London Capital Group Review
Active forex traders will love the fantastic prices, award-winning platforms, and a wide range of offerings that make LCG stand out among today’s best UK forex brokers. In this London Capital Group review, we dive into all the details to show you the pros and cons of the platform.
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London Capital Group - Reviews & Ratings
• Regulation: FCA (UK)
• Minimum deposit: $0
• Demo account: Yes
• Asset coverage: CFDs, Forex, Crypto, Commodities, Spreads, Stocks, ETF’s, Indices, Bonds, Shares, Vanilla Options, Interest Rates
• Best for: Day traders from the UK
Investor Warning: Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading carries a high level of risk to your capital and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. LCG Capital Markets Limited (LCG BHS) is a company registered in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas under registered number: 200271 B. LCG BHS is authorised and regulated by the Securities Commission of Bahamas (SCB) with License No. SIA-F194. The registered address for LCG BHS is: Sassoon House, Shirley Street and Victoria Avenue, Nassau in the Island of New Providence, P.O.BOX SS-5383, Bahamas. Please read carefully the relevant Risk Disclosure, available here.
Summary and Overview
What is London Capital Group?
- A forex broker focused on its UK-based customer base.
- A good reputation and a lack of customer complaints make the company seem very trustworthy and safe.
- Users have access to over 7000 markets and a full spectrum of financial products.
- Very low prices for ECN account holders, as well as low fees in general.
- The company enables users to add or remove virtual funds from their demo accounts at any time.
- Great, very user-friendly mobile and desktop platforms.
- Very reliable, quick customer service.
- The platforms are lacking in research capabilities overall, especially if you have a standard account.
- Education is good up to a certain point, but the content suitable for intermediate traders is scarce.
Is LCG a good broker? The platform was on an upward trajectory up until 2016, grabbing awards left and right and making a good name for itself. However, good things don’t last forever. The company has had a very rough patch in the past few years but has recently started its rise from the ashes of low profit margins and slow growth.
Four years ago, London Capital Group started losing its capital and struggled to increase its profits, which led to some internal changes. Charles-Henri Sabet, a well-known giant of the financial world and LCG’s CEO since 2014, stepped down as LCG’s CEO in 2017 and was replaced by his right-hand man Mukid Chowdhury.
These were difficult times for the company as they were marked by substantial financial losses, as well as layoffs in the dozens. However, despite all the layoffs and turmoil, this was mostly an internal crisis, and LCG’s customers weren’t negatively affected.
The company was apparently punished by this rough period as it hasn’t won any awards since 2016, but its financial record has seen much-wanted improvement since. Although LCG is still one of the most popular forex brokers in the UK, it has been overtaken by competing brokers like Forex.com in most fields in the last few years.
Suffering a drop in revenue and performance is never a pleasant experience, but getting out of a financial rut is where great companies can show their mettle. Perhaps we’ll see this pedigreed broker improving its service and winning more accolades in the future.
What is LCG?
London Capital Group, also known as LCG, is a London-based online trading services provider founded in 1996. This award-winning forex broker is a subsidiary company of London Capital Group Holdings plc and is focused on its UK-based customer base.
Starting as a financial holding company, LCG has since evolved into a full-fledged forex brokerage that offers a broad spectrum of financial products and markets to its users. The company has grabbed a number of awards during the previous decade and is currently one of Britain’s most popular online forex brokers.
Who Can Trade Forex with LCG?
As you might have guessed by the name, London Capital Group has a mostly UK-based clientele. They are available to the international audience, but not if you are based in Canada, Belgium, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, or the USA.
Spread betting is only available to customers from the United Kingdom so non-UK customers are limited in their trading capabilities. The company doesn’t do a great job at providing an international brokerage service, but rather it relies on its substantial British client base.
Is London Capital Group a Good Broker?
The sheer number of accolades is a testimony to LCG’s successful past. Since 2009, the company has won 12 awards, including multiple awards for the best mobile/tablet forex trading platform and two awards for the best use of social media.
They won several awards for the best spread betting and CFD provider in the UK, as well as the best forex fundamental analysis award. Even though LCG has fallen behind the best forex brokers in the industry in the past few years, this long list of awards should be enough to convince curious forex traders to check out this UK-based company’s offer.
Is London Capital Group Safe and Secure?
The brokerage is only regulated by a single tier-1 regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is not very impressive since most competing high-tier brokers are regulated by three tier-1 regulators. However, since the company is very UK-focused, its being regulated only by the UK’s highest financial authority is not a big drawback.
