Most forex trading platforms in the UK support automated trading and you can use scripts even on the Metatrader platform. You or others can create these trading scripts, and you can run them on your platform.
Some proprietary platforms also support Social Trading where you can copy other traders. But automated & social trading platforms have risks.
It is important for you to make sure that your funds are protected. To ensure this, only open accounts with brokers that support automated trading and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Comparison of Best Automated Trading Platforms UK
|Forex Broker||Regulation||Maximum Leverage||Minimum Deposit|
ASIC, FCA, FSCA
£0 (card payments only)
6 Best Automated Trading Platforms UK for 2023
Below is the list of the Best Automated Trading Platforms in the UK:
- CMC Markets – Best Automated Trading Platform with Zero Commission
- Pepperstone – Best Automated Trading Platform with Low Spreads
- FXCM – Best Automated Trading Platform with Low Minimum Deposit
- AvaTrade – Best Automated Trading Platform for Robots
- eToro – Best Automated Trading Platform for Beginners
- IG Markets – Reputed Broker with Automated Trading
Now read the brief of all the above-listed automated trading platforms for your comparison.
#1 CMC Markets – Best Automated Trading Platform with Zero Commissions
CMC Markets have over 20 years of presence in the UK and we consider them low-risk
Regulation: CMC Markets are regulated with the FCA as CMC Markets UK plc with reference number 173370.
Trading Fees: They offer GBPUSD, EURUSD, and EURGBP at 0.90 pips, 0.70 pips, and 1.10 pips respectively. CMC Markets do not charge a commission on these pairs. The trading fees for Gold and Nasdaq are displayed below:
|Nasdaq (US NDAQ 100)||1 pip||N/A|
Available Platforms: CMC Markets support web traders and MT4. They also offer their mobile trading platform. Only their MT4 supports automated trading. You can build your own algorithm via trading robots and Expert Advisor programs
Funding/Withdrawals: CMC Markets support three deposit/withdrawal channels. You can carry out your transactions via bank wire transfer, credit/debit card, and PayPal. Your transactions are processed instantly but can take 2-3 business days to show in your accountant.
Customer Support: In our test of their email customer support, we had a good experience. They responded to us after an hour and a few minutes.
#2 Pepperstone – Best Automated Trading Platform with Low Spreads
With Pepperstone deposits are immediate except for bank transfers, which can take up to 3 working days. All withdrawal methods take 1-3 working days.
Regulation: Pepperstone is regulated with the FCA as Pepperstone UK Limited. Their reference number is 648312 and are low-risk for UK traders
Trading fees: Pepperstone’s spread for GBPUSD, EURUSD, and EURGBP are 0.59 pips, 0.17 pips, and 0.40 pips respectively. In addition, you will pay a round-turn commission of £4.50 for every standard lot you trade.
Below are the trading fees for Gold and Nasdaq:
|Nasdaq (NAS 100)||1.0 pip||N/A|
Available platforms: Pepperstone supports MT4, MT5, cTrader, and DupliTrade. DupliTrade is their social trading platform. Automated trading is possible on all of these platforms.
Funding/withdrawal: Pepperstone support four deposit/withdrawal methods: Visa credit/debit card, Mastercard credit/debit card, bank transfer, and PayPal.
Customer Support: Speaking with their live chat agents, we had a 3-minute holding time. We also waited for 2 hours to get an email response. Overall customer support is good.
#3 FXCM – Best Automated Trading Platform with Low Minimum Deposit
All FXCM’s platforms support automated trading
Regulation: FXCM holds an FCA license under the name Forex Capital Markets Ltd. Their license number is 217689. FXCM is a safe broker.
Trading fees: The spread for GBP/USD, EUR/USD, and EUR/GBP are 4 pips, 2pips, and 3 pips respectively. You are not charged commissions for trading these currency pairs.
Here are the trading fees for Gold and Nasdaq:
|Nasdaq (NAS100)||1.18 pips||N/A|
Available Platforms: FXCM has multiple trading platforms compared to other brokers. Metatrader 4, NinjaTrader, Tradingview, Capitalise AI, and Trading Station.
Funding/withdrawals: You can deposit and withdraw funds via credit/debit card, Skrill, Neteller, and bank transfer.
