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8 Best European Regulated Brokers for 2024

Searching for the top forex broker with European regulation? Based on our hands-on analysis, we’ve identified the 8 best options tailored to various trading needs. Practical tips from our experts are included.

By:
Plamen Stoyanov
Reviewed By:
Ola Alder
Updated: Feb 21, 2024

List of the Best European Regulated Forex Brokers

Top-tier regulation by CySEC. Low commissions and raw spreads. Fast execution speed of under 40ms. High daily turnover. Excellent for algorithmic trading.

Tight regulation. Strong educational content. Platform with an easy learning curve. Commission-free trading. Choice of tradable instruments.

Regulated by CySEC. Intuitive trading app. Free deposits and withdrawals. Hedging and scalping are allowed.

Regulated by FINMA. Authorized as a bank. Raw spreads and no commissions. 70,000+ trading and investing products.

Regulated by CySEC. Copy and automated trading are available. Low minimum deposit requirement. Offers free VPS. 24/7 cryptocurrency trading.

Low trading fees. Versatile proprietary platform. Excellent research content. VPS hosting.  Strategy builder tool. Over 12,000 instruments.

Regulated by FCA, CySEC. Proprietary platform FxPro Edge, MetaTrader 4/5, cTrader. 2100+ instruments. NDD execution under 14ms for some trades. Offers VPS.

Regulated by CySEC. Spreads and commissions below the industry average. Broad range of tradable instruments. Free Virtual Private Server (VPS).

How is forex trading regulated in Europe?

All investment and trading activities in the EU fall under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), mandated by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). ESMA seeks to foster fair, competitive, and resilient markets, which is achieved via comprehensive regulation.

While ESMA’s rigorous framework envelops all financial operations with derivatives, thus making trading a lot safer as a whole, it also makes it more challenging for traders to find a competitive advantage. Brokers in Europe cannot provide financial services to traders unless they adhere to ESMA’s regulations.

That is why here at FX Empire, our goal is to review brokers and separate the ones that strike the perfect balance between safety and efficiency.

How Did FX Empire Choose the Best EU-Regulated Brokers?

FXEmpire's Methodology

  • ESMA regulation: We checked the broker’s authorizations and compliance with ESMA’s MiFID II. We also looked for direct trading protections, such as negative balance protection, and indirect ones, like compensation schemes.
  • Offices in EEA-member countries: We only considered brokers (and broker entities) that are either headquartered or have offices in countries that are members of the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • Deposit and withdrawal methods: We assessed brokers that accept payments in euros.
  • Local customer support: Due to the specific needs of traders based in Europe, we only considered brokers that provide customer support during the European trading session.
  • Competitive pricing: We evaluated how well-calibrated the trading fees of a broker are, whether commission-free trading is available, and how low the floating spreads are.
  • Trading software: Traders need to be able to conduct thorough and multi-faceted technical analyses of price action behavior. That is why we analyzed the usability and efficiency of a broker’s trading platforms and tools.
  • Availability of trading instruments: What is also essential is the number and variety of tradable instruments. We assessed the range of markets a broker provides and whether traders can exploit various trading opportunities in multiple ways (with CFDs, futures, options, etc.)
  • Quality of order execution: We looked into a broker’s pool of liquidity providers, availability of a ‘best execution policy’, and average speed of order execution.
  • Accounts: Versatility is also important when it comes to account types. It was thus interesting to see whether one account type’s advantages compensate for another’s disadvantages and vice versa. We also looked for swap-free trading (Islamic Accounts), minimum deposit requirements, available base currencies, and others.
  • Supporting content: Finally, we conducted qualitative and quantitative tests of the research and educational content. Such materials’ scope and intricacy are important for beginners and advanced traders.

Our team of experts has identified each broker’s strengths and weaknesses using FX Empire’s comprehensive methodology.  You can read more about it and how we conduct our tests here.

Now, let’s dive into the selected brokers.

