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City Index Review 2019

4.4 4 stars · Apr 2019
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70% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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City Index logo

City Index was founded in 1983 and it is a Global CFD and FX broker. It is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the UK FCA and the Australian ASIC.

City Index is considered safe because it has a long track record, its parent company is listed on stock exchange, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% 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.

Recommended for cFD and forex traders looking for low forex fees and great research tools.

Pros
  • Low forex fees
  • Diverse and high-quality research tools
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • High stock CFD fees
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Not user-friendly desktop platform

City Index pros and cons

City Index has low forex fees. It has also high-quality and diverse research tools. Lastly, the customer service is superb.

City Index has quite high stock CFD fees. Its product portfolio is limited, providing only forex and CFDs. The desktop trading platform is not user-friendly.

Compare to other brokers

City Index review
Fees 3 stars

City Index has average trading and non-trading fees. Its financing rates are low.
Pros
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Low financing rate
Cons
  • Inactivity fee
City Index Fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock fee High $0.018 per share; min $10
EURUSD fee Low The fees are built into spread, 0.69 pips is the spread cost
US tech fund fee - Not available
Inactivity fee Average £12 per month after one year of inactivity

To get things rolling, let's go over some broker fee lingo. You need to keep an eye on trading fees, financing rates, and non-trading fees.

We compare City Index fees with two City Index alternatives, IG and Plus500.

Let's start with the trading fees.

Trading fees

City Index’s trading fees are average. It has low forex fees, but high stock CFD fees.

It is super hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. What we did at Brokerchooser? Instead of quoting long fee tables, we compare brokers by calculating all fees of a typical trade for three assets.

For the assets we chose cleverly and arbitrarily:

  • Apple, a large US stock
  • Vodafone, a large European stock
  • EURUSD, a popular currency pair

The typical trade means buying a position, holding for one week, and selling it. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for the stocks and $20,000 for the EURUSD.

This super catch-all benchmark includes spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers.

Here is the verdict. City Index has low forex fees and high stock CFD fees. It is very similar to IG's but much higher than Plus500's fees.

City Index fees benchmarked
  City Index IG Plus500
Apple benchmark fee $22.1 $34.9 $8.9
Vodafone benchmark fee $30.7 $30.5 $7.6
EURUSD benchmark fee $13.6 $12.3 $17.6

Financing rates

City Index financing rates are low. Brokers charge financing rates if you hold a leveraged position for more than one day. 

This can influence your trading fees very much if you tend to hold positions for longer.

The financing rates are calculated as a markup on LIBOR, the UK interbank rate.

City Index yearly financing rates
  City Index IG Plus500
Apple financing rate 5.8% 5.8% 13.9%
Vodafone financing rate 4.0% 4.0% 12.1%
EURUSD financing rate 3.3% 2.9% 4.5%
EURGBP financing rate 3.3% 2.9% 3.0%

Non-trading fees

City Index has average non-trading fees. It does not apply withdrawal fees and account fees.

On the flip side, there is a £12 monthly fee after one year of inactivity.

City Index non-trading fees
  City Index IG Plus500
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes Yes Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

City Index review
Account opening 4 stars

City Index account opening is fully digital and there is no minimum deposit. But, it can take more days.
Pros
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum account balance
Cons
  • Slow account opening

Can you open an account?

City Index accepts customers from all around the world. There are a few exceptions. Some notable exceptions are the citizens of the US and Canada.

Minimum deposit

City Index has no minimum deposit. This means you can start trading with a very low amount.

Account types

You can open an individual or corporate account. If you are from the UK, you can trade with SIPP account as well.

How to open your account

The account opening is fully digital but can take more days until your account is approved.

Three steps of City Index account open:

  1. Give your personal and financial information.
  2. Give your trading experience and fill out a test on your knowledge.
  3. Verify your ID and residency. You can upload national ID, passport, or driver's license for verifying your ID. Utility bill and bank statements are accepted for residency verification.

We had some inconveniences with the account verification. City Index rejected the uploaded proof of residency but did not tell us the reason. We think they should give more information if something went wrong.

City Index review - Account opening

City Index review
Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

City Index deposit and withdrawal are free and user-friendly. On the flip side, electronic wallets are missing and you cannot select your account currency.
Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
Cons
  • Missing electronic wallets
  • Base currencies cannot be selected

Account base currencies

There are many base currencies you can choose from: EUR, GBP, USD, CHF, HUF, AUD, CHF, JPY, and PLN. This offer is great in comparison with IG's 4 and Plus500's 3 available base currencies.

You cannot change the account base currency at the account opening and the default is GBP. If you would like to change that, you have to reach out to City Index support team.

Why does this matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged.

A convenient way to save on the currency conversion fees can be to open a multi-currency bank account. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. The account opening only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

 

Deposit fees and options

City Index deposit is free of charge.

Compared to other CFD and forex brokers, City Index has fewer options to deposit. You can use bank transfer and credit/debit cards, but cannot use electronic wallets.