Customer Support: We spoke to their customer service agents via email and WhatsApp. The experience was good with instant responses on WhatsApp. There was no holding time. We got an email response to our mail after an hour.
#4 AvaTrade – Best Automated Trading Platform for Robots
AvaTrade are licensed with the FCA as AVA Trade EU Limited with license number 504072. This regulation is temporary so we consider AvaTrade moderately safe for UK brokers.
Regulation: AvaTrade is regulated in another European Economic Area but has temporary permission to operate in the UK.
Trading Fees: AvaTrade’s spread for GBPUSD, EURUSD, and EURGBP are 1.6 pips, 0.9 pips, and 1.5 pips respectively. You are not charged any commission when you trade these pairs.
Trading fees for Gold and Nasdaq are shown below:
|Nasdaq (US_TECH 100)||1.00 pips||N/A|
Available platforms: AvaTrade supports MetaTrader 5, ZuluTrade, and DupliTrade. Automated trading is possible on the three trading platforms. MetaTrader 5 supports algorithm trading while ZuluTarade and DupliTrade are automated trading platforms.
Funding/withdrawal: AvaTrade allows deposit/withdrawal via credit/debit cards, Skrill, Neteller, and bank wire transfers. Deposits reflect in your accounts instantly except for bank transfers. It can take up to 7 days for deposited funds to reflect in your account if you use a bank wire transfer.
Withdrawals are processed within 24-48 hours for cards and e-wallets. Bank transfer withdrawals can take up to 10 business days to reflect in your account.
Customer Support: We had a good customer service experience. We contacted with AvaTrade via WhatsApp and email. We got instant replies with no holding time.
#5 eToro – Best Automated Trading Platform for Beginners
With eToro, bank transfer and credit card transactions are quite difficult. They can take up to 10 business days.
Regulation: eToro is regulated with the FCA as eToro (UK) Ltd. Their reference number is 583263. eToro are a low risk because they are regulated and your money is safe with them.
Trading fees: eToro offers both GBP/USD and EUR/USD at 1 pip while EUR/GBP is offered at 1.5 pips. They charge no commission on these pairs.
eToro also offers Gold and Nasdaq too. Here are their trading fees:
|Nasdaq (NSDQ100)||2.4 pips||N/A|
Available platforms: eToro offer their own proprietary trading platform. The platform offers CopyTrader which supports automated trading.
Funding/withdrawal: eToro supports two deposit/withdrawal methods, PayPal, and bank wire transfer. The shortest way to deposit is PayPal because transactions are completed in 2 business days.
Customer support: We had a good support experience. Their live chat is only available for active traders. In addition, we got an email response within three minutes.
What is Automated Trading?
Automated Trading platforms allow you to use algorithms and expert advisors (EAs) to execute automated trades based on predetermined entry and exit conditions. It focuses on conducting research that enables easy entry and exit of trades.
Most automated trading platforms support multiple CFD instruments – cryptocurrencies, forex, shares, and indices. In addition, they are also available on demo accounts. This means you can test your automated trading system and EAs.
Here are some of the advantages of automated trading:
Faster Execution: Automated trading improves the entry of your orders. Since the criteria for entry and exit of trades are already set, orders can be registered quickly. This is much faster than you entering trades manually.
Also, your take profit and stop-loss levels are set immediately after a trade is registered. This is key because the market moves quickly. This is common among extremely volatile CFDs like NAS100. Seeing the price hitting your profit or stop loss level before you even place a trade can be frustrating. This is why automated trading is advantageous.
Increased Discipline: Developing a trading strategy is as important as the psychological side of trading. Emotions can get the best of you in trading – especially fear and greed. These emotions can lead to breaking your trading rules. You can enter a bad trade because of greed and miss out on a good one because you don’t want to lose money.
Automated trading helps with this. With your trading rules programmed in a robot, your emotions are out of the way. Trades will only be registered based on the parameters you have set.
Diversification: There is an unwritten rule in trading. It states that you do not put all your ‘eggs’ in one basket. In other words, you cannot bet all of your capital on one instrument. You should spread your risk by trading different CFDs across different asset classes. With automated trading, you can have automatic diversification without time-consuming research.