Best Overall

Trading Derivatives carries a high level of risk to your capital and you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. Trading Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, and seek independent advice if necessary. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into a transaction with us. Raw Spread accounts offer spreads from 0.0 pips with a commission charge of USD $3.50 per 100k traded. Standard account offer spreads from 1 pips with no additional commission charges. Spreads on CFD indices start at 0.4 points. The information on this site is not directed at residents in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.
  • Min Deposit
    $200
  • Tradable Instruments
    2251
  • Fees
    Low

IC Markets is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), a top-tier regulator operating under MiFID II. The broker, which was founded in 2007, ensures the segregation of client funds, negative balance protection, maximum leverage of 1:30, and a compensation scheme. Under Cyprus’ Investors Compensation Fund (ICF), traders are protected for up to 20,000 EUR against the liabilities of the broker.

Key features:

  • CySEC regulation, License No. 362/18
  • Located in Limassol, Cyprus.
  • European CFD stocks and other instruments – 175 EU, 101 UK, 12 indices,
  • Accepts payments in EUR.

IC Markets’ cTrader account supports the platform of the same name, raw spreads starting from 0.0 pips, and a $6 round turn commission per lot. After opening an ECN account with the broker, I found that the cost of trading 1 lot on the EURUSD pair is $7, which is below the industry average. Additionally, cTrader is an excellent platform comprising multiple trading indicators and drawing tools, which I easily used to conduct probing technical analyses.

Additionally, the broker has access to deep liquidity and affords fast order execution. Upon checking, I found its average execution speed to be less than 40ms, which is exceedingly fast. This is supported with a low-latency, free Virtual Private Server (VPS).

Overall, IC Markets is an excellent choice for all kinds of traders – from scalpers to day traders. Its services strike an almost perfect balance between safety and efficiency.

Pros
  • Very low trading fees.
  • Access to deep liquidity.
  • Wide range of platforms and tools.
  • No inactivity fee.
Cons
  • The offering may be overwhelming to beginners.

Best for Beginners

CFD’s are complex instruments come with a high risk of losing your money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74%-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    763
  • Fees
    Low

Eightcap is an Over-the-Counter (OTC) broker that is headquartered in Limassol and was founded in 2009. It offers access to over 700 tradable instruments from different asset classes.

Key features:

  • CySEC regulation, License No. 246/14.
  • Offices in Limassol, Cyprus.
  • Instruments denominated in EUR – 7 FX pairs, 3 indices, shares.
  • Accepts payments in EUR, USD, GBP.

One of the things that impressed me about Eightcap’s offering is its comprehensive educational content. In addition to all the materials dedicated to studying technical and fundamental analysis, Eightcap also examines in detail the intricacies of trading psychology.

Based on my experience, mastering oneself and adopting a proper attitude and mentality are crucially important for all types of trading. And so, I appreciated Eightcap for providing beginners with the right tools they need to succeed in their learning endeavors.

I opened a Standard account with Eightcap, which is a popular choice among novice traders. It features commission-free trading and floating spreads from 1.0 pips. This combination meets the industry average.

I also probed the renowned MetaTrader 5 platform with its easy-to-navigate design, making it easy to grasp even for first-time traders. The platform supports nearly 100 technical indicators, drawing tools, and other customizable options. My opinion of MetaTrader 5 is that it is a good starting platform for novices wanting to learn about technical analysis.

Pros
  • Top-tier licensing by CySEC.
  • Robust educational materials.
  • Reliable customer support.
  • Beginner-friendly platform.
Cons
  • No alternative platforms.

Best Mobile Trading App

Your capital is at risk.
  • Min Deposit
    $0
  • Tradable Instruments
    8891
  • Fees
    Medium

When it comes to mobile apps, speed, precision, and general ease of use are extremely important. Perhaps even more so than for the desktop or web trader versions of the platform. Mobile apps must be highly versatile to clearly illustrate complex trading data on small-screened devices.

