Founded in 1996, London Capital Group is a provider of online trading services based in London with additional offices in Cyprus and the Bahamas.
The firm offers both CFD trading and spread betting, and it uses a hybrid broker model so that it both passes client orders through to the market and also acts as a market maker.
If you are interested in how we review, then read further to determine if the broker will satisfy your trading needs and whether it makes sense to open an account today.
Note that this is not a Forex or a cryptocurrency review because its a CFD broker that also allows UK residents to engage in spread betting so that any gains made are tax free.
What can you trade?
#1 LCG CFD Review
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Offers a very wide range of assets you can trade CFDs on. The broker states that it provides access to markets in over 7,000 instruments across nine different asset classes. You can even trade vanilla options on a decent range of currencies, indices and equities.
The broker uses a hybrid straight-through-processing (STP) broker model to facilitate deal executions, although it also acts as a market maker itself. An electronic communication network (ECN) trading account is available.
When it comes to trading CFDs on currencies, the broker offers access to a moderate range of 60 CFDs on currency pairs. This range includes all major currency pairs and their crosses, in addition to a decent selection of minor and exotic pairs. You can also trade spot gold and silver, so you do not have to worry about contract expirations.
Furthermore, you can trade forex at LCG in micro lot sizes as small as 0.01 in all account types. Maximum leverage ratios for UK clients range from 30 to 1 for retail clients up to 500 to 1 for those traders who qualify as professionals.
If you are into stocks, then you can trade CFDs on 31 indices, as well as on over 3,500 individual stocks quoted on the top UK, U.S. and EU listed equity markets. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are also available. Note that there is typically a modest additional spread tacked on for trading these CFD products over the exchange-quoted prices.
Bond and money market traders can trade CFDs on U.S. 10 and 30-year treasuries, German bunds, UK Gilts, Short Sterling, Swiss Euroswiss contracts and Euribor rates.
#2 LCG Social Trading Review
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Social trading only consists of the broker’s support for MT4’s Trading Signals service. This sizeable social trading network consists of a community of experienced MT4 traders that allow others traders to copy their transactions automatically. The fees they charge for this service and their performance can vary substantially.
#3 LCG Spread Betting Review
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Spread betting is available to LCG’s UK clients who trade via the broker’s London offices. The main benefit of this form of trading is that your trading gains will typically be tax-free. In particular, UK stamp duty, income tax and capital gains tax do not apply to profits made while spread betting.
Like CFD trading, you can use the same trading platforms and trade in an unusually wide variety of instruments and asset types at LCG, including 3,500 shares, 60 currency pairs, and a range of commodities and indices.
You can also use leverage when spread betting, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) allows UK residents to use up to a 30 to 1 leverage ratio. Margin requirements are low and start at 3%.
Spread betting dealing spreads are competitive, and there is no minimum deposit required to open up a live account with LCGF to start spread betting in it.
What did our traders think after reviewing the key criteria?
Clients should expect to pay away the dealing spread whenever they enter and exit a position. Dealing spreads are variable at LCG and depend on current market conditions.
Αlso states in its terms and conditions document that it does mark up and mark down the prices it receives for those with Classic CFD Trading accounts, so the variable spreads Classic clients receive are going to be wider than the actual market pricing.
Those with ECN accounts have the benefit of getting direct market pricing. This means dealing spreads can be very tight at times, although the broker does require a $10,000 minimum balance and charge a commission of $45 for each $1,000,000 traded on all symbols using LCG Trader and $10 per standard lot if you use MT4.
LCG may also charge you a monthly inactivity fee if there has not been any activity in your account for more than 180 days. For UK traders, this is £15 per month.
When it comes to making payments, it charges a 2% fee to make deposits via credit cards. This fee is unusual among online brokers, so you might want to consider using other deposit methods.
Additional fees may include rollovers or swaps if you hold a position overnight when long the currency with the lower interest rate in a pair. If you have an Islamic account, you will pay no rollover fees, but broker does have a “holding charge” that applies to positions held in an Islamic account for more than a certain number of days. This charge varies in amount and holding period depending on the asset. For example, if you hold a EUR/USD position for more than 15 days, then you will pay a $3/lot holding charge.
LCG offers three basic live trading account types that should suit most traders, in addition to a demo account that is free to open and comes funded with £10,000 of virtual money. All of the accounts currently allows forex traders to deal in minimum micro lot sizes of 0.01. You can choose among the following list of live account types:
- Classic CFD Trading Account: Requires no minimum deposit and allows you to trade over 7,000 instruments in nine different asset classes. This account type offers very competitive pricing and trustworthy execution. You can also access a variety of market analysis, research and learning material to help you trade successfully.
- Electronic Communication Network (ECN) Account: Requires a minimum $10,000 account balance and initial deposit to qualify for this direct market access (DMA) account type. Spreads start from 0 pips with an ECN account, and there are no requotes on prices, although you will need to pay a commission per trade that depends on the transaction size.