Due to the limited number of regulators, LCG is considered to be an average-risk broker, however, they have a solid reputation without any scandals or major customer complaints. The company has suffered some criticism due to financial losses in 2016 that resulted in layoffs and general distrust in the company’s stability, but customers weren’t damaged as a consequence.
LCG has made great efforts to improve customer security so their users can sleep soundly at night, without the need to worry about losing their money. Users have a £50,000 coverage provided by FSCS, and their funds are stored in segregated regulated bank accounts where they won’t be affected should the company go bankrupt.
Clients’ pockets are also kept safe by LCG’s negative balance protection, which means that your trading account balance can not go into the negative. Basically, you can’t get in a situation where you owe the company money if you make some bad trades.
Just getting started with Forex? Check out our complete beginner’s guide to forex trading.
Where LCG Shines
LCG’s Investment Offerings
Have you ever dreamed of being able to access over 7000 markets and trade 9 asset classes with your online broker?
Yeah, who hasn’t? (Or maybe I just spend too much time looking at market data… 🤓)
That’s exactly what LCG offers to its users, and it’s one of this company’s most notable qualities.
Some of these markets can only be accessed via a premium account but all clients have access to a full range of offerings one might expect from a high-tier forex broker. These include:
- Interest rates
- Vanilla options
London Capital Group’s Account Types and Fees
As a new client of LCG’s services, you can choose one of three live accounts, or if you want to dip your toes into this forex trading platform first, you can open a free demo account to practice with.
The pricing is competitive, especially if you’re an active trader who meets all the requirements for LCG’s premium account, the ECN account. However, this is not the only broker with great pricing and overall good service.
Brokers like IG and Oanda can compete with LCG’s great pricing, but arguably have a better offer in other departments. Check out these alternatives if you’re looking for a safe broker with a top-notch pricing schedule, maybe you’ll see something you like.
One more important thing to keep in mind when looking at LCG’s prices is that trading costs can be as much as two times higher on MT 4 than they are on the company’s proprietary platform, the LCG Trader.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can get a bonus based on your initial deposit. When opening an account, users get a bonus equal to 10% of their deposit with the maximum bonus being €10,000. This is a welcome boost for confident traders who want to make big trades right off the bat.
Electronic Communication (ECN) Account
The ECN account is geared for day traders who like low commissions and high-volume discounts. To qualify for this account, you need to maintain a balance of $10,000 or more, but in return, you get lowered commissions, access to more markets, and very quick order execution.
The ECN account will directly connect clients to the market itself through either MT4 or LCG’s proprietary LCG Trader platform. In essence, this account is a boon for experienced, active forex traders who can make the most out of the lowered commissions.
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Standard (Classic) Account
The standard account is the same as the ECN in just about all respects except pricing. There are no hidden fees to worry about and the minimum initial deposit is $0, so this account is a good option for users who don’t meet the ECN account’s $10,000 requirement.
Standard account users have access to fewer forex markets than ECN users, but that means they still have thousands of markets to trade on, so it’s probably not that big of a deal. If you want to check out LCG’s full pricing schedule, it’s best to take a look at the live forex price ticker on their website.
The Islamic account is made for investors who want to trade in accordance with Shaira Law. What makes this account different is that its swap-free, which means there’s no swap or rollover interest on clients’ overnight positions. Aside from this, the Islamic account offers the same terms as the standard account.
LCG Demo Account
Want to warm up before investing a ton of money? No worries. LCG’s demo account is especially useful to beginners as it allows you to trade with virtual money for free. The demo account offers users a simulated trading experience on both LCG’s platforms, MT 4 and LCG Trader.
All the platforms’ features are available with the demo account, so new users can take their time to get accustomed to their preferred platform before they start trading for real. You can only use the standard account in demo mode, but that’s perfectly fine since the real standard account in the next logical step anyway.
Opening a demo account is quick and simple. You just need to write your personal data, select your preferred trading platform and choose the currency you want to use, either GBP, USD, EUR or CHF. After that, you’re good to go and you can start exploring LCG’s forex trading capabilities.
The demo account starts with 10000 of whichever currency you want to use. Moreover, anytime via live chat, you can require LCG’s representatives to add or remove funds from your account so you can have the exact balance you want to practice with.
For most forex pairs, the maximum leverage goes up to 1:500. EUR/CHF and USD/CHF pairs have a 1:200 leverage, and the leverage can range from 1:50 to 1:200 for forex minors. The leverage is capped at 1:30 for EU-based traders, and for volatile products like crypto pairs, the leverage can be as low as 1:2.
Keep in mind that this is just a basic overview of their huge selection of products. Check out the full leverage schedule on LCG’s website if you want to take a look at their offer in more detail.
