UK online trading survey: IG leads, with CMC Markets, Plus500 and FXCM gaining in CFDs and FX

Australia based research house Investment Trends has released its 2016 UK Leverage Trading Report, an in-depth analysis of UK traders and investors’ attitudes and investing habits based on a large-scale survey of more than 12,000 UK investors conducted both before and after the Brexit vote.

Not surprising, perennial industry giant IG Group Holdings plc (LON:IGG) remains the undisputed market leader in all three key trading categories – Financial Spread Betting, CFDs and FX. IG has been the clear leader in the UK leverage trading market since the inception of this study in 2009 and has successfully maintained a substantial lead on the competition.

However Investment Trends found that all three areas are becoming increasingly competitive.

CMC Markets Plc (LON:CMCX) in spread betting, Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) in CFDs and FXCM Inc (NASDAQ:FXCM) in FX were strong runners-up in each category, with each of those three brokers seeing substantial growth in client numbers and market share.

Overall, Investment Trends found that the CFDs and FX market in the UK grew by about 14% this year, with a total of 124,000 UK traders placing at least one spread bet, CFD trade or FX trade in the 12 months to July 2016.

In addition to the many first-time traders who decided it was time to graduate from demo accounts, a whopping 30,000 dormant traders resumed their trading activity across the year, particularly driven by post-Brexit volatility.

Investment Trends also found that UK online traders are a fairly happy and satisfied bunch.

Across all three product segments, Investment Trends found that industry average satisfaction scores rose in nearly all service areas, with overall satisfaction remaining flat. Client satisfaction levels remain very high, with 89% of online leverage traders rating their main provider rating at either “good” or “very good”.

According to Dr. Irene Guiamatsia, Research Director at Investment Trends,

Overall client satisfaction levels were steady, while satisfaction in nearly all individual service areas lifted, sometimes substantially. This is symptomatic of an arms race, where providers must continually improve and innovate to remain competitive.

With the increased competition in the FCA regulated broker world, Investment Trends found that there is no shortage of innovation across the industry, with various players striving to outdo each other in deploying new features in the past year. Notable innovation noted by survey respondents included CMC Markets’ introduction of binary options, IG’s charting improvements, ETX Capital’s website revamp, FXCM’s SSI tool and Spreadex’s availability of force open positions.

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