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CMC Markets Broker Review 2020

CMC Markets is an online based stock broker specializing in CFDs for popular forex and crycprocurrencies. We look at such factors as its account opening process, platform features, and fees.
Kane Pepi
Author: Kane Pepi
Last Updated: March 19, 2020

The UK investment space is now jam-packed with online brokers that allow you to trade via your desktop or mobile device. One such platform that has been offering top-notch trading services for more than thirty years is that of  CMC Markets.

Launched in 1989, the broker supports thousands of financial instruments across a range of popular asset classes. This includes forex trading, CFDs, and even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. However, a super-long track-record does not automatically mean that you should go ahead and open an account with CMC Markets. Instead, you need to ensure that the platform is right for you.

As such, we welcome you to read our highly comprehensive CMC Markets Review. Within it, we’ll cover everything that you will need to know to be able to make an informed decision. This includes the broker’s fees, tradable assets, regulation, customer support, spreads, and more.

Note: Thinking of using CMC Markets to trade on leverage? Be careful. Leverage is an extremely high-risk trading tool that could lose you a lot of money. If you do decide to apply leverage to your trades, just make sure that you install sensible stop-losses.

Table of Contents

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    62% of investors lose money when trading CFDs.

    What Criteria do we Apply When we Review a Forex Broker?

    We pride ourselves on offering 100% impartial reviews on all of the forex broker platforms that we discuss. The only way to give you a full and frank overview of the broker in question is to personally test the platform out. This covers the entire end-to-end process of depositing funds, verifying our identity, trading, and making a withdrawal.

    Here are the main criteria that we seek to apply prior to reviewing a broker.

    ?? The number of payment methods supported

    ?? How easy is the KYC process?

    ?? What trading fees will you need to pay?

    ?? How many forex pairs can you trade?

    ?? The reputation and regulatory standing of the platform

    What is CMC Markets?

    CMC Markets company logo

    CMC Markets is one of the most established trading platforms in the UK. Launched way back in 1989, the broker has gained a first-grade reputation in the investment space. This is fully supported by its strong regulatory standing. For example, not only does CMC Markets hold a trading license from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), but it’s also regulated in other jurisdictions.

    This includes licensing bodies in Australia, Canada, and Singapore. In terms of what CMC Markets facilitates, this mainly centers on forex and CFDs. Regarding the former, this covers more than 180 different currency pairs. Very few online brokers offer more currencies than this. In the CFD department, things are even more extensive.

    Note: Although CMC Markets is often regarded as one of the most cost-effective brokers in the UK, keep an eye out for CFD stocks. These are often much higher than the platform’s market rivals, so do tread with caution.

    At the time of writing, the platform hosts just under 9,900 CFD instruments. This covers asset classes such as commodities, stocks, indices, options, futures, and cryptocurrencies. CMC Brokers accepts account applications from both retail and institutional clients. Regardless of which account type you go with, you’ll benefit from some of the tightest spreads in the industry. This includes an average spread of just 0.7 pips on the EUR/USD pairing.

    Pros and Cons of CMC Markets

    The Pros

    • Established in 1989 – Highly trusted in the UK brokerage space
    • Some of the tightest spreads in the forex arena
    • 180+ forex pairs and 9,900+ CFDs
    • Heavily regulated
    • Great customer support
    • Trade via your desktop or mobile device

    The Cons

    • Stock CFD commissions are quite high

    How to Sign-Up at CMC Markets: Step-by-Step Walkthrough

    If you’re keen to get started with CMC Markets straightaway, check out the step-by-step guidelines we have listed below. We’ve covered the entire end-to-end process of opening an account, verifying your identity, and depositing funds.

    Step 1: Open an Account

    Head over to the CMC Markets homepage to get the ball rolling. As is the case with any online broker platform regulated in the UK, you will need to open an account. You will first need to enter some basic information, such as your name, home address, date of birth, and contact details. You also need to provide information about your tax status. If you’re an everyday employee that gets paid via PAYE, enter your national insurance number.

    depiction of how CMC Markets work

    Step 2: Financial Information and Trading Experience

    You will now need to provide CMC Markets with some information about your financial standing. First, state your employment status and the industry you work in. You’ll also need to state your annual income band. The platform will also need to know how much prior experience you have in trading securities online.

    Not only will you need to state the types of asset classes you have previously purchased, but also the size of your average trades. Next, you’ll then need to answer some multiple-choice questions. This is to gauge your understanding of key trading principles. Crucially, you’ll be asked about your knowledge of applying leverage, and whether or not you understand the risks.

    Step 3: Verify Your Identity

    All UK forex brokers are required to identify the customers that use its services. This is to comply with anti-money laundering regulations, as well as the licensing conditions stipulated by the FCA. Unlike other brokers operating in the space, CMC Markets is not able to verify your identity automatically with third-party sources. Instead, you’ll need to manually provide the platform with supporting documents.

