City Index Review

  • Rating – 4.7
  • Min. Deposit: $150
  • Max. Leverage: 30:1
  • Headquarter: London, UK
  • Products: Forex, Shares, Commodities, Indices, Bonds, ETFs

U.K. brokerage City Index’s parent company is StoneX Group Inc. (NASDAQ:SNEX). It specializes in CFDs, spread betting, and options in forex, indexes, shares, commodities, bonds, interest rates, and cryptocurrencies. City Index was founded in 1983 and offers an impressive product catalog, excellent platform choices, and robust research facilities that cater to a broad spectrum of traders and investors, from low-skilled retailers to well-financed institutions looking for sophisticated hookups and a lightning-fast trading interface.

City Index scored well in most review categories, but flaws are still evident, including confusing and conflicting options-fee disclosures, a lack of volume discounts, and no secondary insurance coverage.

  • Low fees for forex
  • Diverse research tools
  • Large product catalog
  • Product portfolio limited to forex and CFDs
  • High stock CFD fees
  • Non-user-friendly desktop platform


The broker is licensed through Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Ref No. 113942 and is compliant with European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) rules that limit leverage and provide negative balance protection (so you don’t lose more money than you put in the platform). An ESMA-mandated disclosure indicates that 72% of retail accounts currently lose money when trading CFDs, which is about average in the Eurozone. The U.K. Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) provides up to £50,000 coverage in case of a broker default, but they list no additional or private coverage.

City Index offers guaranteed stop-loss protection for a premium as well as a sophisticated set of conditional orders within their trading platforms. Oddly, the firm’s small Singapore branch utilizes two-factor authentication for added security, but this useful feature wasn’t found at the U.K. site. The broker acts primarily as a market maker, like most European CFD brokers, raising conflict of interest issues. However, they offer central clearing on “certain markets” as a free service that requires an additional client application.

Fee and spread disclosures provide extensive transparency, but it was difficult to find options costs. Information on fee schedules was conflicting, and it was hard to find cost comparisons. They offer fixed and/or variable spreads, depending on venue, but the disclosures would greatly benefit from side-by-side cost itemization. It also isn’t clear how much spreads widen during off-market hours, raising the potential for unanticipated trading costs.

Desktop Experience 

The broker’s proprietary Web Trader offers advanced charts, custom indicators, and fully customizable workspaces, but it does have fewer features and less customization than the downloadable AT Pro platform. The AT Pro platform includes advanced technical analysis with more than 100 indicators, detachable charts, and strong customization. Real-time Reuters news in both platforms keep account holders in touch with business developments, while AT Pro’s historical back testing and automated, coded trading add firepower rarely found at European brokerages. In-platform access to dozens of trading ideas round out an impressive list of advanced features.

A side-by-side comparison of account types shows that AT Pro is only available to professional traders (an ESMA designation that requires a large account and industry experience). This information conflicts with other site disclosures and contact with a sales agent through online chat confirmed that professional status isn’t required to use the software.

Mobile Experience 

City Index mobile versions for iOS and Android allow easy synching between platforms, with well-organized menus but fewer features and limited customization. Account holders can set custom price alerts, build watch lists, chat with customer service, and do basic charting, but the apps don’t provide a real alternative to the standalone or web platforms. Fortunately, the order interface looks identical to the desktop and web programs, allowing adequate risk management while on-the-go.

Research Tools

City Index has built an impressive research portal, with in-house analysts providing daily market outlooks and updates through a tag-based news page that’s full of fundamental and technical reports. The site also posts some news videos on YouTube, but poor integration between YouTube and website video content makes it more difficult to find topics of interest. Other research material is well organized, and many categories are also accessible through the trading platforms.

Dozens of trading ideas and opportunities utilizing diverse market approaches are listed at the site and in-platform, but some content requires paid subscriptions. Platform research tabs open into Trading Central, which is divided between customizable technical and fundamental scanners. The fundamental scanner provides a wealth of filters and includes current prices vs. the broker’s calculation of fair value.


An education section features written how-to-trade tutorials that are organized into eight sections. However, just four of the six open to standard course materials while the others duplicate research or marketing content found in other sections. A YouTube review found an excellent series of TA videos but none were linked directly to the website. The broker also provides how-to articles on each of the major trading venues as well as a full-featured help and support database.

Special Features 

The City Index API appears restricted to institutional and white-label partnerships, lowering the value of the AT Pro backtesting and automated trading capacities. In addition, they offer no VPS hosting, missing an obvious business opportunity. No trading volume discounts were found, discouraging large-sized and higher skill traders from opening accounts, despite Premium and Professional tiers that provide secondary bonuses.

The broker offers central counterparty clearing on “certain markets” through the Omnibus Segregated Clearing Account (OSCA). This isn’t the same as direct market access into the interbank system because the broker still operates a dealing desk, first executing the trade and then transferring the client’s credit exposure to the central clearinghouse. A separate application is required to gain access to this account functionality.

Investment Products 

An impressive product catalog includes forex through FX via MT4, CFDs, and spread bets as well as CFDs, spread bets, and options on indexes, shares, commodities, metals, bonds, interest rates, and cryptocurrencies. Clients can trade more than 4,700 shares from multiple exchanges while index and metal CFDs can be traded on a cash or futures basis. Cryptocurrency coverage is limited to seven major markets.

Commissions and Fees 

Minimum and average spreads are competitive, at 0.50 pips minimum and 0.69 pips average for EUR/USD. Indexes list a 0.40 minimum spread on S&P 500 CFD and spread bets but no average spread. Disclosures on other markets are limited to minimum spreads or real-time bid/ask spreads.

The broker offers fixed spreads for many indexes and commodities and variable spreads for forex and other markets, but read the fine print because this categorization isn’t intuitive.

Withdrawals are free and no minimum deposit is needed to open an account. However, £12 per month is charged to accounts with no activity for one year or longer. Withdrawal and other fees are fully disclosed on an easy-to-read pricing page that contained few omissions.


City Index is regulated in several jurisdictions including:

  • In Canada by Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO)
  • In UK by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • In Cyprus by Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (CySEC)
  • In Japan by The Financial Services Agency (FSA)
  • In USA by The National Futures Association (NFA) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • In Singapore by The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
  • In Cayman Islands by Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA)
  • In Australia by The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • In Hong Kong by The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)

Customer Support 

Customer support hits all the bases, with 24/5 phone support through London local and international phone numbers. Online chat is available to new and prospective clients, but users need to “talk” with an annoying chat robot before getting to a human customer representative. The broker accepts support questions through phone, chat, or email, and a fairly strong social media presence is used primarily to distribute research and marketing materials. The help and support FAQs are well-organized, allowing for quick retrieval of needed information.