City Index Review

  • Regulated By ASIC, FCA, MAS
  • Headquarters United Kingdom
Website : cityindex.co.uk
Established : 1983
Country : UK
U.S. Clients Allowed : No

Background

City Index is an online multi-asset brokerage company  regulated in UK and Singapore.  The broker offers low spreads across various trading platforms. The broker meets the requirement of a novice to experienced self-directed traders but fails to offer an active trader program for the high-net investors.

Pros

  • Comes under GAIN Capital Holdings ( parent company of Forex.com)
  • Large CFDs offerings across international markets
  • Regulated in two major financial markets
  • Offers Bitcoin CFDs and spread betting

Cons

  • A separate account is required to access FOREX.com services
  • The web-based platform relies on Flash instead of HTML5
  • The MT4 platform has higher average spreads in comparison to other platforms

City Index had grown to one of the topmost multiple-assets brokers in the UK since it established back in 1983. The broker was acquired by GAIN Capital Holdings which also owns FOREX.com in 2015.

The broker has over three decades of experience in offering traders CFDs and spread betting services and it has further improved on its FX offerings by acquiring IFX Markets, FX Solutions and Fin spreads way in advance before its acquisition by Gain Capital.

At present the dealer continues to run as an independent brand under GAIN Capital’s holding in the United Kingdom and Asia, providing traders with over 10,000 instruments across all major financial markets including its recent addition of crypto CFDs with the launch of Bitcoin.

City Index Fees & Commissions

City Index offers competitive spreads on FX, spread-betting, and CFDs. The average spread on the Euro/Dollar pair on its Advanced Trader platforms is equivalent of 0.69 pips as of quarter one in 2017, the all-in trade cost for all investors is compatible to the default rates at other brokers such as CMC Markets when it comes to multi-asset brokers. On the other hand, spreads on the MT4 platforms are higher than the average spreads charged on Euro/Dollar pair for the same amount of time.

On the whole, City Index ranks quite well in the spreads and commission category offered to smaller volume traders. That being said, higher discounts offered from active trading programs offered by other brokers such as IG, CMC and its parent company GAIN Capital can be beneficial in lowering trading costs if you are an active trader who trades in high –volume. Towards the end of 2016, City Index made its spread module variable based rather than fixed to bring down the commission and spreads traders have to pay, as it now offers both pricing alternatives.

Customer Service

Since FOREX.com and City Index have the same parent company, when you contact City Index’s customer support, you are speaking to a GAIN Capital’s rep. The scope of access to the customer support will be determined where you open your account, local working hours, with calls being redirected to the US or the UK office, more on FOREX.com review.

Research

When you open a live account with City Index you gain access to the research material from Recognia for free of cost. A brand under Trading Central, Recognia is reputed for its expertise on automated technical analysis and pattern recognition, offering deep insights into markets that a trader can use to test trading ideas in accordance with the market sentiment and technical conditions.

City Index provides additional third-party content from Faraday research. Rounding out the broker’s research offering is news headlines from Thomson Reuters stream within City Index’s available platforms along with an economic calendar powered by FXStreet.

The broker also serves additional content from third-party providers such as Faraday research. News from Thomson Reuters within the platform and economic calendar via FXStreet are what City Index offers its clientele.

Overall there are multiple channels available for both beginner and advanced traders at City Index, which helped the broker foster a reputation of one of industry’s brightest examples of how these services should be delivered to customers.

City Index Trading Platforms & Tools

City Index provides three different trading platforms to its clients, one is the industry’s popular MetaTrader 4 platform and the other two represented by company’s flagship proprietary technologies. MT4 is renowned for its automated trading and customizable indicators.

Apart from MT4, AT Pro, City Index’s flagship desktop-based software for Windows and the web-based version of AT Pro – Advantage Trader is available for trading. AT Pro comes equipped with over 100 preloaded strategies and supports auto-trading. Advantage Trader also comes in an app version for mobile phones and tablets.

AT Pro, as the name suggests is not for the novice traders and is more suited for the experienced or professional traders as the platform is complex with variously advanced functionalities.

For instance,  Development Studio is supported by AT Pro, which is an auto-trading feature which is in line with the MT4 platform in terms of back-testing, so prior to using it live, the trader can see the comprehensive test results of how the strategy would play out over historical data. The charting is also robust at AT Pro desktop version and is equipped with almost 140 technical indicators, which is way over the industry norm for charting.

