CMC Markets – Review and feedback of CFD Trading Platform

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CMC Markets Review

Through its offices regulated in major global financial centers, CMC Markets offers traders a wide range of financial products with excellent pricing and its Next Generation trading platform, which is packed with innovative trading tools and charting.

Top Takeaways for 2020

After spending five months testing 30 of the best forex brokers for our 4th Annual Review, here are our top findings on CMC Markets:

  • Founded in 1989, CMC Markets is publicly-traded, and regulated in four tier-1 jurisdictions alongside two tier-2 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading.
  • CMC Markets is a leader for low-cost trading and Professional Trading, which includes the largest selection of currency pairs in the industry. Our testing also found Customer Service to be excellent.
  • The CMC Markets Next Generation platform delivers terrific tools, comprehensive market research, an excellent mobile app, and a massive selection of nearly 10,000 tradeable instruments. And, while limited to just 54 available symbols, MetaTrader is also offered for MT4 preferred traders.

Overall Summary

Feature CMC Markets
Overall 5 Stars
Trust Score 99
Offering of Investments 5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 5 Stars
Platform & Tools 5 Stars
Research 5 Stars
Mobile Trading 4.5 Stars
Customer Service 4 Stars
Education 4 Stars

Is CMC Markets Safe?

CMC Markets is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. CMC Markets is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by four tier-1 regulators (high trust), two tier-2 regulator (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). CMC Markets is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.

Regulations Comparison

Feature CMC Markets
Year Founded 1989
Publicly Traded (Listed) Yes
Bank No
Tier-1 Licenses 4
Tier-2 Licenses 2
Tier-3 Licenses 0
Trust Score 99

Offering of Investments

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to CMC Markets clients.

Offering Comparison

Feature CMC Markets
Forex: Spot Trading Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs) 180
CFDs – Total Offered 9848
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes

Commissions & Fees

If trading costs matter to you, CMC Markets has you covered. In 2020, CMC Markets finished Best in Class in this category, thanks to its low spread offering, which is available to all its customer segments and account types.

Average spreads: CMC Markets offers highly competitive pricing, with average spreads on the EUR/USD as low as 0.7 pips and typical spreads of 0.81 pips, according to CMC Markets price data for the month of October 2020.

Rebates: CMC Markets offers liquidity rebates to active traders that surpass at least $25 million in notional trading volumes per month. Liquidity rebate levels range from $5 to as much as $10 per million for those that trade even higher amounts.

VIP accounts: CMC Markets Alpha offering is a VIP account launched through its Australia entity for high-net-worth clients who have $3K in commission spend or have more than $2.5m in holdings.

Guaranteed Stop-Loss Order (GSLO): CMC Markets offers GSLOs, which, as its name implies, guarantees the stop-loss order rate clients choose when setting risk thresholds on their positions. There is a premium for using the GSLO – for example, $8 per 100,000 units using the EUR/USD, and the GSLO also affects the prime margin, which is the amount at risk specified in the GLSO based on the rate chosen. Most brokers charge for GSLOs, although if not triggered, CMC Markets refunds this cost automatically.

Fees Comparison

Feature CMC Markets
Minimum Initial Deposit $0.00
Average Spread EUR/USD – Standard 0.81 (as of Oct 19)
All-in Cost EUR/USD – Active 0.81 (as of Oct 19)
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes

Platforms & Tools

CMC Markets Next Generation trading platform is fast, reliable, and comes packed with several unique tools and numerous features to support traders of all skill levels. No question, it is a market leader and will impress even the pickiest of traders. That’s why in 2020 Next Generation won our award as the best Web Based Platform. And, for traders who prefer MetaTrader 4 (MT4), it too is also available as an alternative platform.

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Charting: When it comes to charts, the experience is quite convincing as there are plenty of tools and a long list of 79 technical indicators and studies, and 74 chart patterns that are attachable to each chart. Another feature that stands out from the charting experience is the pattern-recognition tool, which offers traders numerous options for trading and analyzing price action. Patterns auto-adjust when the chart time-scale is changed, enabling traders to scan from a one-minute chart to a monthly chart and see any respective patterns identified.