One app that embodies such efficiency and effectiveness is the SquaredFinancial Trading App. It never felt cumbersome or inflexible while I was poking around it. You can use it to make quick adjustments to your running positions on the go, which is crucial when you have to cut your losses or boost your profits.

Key features:

  • CySEC regulation, License No. 329/17.
  • Located in Limassol, Cyprus.
  • European CFD stocks and other instruments – Multiple.
  • Accepts payments in EUR.

SquaredFinancial, a CySEC-regulated broker, was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Seychelles. I opened a SquaredElite account which offers raw spreads starting from 0.0 pips, coupled with a round-turn commission of $5 per traded lot. Upon comparing these findings with the industry average, I concluded that SquaredFinancial’s pricing is highly competitive.

I also learned that in addition to its proprietary platform, SquaredFinancial offers the widely popular MetaTrader 4&5. The choice of platforms gives traders of different experience levels the freedom to select the one that suits them best.

Pros
  • Broad range of tradable instruments.
  • Intuitive trading app.
  • Low trading commissions.
  • Diverse account types.
Cons
  • High minimum deposit requirement.

Best for Professional Traders

CFDs are complex instruments and are not suitable for everyone as they can rapidly trigger losses that exceed your deposits. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work.
  • Min Deposit
    $0
  • Tradable Instruments
    72962
  • Fees
    Low

FlowBank was founded in 2020 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The broker offers access to over 50,000 trading and investing products across multiple markets. You can access Forex, CFDs, stocks, indices, commodities, ETFs, futures, options, bonds, cryptocurrencies, and funds.

Key features:

  • FINMA authorization as a bank.
  • Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • European CFD stocks and other instruments – 10,000+ stocks, indices, ETFs, bonds, and options.
  • Accepts payments in EUR.

What I found particularly useful in FlowBank’s offering is the perfect balance between higher-risk/yield assets and lower-risk securities. In my career as a trader, I have always looked for versatility and the possibility of hedging my positions.

With the FlowBank platform and its advanced Pro version, traders get a comprehensive trading environment that spans over 50,000 instruments, including more than 1,000 share CFDs. The platforms have intuitive designs and feature innovative tools like the ‘basket trader’. I found the platform suitable for implementing multiple complex strategies, from hedging to scalping. For those accustomed to MetaTrader, both MT4 and MT5 are available.

When it comes to research, FlowBank excels. Their Daily Forecasts, powered by Technical Speak Easy (TSE), offer actionable trading insights. The Market Insights section of their website provides in-depth analysis of trending stocks like NVIDIA, offering everything from earnings insights to price forecasts and risk assessments. FlowTV complements this by spotlighting major market trends each morning, serving as another valuable resource for trade ideas.

I opened a Classic account with the broker and tested its trading fees. What I assessed is that FlowBank’s costs vary across markets. Raw spreads from 0.0 pips and commission-free trading are available on some instruments.

Pros
  • 50,000+ trading and investing products.
  • Strong licensing.
  • Low spreads on some instruments.
  • Professional-grade platform.
  • Excellent research materials.
Cons
  • Poor educational content.
  • No negative balance protection.

Best MT4

FX and CFDs trading involves a high risk of loss
  • Min Deposit
    $50
  • Tradable Instruments
    128
  • Fees
    Medium

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is a benchmark in online trading, having become the first well-established mainstream platform. It pretty much set the bar for what a trading platform should look like and what it needs to incorporate. While almost all brokers offer it, there is only one whose services integrate so effectively with MT4, and that is Errante.

Key features:

  • CySEC regulation, License No. 383/20.
  • Located in Limassol, Cyprus.
  • European CFD stocks and other instruments – 19 stocks, 2 metals, 4 indices.
  • Accepts deposits and withdrawals in EUR.

Errante was founded in 2019, and what I particularly like about this broker is that it offers several account types that cater to different types of traders. It offers something for everybody – from a low minimum deposit requirement of just $50 to free VPS for those interested in automated trading.

