ECN Brokers

ECN brokers enable traders to use electronic communication networks for direct access to forex and stock markets. In this review, we provide a step-by-step guide to finding the best true ECN brokers in the UK. We also look at the ECN model vs market makers, taking into account spreads and leverage.

ECN Brokers

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Found 31 Brokers
Pepperstone offers spread betting and CFD trading to both retail and professional traders. Clients can trade FX, indices, commodities and shares on MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$500 recommended
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
Leading forex and CFD broker since 2006, regulated in Ireland, Australia, Canada, Japan, Abu Dhabi, and South Africa. AvaTrade offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4/5, Web Trader, Mobile App, Vanilla options and Social Trading. +1250 Financial Instruments, Educational content and multilanguage customer support active 24/7. 20% Welcome bonus available on allowed countries.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CBoI, ASIC, FSB, ESMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
$.01
Crypto
No
FXCC is a trustworthy trading broker regulated by the CySEC. The brokerage offers ECN trade executions, leverage up to 1:500 and $0 commissions.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Reliable and affordable trading since 2009. Join over 900,000 others trading on 400+ CFD products over assets like forex, gold, indices, cryptocurrency and shares from 0.0 spreads through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage is ASIC regulated and client funds are segregated. Open an account in under 5 minutes.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, FCA, CIMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
Eightcap is a multi-regulated FX & CFD broker offering the MT4 & MT5 platforms. Award winning platform, zero commission, free education and low spreads.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, VFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£/€/$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
Axi is a global online FX and CFD trading company, trusted by 60,000+ ambitious customers in 100+ countries around the world.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, DFSA, FMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
0 $/€/£
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
Forex.com boast a global reputation. Regulated in the UK, EU, US and Canada they offer a huge range of markets, not just forex, and offer very tight spreads and a cutting edge platform.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC, IIROC, NFA, CFTC, FCA, FSA, and CIMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
No
RoboForex is a multi-asset online broker offering powerful trading aides.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
IFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
FXChoice is an offshore retail broker offering MT4 and MT5 platform downloads plus online CFD trading.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
NordFX offer forex trading with specific accounts for each type of investor. Spreads start from 0.0 pips while minimum deposits start at $10.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
VFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
Finq.com offer a great all round service with trading on 2100+ assets and immediate bonus offers. Up to $4000 in Deposit Bonuses.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
FXTM is a leading forex and CFD broker. Offering a huge range of markets and 6 account types, they cater to all levels of trader.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySec, ESMA, FCA and FSC of the Republic of Mauritius
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
From $50
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
GO Markets is an ASIC-regulated FX & CFD broker.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, CySEC, FSC of Mauritius
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
IG offer spread betting, CFD and Forex trading across a range of markets. They are FCA regulated, boast a great trading app and have a 40 year track record of excellence.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, MAS
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£250
Min. Trade
£1
Crypto
No
Exinity provides flexible low-cost trading in FX, commodities, indices and equities alongside unique education and support provided by teams located across the world. Now operating in the Middle East, through regulation from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority in Abu Dhabi and the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius, Exinity provides a range of services to traders and investors looking for new opportunities in the financial markets.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSRA, FCA, FSC, CMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
Trader Pro: $10,000 Trader: $100 
World:$20
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
TMGM is a competitive forex and CFD broker with a wide range of instruments, features and tools provided at low-cost.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, FMA, VFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Anzo Capital is a competitive global forex and CFD broker with ECN and STP accounts, both offering MT4 access and a wide range of assets.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
IFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
Pacific Union is a multi-asset broker offering trading via the MT4 and MT5 platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and Seychelles Financial Services Authority (SFSA)
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
RoboMarkets is an award-winning broker offering flexible margin trading.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$/£/€100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
BlackBull Markets offers forex and CFD trading on the MT4 & MT5 platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FMA, FSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
LQDFX offers online trading with multiple STP accounts and MT4 analysis tools.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$20
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Swissquote is an FCA-regulated FX & CFD broker offering 160+ trading products.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, FINMA, DFSA, SFC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$1,000
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
Speculate on traditional and emerging financial markets via MT4, MT5 and cTrader. FXPrimus is multi-regulated and offers leverage up to 1:1000 alongside monthly promotions.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CYSEC, MIFID, ICF, FCA, BaFin, VFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$15
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
FP Markets is a multi-asset broker offering a choice of trading platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, CySEC, ESMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Infinox is a UK-based broker offering MT4 trading with tight spreads.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£1
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
LiteForex Europe is an FX and CFD broker offering sophisticated trading tools.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
A regulated bank, Saxobank offer Equities and Forex trading on 40,000+ markets via the SaxoTrader Pro and SaxoTrader Go platforms
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
DFSA, MAS, FCA, SFC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
£500
Min. Trade
Vary by asset
Crypto
No
Fondex is an award-winning forex and CFD broker with industry low trading costs.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSA, CySEC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
No
eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, CySEC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$200 ($50 in US, $10 in UK)
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
Just2Trade offer high tech trading on stocks and options with some of the lowest prices in the industry.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC, NFA, FINRA, Bank of Russia
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01
Crypto
Yes
InstaForex provide Forex, CFDs, Stock and Cryptocurrency trading. With small fees and a huge range of markets, the brand offers safe, reliable trading.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySec
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
€100 to €50000 (Account choice dependent)
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
No