Automated trading: The current version of the Next Generation platform doesn’t feature the ability to run automated trading strategies – even though pattern recognition and social-trading tools are available. Trader’s looking for automated trading can choose the broker’s MT4 platform offering.


CMC Markets’ research offering is rich with in-house content, including its Insights News, CMC Markets Blog, CMC TV, and even publishes a print magazine called Opto, as well as third-party content from Reuters and Morningstar. Traders can also access additional tools within the platform, including pattern recognition software and client sentiment tools – both of which are available to live account holders.

Mobile Trading

The CMC Markets’ mobile app is cleanly designed and comes packed with multiple research tools, powerful charts, pre-defined watch lists for scanning, and much more.

Seamless platform experience: The overall look and feel of the CMC Markets mobile app closely resemble the web-based version of the Next Generation platform. No question, ample time was invested in the app’s development, especially given the challenge of organizing so much information with limited screen space.

Charting: Like much of the rest of the app, charting was just as impressive as the platform’s web version. Although only 29 of the 81 technical indicators are available on the mobile app, it’s still a strong offering compared to many of CMC Markets’ competitors, which often lack technical indicators altogether. While the charting experience was impressive, one minor drawback is that zooming in and out across different time frames was not always fluid.

Market research: For research purposes, another useful feature in the app is the economic calendar where you can subscribe to an event. Once subscribed to an event, an alert will notify you when the news release time approaches. There is also CMC TV, CMC Insights, the broker’s blog, Reuters News, educational content for trading strategies, the Trading Smart series, and webinar schedules.

Other tools: The pre-defined watch lists in the CMC Markets mobile app are great for identifying trade opportunities. Watch lists include popular products, price movers, and currently trending categories.

Customer Service

To score Customer Service, partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2020 Review, 330 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.


  • Average Connection Time: th (22 brokers)

Final Thoughts

CMC Markets is a great choice for forex and CFD traders. The company’s Next Generation platform is powerful and versatile, with plenty of configuration options and tools for traders to customize the platform to meet their needs. CMC Markets finished Best in Class across eleven categories in 2020, continuing its streak near the top of the Industry in all key areas including as one of the most trusted brokers.

With nearly 10,000 instruments to choose from across nearly every asset class and global market, CMC Markets is a great choice for traders looking for a multi-asset solution and broad range CFDs and forex pairs at competitive prices. The broker’s expansion into stockbroking in Australia, coupled with its frequent trader program and Alpha service for VIP clients, helps CMC Markets further distinguish itself as a brilliant multi-asset broker.

About CMC Markets

Founded in 1989, CMC Markets (LSE: CMCX) has grown to become one of the leading retail forex, and CFD brokerages globally. The broker offers an extensive range of nearly 10,000 CFD instruments across major asset classes, including forex, commodities, and securities markets.

CMC Markets serves over 50,000 clients worldwide through its 15 offices globally, with a staff count of 687 people across its entities regulated in the UK, Canada, and Australia. CMC Markets holds over £200 million in Tier 1 regulatory capital and £332.4 million in client segregated funds as per its latest annual report. The company has a market capitalization of over £290 million as of September 2020. Read more on Wikipedia about CMC Markets.

CMC Markets Trading Features

Feature CMC Markets
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Charting – Indicators / Studies (Total) 79
Charting – Drawing Tools (Total) 24
Charting – Trade From Chart Yes
Watchlists – Total Fields 8
Order Type – Trailing Stop Yes

CMC Markets Research Features

Feature CMC Markets
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
Weekly Webinars Yes
AutoChartist No
Trading Central (Recognia) Yes
Delkos Research No
Social Sentiment – Currency Pairs Yes
Economic Calendar Yes

CMC Markets Mobile App Features

Feature CMC Markets
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Trading – Forex Yes
Trading – CFDs Yes
Alerts – Basic Fields Yes
Watch List Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes
Charting – Indicators / Studies 23
Charting – Draw Trend Lines Yes
Charting – Trend Lines Moveable Yes
Charting – Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting – Drawings Autosave Yes
Forex Calendar Yes

2020 Review Methodology

For our 2020 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 30 international forex brokers over a five month time period. Each broker was graded on 105 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.