    Note: Although you don’t need to verify your identity straightaway, you won’t be able to request a withdrawal until you do. As such, it’s best to get it out of the way so that you don’t encounter any delays when it comes to cashing out.

    This needs to include a clear copy of your government-issued ID (passport or driver’s license) and a proof of address (bank statement, utility bill, etc.) If you’re looking to open a professional trading account, CMC Markets will likely ask for additional information. The verification process can take 1 working day to complete, although you can proceed to deposit funds in the meantime.

    Step 4: Deposit Funds

    Unless you are looking to use the platform’s live demo account, you will need to deposit some funds. CMC Markets allow you to deposit funds via a debit/credit card or bank transfer.  If you’re looking for an instant deposit, you’ll need to go with the former. The good news is that there is no minimum deposit amount, so you’re fine to start with small amounts.

    Step 5: Start Trading

    As soon as your deposit has been credited, you can start trading. The trading arena is really well laid out, meaning it’s super easy to find the asset class you’re after. You can also search for the specific instrument that you want to trade by entering it into the search box.

    Sample trading chart

    Ultimately, just make sure that you’re comfortable with the trading screen before risking your own money. With that said, CMC Markets allows you to fully customize the layout, which is great.

    What can I Trade at CMC Markets?

    Although City Index also facilities spread betting, its two key marketplaces center on forex and CFDs. Below we have listed some of the main asset classes that the platform supports.


    • Stocks and shares
    • Indices
    • Treasuries
    • Metals
    • Energies
    • ETFs
    • Futures
    • Options
    • Cryptocurrencies


    • 180+ forex pairs
    • Supports majors, minors, and exotics

    CMC Markets Fees

    Understanding the fee structure at CMC Markets is no easy feat, as the specific charges will depend on a range of variables. This includes the type of account that you hold, the asset class, and the specific financial instrument. We’ve covered the key points below.

    ? If you are trading forex pairs, then you will not pay any commissions. Instead, everything is covered within the spread. The good news for you is that CMC Markets offers some of the tightest spreads in the forex space – especially on its major pairings. For example, EUR/USD averages just 0.7 pips, which is hard to beat. This is typically the case on the GBP/USD pairing, too.

    ? Fees are calculated differently if trading CFDs. While you still need to take the spread into account, you will also pay CMC Markets a commission. Once again, the specific fee will depend on the asset you are trading. Crucially, CMC Markets has a minimum CFD commission on certain markets. For example, although US stocks can be bought and sold at 2 cents per share, you will need to cover a minimum commission of $10.

    ? The fee structure at CMC Markets favors those that trade large amounts. Not only do frequent traders get treated to lower commissions, but spreads are also tighter. If you’re a seasoned trader that falls within the high-net-worth category, you’ll also qualify for a rebate if you supply liquidity.

    ? It is also worth noting that CMC Markets has a very strict inactivity policy. It classes an account as dormant if it is not active for one month or more, which is pretty harsh. This will cost you £10 per month until the account balance reaches zero!

    Deposits and Withdrawals

    CMC Markets supports a number of everyday payment methods. This includes the following:

    ? Visa

    ? MasterCard

    ? Maestro

    ? Visa Electron

    ? Bank Wire

    We really like the fact that CMC Markets does not have any minimum deposit fees in place. This is somewhat unusual, as most brokers will ask for a minimum of at least £100 to get started. Moreover, you won’t be charged to fund your account unless you use a credit card.

    This is charged by the credit card issuer as opposed to the broker, as the transaction will likely be classed as a cash advance. The only slight drawback with the CMC Markets payments department is that e-wallets are not supported.

    Trading Platform and Features

    If you’re an experienced trader that seeks cutting-edge technologies with super-low latency times, you won’t be disappointed. After all, CMC Markets is responsible for some serious liquidity volumes, so it’s crucial that trades are executed in the micro-seconds.

    Below we have listed some of the main trading features available at CMC Markets.

    ✔️ CMC Markets Next Generation: The team at CMC Markets have build a proprietary trading platform that is nothing short of industry-leading. The underlying software is based on HTML5, and it facilitates an ultra-reliable trading experience. The platform can be fully customized to meet your individual preferences. 

    ✔️ MetaTrader4 (MT4): For those of you that prefer to stick with the status quo, you’ll be pleased to know that CMC Markets also offers MT4. This is one of the most popular trading platforms in the market, so it’s great that CMC offers you the choice.

    ✔️ Technical Indicators: The broker is also strong in the technical indicator department. You’ll have more than 79 indicators to choose from, as well as 74 chart patterns. This arms you with the required tools to analyze pricing movements in real-time.

    ✔️ Market Orders: CMC Markets offers a range of market orders, which is crucial in protecting your trades when things don’t quite go to plan. This includes the usual offering of stop-loss orders, profit-take orders, and limit orders. Most importantly, the platform offers guaranteed stop losses. Although you will need to pay a premium for this, it’s well worth it for the peace of mind.