The broker’s Premium account, with a minimum deposit requirement of only $100, offers floating spreads starting from 1.0 pips and commission-free trading. It supports high-frequency and high-volume trading, which can be practiced on MetaTrader 4&5 and on the seamless cTrader platforms.

My opinion of the popular MetaTrader franchise is that it is both functional and easy to learn. The platform supports more than 50 technical indicators and drawing tools. They can be used to study price action behavior from multiple angles.

Pros
  • CySEC regulation.
  • Reliable customer support.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • Diverse trading accounts.
Cons
  • Limited research materials.
  • Limited CFD stocks.

Best Trading Tools

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 61.41% 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.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    12047
  • Fees
    Medium

RoboMarkets was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Cyprus. The broker is licensed and regulated by two top-tier European regulatory bodies, including Cyprus’ CySEC and Germany’s BaFin. RoboMarkets adheres to most safety requirements, and I found the broker to be fairly transparent.

Key features:

  • CySEC regulation, License No. 191/13.
  • BaFin regulation, License No. 154068.
  • Offices in Limassol, Cyprus, and Frankfurt, Germany.
  • European CFD stocks and other instruments – indices, stocks, bonds, and ETFs.
  • Accepts payments in EUR.

What impressed me most in RoboMarkets was the wide range of supporting tools made available to its clients. The broker offers the ‘R StocksTrader Strategy Builder’ – a unique tool designed to help traders interested in developing strategies for automated trading. RoboMarkets also provides Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting accommodating precise high-frequency trading.

I opened an R StocksTrader account, which stands out with its impressive amount of over 12,000 instruments. The account features floating spreads from 0.1 pips and a $3 round-turn commission per traded lot. This combination falls below the industry average, making RoboMarkets’ trading fees very competitive.

The broker incorporates the popular MetaTrader 4&5, the seamless TradingView, and its excellent proprietary platform R StocksTrader. I tested the latter and found it extremely versatile and pleasant to use. R StocksTrader offers over 50 analytical tools and chart configuration possibilities, allowing for the execution of comprehensive technical analyses.

Pros
  • Tight regulation.
  • Wide range of supporting tools.
  • Choice of platforms.
  • Low trading fees.
Cons
  • Slow execution speed.

Best Trading Platform

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 84.69% 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.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    2157
  • Fees
    Low

FxPro is a multi-regulated derivatives broker founded in 2006. Serving clients in over 170 countries, it operates as a No-Dealing-Desk (NDD) broker. And with its institutional-grade execution engine, FxPro is able to deliver some impressive results.

After checking FxPro’s execution performance, I discovered that almost 80% of all orders are filled at the requested price, and 10% of the orders are executed with positive slippage. As a high-frequency intraday trader myself, I have always looked for precise order filling.

Key features:

  • CySEC regulation, License No. 078/07.
  • FCA regulation, License No. 509956.
  • Offices in Limassol, Cyprus; London, UK.
  • European CFD stocks and other instruments – 512 EU, 303 UK, 10 indices, 5 futures.
  • Accepts payments in EUR.

FxPro’s access to deep liquidity enhances the performance of its proprietary platform. The seamless FxPro Edge is easily customizable with a highly intuitive interface, making it the perfect choice for traders looking to carry out complex technical analyses. I appreciated Its user-friendly and feature-rich interface, which allows for quick scaling up and down of price action. It allowed me to promptly distinguish between seemingly random fluctuations and real market direction changes.

The broker incorporates the renowned MetaTrader 4 and 5, as well as the highly practical cTrader. This assortment of platforms with varying levels of complexity provides FxPro clients with the freedom to exploit different trading opportunities most effectively.

I also evaluated the broker’s fees, which I found generally low. FxPro charges very low spreads on most FX pairs, commodities, and indices. And even the $6 round turn commission per lot on its Raw account is below the industry average.

Pros
  • Sophisticated proprietary platform.
  • Wide range of instruments.
  • Competitive spreads.
  • Diverse account types.
Cons
  • High inactivity fee.

