Home > Reviews > City Index Review

City Index is one of the oldest spread betting and CFD brokers based in the UK. They were founded in 1983 and offer trading in over 13,500 financial markets, to around 126,000 active clients. City Index is currently owned by StoneX, a US brokerage listed on the  NASDAQ valued at $2bn.

In this review we:

  • Give our ratings based on their nearest peers
  • Tell you what we think of them after testing them thoroughly
  • Highlight the key costs, facts and figures of their accounts
City Index Ratings
  • Pricing
  • Market Access
  • Online Platform
  • Customer Service
  • Research & Analysis

Why we like them:

City Index offers some of the best trading tools and analysis to help traders perform better. Their unique post-trade analytics and voice brokerage service make it an excellent choice for large and frequent traders.


  • Excellent trading tools
  • Voice brokerage
  • Publically listed


  • Trading only, no investment account

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

City Index Expert Review

I’ve always liked City Index, it’s been a stalwart of the London CFD broker scene since it was founded by Chris Hales and Jonathan Sparke in 1983 as a way for institutions to hedge their exposure through spread betting and CFDs. But soon became popular with more retail traders. Always advertising on billboards in the City, always having a colourful client base, always being bought and sold at the whim of billionaires and bigger boys.   But in recent years, it had gone off a bit from its glory days. Back in the good ol’ days, you could open an account and put on a million-dollar trade over the phone with no ID, no deposit, and no idea. Well, you could if you happened to be on a yacht with Michael Spencer (the then City Index owner and City grandee), who was convinced he knew which way the Euro was headed and goaded one of his guests into putting the trade on, as the story goes away.

But those days are long gone and incumbent brokers have to fight hard to differentiate themselves against the fintechs nipping at their heels, as well as provide more trader tools to lure new customers back to traditional markets away from the wild west of Crypto.

City Index seems to have matured nicely though, it’s grown out of its lumbering adolescence under the ownership of Gain Capital and is now owned by US Behemoth StoneX (previously INTL FCStone). Since then, the platform has had a few upgrades and long-term investment products will hopefully be added shortly.

The City Index platform used to have a slightly off-the-rack feel about it, instead, the business relied on word of mouth and friendly referrals from HNW clients who would use experienced dealers to work large orders over the phone. Whilst voice brokerage still forms part of City Index’s offering, they are, as with everyone else, doing the majority of their business online and working hard to make their platform stand out.

Obviously, they have access to more than the usual markets plus some nice thematic-themed indices (like ESG), and a good pool of sectors to speculate on. You can also trade options (CFD or spread bets thereof) on a good range of indices and commodities. Plus, bet on Volatility, everyone loves a bit of vol chasing in choppy markets.

One example of how they are populating their platform with new trader tools is SMART Signals. Of course, all, or at least most brokers have Trading Central or AutoChartists, (City has Trading Central) whose signals are used by so many platforms that they almost become self-fulfilling, or a barrel for larger traders to shoot down small fry, depending on which way you look at it.

SMART Signals is a new iteration of GetGo, which I tested and reviewed a few years ago. At the time, it was a stand-alone app, and actually quite fun, and did well highlighting some trading opportunities (full GetGo review here). Now, it’s fully integrated into the City Index platform, so you can look at what trading signals are being spat out by the algorithm and either dive in manually, or opt to trade when the signal is triggered, with corresponding stops and limits in place. It’s a great feature for stimulus and saves you a bit of time if you’re on the hunt for trades.

Whether it can make you money is another thing, but SMART gives a full breakdown of its P&L from previous trading signals, so whether or not you make money will largely depend on what signals you decide to follow and also (as you will know from reading “The Art of Execution”) how you manage the positions once open.

Another acquisition from parent StoneX is Chasing Returns, now integrated into the platform as Performance Analytics. Which really drills down into where you are trading well and where you are losing money. Performance Analytics can break down your wins and losses and tell you what markets you trade best, what time of day you are most profitable, if you make money trading in quick succession or, if you do better if you take a break between trades. It’ll even tell you if your first trade of the day is often a winner or loser, or if you are a better bull or bear and also if you are as good at trading volatility as you pretend to enjoy doing, but letting you know if you trade better in calm or erratic markets.

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

Inside City Index

As part of our City Index review we visited their offices in The City and spoke to some of the senior management to find out what makes City Index different.

YouTube video

City Index Video Review

In our City Index video review we test the platform with real money, put some trades on and highlight some of the broker’s unique features.

YouTube video

Performance Analytics Explained

We talk to Ann Hunt, head of client performance at City Index to find out how Performance Analytics can help traders improve their strategy.

YouTube video

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

City Index Facts & Figures

City Index Total Markets
Forex Pairs183
UK Stocks3500
US Stocks1200
City Index Key Info
Number Active Clients126000
Minimum Deposit100
Inactivity Fee£12 per month
Public Company✔️
City Index Account Types
CFD Trading✔️
Forex Trading✔️
Spread Betting✔️
DMA (Direct Market Access)
Futures Trading
Options Trading
Investing Account
City Index Average Fees
FTSE 1001
DAX 301.2
S&P 5000.4
Crude Oil0.3
UK Stocks0.008%
US Stocks$0.018 per share

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

City Index FAQs:

City Index offer spread betting and CFD trading on forex, indices, shares and fixed-income products.

Yes, based on our data matrix, testing, analysis and the fact they are regulated by the FCA City Index is a good broker. Your funds are also protected under the FSCS with City Index.

Retail clients trading with City Index get leverage of 5:1 for indices, 30:1 for FX, 10:1 for commodities and 5:1 for UK and international share trading. It is possible to increase your leverage rates if you apply for a professional trading account.

No, City Index is not available to US residents. Howveer, Cityindex is owned by StoneX, which is a US broker that US citizens can trade through. City Index is also part of the group that own Forex.com that offers forex trading in America.

Yes, City Index does allow scalping for short-term high frequency trading. For more information see our guide to scalping.

Yes, City Index is a good platform for day trading as they have low spreads, access to a wide range of markets and intra-day trading signals provided by SMART Signals.

Yes, City Index was founded in 1983 and is regulated by the FCA which means they have to keep client funds safe and segregated from their own money. Your money is also protected by the FSCS.

City Index has its own trading platform called Web Trader but also offers trading via their mobile app, TradingView and MT4.

No, the FCA has banned retail derivatives brokers in the UK from offering welcome bonuses.

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

About The Author

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.