- Islamic Account: This is a swap-free account that offers to Muslim traders who wish to comply with Sharia law. There can also be a holding charge if you hold overnight positions for more than a certain number of days.
Supports the popular and sophisticated MetaTrader 4 platform available for a free download from its developer MetaQuotes, so that will always result in a favourable review when it comes to trading platforms.
In addition to its desktop platform, MT4 has web-based and mobile versions for both iOS and Android devices. The broker’s website provides decent video tutorials on how to log into and use its supported platforms with its trading accounts.
Also offers its own high quality web-based trading software called LCG Trader, as well as an excellent free mobile app shown in the screenshot below that lets you place orders and watch markets and trading positions. You can also get price alerts and review your trading history.
Official website is designed in a tasteful teal blue and shades of dark grey with black text on a white background that makes it easy to read. The broker also has a helpful FAQ and a considerable collection of market analysis and educational material.
The menu at the top of LCF’s website has links to all the basic areas you might find useful or could have questions about. Menu items include: LCG Group, Markets, Analysis and Education, Platforms and Partners.
There are also buttons in the upper right that help you with account matters labelled Open Live Account and Login, as well as a pull down menu that highlights important announcements, such as economic data releases.
You can change the language of the website by pulling down the menu at the top right and selecting your preferred reading language among the 14 different languages available.
LCG provides its customers with telephone access to both customer support and its dealing desk. There is also a special phone number for data protection matters. Your contact options include telephone, live chat and an email contact form.
The dealing desk staff are available by phone on a 24/5 basis during the forex trading week in case a trading emergency arises. Over the weekend and in the evenings, you can leave a message via the live chat or email form for when support resumes. A screenshot of the broker’s Contact Us page appears below.
LCG is a global broker, so clients can make deposits and withdrawals conveniently using various payment channels. These including the following:
- Credit and debit card payments: accepts all major credit cards, other than American Express, so your MasterCard and Visa are welcome. Card transactions are processed quickly and can incur a 2% fee, which most other brokers do not charge.
- Bank wire transfer: You can send a wire transfer to fund your account from any bank, although banks often charge for such transactions. Processing can take a few days.
- E-wallets: supports the Neteller and Skrill online payment services, but not PayPal.
When it comes to withdrawals, you need to complete an online request form you can find in your My LCG area either on your desktop or the broker’s mobile web page. You can also call the Trading Services team for assistance.
Withdrawals are processed as quickly as possible, and that usually means either the same business day, although the funds may not show up in your account for three to five working days. Unless you are closing your account, withdrawals should be £50 or more due to transaction costs.
One of the benefits of LCG is that the Analysis and Education section on its website offers a respectable range of written and video educational material. The offerings include: expert fundamental and technical analysis, a good selection of video tutorials, a news feed, webinars and several support guides. The website also has a helpful glossary to help newer traders understand market jargon.
Another plus is the Important Announcements drop down menu on website that highlights and provides results for key economic data releases.
Also has several active social media accounts and has won awards for its social media presence. The broker’s Facebook Page presently has over 25,000 followers, while its Twitter account has over 9,000 tweets and almost 4,000 followers. The broker’s YouTube channel does not state how many subscribers it has, but it has a lot of interesting promotional, educational and market outlook videos, some of which were quite widely-viewed.
Regulation and Deposit Protection
UK traders will probably deal with LCG’s London office that is regulated by the FCA, especially if they want to engage in spread-betting. The broker also has an EU-based office in Cyprus regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), as well as an off-shore office located in Nassau in the Bahamas regulated by the Securities Commission of Bahamas (SCB).
Since is currently still based in the EU, it must operate under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II. This means client funds are kept separate from the broker’s. Also, the maximum leverage for retail traders is restricted to 30 to 1, although professional traders can use higher leverage.
U.K. traders have protection against a default by brokers up to £85,000 under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), while EU traders’ accounts are protected up to €20,000 under the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) of Cyprus.
LCG has received many prestigious awards over the years it has been operating for its service, innovations and technology. The industry awards listed on its website were given from 2009 to 2017, and the more recent among them include:
- Best Spread Betting Provider – City of London Wealth Management Awards, 2017
- Best Mobile/Tablet Trading Application – Shares Awards, 2016
- Best Forex Fundamental Analysis Provider – UK Forex Awards, 2016
- Best Use of Social Media – Online Personal Wealth Awards, 2016
- Forex Innovator of the Year – UK Forex Awards, 2015
- Best Use of Social Media – Shares Awards, 2015
- Best Platform – Capital Spreads – Online Personal Wealth Awards, 2014
This reviewer also noted some less-than-favourable reviews left by clients at Forex Peace Army and Trustpilot. Since the company does not seem to have made any attempts to address their customers’ issues, this could indicate a lack of attention to client complaints.