City Index Review

Open Account
Trader Rating
12 minutes read/Updated: 22 May 2020

City Index is part of GAIN Capital, a company founded in 1999. Since its creation, the mission of the company has been to offer traders low-cost access to forex trading. Over the years, the company has expanded and has offices worldwide.

All in all, the company now has more than 140,000 institutional and retail investors using its platforms globally. They also own FOREX.com and GTX. The headquarters of GAIN Capital is in Bedminster, New Jersey, with more than 800 staff throughout North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe.

The broker itself was established in 1983 in the United Kingdom and is a world leader in FX and CFD trading, as well as spread betting. It offers access to more than 12,000 markets.

Strengths
  • Access to more than 12,000 markets.
  • Over three and a half decades of experience.
  • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Winner of numerous awards.
Weaknesses
  • The desktop platform is not the most user-friendly.

What can you trade?

Open Forex Account

City Index Forex Review

£0 Min Deposit
Trading Fees
Good App Support
1:30 Max Leverage

We have noticed that many customers tend to praise the company for its tight spreads and access to 65 global pairs.

Forex pairs include majors, minors, and exotics and as spot FX, options contracts, and forwards.

You can trade the available FX pairs via CFDs, or if you are in the UK, via spread betting. Spreads can be as low as 0.5 points on major pairs. As an example, the current spread on the EUR/USD at the time of writing is 0.7.

Open CFD Account

City Index CFD Review

£0 Min Deposit
Trading Fees
Mediocre App Support
1:30 Max Leverage

It is not uncommon to see praise for the broker’s incredible number of global markets on offer. There are more than 12,000 to choose from.

The CFD offerings for UK clients include 65 currency pairs, 21 global indices, more than 4,500 global shares, more than 25 global commodities, and cryptocurrencies. There is also access to more than 45 other markets, including interest rates, bonds, metals, and options.

Spreads on FX pairs can be as low as 0.5 points for major pairs.

For the UK shares, spreads can be as low as 0.1%.

Open Crypto Account

City Index Crypto Review

£5 Min Deposit
Trading Fees
Regular App Support
1:2 Max Leverage

As mentioned above, the company also lets you trade digital currencies via CFDs. This allows clients to take advantage of the market’s volatility without directly owning any digital coins.

Those in the United Kingdom can also choose to engage in spread betting on cryptocurrencies in addition to CFD trading. Some of the digital coins available include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ripple. Spreads can be as low as 0.5 for Litecoin and 35 for Bitcoin.

Open Spread Betting Account

City Index Spread Betting Review

£0 Min Deposit
Trading Fees
Mediocre App Support
1:30 Max Leverage

Spread-betting is only available in the UK and Ireland. Spread betting offers tax efficiency, as there is no Stamp Duty or Capital Gains Tax required.

UK and Irish clients can engage in spread betting on 21 major indices, including cash, options, and futures. Spread betting is also available on shares, with the previously mentioned spreads as low as 0.1% on UK shares. Clients of City Index can spread bet on 65 global forex pairs with spreads as low as 0.5 points.

Spread betting is also available on other markets, including interest rates, bonds, and metals. There are more than 45 additional markets.

What did our traders think after reviewing the key criteria?

Fees

City index trading fees are reasonable, although they still have some room for improvement. As is common among other brokers, the company makes the majority of its profits via spreads. These spreads can be variable or fixed, depending on the asset in question and the type of account you have.

There is no single, convenient location where all spreads are listed. However, to look over the current market spreads the user only needs to begin opening an order ticket. This will display the current spread for that market. Alternatively, users can view the product pages on the website to see the spreads on the most popular instruments.

There are also commission charges for equity CFDs. However, they vary depending on the market you are trading. For the UK and the majority of European equities, the fee is 0.08%, for most US equities it is 1.8 CPS, and for Asian equities, it is 0.2%. The minimum commission rates are £10, $10 or €10.

There is also a financing fee applied to positions held overnight.

Account Types

The company offers three main account types, in addition to the option of demo trading.

  • Trader accounts are the basic type and are designed for both experienced and novice traders. These include access to the company’s award-winning platform, 24-hour trading support, competitive pricing, the guarantee to never lose more than your deposit, and access to news, analysis, and education.
  • Premium Trader accounts are invitation-only and offer priority service, including a relationship manager. The majority of customer reviews praise this type for its invitations to premium events, loyalty rewards, and dedicated broker-assisted dealing.
  • Professional Trader accounts offer credit facility, margin rates from just 0.25 per cent, advanced trading platforms, rewards, and invites to premium events. This type does not have negative balance protection.
  • Demo’s offer 12 weeks of unlimited access and £10,000 of virtual cash. This type allows users to demo trade cryptocurrencies, shares, indices, forex pairs and other assets available on the platform.