Best Low Spreads

This material on this website is intended for illustrative purposes and general information only. It does not constitute financial advice nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Commission, interest, platform fees, dividends, variation margin and other fees and charges may apply to financial products or services available from FP Markets. The information in this website has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the information in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs before making any decision about whether to acquire or dispose of any financial product. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are derivatives and can be risky; When trading CFDs you do not own or have any rights to the CFDs underlying assets. FP Markets recommends that you seek independent advice from an appropriately qualified person before deciding to invest in or dispose of a derivative. A Product Disclosure Statement for each of the financial products available from FP Markets can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into transactions with us. First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 16 112 600 281, AFS Licence No. 286354). FP Markets is a group of companies which include, First Prudential Markets Ltd (registration number HE 372179), a company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC License number 371/18, Registered Address: Griva Digeni, 109, Aigeo Court, 2nd floor, 3101, Limassol, Cyprus. FP Markets does not accept applications from U.S, Japan or New Zealand residents or residents from any other country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to those local laws or regulations.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    844
  • Fees
    Medium

FP Markets, established in 2005, offers superior conditions to traders of varying experience levels, goals, and resources on the market. The broker incorporates the widely popular and feature-rich MetaTrader 4&5 platforms, which I find suitable for spot, social, and algorithmic trading.

Key features:

  • CySEC regulation, License No. 371/18
  • Headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus.
  • European CFD stocks and other instruments – 15+ UK, 125+ EU, 6 indices.
  • Accepts payments in EUR.

FP Markets offers commission-free trading and floating spreads starting from 1.0 pips on its Standard account, as well as raw spreads starting from 0.0 pips and a $6 round turn commission per lot on its Raw account type. In my experience, Raw (ECN) accounts are better suited for high-frequency trading, such as scalping. And in FP Markets’ case, with some of the lowest fees in the industry, the implementation of such strategies can be even more profitable.

FP Markets also maintains a ‘best execution policy’ and provides a Virtual Private Server (VPS), ensuring orders are executed within milliseconds. All of this means that clients of FP Markets can benefit from the broker’s very competitive pricing model and mitigated risk of negative slippage.

Pros
  • Low trading costs.
  • Fast order execution.
  • Wide range of instruments.
Cons
  • Marginally higher share CFD fees.

How to Choose a Forex Broker in Europe?

Now that I have covered our top picks for each category, it is time to outline the specific considerations traders need to make for themselves when looking for a trustworthy partner in Europe:

ESMA, MiFID II, and Your Rights as a Trader

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is the legislative body responsible for setting the rules under which market participants, financial institutions, brokers, and others interact. That is why your first task is to determine whether the broker you are interested in is listed in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) register. You can check that here. This is the only way to confirm its compliance with the most rigorous safety policies in the industry.

Check out our list of Best MiFID-regulated forex brokers.

Under MiFID, you are entitled to certain protections as a retail trader (excluding traders classified as ‘professional’). Those protections include the following:

  • Segregation of client funds. Brokers must keep their clients’ funds in separate bank accounts from the ones used for their corporate capital. This is crucial for mitigating the risk of accounting errors.
  • Negative balance protection. Negative balance protection means that a trader’s losses cannot exceed their account balance. This protection is indispensable when trading high-risk instruments, such as Contracts for Difference (CFDs).
  • Limited market exposure. Beginners are especially susceptible to the risk of adverse price fluctuations, which is why the maximum leverage allowed for retail traders is set at 1:30. Anything beyond that can be too risky for inexperienced traders.

Depending on the jurisdiction where a broker is situated, a compensation scheme may also protect its clients against the company’s credit risk and liabilities. For instance, brokers regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) participate in the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF). In the unlikely event of the company becoming insolvent, traders can be compensated by up to 20,000 EUR. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) – under The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom – protects traders by up to 85,000 GBP.

Find out more about the best CySEC regulated brokers and best FCA regulated brokers in our detailed guides.

Professional vs Retail Accounts

The above-mentioned discrepancy between retail and professional accounts underscores an important tradeoff – more protections for the former vs more opportunities for the latter.

