show

What is a professional trading account?

A professional trading account is an account that offers a higher leverage or margin on trading products such as CFDs or spread betting. Experienced clients can opt to upgrade from a retail classification to professional by proving they have significant and or professional trading experience.

Criterial to be considered for a professional trading account:

Traders must be able to answer ‘yes’ to two or more of the below criteria to be considered for classification as a professional trader:

  1. Has your trading averaged 10 significantly sized leverage transactions per quarter over the last 4 quarters?
  2. Do you have a financial instrument portfolio, including cash deposits, exceeding €500,000?
  3. Have you worked in the financial sector in a professional position, requiring knowledge of derivatives trading, for at least a year?

A ten-step guide to choosing a professional trading account

First of all, professional CFD and spread betting accounts are not for everyone. I've been involved in spread betting and CFDs for about twenty years, but of late there has been a real move to make CFDs and spread betting mass-market products. However, they are not.

There are about 150,000 active traders in the UK, about 340,000 in EMEA and only about 100,000 in the US. Which is not really a lot, when you think about the size of the overall investing markets.

No matter how many brokers sponsor football teams, or how many flash little gits you see on Instagram bragging about their Forex profits, derivatives is not for the masses.

Trading spread betting (compare spread betting brokers here) and CFDs (compare CFD brokers here) is very risky and as per the new ESMA required risk warnings around 75% of traders lose money. But who knows what that is based on, or how accurate the reporting is, or even if it's even relevant.

But never the less, traders will trade and they will want to make the most efficient use of their risk capital by searching for a broker that offers the best margins, rates and access.

1. Should you become a professional trader

There are benefits to becoming a professional trader. These benefits can include;

  • a reduction in margin rates
  • using collateral as margin

However, there are disadvantages too, such as;

  • no negative protection
  • no leverage or product restrictions
  • assumption of increased experience by the brokers so they won't explain things in detail

Here's what you need to think about before you decide whether to become a professional trader.

2. The best way to compare professional trading accounts

The key differences between brokers offering professional trading accounts are:

  • Margin rates
  • Commission rates
  • Spread width
  • Additional/restricted market access
  • Voice brokerage/personal account managers

3. Where to compare professional trading accounts?

Brokers are a bit fussy about comparison sites comparing margin rates so we've put together a comparison table of brokers that offer professional trading accounts.

All brokers in our professional trading account list are regulated by the FCA and offer higher leverage to traders that can prove they are of professional status. In some cases, these brokers will offer discounted commission rates for high volume traders.

There are of course risks upgrading your account to professional status and disadvantages with going offshore with an ASIC regulated broker.

4. How to compare professional trading accounts

First of all if you are an experienced trader you may have the option with your broker to upgrade to professional account status.  This means you will get lower margin rates and access to more markets that traders classified as retail traders.

5. Choosing a Professional Trading Account

Because of the new ESMA rules Spread betting and CFD platforms are therefore placing their hopes on professional client accounts, but how can you make sure you choose the best option?

New restrictions from the ESMA threaten to put the party on hold for spread betting firms, but they have responded by opening up a host of professional trading platforms. But how do these work, can you qualify and how do you tell the difference between them?

Besides that professional clients are deemed capable of making their own investment decisions. Criteria may change a little from platform to platform, but generally speaking you will need to have been working in a professional position in financial services for at least a year, have a portfolio of at least €500 and you must have a certain level of professional trading experience.

6. The advantages & disadvantages of upgrading to a professional trading account

There are therefore many good reasons to upgrade to a professional account. First, you’ll sidestep the ESMA rules. You’ll be treated as someone who knows what they are doing and understands the risks they are taking on.

You’ll be given a dedicated client account manager and access to the latest and most sophisticated trading software. Most will also offer reductions on margin rates. Most importantly you'll get better margin rates when trading CFDs or spread betting in a professional account.

There are risks. As result a professional client, you’ll waive some of the FCA protections given to retail clients. Negative balance protection does not apply, so if your losses exceed your balance you could be in trouble.

7. Professional trading account margin rates

As with any platform they are not all created equal. Each one may differ in the margins it charges. One Capital, for example, advertises margin rates from 0.35% on major currency indices while another offers 0.25%.

8. Commission reductions for professional trading accounts

Some professional trading accounts also offer rebates for higher volume trading. Or may even offer a reduction in trading commissions for high volume accounts

They may also differ in the amount of support they offer and the accessibility of their service. Because you’re classified as a professional investor, many firms may assume a certain level of knowledge on your part. This means the language may be more complicated and they may offer little in the way of tuition, or expert support.

9. Who can you trade in a professional trading account?

When choosing a professional trading platform, then, you need to firstly check that you are eligible, and secondly decide what you want to trade and how frequently. Depending on the fee structures this could greatly affect how much you pay.

10. What is the difference between professional and retail status?

All in all, they are a good option for those people who qualify to enjoy more sophisticated tools and lower margins on their trades. They get around the ESMA restrictions, and help you continue spread betting in much the same way as you were before. However, this is only something to get involved with if you know what you are doing. The clue’s in the name ‘professional’.

About The Author

Latest Professional Trading Broker News, Views, Reviews & Guides