While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.

All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

“There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses.” Learn more.

CMC Markets Review

A well-established and highly ­regarded U.K. Forex broker

Investopedia is committed to rigorous editorial standards to provide our readers with the best advice and recommendations. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we reviewed. Learn more about our methodology and review process.

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: 0.7 pip minimum for Forex, $10 stock trades
  • Best for: New and low-skilled traders


Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

CMC Markets is a well-established and highly ­regarded U.K. Forex broker, founded in 1989. The broker offers average-­to-competitive spreads that widen with larger trade and bet sizes. A comprehensive bond listing and five cryptocurrencies fill out the product roster, providing an overwhelming number of potential trading opportunities.

CMC Markets currently ranks in the following category:

Dedicated sites for professionals and institutions highlight their commitment to higher skill and commitment levels, but it would be nice to see higher-level perks, including rebates and the free API interface, offered to retail accounts. Even so, all account holders gain access to guaranteed stop losses, free bank wire withdrawals, and other advanced features, lifting the broker into the top tier in several review categories.

Huge product catalog

Sophisticated order types

High U.S. index CFD spreads

Limited security features

No copy/social trading platform


CMC Markets is regulated through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under registration number 173730. They provide standard GBP 50,000 coverage through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) but no layers of private insurance, which is an omission, given their large industry footprint. Client funds are segregated from company funds and held in a number of U.K. and European banks. Negative Balance Protection is now mandated under ESMA rules that went into effect in 2020. The broker’s dealing desk acts as counterparty on all CFD trades and spread bets but pricing is automated through the platforms, reducing conflict of interest potential. Software security is standard but inadequate, with no two ­tier authentication process.

Desktop ­Experience

The proprietary Next Generation trading platform for web, tablet and mobile will please technically ­oriented clients wanting to upgrade from MetaTrader 4, which is also offered. It features advanced charting with 80+ indicators/overlays, 12 chart types, and 35 drawing tools; highly customizable watchlists; client sentiment; and a streaming Reuters feed. Charts can be popped ­out to build and optimize complex desktop layouts. Clients who want to study long-­term trends will find price histories going back 20 years on major instruments. The platform also provides price projection and pattern recognition tools as well as a built­-in connection to the client­-based trader’s forum.

Mobile ­Experience

Clients can choose between Next Generation and MetaTrader 4 for iOS and Android when picking a mobile platform. The home­grown app outshines MT4 in nearly all aspects but includes fewer features than the web version. For example, the number of technical indicators has been pared down to 40+ while charts have been optimized for mobile devices. Clients can build complex orders and generate customized alerts through push notification or email. The apps provide fingerprint ID entry, but this useful feature isn’t part of a two-­tier authentication process.

Research Tools and Insights

CMC Markets shines in this category, with extensive research and analysis from in-house analysts and third party materials that include Morningstar quantitative equity research reports. Many resources can be accessed directly through the website while news sources can be filtered by region and asset class. However, it was tough to find many topics due to the lack of a dedicated search function or well­-organized archive. The site also features a standard economic calendar.

Research and news integration between the website and trading platforms is limited-to-poor, with many resources forcing the client to exit the platform and go to a web page. For example, the highly useful CMC TV service provides regular video market commentary via a platform link to YouTube but, inexplicably, is not listed, linked, or streaming at the website’s news and research section.


An extensive trader’s library will get lower­-skilled clients up to speed quickly, but technical and fundamental tutorials are beginner level and lacking in advanced instruction. A large share of educational resources is devoted solely to platform and software instruction, rather than trading strategy or execution. A healthy roster of online webinars, offered through a partnership with Trade With Precision, fills the need for advanced topics but there’s no archive of prior programs. Overall, educational resources are impressive but poorly ­organized, with no single listing or search function, making it harder to find less popular topics.

Special Features

Next Generation provides a sophisticated order interface but no back testing or VPS capacity, forcing some account holders to use MetaTrader 4, which is inferior to the home­grown platform in other ways. CMC Markets offers no direct VPS service. The active trader rebate programs are available only to professional clients. The same holds true for an API interface that permits the use of more sophisticated trading platforms that support algo and automatic trading routines.