Professional traders can enjoy a maximum leverage of 1:200, meaning they can generate proportionally larger profits on the same underlying trades. However, they are also exposed to a comparatively larger risk of adverse fluctuations and are not granted negative balance protection.

Broadly speaking, the more rigid the safety mechanisms, the more limited the profit potential of winning trades. That is why experienced veterans with the means to open a professional account with a broker should consider carefully whether this is a tradeoff they are willing to make. I would caution against opening a professional account unless you have more than 5 years of experience trading leveraged products with the same broker.

Explore Best forex brokers for professional traders.

How to Optimize Your Performance

Following up on the previous point, this sub-section seeks to briefly explain how traders can optimize their performance based on three key components in every broker’s service:

Trading Fees

Traders should choose an account type with a pricing model that best reflects the parameters of their strategies. For instance, high-frequency traders like scalpers and intraday traders, whose systems are predicated on frequently getting in and out of trades within a relatively short period of time, will be better off choosing a commission-free account with floating spreads.

On the other hand, high-volume traders, like position and day traders — who tend to trade less frequently — should aim to secure the tightest spreads possible.

While there is no one-size-fits-all type of account, selecting the best option based on your personal preferences means more favorable conditions and, therefore, bigger longevity on the market.

Take a look at our guide of best forex brokers with lowest spreads.

Liquidity

The deeper the liquidity pool that a broker has access to, the better the order execution conditions it can serve its clients. That is why traders (especially professionals) should always check the speed and quality of order execution. The easiest way to do that is to see whether the broker has a ‘best execution policy.’ It means that the company is committed to providing the best price quotes, given the underlying market conditions, when an order is placed.

Precision and speed of order execution are also likely to be enhanced when a broker provides Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. As a rule of thumb, look for brokers that can accommodate ultra-fast order execution speeds of under 50 milliseconds.

Read more about Best forex brokers with VPS hosting.

Types of Available Instruments

When choosing a broker, it’s crucial to consider not only the variety of tradable instruments but also how these instruments can be traded, especially concerning your account balance and trading strategy. For example, a small account balance may limit your ability to trade in volatile markets like crypto CFDs or indices due to high margin requirements. It’s essential to ensure that your financial capacity aligns with your trading choices. Many retail traders overlook the impact of margin trading on their account balance, leading to significant losses.

Explore Best stock CFD brokers in Europe.

Additionally, understanding the contract specifications provided by a broker is vital. Various instruments like FX pairs, commodities, and indices can be structured as CFDs, futures, or options, each offering different ways to capitalize on market opportunities. For instance, while a CFD trade on gold might incur losses due to interim price fluctuations, a long call option on the same gold position could limit the loss to the premium paid, offering more flexibility to handle market volatility. Thus, the ability to trade markets in diverse ways is as important as the range of markets available.

Check our guide of Best CFD brokers.

Platforms and Tools

A trading platform is your window into the market. It allows you to observe price action behavior and study potential opportunities for placing orders. Technical traders use a platform’s array of indicators, drawing tools, and other features to examine various price patterns, changes in volatility, liquidity, and so on to gauge the most favorable times to enter or exit the market.

The best platforms are also the most versatile ones. They include a wide spectrum of technical indicators, such as Fibonacci retracement levels, oscillators, trend-based and range-based indicators, and others, as well as drawing tools, such as trend lines, channels, wedges, etc. They are also the ones that allow you to easily scale price action up and down.

In addition to these components, when looking for a suitable platform, you must also look for efficiency. Ask yourself the following questions: Does the platform facilitate easy and rapid order placement through one-click trading? Does it support algorithmic trading via Expert Advisors (EAs)? Can it handle complex orders like market, limit, and stop orders? These factors, and more, contribute to a platform’s overall effectiveness.

Read more about the platforms in guides on the best MT4 brokers, best MT5 brokers, and best cTrader brokers.

