Best DMA Brokers (Direct Market Access)

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Direct Market Access (DMA) brokers give traders direct market access to exchange order books for better pricing and execution of futures, options and CFDs. 

Good Money Guide has extensively tested dozens of these and brought you the UK’s best direct market access brokers. Read on to find the most appropriate account for your own trading strategy. 

Saxo Markets: UK’s Best Overall DMA (Direct Market Access) Broker 

🏆Award Winner🏆

Saxo Markets
  • DMA markets available: 9,000
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • DMA account types: CFDs, futures & options, DMA, investing
  • GMG rating:
    (4.2)
  • Customer rating: 3.6/5 (52 reviews)

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

Saxo Markets won “best DMA broker” in our 2023 and 2020 awards. They offer an robust and intuitive trading platform with wide exchange and market access. Commissions are competitive, but dealer support is what makes them stand out.
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Saxo Markets DMA Trading Review
Saxo Markets

Name: Saxo Markets DMA Trading

Description: 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.
65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Is Saxo good for DMA trading?

Yes, Saxo provides DMA access to a wide range, but they may not be the best broker for direct market access. I would say that Saxo is the best DMA CFD broker for trading equities for the majority of retail traders. But, if you are a very advanced trader Interactive Brokers offer more execution functionality like the ability to trade pairs with a single click as a percentage or spread, as opposed to Saxo where you have to execute two individual buy and sell orders.

Saxo Markets Trading Platform

Pros

  • Professional DMA trading platform
  • Good research and data
  • Futures & options

Cons

  • No DMA spread betting
  • Pricing
    (4)
  • Market Access
    (4.5)
  • Online Platform
    (4.5)
  • Customer Service
    (4)
  • Research & Analysis
    (4)
Overall
4.2

Interactive Brokers: Excellent Direct Market Access Pricing

Interactive Brokers
  • DMA markets available: 20,000+
  • Minimum deposit: £2,000
  • DMA account types: CFDs, DMA, futures & options, investing
  • GMG rating:
    (4.4)
  • Customer rating: 4.3/5 (869 reviews)

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

Interactive Brokers DMA Trading Review
Interactive Brokers

Name: Interactive Brokers DMA Trading

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

Visit Interactive Brokers

Summary

  • DMA markets available: 20,000+
  • Minimum deposit: £2,000
  • DMA account types: CFDs, DMA, futures & options, investing

Interactive Brokers Trading Platform

Pros

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

Cons

  • No DMA spread betting
  • Pricing
    (4.5)
  • Market Access
    (5)
  • Online Platform
    (5)
  • Customer Service
    (3.5)
  • Research & Analysis
    (4)
Overall
4.4

IG: Best Broker For Liquidity Direct Market Access Markets

IG
  • DMA markets available: 12,000
  • Minimum deposit: £250
  • DMA account types: CFDs, spread betting, DMA, investing
  • GMG rating:
    (4)
  • Customer rating: 3.9/5 (674 reviews)

70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs and spread bets with this provider.

IG DMA Trading Review
IG

Name: IG DMA Trading

Description: 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.
70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs and spread bets with this provider.

Summary

  • DMA markets available: 12,000
  • Minimum deposit: £250
  • DMA account types: CFDs, spread betting, DMA, investing

IG Trading Platform

Pros

  • Wide range of equity DMA CFDs
  • Voice brokerage
  • DMA & level-2 pricing

Cons

  • No futures and options
  • Pricing
    (4)
  • Market Access
    (4)
  • Online Platform
    (4)
  • Customer Service
    (4)
  • Research & Analysis
    (4)
Overall
4

Tickmill: DMA Trading On CQG

Tickmill
  • DMA markets available: 578
  • Minimum deposit: £100
  • Account types: CFDs, futures & options
  • Pricing: US Shares 0, FTSE 0.9, GBPUSD 0.3
  • GMG rating:
    (3.9)
  • Customer rating: 0.0/5 (0 reviews)

75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs and spread bets with this provider

Tickmill DMA Trading Review
Tickmill

Name: Tickmill DMA Trading

Description: Tickmill lets you trade DMA futures and options on micro, mini and full size futures contracts so is a good choice for high frequency scalpers who need direct market access to the most popular markets.
75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs and spread bets with this provider.

Summary

  • DMA markets available: 578
  • Minimum deposit: £100
  • Account types: CFDs, futures & options
  • Pricing: US Shares 0, FTSE 0.9, GBPUSD 0.3

Tickmill CQG Scalping Screen

Pros

  • DMA trading on CQG
  • Low trading costs
  • Exchange fees built into commission

Cons

  • Only the most popular markets
  • Pricing
    (4)
  • Market Access
    (3.5)
  • Online Platform
    (4.5)
  • Customer Service
    (4)
  • Research & Analysis
    (3.5)
Overall
3.9

❓Methodology: How Good Money Guide Chose The UK’s Best DMA Brokers

  • Analysis of over 17,000 customer votes in our annual awards
  • Our experts’ own experiences testing the direct market access accounts with real money
  • A deep dive of the stand-out features each DMA broker offers
  • Good Money Guide’s exclusive interviews with the DMA broker CEOs and senior management

Read more about how we rate and review financial service providers here.

Compare The Best UK DMA Trading Platforms 

DMA Trading PlatformDMA MarketsMinimum DepositGMG RatingMore InfoRisk Warning
Interactive Brokers DMA Trading20,000£1
(4.4)
See Platform62.5% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
IG DMA Trading12,000£250
(4)
See Platform70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs and spread bets with this provider.
Saxo Markets DMA Trading9,000£1
(4.2)
See Platform65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
Tickmill DMA Trading578£100
(3.9)
See Platform71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs and spread bets with this provider

Futures 

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.

Options 

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 of the past four years. For more information, you can compare options brokers here.

CFDs

Saxo Markets is the best broker for trading DMA CFDs as it offers CFDs 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.

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.

Forex 

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.

UK Shares

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

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.

Pros & Cons Of Direct Market Access Brokers

Here is a round-up of the advantages and disadvantages of using DMA brokers.

Pros

  • Clean pricing: You can place your DMA orders directly on the exchange and get in between the bid and offer price
  • Speed of execution of trade: Cutting out the ‘middle man’ means a slicker, quicker trading process
  • Better prices: No middle man means less people taking a cut of the trade
  • Less risk of error: As a broker is acting on your behalf this decreases the chances of a human error on your part

Cons

  • Account size: DMA brokers may only be looking for larger accounts
  • Tax: There are no tax benefits of financial spread betting
  • Charges: You need to factor in the commission charges the DMA broker imposes into your profit/loss calculations

⚠️ FCA Regulation – What You Need To Know

All DMA trading platforms that operate in the UK must be regulated by the FCA. The FCA is the Financial Conduct Authority. They are responsible for ensuring UK direct market access trading platforms are properly capitalised, treat customers fairly and have sufficient compliance systems in place. 

Good Money Guide only features DMA brokers that are regulated by the FCA, where your funds are protected by the FSCS.

DMA (Direct Market Access) Broker FAQs:

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?

Yes and no. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This article contains affiliate links which may earn us some form of income if you go on to open an account. However, if you would rather visit the DMA brokers via a non-affiliate link, you can view their direct market access pages directly here:

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