Backtesting: Automated trading methods like EAs and robots make use of absolute rules to trade the markets. Because these rules are absolute, the computer does not make guesses or multiple interpretations. To know if these rules will be profitable, you can take these rules and test them on historical market movements. This helps you assess the risks and long-term profitability of your auto trading rules.
Are Automated trading platforms in the UK Risky?
In forex trading, nothing is 100% guaranteed. As helpful as automated trading platforms are, they come with their own risks. Here are some of them.
Inaccurate Predictions:There is a chance that a prediction made by an automated trading platform might be wrong. The financial markets are volatile. Even the most advanced algorithms might not be able to accurately tell where prices will head. This means there is the possibility of losses thereby increasing risk.
To mitigate this risk, you have to monitor your trades and the market. This is crucial because automated systems does not change with price movement in real time. Furthermore, automated systems and strategies do get obsolete and outdated. This is usually due to the dynamism of the forex market. So monitor your trades and take your money out of your trading account if the system is not profitable.
Software Bugs: Trading algorithms are in codes. Sometimes, these codes might have bugs or errors in them. This can lead to undesired trading results. You can minimize this risk by conducting a thorough debugging of your trading algorithms.
Common Automated Trading Systems and Strategies
There are different systems and strategies for automated trading. It is important to have an understanding of these different systems to know which suits you. There is no one size fits all. Any system you choose should align with your trading goals.
Let us have a look at these strategies in detail.
1. Automated Copy Trading: This is the most popular form of automated trading. It involves copying the trades of successful traders in an automated fashion. It is generally called copy trading but can be referred to as social trading with some brokers.
With this strategy, you get access to successful traders and their risk scores to determine if you want to copy them or not. Please refer to our in-depth review of the UK’s best copy trading platforms for more.
2. Semi-Automated Trading: This strategy gives you more control. Why is it semi-automated? It is because you have a role to play. This system involves choosing an automated trading platform that offers trading signals. They carry out the analysis give you the entry price, stop loss, and take profit. All you have to do is place the trades yourself.
3. Expert Advisors: EAs for short, expert advisors are robots with pre-programmed software and scripts. The scripts contain certain conditions that must be met before the robot can place a trade. This strategy is effective and can scan the market for opportunities as long as it is open.
The challenge with this strategy is that it works with historical price movements. It cannot predict price movements due to fundamental events.
How to Choose the Best Automated Trading Platform?
Automation is not enough. Do not choose a forex broker because they support automated trading. There are other essential factors you should consider. In this section, we will cover the factors and how you can check them yourself.
Does the FCA regulate the platform?
Safety is the most important factor to consider before choosing a platform. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates automated trading platforms in the UK. Registering with a trading platform regulated with the FCA guarantees the safety of your funds.
How is this possible? It is possible because the FCA has put strict rules in place to ensure that your money is safe in case your chosen platform liquidates. Never choose an unregulated trading platform. Your funds are safe only if you are registered with a regulated platform,
If you choose Pepperstone for example, funds are protected for up to £85,000, which may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Let us take you through how you can check Pepperstone’s (example broker) FCA regulation. First, scroll down to the footer of their website. Find their FCA reference number and registered name. If you do this correctly, you should have the picture below
From the image above, you can see that Pepperstone’s FCA reference number is 648312. And their registered name is Pepperstone Limited.
We just concluded the first step. For the second step, you will have to verify the two details match the ones on FCA’s website. When you arrive at the FCA homepage, scroll down to the section below. You can enter the registered or reference number from the CFD broker’s website.
Select ‘firms’ and click on ‘search’. You will arrive at the image below
The image above shows the same details as seen on the broker’s website so Pepperstone’s regulation is valid. You can repeat these steps to confirm if any broker is FCA regulated.
Are the overall fees high or low?
Overall fees include trading and non-trading fees. Trading fees include charges such as spreads, swaps, and commissions.
Non-trading charges include inactivity fees, currency conversion charges, and deposit/withdrawal fees. You must check your chosen platform’s pricing and fees to know how much you are paying to your broker in total fees.
Their CopyTrader is the platform that supports automated trading. eToro does not charge extra commissions on CopyTrader. Your charges are in the spreads.