What to Avoid When Choosing a European-Regulated Broker?

  • Discrepancies in Broker Protections: Be aware of minor differences in safety measures among European-regulated brokers.
  • Absence of ‘Best Execution Policy’: Steer clear of brokers without a clear ‘best execution policy’ in their legal documentation.
  • Risks in Volatile Markets: Avoid brokers that don’t assure minimal slippage in highly volatile markets.
  • Guarantee of Optimal Price Execution: Choose brokers that can guarantee filling orders at the most optimal price quotes.
  • Variability in Compensation Schemes: Consider differences in compensation schemes (e.g., ICF’s 20,000 EUR vs. FSCS’s 85,000 GBP).

How to Avoid Forex and CFD Scams?

Scammers rely on the gullibility of traders. A common tactic fraudsters employ is to promise quick and easy profits at no risk to the trader. Often scammers would use labels that closely resemble the brands of real and legitimate companies. That is why regulators like the FCA have registers where traders can read about such fraudulent companies pretending to be others.

The best and easiest way to protect yourself is to make sure you work with a trustworthy and transparent broker. You can find a comprehensive list of reliable brokers by jurisdiction here.

Another important consideration is online safety. Be cautious about where you enter your personal information. Registering your details on suspicious pop-ups, or seemingly innocent landing pages that promise enormous profits, could lead to your contact information landing on a scammer’s call list. Remember, no licensed broker would make unsolicited cold calls.

The next time you get contacted out of the blue with promises of becoming the next Warren Buffet, you must remember that you are most likely speaking to a scammer. I think that nowhere is the “if something sounds too good to be true…” saying more accurate than in the world of trading. That is why you should do your due diligence before opening an account with any broker.

Our Methodology

Here at FX Empire, we have pioneered a unique methodology for evaluating Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives brokers worldwide. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive picture of a broker’s pros and cons so that our readers can make informed decisions. We understand their need to choose the best partner for their particular goals and needs.

Our team of dedicated professionals is working continuously to improve our system and keep it up-to-date with current market trends. We test each broker systematically by employing over 250 variables across nine categories:

  • Trust
  • Fees
  • Account Types
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Platforms and Tools
  • Deposits and Withdrawals
  • Customer Support
  • Research
  • Education

We strive to be as objective as possible, which is why our rigorous examinations are devoid of any personal bias as much as possible. We review the licenses of all the subsidiaries of a broker and check the fine print in the Client Agreement. The reliability of a broker is further determined based on the regulation, fees, and general transparency of the website.

We collect essential information by opening a live account with a broker entity and testing its services in real time. We measure the spreads, swaps, and commissions on its most popular account type and compare our findings to the industry average.

We also test the functionality of the available platforms, the number and types of tradable instruments, the reliability of customer support, and the quality of the research and educational materials.

Regarding the current topic, we only considered brokers with an overall score of 4+ that are regulated by top-tier European regulators, such as FCA, CySEC, and BaFIN. We also only looked at brokers with physical offices across Europe, with fees below the industry average, and with user-friendly and feature-rich platforms.

We abide by our strict guidelines for editorial integrity based on the objective standards we have set for our reviews. You can read more about our review process here.

Meet Our Writers

The team of forex and CFD analysts and editors at FXEmpire is composed of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists. Our experts have been published on leading financial websites such as Investopedia and Forbes. In addition, they all have extensive trading experience.

Get to Know Our Authors

Dan BlystoneBroker Analyst

Dan Blystone began his career in the trading industry in 1998 on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later Dan gained insight into the forex industry during his time as a Series 3 licenced futures and forex broker. He also traded at a couple of different prop trading firms in Chicago. Dan is well-equipped to recommend the best forex brokers due to his extensive experience and understanding of the brokerage industry.

Jitan SolankiBroker Analyst

Jitan Solanki is a professional trader, market analyst, and educator. He day trades major currency and index markets and focuses on swing trading US equities and commodities. A qualified Market Technician, Jitan also works with trader education and brokerage companies on various projects. These include market analysis, live trading events, and broker reviews. As an experienced trader and educator, Jitan brings all his qualities in action when reviewing and recommending brokers.