Platforms

The company offers a wide range of platforms for traders to choose from.

Their WebTrader platform does not require you to download it and features customisable workspaces, reliable and quick HTML5 technology, and custom indicators on advanced charts. It even includes trade tickets that have options for advanced risk management.

The company provides mobile trading applications that are available for both Android and iOS. The app features the live Reuters news feed, an economic calendar, live streaming of charts and prices, and secure 24-hour access. It is the perfect tool for trading on the go.

City Index Platform

Professionals who prefer a downloadable platform will appreciate AT Pro. This is the company’s desktop platform which includes multiple trading templates, an advanced charting package, and enhanced efficiency and speed. It even offers the ability to create trading templates in Visual Basic, .NET, or C#.

Experienced traders will also appreciate that they offer MetaTrader 4, one of the world’s most popular trading platforms. It is available for Windows, iOS, and Android and features Expert Advisors, trading signals, and customised indicators.

Usability

Using the City Index website is relatively straightforward, whether on desktop or mobile. Users may have to search a little as they look for pricing information or specific assets available for trading, but once you familiarise yourself with the website layout, it becomes relatively straightforward.

One potential area of frustration is that it is challenging to find specific pieces of information through the main navigation menu, such as deposit information. However, these links are usually readily available via the bottom navigation menu or search bar.

Customer Support

Customer comments on the company’s support team are generally positive…

There is an extensive FAQ section divided by topics, including details on using specific trading platforms, trading particular assets, opening accounts, and more.

Users will find an option that says ‘contact us’ at the top of the page, and once they have clicked on it, they will be taken to a page where they can scroll to the bottom and open up the webchat. The customer service representative on the web chat was very helpful and able to answer all of my questions. However, one thing we must mention is that we were first greeted by a chatbot, and it was very difficult to be directed to a support advisor.

There is usually a number for clients to call the customer service team directly. However, at the time of writing this, there was not one available due to the surge in call volume, and so they directed clients to the service updates page.

In normal circumstances, clients can call a number and directly speak to an advisor.

City Index Support

Payment Methods

As you look over the company’s deposit procedures, you will notice that the only requirement is that you have sufficient funds to maintain your margin. They suggest that clients have at least £100, or the minimum to cover their first trade’s margin.

  • Card Payments: They accept credit card payments via MasterCard or Visa.
  • Debit Card Payments: These can be completed with MasterCard, Visa, Electron, or Maestro cards.
  • Bank Wire Transfer: Bank wire transfers are also available. Any funding from a Citibank account must be done via wire transfer.
  • E-Wallets: Funding is also possible via PayPal.

The company does not charge any fees for deposits. However, credit card issuers may charge fees, which will pass on to the user.

Users from the UK should also keep in mind that you can only deposit funds in the base currency of your funding account. This will always be GBP for UK clients.

Best Offers

City Index offers an extensive amount of educational material for clients, much of which is accessible without logging in. The broker maintains a Market Analysis page with relevant information and analyses. There is also readily available information regarding companies earnings and the economic calendar.

Direct educational materials include webinars, both live and previously recorded ones which are archived. There are also daily briefing videos. Clients can take advantage of the information regarding trading strategies, real-time news courtesy of Reuters, and expert analysis. There is even the option to receive volatility alerts for free, a feature which we strongly recommend advanced traders use.

For further information, the platform offers informational hubs on critical issues that can affect the markets, including Brexit, United States tech earnings, and the US-China trade war.

Our team also suggests clients take advantage of their trading academy with articles and videos on a range of topics for all skill levels.

Regulation & Deposit Protection

The company is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This provides clients with peace of mind, as formal regulation suggests that it’s a must to meet specific standards. For example, one of the requirements is that they segregate retail client funds from its own.

Additionally, the fact that the FCA regulates the broker means that clients are covered by the FSCS. As such, if they go into liquidation, which is unlikely, clients can receive up to £85,000 in compensation.
For further peace of mind, GAIN Capital, their parent company, is also regulated and authorised by the FCA.

Awards

No City Index review is complete without discussing the numerous awards the company has received over the years. During the OPWA Awards in 2019, the broker earned honours for “Best Trading Platform,” “Best Spread Betting Provider,” and “Best Mobile Application.” During the ADVFN Awards in 2019, it earned the title of “Best CFD Provider.” The 2019 Shares Award also gave it the title of “Best Professional Trading Platform.”

Going back a year, the OPWA Awards in 2018 honoured the broker with the title of “Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform,” an accolade worth mentioning in any City Index review.

City Index Awards

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.