To check this,
Step 1) Go to etoro.com and click on ‘company’. You will see a dropdown. In the dropdown, select help center. You should arrive at the picture below:
Step 2) Scroll down and click view more in the copy trading section. This should bring you to the page below:
Step 3) Click on the fourth inquiry in the picture above and you will have your answer as displayed below:
How easy are funding and withdrawals?
You need to choose an automated trading platform that allows for easy deposit and withdrawal of funds. Popular payment methods such as credit/debit cards should be available. You should also be able to deposit and withdraw funds via bank transfer. Your transactions are easier if your chosen platform supports these methods. In addition, you should check how long it takes to get withdrawn funds.
The picture below shows Pepperstone’s funding and withdrawal methods with time:
Are results verifiable?
Most automated trading platforms tend to make claims of high profitability. This is usually done because of sales so you cannot take their word for it. You need to verify if these claims are accurate and credible. This is easy to do but it depends largely on the type of automated trading platform you choose.
If they make the available data that verifies their claim, you can sift through it and make your own independent judgment. eToro is an example of such a platform. Their Copytrader gives you access to crucial data. Examples include historical performance, risk rating, most traded CFDs, drawdowns, etc.
With this data, you can make a sound choice without falling into a marketing trap. Here is an example of transparent data from eToro’s website.
Let us break down the data. First, you can see a health risk score of 4. This is so because eToro scores the traders out of a total of 5. You can also see their return/profit percentage and the number of copiers. In the background, there is a graph that shows month-on-month performance. You get to see how often the trader has drawdowns.
Not all automated platform present their data like this. But there must be some degree of transparency from them. The data made available is essential for choosing the right automated trading strategy.
How about your favorite CFDs?
You might not want to trade all the CFDs available on your automated trading platform. Therefore, you need to make sure that your preferred CFDs are offered. First, check the CFD classes available. Their market range must be wide including forex, indices, shares, and precious metals.
Other classes like ETFs and commodities might be essential too. Once you confirm the classes, you can go ahead and check for your CFDs in each class. Do not assume the CFDs you want to trade will be available. There is no rule that regulates whether brokers have a CFD or not. So make sure you do your due diligence.
Is the customer service good?
How do you know if your chosen platform has good customer support? It is simple. Test them yourself.
Call the broker’s UK phone number if it is available. Send them an email and use their live chat feature too. This way, you get first-hand experience of their customer support’s quality
You should look out for clarity in answers to your enquiries. Also, check how long the trading platform responded to your questions.
Do you have to wait for over 24 hours to get an answer via email on a weekday? Or is chat support not available on trading days? Such a broker should be avoided.
How to Begin with an Automated Trading Platform
Here is how you can open a trading account with an automated trading platform in the UK. We have chosen Pepperstone as an example broker.
1) Go to the UK version of Pepperstone’s website. And click ‘JOIN NOW’. It is in the yellow box at the top right corner of the image below
2) Fill in your email and click ‘GET STARTED’.
3) Enter your email address again and create your password. It is at this step you also choose your preferred account type.
4) At this step, you have access to your ‘Secure Client Area’ where you will be required to fill in more details
5) Still in your client area, scroll down and choose your trading platform, account base currency, etc.
6) Submit your ID document and declare your source of income. You will also declare your employment status.
7) Once you complete your KYC, you can fund your account and begin trading.
FAQs on Best Automated Trading Platforms UK
Is automated trading profitable?
Automated trading is not the holy grail of trading, and there are major risks. You can be profitable or lose your money. It all depends on your scripts and the strategy that it is built upon. Back-test the script to check how it performed in various market conditions.
In addition, avoid automated systems that claim 100% profit. They are frauds.
Which is the best platform for automated trading?
Any trading platform that is regulated with the FCA is potentially safe to trade with. There are FCA regulated forex brokers like Pepperstone, eToro, etc. that offer automated trading type features.
Avoid any unregulated brokers or schemes that claim to offer automated trading with claims like “risk-free” returns.
How to choose an automated trading platform?
Make sure the FCA has regulated the trading platform you want to choose. In addition, check for the overall fees that you will be charged, the customer service you will get, and the ease of deposit & withdrawals. There are other factors too that you should check.