The selection of drawing tools is also stood up with at least 25 tools offered including different Fibonacci retracements, Gann lines and channels.

A closing note on AT Pro – in terms of looking for products to trade across multiple markets or when one wants to generate a watch list of spread-betting; products are incorporated alongside traditional FX pairs and CFDs. In other words, search for a symbol may throw up multiple instruments with an identical instrument as a result, which could be confusing for a beginner trader.

Moving on to the broker’s web-based platform – Advantage Trader, the platform caters to a larger audience compared to the desktop variant and its better suited for beginner traders or traders who don’t use auto-trading.

A flaw is that Advantage Trader uses flash instead of HTML5 which is outdated, and I would like to see it make the switch to help its overall score as other brokers such as Saxo Bank and XTB have made the switch to HTML5. Nevertheless, the interface is clean, user-friendly and operates smoothly for a Flash-based application.

In terms of charting package, we discovered 27 indicators and an array of 16 drawing tools at one’s disposal. Other chart function further enriched the experience. One flaw worth mentioning is that changing symbols is restricted to the stocks that are already on a watch list or else, a new chart needs to be opened separately to carry out this function.

A closing note on the charting in Advantage Trader is that the charts are flexible; open positions and shown visually on the charts and separate chart settings can be saved as custom profile preset, which can greatly boost the experience and functionality,something that advanced traders will definitely enjoy.  However, switching to HTML5 would definitely better the platform’s prospects and usability.

City Index is successful in meeting needs of most traders irrespective of their level or trading style by providing diverse platforms to satisfy any demands. AT Pro is what we would pick as it comes packed with quality tools, includes integrated research and advanced alert placing within the platform, while still supporting auto-trading. Without a shadow of a doubt, Advantage Trader has a clear advantage over MT4 in every aspect possible.

Mobile Trading

City Index’s mobile app comes equipped with quality features in areas such as watch list, charting and economic calendar. The experience is seamless, whether you are adding alerts,adding funds to your trading account or accessing news and research content with the app. It’s clean layout and the many features mentioned above makes it a flawless experience. The application is available on Andriod and IOS devices.

Drawing tools and indicators are in alignment with the industry norm. 7 studies can be overlaid on a chart and one can carry out the basic technical analysis with the help of trendlines which is a huge plus when it comes to mobile apps.

Apart from quality charting package it comes packed with additional tools and features including educational materials and live charts, something which is not always incorporated within competitor’s mobile apps.

On the whole, the mobile application of City Index scores in line with its competitors such as IG, Saxo Bank, and CMC Markets.

Other Notes

In order to comply with the quality standards set by most brokers in the UK, City Index also provides an option to trade many of its CFDs as spread bets as it holds tax benefits for the residents of UK.

City Index demo account is provided by the broker for traders who would like to take a look at its offerings without investing real money.

When it comes to leverage, the mandatory margin rates to open and maintain a trade may change. The CFD and forex trading margin requirements may vary depending on what kind of margin tier you’re currently on. These tiers vary from 0.5 percent margin requirement for 1 CFD lot of 870 to as much as 20% for traders with over 6,500 in CFD lot.

The broker launched crypto trade with the launch of various Bitcoin pairs such as BTC/GBP, BTC/EUR, BTC/USD and BTC/AUD to help meet the growing requirement of investors and traders looking to trade in digital currencies. It comes with a leverage of 4:1 and limits crypto –trading to normal FX market hours.

The Bottom Line

City Index through its presence in Europe & Asia provides traders with multiple asset options to trade in across major global markets, which includes instruments such as 15 forwards, 65 spot forex and over 10,000 CFDs across multiple trading platforms. The broker caters to both novice and professional traders. That said, an active trader program would aid in leveling the playing field against its competitors when it comes to meeting the requirements of high-volume traders.

Over and above from its wide range of product offerings, multi-asset traders can be reassured and pick City Index for low spreads, robust research tools and flexible charting, all under the reputed name and backing of GAIN Capital, one of the leading retail brokers in the world.

Adam Graystone

Adam Graystone

Adam is a Forex trader who has worked within financial markets for over 12 years, including 6 years as an independent trader and financial advisor. Adam is a certified technical analyst and has an extensive experience in Forex and Commodity Futures trading, with his career spanning over different trading institutions including NYSE and Chicago Mercantile Exchange.