Plamen StoyanovBroker Analyst

Having been a retail trader since 2013, Plamen has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges that novice traders face today. His expertise is swing trading and day trading with a heavy emphasis on psychological and fundamental analysis. Plamen’s favourite trading instruments include FX majors and gold. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Relations. Plamen's broad experience has equipped him with the expertise to recommend the best forex brokers.

Vladimir ZernovBroker Analyst

In more than 15 years of trading in the financial markets, Vladimir dealt with a wide range of brokers and financial instruments. His career as a day-trader at a proprietary trading firm goes back to 2007. Later, Vladimir turned to longer time frames and became an independent trader and analyst managing his own portfolio. Using his experience, he helps traders find the best broker in his reviews.

Yes, trading with derivative instruments (forex, CFDs, options, etc.) is legal and highly regulated in Europe.
The easiest way is to check ESMA’s registry.
The European Securities and Markets Authority supervises regulated entities and ensures they adhere to the accepted legal frameworks. ESMA guarantees markets remain competitive and transparent, ensuring market participants’ rights, including those of FX traders, are upheld at all times.
Yes, traders have to pay capital gains tax on their profits from trading financial derivatives.
Brokers operating under MiFID II have to adhere to some of the industry’s strictest regulations, ensuring the highest level of protection for the retail traders. Offshore brokers, in contrast, may be mandated to comply with more relaxed safety regulations.
Yes, but this is not advised as it could mean lesser protections.
Based on my research, Eightcap is the best CySEC-regulated broker for beginners as it offers favorable conditions and a broad range of supporting tools.
FXCM provides the type of cutting-edge conditions, such as sophisticated platforms, superior liquidity, and competitive fees, needed to cater to the needs of professional traders.
FxPro has the most sophisticated proprietary platform in Europe. With its lean and feature-rich design, traders can use it to conduct probing technical analyses.
Yes, cryptocurrency trading is allowed in Europe.
No. Trading Forex on margin requires the services of a broker.
Negative balance protection ensures that trading losses cannot exceed the account balance.
The terms and conditions of the negative balance protection policy should be specified in the Client Agreement, which is usually found in the Legal Documents section of a broker’s website.
A compensation scheme protects retail traders against the credit risk and liabilities of a broker. In the unlikely event that the company should become insolvent, a trader can be compensated for their losses by up to a given amount.
Information regarding a broker’s participation in such schemes should be available in the Legal Docs section of its website.
It means that client funds are kept in separate bank accounts from the ones used for the broker’s corporate capital.
Whether or not a broker ensures the segregation of client funds should be stated in its Client Agreement.

About the Author

Plamen StoyanovBroker Analyst

Having been a retail trader since 2013, Plamen has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges that novice traders face today. His expertise is swing trading and day trading with a heavy emphasis on psychological and fundamental analysis. Plamen’s favourite trading instruments include FX majors and gold. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Relations. Plamen's broad experience has equipped him with the expertise to recommend the best forex brokers.

Why you can trust FX Empire

At FXEmpire, we strive to provide unbiased, thorough and accurate broker reviews by industry experts to help our users make smarter financial decisions.

Why you can trust FX Empire

FXEmpire was founded in 2011, making us one of the first forex broker review sites. You can trust FXEmpire because of our thorough and unbiased review process. With over a decade of experience, we have a team of industry experts who conduct rigorous tests to ensure our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Our reviews are designed to bring clarity and confidence to the process of choosing a broker, and are based on objective criteria and measurable data. Our editorial team is composed of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists, who ensure that our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Additionally, our review system is based on 9 core categories and over 250 distinct variables, which ensures that all aspects of a broker are considered before giving a final rating. So, you can trust FXEmpire to provide you with honest and informative reviews that will help you make an informed decision on which broker will best enable you to reach your financial goals.