    ✔️ Alerts and Notifications: The broker gives you the option of setting up a tailor-made pricing alert on a specific instrument. For example, let’s say that you’re watching GBP/USD, and you want to trade it when the price hits $1.34. CMC Markets will post a notification straight to your phone as and when the price is triggered! 

    ✔️ Going Short: As is the case with most CFD brokers operating in the space, CMC Markets allow you to engage in short selling. Take care not to hold on to your short positions for too long, as the fees can start to add up.

    Leverage Trading at CMC Markets

    With more than 9,900 CFDs and 180+ forex pairs, CMC Markets offers you the chance to apply leverage on most of the instruments it hosts. The specific limits that you are offered will depend on a number of variables. For example, those with a professional account will be able to risk much more in comparison to a basic account. On top of ESMA regulations, limits will depend on the type of asset class, too.

    • Major Forex Pairs: 30:1
    • Minor/Exotic Pairs, Major Indices, and Gold: 20:1
    • Minor Indices and Non-Gold Commodities: 10:1
    • Stock CFDs: 5:1
    • Cryptocurrencies: 2:1
    Note: The above leverage limits fall in-line with ESMA regulations. This is an independent body set up by the European Union, so as long as the UK remains a member, you’ll be capped as a retail investor.

    With that being said, CMC Markets permits leverage trading of up to 500:1 for its professional clients. This is a monumental amount of margin to be trading on, even for those with heaps of experience.

    Is CMC Markets Regulated?

    With CMC Markets first launched way back in 1989, it will come as no surprise to learn that the platform has an excellent regulatory standing. Firstly, the broker is authorized and regulated by the FCA. This is a minimum requirement for brokers that wish to offer their services to UK traders. On top of its FCA license, CMC Markets is also regulated in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. However, if you’re trading in the UK, it’s only the FCA that is responsible for your safety.

    Screengrab of FCA homepage - CMC is FCA regulated

    In terms of protecting your funds, CMC Markets is required to operate segregated bank accounts. This ensures that client funds are kept separately from its own operating revenues. CMC Markets holds client funds with multiple tier-1 institutions, which includes the likes of Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Natwest, and Lloyds of London. It is also important to note that CMC Markets does not engage in hedging against clients.

    Customer Support

    Although CMC Markets does not offer customer support on a 24/7 basis, it does ensure that global stock exchanges are covered throughout the week. For example, the team works non-stop from 21:00 on Sunday (opening of Asian markets) to 22:00 on Friday (closing of US markets).

    You can reach the customer support team via telephone support or email. Waiting times are relatively low when opting for phone support, and email replies usually come back on a same-day basis.


    By reading our CMC Markets review from start to finish, you should now have a firm grasp of whether or not the platform is right for your trading needs. All in all, there really isn’t much not to like about the broker. With an established track-record that dates back to 1989, alongside heaps of regulatory licenses, CMC Markets is trusted by traders of all sizes.

    We really like the fact that the platform does not charge any minimum deposit amounts, and trading fees are super-competitive. This is especially true in the EUR/USD and GBP/USD pairings, where spreads average just 0.7 pips. When it comes to tradeable instruments, the broker’s offering is highly extensive. This covers more than 9,900 CFDs, and over 180 forex pairs.

    Trade with eToro Today - Best UK Platform 2020

    Our Rating

    etoro logo
    • Supports social trading, copy trading and copy portfolio features
    • Trade on the go via their mobile trader
    • A wide range of advanced trading tools and analytics
    • Minatins low trading fees and a highly transparent fee structure
    etoro logo
    62% of investors lose money when trading CFDs.


    When was CMC Markets launched?

    CMC Markets was first launched in 1989. This gives the platform a long-standing track-record that now exceeds three decades..

    Is CMC Markets regulated?

    As per UK regulations, CMC Markets is authorized and regulated by the FCA. The broker also holds a number of regulatory licenses in other nation-states. This includes Canada, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

    What is the minimum deposit required at CMC Markets?

    One of the best things about CMC Markets is that it does not impose a minimum deposit amount. This is unusual, as brokers typically ask for at least £100. As such, you can get started with really small amounts.

    What fees does CMC Markets charge?

    This depends on a range of variables. If you're a retail trader, then you won't be charged any commissions on forex trades other than the spread. Major currencies have spreads from as low as 0.7 pips, which is very competitive.

    Does CMC Markets offer leverage?

    CMC Markets offers leverage across both CFD and forex trading. The specific amounts will first depend on whether you are a retail or professional client. If it's the latter, you could be offered up to 500:1. If not, you'll need to stay in-line with the limits imposed by ESMA.

    What payment methods does CMC Markets support

    CMC Markets allows you to deposit funds with a debit or credit card. You also have the option of transferring funds from a bank account.

    Does CMC Markets charge any deposit fees?

    CMC Markets does not charge any deposit fees, which is great. However, you might be charged by the issuer if using your credit card, as the transaction is likely to be categorized as a cash advance.

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    Kane Pepi

    Kane holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of online publications.