How ECN Brokers Work

True ECN brokers use electronic communication networks to connect trade participants and execute deals. ECN brokers are non-dealing desk (NDD) brokers, which means they work directly with liquidity providers. Traders, therefore, get access to interbank market rates, unlike when using market makers.

Traders receive quotes from multiple market participants which can lead to competitive bid and ask prices. The electronic communication network aims to match open buy and sell orders. If this isn’t possible, it will provide the most competitive prices available on the market. The broker will then use ultra-fast ECN technology to instantly execute the quote.

ECN Brokers Vs Market Makers

A market maker (also known as a dealing desk broker), defines its own quote to generate profit from the bid-ask spread, rather than quoting the market price. This is effectively their commission for the risk of holding the asset after it’s sold but before it’s bought. This helps to increase liquidity in the market making it easier for traders to buy and sell. As ECN brokers don’t set prices or profit off the spread, they usually charge a commission per trade instead.

Top ECN forex brokers

Pros Of ECN Brokers

The use of ECN technology offers traders several advantages over dealing desk brokers.

Price Transparency

As ECN brokers’ prices come directly from liquidity providers, they do not trade against the client and receive a commission regardless of whether the client makes a profit. All traders have access to the same price information when using ECN brokers.

This is opposite to market makers, who are on the other side of the trade to you and therefore set the rate according to their own interests.

Spreads

ECN brokers receive quotes from multiple market participants, which can lead to competitive bid and ask prices. ECN brokers are therefore generally able to offer lower spreads than traditional brokers. However, ECN brokers charge a commission for each trade, which can quickly eat into profits if executing a high number of trades.

Trading Hours

Electronic communication networks can be used for extended trading, outside the hours of the traditional market opening. This allows traders to act on economic news at any time, as well as providing additional flexibility. However, liquidity is lower outside traditional operating hours, which may make it more difficult and expensive to buy and sell.

Choosing The Best ECN Brokers

The best ECN broker for you will depend on multiple factors including what you want to trade, how regularly you want to trade, and in what volume. Here, we explain how to identify a true ECN broker and provide a list of factors to consider when opening an account.

True ECN Brokers

First, determine if the broker is a pure ECN broker. Some brokers are ECN-only brokers, while some offer different account types.

True ECN brokers should have narrow spreads. You can check this by picking a forex pair and comparing the spread with other ECN brokers. Additionally, the fast execution of trades is another indicator of an ECN broker.