LCG Withdrawal and Fees
Funding and withdrawing money from your online brokerage account can turn into a real headache as you’ll often run into transaction fees and delays. If you don’t like to be bothered by these restrictions, LCG’s flexibility and availability will be a pleasant experience.
When you’re funding your account, all direct bank transfers are free and most debit and credit cards incur a 2% transaction fee. There are no fees for withdrawals above £1,000, which is always good to hear, and the minimum withdrawal is £50.
Withdrawals below £1,000 incur a fixed £20 fee, which means it’s not a good idea to withdraw small amounts of money frequently. Another great perk that’s not very common with other brokers is that users can fund their accounts from their Ewallets like Neteller and Skrill.
You can open your account for £0 but you need to watch out for inactivity fees. If you haven’t placed an order or closed a trade in 180 calendar days, you will be charged a fee in whatever currency you have on your account.
If your account is deemed inactive, you will incur a monthly fee of either 15 GBP, 20 USD, 18 EUR, 75 PLN, or 20 CHF. You will only be charged a fee if you have money in your account, however, an inactive account may be deactivated if its balance is lower than the monthly fee.
London Capital Group Platforms
London Capital Groups offers users the industry-standard MetaTrader 4, as well as LCG trader, a branded version of cTrader. The latter is superior to MT 4 in general as it has a more intuitive UI as well as better pricing making it a recommended trading platform if you’re an LCG client.
The company’s proprietary platform has better reviews than MT 4 in general, especially when it comes to ease of use. Since LCG Trader is a platform geared for experienced traders, it provides a rich selection of features as well as favorable pricing.
The platform has 64 highly customizable charting tools which is more than MT 4’s 51 and gives you the ability to manage a very diversified portfolio without a hassle. You will also come across a few unique features while using LCG Trader.
For a more comprehensive spread betting experience, you can use the Depth of Market feature, which shows you the difference in spreads depending on the size of the trade you want to make. This tool is only available for forex and precious metals at the moment, but it’s very handy as you can place orders directly from the tool’s Depth of Market screen.
If you appreciate the opinions of your fellow forex traders, you can take a look at LCG’s Client Sentiment feature. This is essentially a set of lists and charts that tell you what LCG’s clients are buying and selling. Through this feature, users can respond to current market trends by creating suitable strategies.
LCG Trader’s Tick Charts screen displays historical price data in months, weeks, days, hours, or even minutes. No doubt this is a very useful tool for traders who want to be informed if a certain price changes on a minute-to-minute basis.
LCG Trader is a web-based platform whereas MT 4 offers a desktop version. That means that MT 4 is the only option for tech-savvy traders who are interested in algorithmic trading. Still, prices on MT 4 can be as much as two times higher, which is why the majority of users opt for LCG Trader.
However, if you’re looking for a real powerhouse of a trading platform, LCG Trader isn’t the software you’re looking for. Another London-based broker, IG offers an even more user-friendly and safe platform that blows most competing platforms out of the water among other things, so they’re worth checking out.
MT 4 is a standard-setting platform used by dozens of online brokers because of its reliability and performance. Seasoned traders have likely used MT 4 in the past and know it inside and out, which is one more reason why so many brokers include this well-known platform in their offer.
MetaTrader 4 has significantly higher prices than LCG Trader, but it also has some advantages. It works with all account types and is very user-friendly, so it’s more likely to provide newbies with a smooth ride.
Aside from the inferior pricing, MT 4 is often criticized by users for its slow order execution, as well as some other minor issues. You really can’t go wrong with MT 4, but LCG Trader is generally considered to be a better option for most LCG users.
LCG Mobile Platform
The two desktop platforms have their mobile versions. MT 4 is well-known as a reliable platform but LCG Trader Mobile is preferred by most users because of its downright superior range of features.
LCG Trader Mobile has won 3 awards in the past decade and is truly a great example of what a top-notch mobile app should look and feel like. The app is synched to its desktop counterpart and all changes made on the mobile app are instantly visible on the desktop platform.
The mobile platform’s user interface mirrors the desktop platform in design as much as possible and navigating through different screens and menus is a breeze. Like the desktop version, the app is one of the fastest you can come across and seems to be completely bug-free.
Alerts are especially easy to set up, which is perfect for traders who want to be in the loop while they’re on their feet. The app’s charting tools are well-designed, and it’s very easy to quickly add and remove indicators.
The app is so handy that managing your account, viewing charts, and making trades while on the bus is probably as easy as trading from your desk. Even though this app is without a doubt an intuitive, powerful piece of software, it does fall short in a few areas.
