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DMA brokers give traders direct market access to exchange order books for better pricing and execution of futures, options and CFDs. We have ranked, compared and reviewed some of the best DMA brokers in the UK to help you choose the most appropriate account for your trading strategy.

Best DMA Brokers 2022

Our picks for the best DMA brokers 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.

Interactive Brokers: Best overall DMA broker 2022

IBKR offers direct market access to 30+ market centres with low commissions from USD 0.25 to 0.85 per contract and a trading platform with advanced order execution types and futures tools.

Pros:

  • Low-cost DMA trading
  • Wide market access
  • Complex order execution strategies

Cons:

  • No DMA spread betting

60% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Saxo Markets: Best DMA for advanced & professional traders

With Saxo Markets you can trade DMA stock CFDs, on-exchange futures and options with ultra-tight DMA spreads, with prices derived from a wide range of Tier 1 institutions.

Pros:

  • Excellent DMA trading platform
  • Good research and data
  • Wide market coverage

Cons:

  • No DMA spread betting

 

70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

IG: Best for liquidity & DMA market range

IG’s L2 Dealer lets you trade on over 12,000 shares and 80 forex pairs against multiple liquidity venues, including primary exchanges, multilateral trading facilities (MTFs), dedicated market makers and dark pools.

Pros:

  • Wide range of equity DMA CFDs
  • Voice brokerage
  • Good service for large clients

Cons:

  • No futures and options

73% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Compare DMA Trading Platforms

How to choose the best DMA Broker:

The best CFD brokers that offer DMA (Direct Market Access) aimed at experienced and professional traders are are well-established players with a mainly professional or institutional client base.

What is DMA broker?

Direct market access, also commonly referred to as DMA, is a service offered on more sophisticated trading platforms by CFD, futures and options brokers that enables clients with sufficient experience to place buy and sell orders directly on the electronic facilities and order books of stock exchanges around the world.

Direct market access is commonly used by investment firms and sophisticated traders as it allows for implementing strategies based on algorithmic trading and can help make the trading process more efficient due to the overall speed of execution, better pricing and the lower costs associated with trades.

The main things to consider when comping direct market access brokers are:

  • Commission rates – these are often volume-based for larger DMA traders and can be significantly cheaper than the published rate card.
  • Leverage and margin – exchanges set margins for DMA futures and options trading, but DMA brokers set their own margin rates for DMA CFDs
  • Types of DMA – Do you need direct market access for trading futures, options or CFDs?

Advantages of using a DMA broker

The main advantages of direct market access trading platform is that you get clean pricing directly from the exchange order book. You can place your DMA orders directly on the exchange and get in between the bid and offer price.

  • Speed of execution of trades
  • Better prices due to fewer middle man cuts
  • Lower potential for human error by a broker acting on your behalf
  • Anonymity can be higher for

Disadvantages of using a DMA broker

If you are upgrading from a spread betting or CFD broker that widens the spread rather than charging a commission, there is an added layer of administration because you have to include commission in your profit and loss calculations.

  • Commission charges to factor into profit and loss
  • No tax benefits of financial spread betting
  • High minimum account size

Best DMA broker for futures trading

Saxo Markets is the best DMA broker for futures trading as they offer DMA futures on 300 contracts across 16 future exchanges. Saxo Markets has won “best futures broker” in our awards three out of the past four years. For more information on futures trading platforms, you can compare futures brokers here.

Best DMA broker for options trading

Saxo Markets is the best DMA options broker as it offers options trading on over 30,000 stocks and indices across 60 exchanges. Saxo Markets has won “best options broker” in our awards three out of the past four years. For more information, you can compare options brokers here.

Best DMA brokers for CFD trading

Saxo Markets is the best broker for trading DMA CFDs as it offers CFD with direct market access on over 9,500 shares, indices and commodities. Saxo Markets has also won “best CFD broker” in our awards for the past four years running

DMA CFDs (offered by CFD brokers that offer professional accounts) are for when you have a big account and work big orders or are trading on a high-frequency basis or a trading strategy requires you to be inside the bid/offer spread.

Best DMA broker for forex trading

Saxo Markets is the best broker for trading forex DMA as they offer on-exchange forex futures and options compared to other forex brokers like IG and CMC Markets that only offer DMA forex to institutional clients as a prime offering.

Best direct market access broker for UK shares

IG is the best DMA broker for UK equities according to our broker matrix as they offer access to the most shares. With IG you can also trade UK shares as a spread bet or CFD where other DMA stock brokers do not.

Best direct market access broker for US stocks

Interactive Brokers is the best DMA broker for trading US stocks, IBKR are US based but take on non-US residents through their international offices.

Best Direct Market (DMA) spread betting brokers

If you want to get inside the bid-offer you need to be trading with direct market access (DMA). However, this is a tricky thing to do if you want a spread betting broker to provide direct market access.

The reason is quite simple. The mechanics just don’t work. Spread betting is over the counter (OTC), in that it is conducted off-exchange and structured as a bet. There is no exchange to access and the quotes provided by the spread betting brokers are based on the prices in the underlying exchanges.

It is possible to spread bet with DMA, although it’s all about relationships. You can ask your dealers at brokers like IG or Spreadex to work order in the market for you. However, you will need a big account and a good relationship with your account executive to get the service.

DMA Trading FAQs

What does DMA stand for?

DMA stands for Direct Markets Access

Do IG offer DMA Trading?

Yes, IG offer direct market access trading. You can find out more about their account offering here. Other brokers like Saxo Markets & Interactive Brokers also offer it.

Who regulates direct market access brokers in the UK?

The FCA regulates all DMA brokers in the UK. All of the brokers we include in our comparison are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Are DMA brokers good for day trading?

Yes, DMA brokers if you are a high-frequency day trader making short term trades you will get better pricing and fills with direct market access.

Do DMA brokers allow scalping?

Yes, as they provide direct market access to exchange order books they do not have to internally match or decide whether or not to hedge client positions.

What is DMA stock trading?

DMA stock trading means buying and selling shares on stock exchanges like the LSE with direct market access. It enables clients to place bids and offers directly on the exchange order book.

Are DMA brokers for beginners?

No, DMA trading platforms are not suitable for beginners. Leveraged trading is a high-risk form of speculation and generally, it’s only economical using a direct market access provider if you are trading with over £50,000 and are a regular and experienced trader.

Can you trade DMA as a spread bet?

Yes, you can spread bet with direct market access, although it’s all about relationships. You can ask your dealers at brokers like IG or Spreadex to work order in the market for you direct on the exchange order book. However, you may need a big account and a good relationship with your account executive to get the service, as generally spread betting is an OTC product.

If you are looking for an institutional DMA account, you can find a prime broker here.

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