City Index deposit options
  City Index IG Plus500
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets No Yes Yes

The bank transfer can take more business days, while credit/debit cards are instant.

You can only deposit money from sources which are on your name.

City Index - Deposit and Withdrawal - Deposit

Withdrawal fees and options

City Index withdrawal fees are free of charge. 

There is also a £50 or equivalent minimum withdrawal.

You can use the same options as at the deposit.

City Index withdrawal fees and options
  City Index IG Plus500
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

The bank transfer can take 2-3 business days, while credit/debit cards can take longer, even 5 business days.

We had a problem with withdrawal. City Index cannot withdraw money to some MasterCard and Visa credit cards. As a result, we could only withdraw money by bank transfer.

You can only withdraw money to accounts on your name.

Compare to other brokers

City Index review
Web trading platform 4 stars

City Index web trading platform is extremely customizable. It also has a lot of order types. On the flip side, there is no two-step login.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
City Index Platforms to Choose From
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 4 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop 3 / 5 stars Yes

City Index has two web trading platforms, Web Trader and Advantageweb. We tested the Web Trader because City Index promotes it as the primary web trading platform.

The platform is available only in English.

Look and feel

City Index's web trading platform is user-friendly and looks nice.

It is extremely customizable, even if you compare with competitor brokers' platformYou can easily add, remove, change the size, and change the position of the tabs.

City Index review - Web trading platform

Login and security

City Index provides a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be useful here.

Search functions

The web trading platform has good search functions. You can search by typing the preferred product and there is also a product list with categories, like forex or popular markets.

City Index review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use many order types, including some sophisticated ones.

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop trailing
  • Guaranteed stop
  • One-cancel-other (OCO)

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

There are also many order terms you can use.

  • Good 'til canceled (GTC)
  • Good 'til end of the day (GTD)
  • Good 'til time (GTT)

City Index review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

The alert function lets you know when an asset reaches a price target. You also get a notification when your order gets fulfilled. On the web platform, this is an icon update or browser notification. On the mobile, it is push notification. You can set the alerts and notifications very well.

Portfolio and fee reports

City Index has clear portfolio and fee reports. You can find them on the "Reports" and download the reports in Excel, PDF, XML, and CSV.

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70% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index review
Mobile trading platform 4 stars

City Index mobile looks nice and is easy to use. The search functions are also great. On the flip side, the two-step login is missing.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Good variety of order types
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login

City Index operates mobile platforms both on iOS and Android. It is available only in English.

The mobile platform is very similar to the web platform. It looks nice, and you can easily get around. It has also a good search function and a great variety of order types.

However, there is no two-step login.

City Index review - Mobile trading platform

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70% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index review
Desktop trading platform 3 stars

City Index's desktop platform has the same functionalities but lags behind in user-friendliness than the web trading platform.
Pros
  • Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Good variety of order types
  • Available in several languages
Cons
  • Not user-friendly
  • No two-step (safe) login

There are two desktop platforms, the AT Pro and MetaTrader 4. We tested AT Pro as this is City Index's own platform, while MetaTrader is a third-party platform.

In contrast with web and mobile trading platforms, you can select from more languages: English, Arabic, German, Hungarian, Polish, Chinese, and Japanese.

City Index's desktop platform is the same as the web trading platform in functionalities, like order types, price alerts, and reports.

On the flip side, the desktop trading platform is not user-friendly and feels out of date. It was hard to navigate on the platform and felt too crowded. As a plus, it has good customizability. You can compile and save your own layout.

City Index review - Desktop trading platform

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70% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index review
Markets and products 2 stars

At City Index, you can trade only with CFDs, forex, and cryptos.

City Index is a CFD and forex broker. To learn more on CFDs read our CFD trading tips.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% 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.

City Index has great forex and mid-range CFD offers.

  City Index IG Plus500
Currency pairs (#) 84 94 59
Stock index CFDs (#) 21 68 23
Stock CFDs (#) 4,500 10,500 1,800
ETF CFDs (#) 57 1,900 80
Commodity CFDs (#) 4 47 17
Bond CFDs (#) 4 13 -
Cryptos (#) 5 6 9

You cannot change the default leverage level of the products. However, we think you should be in control of this.

City Index review
Research 5 stars

City Index has great and diverse research tools. It offers good charting tools, fundamental data, and quality news. There are also recommendations but only for forex.
Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Good quality news flow
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Recommendations only for forex

City Index research tools are easy-to-use. They are available only in English.

Recommendations

City Index provides recommendations which are based on technical tools. You can find them at the "Analyst views" tab. The recommendations are only for forex, missing for stock and other CFDs.

City Index review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

City Index offers fundamental data. It can be found on the "Value analyzer" tab.

You will find both charts and tables about the main fundaments, like revenue or EPS.

City Index review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

The charting tools are great. You can use ~65 technical indicators. It is a great selection in comparison with Plus500's ~20 and  IG's ~25 technical indicators.