Where The App Can Use Some Improvement
Security could use an upgrade since it’s not very customizable and there is no fingerprint authentication available. It’s not like most mobile trading apps check all the boxes when it comes to security, but still, it feels good to have a bulletproof mobile software since it can provide access to your entire account.
LCG’s clients would probably appreciate it if they could access all research and videos through the mobile app, but that’s only possible via a desktop device. Moreover, the research is limited to a news stream that can hardly be called that since it only has some technical analysis reports.
London Capital Group Customer Support
The customer service representatives can be reached during working days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST via telephone, email, and live chat. The customer support is very quick to respond through all mediums; live chat and phone will most likely connect you to a representative in less than a minute, and you can expect a reply to your emails in less than 24 hours.
The live chat is very handy as it is accessible from LCG’s website, as well as from the trading platform itself. If you send a message via live chat after working hours, you’ll get a reply to your email the next morning.
The representatives themselves are very courteous but don’t seem to be as knowledgeable as one can wish for. For example, I sent a message via live chat asking for a list of countries where LCG is available.
The representative answered me immediately but didn’t seem to have such a list, so he just repeated that my application will be rejected if I am from a country where LCG’s services are not available.
That didn’t really answer my question, but fair enough. I just wish he was a bit more honest, as that would’ve saved us both precious time, oh well… Otherwise, customer support does an all-round great job at helping clients, as well as curious new investors.
Where LCG Can Improve
The mobile platform may be lacking in this department but LCG offers an above-average suite of research features and data from other sources. The company’s experts publish great articles on the company’s blog, as well as daily videos that are well-produced and insightful.
The brokerage’s YouTube channel has hundreds of videos with the latest forex-related news from the financial world. Users can access daily commentary from the desktop platform along with the usual market-wrap articles and an economic calendar.
Aside from the typical research tools like a screener and heat mapping, LCG offers some high-quality third-party research content like FXStreet’s economic calendar. Due to their higher status, ECN account holders can benefit from chart patterns, recommendations, signals, and technical analysis provided by Trading Central.
LCG’s premium users will definitely get value from Trading Central’s research since it’s conducted by a reputable team of experts on a mission to provide traders with the good stuff on a day-to-day basis. The offer of third-party research sources adds a whole new dimension to an otherwise average suite of research features on LCG’s platforms, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
All in all, LCG offers its premium users research resources that are good, but not exceptional. Standard account users will probably find the data and tools they have available lacking and the research could use an upgrade in general.
For example, Oanda is a broker with all-around superior research tools and news, as well its own set of unique features. Unlike LCG, Oanda has a powerful API trading tool that’s loved by tech-savvy traders, as well as many other technical analysis tools and news sources.
LCG’s offer of educational resources is good up to a certain level. New traders can get a good grasp of the basic forex trading concepts from the written and video tutorials but hardly anything more than that.
The educational content is very well-produced, but it is not suitable for students who want to reach a high level of trading proficiency. Advanced traders will likely find these resources lacking and look elsewhere for an intermediate-level forex trading education.
However, the how-to videos explaining how to use LCG’s platforms are simple and all-inclusive. Furthermore, the company provides a bundle of videos that cover all investment types on their youtube channel which is populated with over 500 high-quality tutorial videos, as well as the latest relevant forex-related news.
Overall, the brokerage provides a good education for beginners, as well as great tutorials on how to use their platforms, but traders who want an above-basic level of knowledge will probably look for a better teacher.
If you’re looking for a good alternative in the neighborhood, you should check City Index. This UK-based broker will provide much better education, especially when it comes to advanced forex-related concepts.
City Index has a good demo account you can practice with, as well as a comprehensive set of well-produced lessons that can turn a newbie into an intermediate-level trader. Not only that, but the brokerage is currently considered to be one of the best forex education providers in the country.
Final Thoughts: London Capital Group Review
Some brokers are limited in their offer of markets and financial products, but not LCG. You will never run out of new trading ideas due to this company’s huge range of offerings that can be rivaled by few competitors.
The trading platforms are very good and the prices are fantastic for traders who meet the requirements for the ECN account since it adds substantial discounts to an already-low pricing scheme. LCG isn’t available in most countries but it offers one of the best trading experiences for forex traders from the UK.
Traders who want a good education and top-tier research resources will likely find this broker’s offer lacking, and there are no algorithmic trading capabilities for tech-savvy traders. However, LCG is a reputable, award-winning company where many forex enthusiasts can make a bundle due to the low fees and overall good trading platform.