Client positioning data embedded within their proprietary software is an excellent feature but the lack of social or copy trading capacity limits its usefulness.

Investment Products

CMC Markets offers clients one of the largest product catalogs available, with 300+ currency pairs and 200+ index/commodity markets. They also offer more than 50 bond instruments, opening all sorts of new opportunities, especially with longer ­term portfolio management.

Cryptocurrency CFD trading and spread betting is seamless, requiring no special interface or exchange, but relatively high average spreads could reduce client interest.

Live accounts can be opened with no deposit, allowing new clients to test drive broker and software features not available on the demo platforms. Of course, accounts need to be funded to open and close positions. Free withdrawal through wire transfer is a welcome feature, uncommon among U.K. and European rivals. The premium for guaranteed stop loss execution is reasonable, given the account ­saving risk management it provides in volatile market conditions.

Commissions and Fees

Disclosure notes indicate that larger positions incur wider spreads but details are platform ­based, obscuring transparency. Clients must choose between Next Generation CFD and spread betting accounts that carry similar but not identical costs. For example, CFD shares carry a $10 minimum commission while spread bets have no commissions. Minimum spreads on major forex pairs look identical but the fine print reveals minor holding cost variations that could impact bottom lines. Legal disclosures also admit the two platforms can display different spreads for identical instruments. Margin and overnight holding costs are average-to-competitive. MetaTrader 4 is offered as an add­-on or standalone account option but is limited to CFDs and has no share capacity.

A much higher than average five­ point S&P ­500 spread for CFD and spread bets stood out like a sore thumb on the index cost disclosures. That spread is charged through all hours of the trading day, including local time in the USA, making it an unaffordable instrument for most account holders. In contrast, the Nasdaq ­100 spread at one ­point and Dow 30 spread at 1.6­ points are close to industry standard.

CMC Markets Review 2020


Recommended for forex and CFD traders looking for an advanced trading platform with many research tools

CMC Markets was founded in 1989 and it is a global CFD and forex broker. It is regulated by several authorities globally, including the top-tier FCA. The company is also listed on the London Stock Exchange.

CMC Markets is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on stock exchange, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70.5% 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.

CMC Markets pros and cons

CMC Markets has low forex fees and there is no charge for deposit and withdrawals, except same-day and international withdrawals. The web and mobile trading platforms are well-designed, highly customizable, and rich set of features, such as an advanced order panel. The research and educational tools are also advanced and cover a lot of tools.

The stock CFD fees are high and the product portfolio limited, covering only CFDs and forex products. The account verification is complicated and can take longer.

Pros Cons
• Low forex fees • High stock CFD fees
• Great web and mobile platforms • Limited product portfolio
• Advanced research and educational tools • Complicated account verification
CMC Markets main features and highlights
��️ Country of regulation UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore
�� Trading fees class Low
�� Inactivity fee charged Yes
�� Withdrawal fee amount $0
�� Minimum deposit $0
�� Time to open an account 1-3 days
�� Deposit with credit card Available
�� Depositing with electronic wallet Available
�� Number of base currencies supported 10
�� Demo account provided Yes
��️ Products offered Forex, CFD, Crypto

Gergely Korpos

Author of this review

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

CMC Markets review

CMC Markets has competitive forex fees and there is no fee charged for deposit or withdrawal. However, the stock CFD fees are high.

Pros Cons
• Low forex fees • High stock CFD fees
• No withdrawal fee
CMC Markets fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
S&P 500 CFD Low The fees are built into spread, 0.5 is the average spread cost.
Europe 50 CFD Low The fees are built into spread, 1.6 is the average spread cost.
EURUSD Low The fees are built into spread, 0.7 pips is the average spread cost.
Inactivity fee Low £10 monthly fee after 12 months of inactivity

How we ranked fees

We ranked CMC Markets’s fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let’s go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of CMC Markets for each asset class. For example, in the case of forex and stock index trading the most important fees are spreads, commissions and financing rates.

We also compared CMC Markets’s fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, IG and XTB. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of CMC Markets alternatives.