Be aware that ECN brokers are very similar to STP brokers, who also have no dealing desk. However, ECN acts as a central liquidity hub, unlike STP which routes the trader directly to the liquidity provider. Admiral Markets is an example of an STP broker rather than a true ECN broker.

Location

UK-based ECN brokers are recommended. Advantages of trading with a UK-based broker include guaranteed English-speaking customer support and no foreign currency charges if depositing in GBP.

Regulation

Traders should use FCA-regulated ECN brokers. The Financial Conduct Authority has many regulations in place to protect UK clients, such as the segregation of broker and client money. Additionally, the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCS) will cover up to £85,000 of funds should the broker become insolvent.

Note, you won’t normally find regulated ECN brokers with no deposit bonus deals.

Spreads

ECN brokers usually have low spreads, even with low minimum deposits. Pepperstone is an ECN broker offering some of the lowest forex spreads, starting at zero pips (average 0.09 pips) for EUR/USD with their Razor Account. However, this is in exchange for a commission, unlike their Standard Account that primarily makes money through spreads.

Deposits & Withdrawals

Brokers often have minimum deposit requirements depending on the account type with micro accounts typically offering lower limits. FXTM is an ECN broker with a low minimum deposit requirement of £10. It’s also possible to trade using ECN brokers that have no minimum deposit requirements, such as Pepperstone.

Make sure to check withdrawal requirements including fees and timescales. Withdrawal times should be no longer than a few days.

Markets

Ensure your ECN broker offers the virtual instruments you’re looking to trade. Forex is the most popular market for ECN trading, but it’s possible to trade CFDs too. ECN brokers offering binary options are rare.

Best UK ECN brokers

Leverage

With the best FCA-regulated brokers, leverage is limited to between 1:30 and 1:2, depending on the asset. For high leverage limits, traders may consider ECN brokers regulated outside the UK. For example, RoboForex is an ECN broker that offers leverage up to 1:500.

However, we recommended sticking with UK-regulated brokers to reduce the risks that come with using high leverage. FXTM and Pepperstone are some of the best UK-regulated ECN brokers, that also offer the highest leverage in line with the FCA limitations.

Platforms

The trading platform is the software you’ll use to facilitate trades. Some brokers offer a proprietary platform, while others lease third-party software such as MetaTrader. Often, ECN brokers will offer more than one platform option. IG and Pepperstone are good ECN brokers that offer the MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms via web, tablet and mobile.

Consider if the platform is intuitive and whether the charting and indicator functionality supports your trading strategy. A demo account is a great way to test this first.

Final Word On ECN Brokers

ECN brokers provide traders with direct access to markets that can result in competitive spreads, though traders should be aware of commission fees. FCA-regulated ECN brokers are highly recommended for traders based in the UK, offering multiple protections for clients looking to enact high-volume scalping strategies, for example.

FAQs

What Is An ECN Broker?

The simple definition is that ECN brokers are non-dealing desk brokers that use electronic communication networks to provide traders with direct access to forex and stock markets. Receiving quotes from multiple market participants means spreads are often more competitive than at traditional brokers.

What Is The Difference Between ECN Vs STP Brokers?

ECN and STP are both forms of no dealing desk brokers. However, STP brokers route the trader directly to the liquidity provider, unlike ECN, which acts as a central liquidity source for all market participants.

What Are The Top 5 ranking UK Forex ECN brokers?

IG, Pepperstone, Axi, FXTM and Forex.com are some of the best UK-regulated forex ECN brokers. See our list and comparison above for other reliable options.

What Is The Difference Between Forex ECN Brokers Vs Market Makers?

A market maker is a dealing desk broker, which defines its own quote to generate profit from the bid-ask spread. ECN brokers receive quotes directly from market participants, meaning spreads are more competitive. However, a commission is charged per trade.

Which ECN Brokers Offer MetaTrader?

Forex.com and Axi offer the industry-recognised MT4 forex platform. Pepperstone, IG and FXTM also offer its multi-asset successor, MT5.