There are also chart analyzes provided by Autochartist, a third-party technical analysis firm. However, we could not access these analyzes because of an error.

City Index review - Research - Charting

News feed

The news is high-quality and written by City Index's team. It can be found on the City Index Market Analysis tab. We liked that the news in categorized and so you can filter based on your preferences.

There is also an economic calendar. By using it, you can see the forthcoming events. When you select an event, you can read a short summary about it and check its historical data. For example, you can check what the EU employment data means and how it has changed.

Other research tools you will enjoy

There is also another technical analysis tool, called Technical Insights. It shows the patterns emerged on the charts. It also shows whether bullish or bearish price moves are expected.

City Index review - Technical Insights

Compare research pros and cons

City Index review
Customer service 5 stars

City Index customer service is great. You can reach them in many ways and you will get fast and relevant answers. On the flip side, the chatbot function does not work well.
Pros
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
  • Great telephone support
Cons
  • Bad chatbot

You can contact City Index via:

  • telephone
  • email
  • chatbot

We were really satisfied with City Index phone support. They answered on phone instantly, and we got relevant answers.

The email support works well. We emailed them four times and received relevant answers for all of them within 1 day.

City Index operates a chatbot which is a really innovative solution. However, it cannot answer even the basic questions, like "how I can deposit?".

We also liked that City Index customer service is available 24 hours a day from Sunday to Friday.

City Index review - Customer Service

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70% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index review
Education 5 stars

City Index does a great job in education. It offers from a demo account to educational videos a lot way to learn.
Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial videos
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
Cons
None

At City Index you can learn in the following ways:

  • Demo account
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars
  • Quality educational texts

We liked the platform tutorial videos as they were really useful and high-quality.

City Index review - Education

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70% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index review
Safety

City Index is regulated by top-tier regulators, like FCA. Its parent company, GAIN Capital is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
  • Parent company listed on stock exchange
Cons
None

City Index is a UK-based broker established in 1983 and serving clients from all over the world. Is City Index safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes south and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

City Index operates a bunch of subsidiaries and depending on your residency, one of these subsidiaries will serve you. The investor protection amount you get depends on the subsidiary's country you are signing up with.

For example, if you come from the UK, you will sign up with GAIN Capital UK Ltd and get a £85,000 investor protection. GAIN Capital UK Ltd is regulated by the FCA, the UK regulator.

Client country Investor protection amount Regulator Legal entity

Europe

Middle-East

£85,000 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) GAIN Capital UK Ltd
Australia No protection Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) GAIN Capital Australia Pty Ltd
Singapore No protection Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) GAIN Capital Singapore Pte

City Index also provides negative balance protection.

Background

City Index is the brand of GAIN Capital, a US-based investment company. GAIN Capital has strong financials which is important as a strong parent company reduces the chance the company goes bust.

GAIN Capital is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It is a big plus for safety as City Index releases financial statements regularly and transparently.

City Index was established in 1983 and acquired by GAIN Capital in 2014. The longer the track record of a broker, the more proof we have it had already managed previous financial crises.

Being the parent company listed on stock exchange, providing financial statements, and being regulated by top-tier regulators are all great signs for City Index’s safety.

Filter the brokers by investor protection

City Index review
Bottom line

In our City Index review, we tested City Index thoroughly and here is the verdict. It is an ok broker, especially if you want to concentrate on CFD and forex trading. 

On the bright side, it has low forex fees, high-quality research tools, and great customer support.

It has some drawbacks though. The CFD fees are quite high, the product portfolio is limited, and the desktop platform is not easy-to-use.

As there is no minimum balance, no withdrawal fee and inactivity fee only kicks in after one year, feel free to try it out.

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70% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index logo

City Index was founded in 1983 and it is a Global CFD and FX broker. It is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the UK FCA and the Australian ASIC.

City Index is considered safe because it has a long track record, its parent company is listed on stock exchange, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% 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.

Recommended for cFD and forex traders looking for low forex fees and great research tools.

Compare to other brokers

Overall 4 stars

Pros
  • Low forex fees
  • Diverse and high-quality research tools
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • High stock CFD fees
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Not user-friendly desktop platform

Fees 3 stars

Pros
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Low financing rate
Cons
  • Inactivity fee

Account opening 4 stars

Pros
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum account balance
Cons
  • Slow account opening

Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
Cons
  • Missing electronic wallets
  • Base currencies cannot be selected

Web trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login

Mobile trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Good variety of order types
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login

Desktop trading platform 3 stars

Pros
  • Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Good variety of order types
  • Available in several languages
Cons
  • Not user-friendly
  • No two-step (safe) login

Markets and products 2 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Forex
  • CFD
  • Crypto

Research 5 stars

Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Good quality news flow
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Recommendations only for forex

Customer service 5 stars

Pros
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
  • Great telephone support
Cons
  • Bad chatbot

Education 5 stars

Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial videos
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
Cons
None

Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
  • Parent company listed on stock exchange
Cons
None

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager

METHODOLOGY

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

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