To have a clear overview of CMC Markets, let’s start with the trading fees.

CMC Markets trading fees

CMC Markets has low forex and stock index CFD fees, while the stock CFD fees are high. CMC Markets one of the most transparent brokers in the market, which help to easily calculate your trading costs. For example, we really liked that you can check historically the financing costs.

We know it’s hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. So how did we approach the problem of making their fees clear and comparable? We compare brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products.

We have chosen popular instruments within each asset class:

  • Stock index CFDs: SPX and EUSTX50
  • Stock CFDs: Apple and Vodafone

A typical trade means buying a leveraged position, holding it for one week and then selling. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for the stock index and stock CFDs and $20,000 for the forex transactions. The leverage we used was:

  • 20:1 for stock index CFDs
  • 5:1 for stock CFDs
  • 30:1 for forex

These catch-all benchmark fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers. Let’s see the verdict for CMC Markets fees.

CFD fees

CMC Markets has average CFD trading fees. The stock index CFD fees are low, while stock CFD fees are high. This is similar to its competitors.

CMC Markets CFD fees for a $2,000 long position held for one week

CMC Markets IG XTB
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.5 $2.1 $2.0
Europe 50 index CFD fee $3.1 $1.6 $2.2
Apple CFD fee $22.4 $31.9 $17.9
Vodafone CFD fee $23.4 $25.7 $20.9

Forex fees

CMC Markets’ forex fees are low. It’s a bit lower than IG’s fees, but a bit higher than XTB’s.

CMC Markets forex benchmark fees of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week

CMC Markets IG XTB
EURUSD benchmark fee $16.2 $16.9 $15.0
GBPUSD benchmark fee $12.1 $15.1 $11.1
AUDUSD benchmark fee $10.9 $14.1 $10.0
EURCHF benchmark fee $4.4 $6.9 $6.6
EURGBP benchmark fee $11.8 $11.1 $9.9

Non-trading fees

CMC Markets charges no account, deposit, or withdrawal fee. However, there is a £10 monthly fee after 12 months of inactivity.

CMC Markets non-trading fees

CMC Markets IG XTB
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes Yes No
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

CMC Markets review
Account opening

CMC Markets’ account opening is fully digital and there is no required minimum deposit to activate your account. On the other hand, the instructions about how many documents we should upload are unclear, which can lead to a longer verification process.

Pros Cons
• Fully digital • Complicated account verification
• No minimum deposit

Can you open an account?

Visit broker
70.5% of retail CFD accounts lose money

CMC Markets is available from all over Europe and in most of the world’s countries.

What is the minimum deposit at CMC Markets?

The required CMC Markets minimum deposit is $0 . It’s great if you want to start trading with lower amounts.

Account types

CMC Markets provides two account types, which differ in the countries they’re available in, accepted account base countries, pricing, and taxes.

CMC Markets account types

CFD account Spread betting account
Available in All countries, where CMC Markets operates UK, Ireland
Account base currencies GBP, EUR, USD, AUS, CAD, NOK, NZD, PLN, SEK, SGD GBP, EUR
Pricing Spread plus commission at share CFD Spreads only
Capital gain taxable Yes No
Joint account provided Yes Yes
Corporate account provided Yes No

In this review, we tested the individual CFD account.

How to open your account

The account opening process at CMC is fully digital and the account verification normally would take no more than 1-2 business days. However, our account opening took a bit longer because it was unclear that we have to upload two ID documents.

The steps of opening an account at CMC are the following:

  1. Select the country of residence, then provide an email address and password
  2. CMC will send you a code via email with which you can proceed
  3. Choose the account type, base currency and whether or not it will be a joint or individual account
  4. Fill out your personal details, and financial background
  5. After these steps, the demo platform will greet you. Upload documents to verify your identity and residency
  6. After verification, you are ready to fund your account

To verify your identity, a photo of both sides of your driver’s license, national ID card or passport is accepted. For residency verification, you can upload a bank statement, utility bill, mortgage statement or a credit card statement.

Be sure to upload more than one document for ID verification. This was not clear for us, which eventually led to a longer account opening.

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