XTB UK Review
XTB is a publicly traded and trusted brand with multiple global regulatory licenses, including in the U.K. for over a decade. It recently expanded its cash equities offering to U.K. investors with local shares, alongside regional EU and U.S. stocks.
Unless you trade more than £100,000 worth of shares per month, XTB offers commission-free share trading on over 3,200 securities, along with an active trader program for high-volume U.K. professional traders (not available to retail clients).
XTB Pros & cons
- Commission-free trading on up to £100K worth of shares per month is ideal for retail traders and beginners, though it may not suit active traders (0.2% commission kicks in above that threshold).
- U.S. and EU regional shares are available in addition to the U.K. stock market, totaling 2,854 shares and 354 ETFs.
- The ability to trade CFDs alongside shares can be an added benefit, when short-selling is restricted for specific securities, for example.
- The ability to drag and quickly replace your existing stop-loss and limit orders from charts is a nice perk for active share traders on xStation 5.
- The integrated stock screener, ETF screener, and heat map complement XTB’s research offering and the range of trading tools available in its web-based platform.
- Inactivity fee only kicks in after 12 months of inactivity plus no deposits in the last 90 days, and no custody fee is charged.
- If you trade more than £100K monthly, XTB U.K. may be an expensive option for you.
- ISA and SIPP accounts are not currently available.
- Small markup of 0.5% added to currency-conversion exchange rate when trading non-local shares.
- Active trading program in U.K. not available to retail clients (due to regulations).
- Despite the neat drag-and-drop feature, attaching an initial stop-loss and limit order to an existing trade isn’t entirely seamless, as each must be added separately.
- There is no earnings calendar despite an otherwise robust economic calendar.
- Although Morningstar ratings in the ETF screener are a great start, the lack of detailed research reports for popular shares puts it at a disadvantage compared to the best U.K. stockbrokers in this area.
- While sentiment is available for forex and indices, it is not yet provided for shares.
|Charges & Fees|
|Ease of Use|
Commissions & fees
XTB’s U.K. share trading offer caters best to the average retail trader with commissions-free trading so long as you don’t exceed £100,000 in monthly turnover, at which point a per-trade commission (the greater of £10 or minimum 0.02%) will kick in.
Turnover calculation: For example, let’s say you buy and then sell £10,000 worth of British Petroleum (BP) generating either a small profit or loss. This will generate £20,000 in turnover value (one buy for £10,000 and one sell for £10,000). If a trader repeats this process five times during the same calendar month, they will hit the £100,000 threshold (and will pay commission on anything beyond that during the same calendar month).
Settlement: Keep in mind that like with most stock exchanges, you must wait two days in the U.K. for funds to settle before trading again, such as when trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE); unlike CFD trading, which settles instantly after each trade.
Commission-free up to £100,000 in monthly turnover: While trading £100,000 worth of stocks within a month alone doesn’t imply you are an active trader (as demonstrated above, it could be done with as few as five trades for £10,000 worth of stock), it is more volume than the typical trade to buy and hold. It could also be met easily if by placing fewer trades of enough shares of a high-value stock during the calendar month.
Tracking your stock trading turnover volume: Again, even if you are not a seasoned investor or highly active, it could be easy to hit this volume threshold and pay commissions on any trades thereafter during a calendar month. For that reason, XTB is best if you plan on trading less than £100,000 worth of shares per month. However, it is also worth mentioning that XTB makes it easy to track your current turnover by displaying the running total within the platform when you are preparing an order, a small but helpful feature if you are concerned about potential commissions.
- 5 trades per year = £0
- 12 trades per year = £0
- 36 trades per year = £0
- 120 trades per year = £0
- 3 fund trades per year = N/A
|Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month||£0|
|Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month||£0|
|Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month||£0|
|Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000||0|
|Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K||0|
|Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m||0|
|Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over||0|
|Bonds - Corporate - Fee||N/A|
|Bonds - Government (Gilts) - Fee||N/A|
|ETFs - Fee||£0|
|Investment Trusts - Fee||N/A|
|Telephone Dealing Fee||N/A|
Mobile trading apps
XTB’s flagship trading platform, xStation 5, is available for Android and Apple iOS devices from their respective app stores. It features a modern design interface and good balance of trading tools and features for share trading in the U.K.
The xStation 5 mobile app comes with many of the same features found in its web counterpart, in addition to various predefined screeners.
For example, you have a winners and losers list, alongside meme stocks, dividend kings, bargains, hot commodities, and other industry-specific themes that are trending such as nuclear energy or space exploration. I liked how you can filter some of the lists, such as the daily movers, so that it only includes stocks, for example.
It’s also worth noting that market sentiment is not supported for cash equities or stock CFDs. Otherwise, the xStation 5 app has a great balance of research including news headlines along with analysis from XTB’s staff, which complement its array of predefined screeners.
Last but not least, while charting is not as powerful on mobile compared to the web version of the platform, the xStation 5 app has 13 indicators and 10 drawing tools, which I found to be nicely integrated into the charting experience.
Trading on the go
We put stockbrokers' mobile apps to the test to find the crème de la crème. Read our guide to the Best Stock Trading Apps in the U.K.
The flagship xStation 5 web-based trading platform, hosted on XTB’s website, has long been relied upon by investors across the globe. The xStation 5 trading platform features multiple asset classes, including share trading, which was recently extended to the U.K. market (after having been launched in recent years in other markets where XTB operates).
Trading tools: There is a simple yet effective stock screener and ETF screener, along with a dividend calendar and economic calendar customizable by country; and a heat map that you can set to either cash equities (stocks) or stock CFDs, to view volume across a spectrum of either EU or U.S. stocks over the last day, week or month.
xStation 5 charting: Charts are simple and come with nearly 40 indicators and 32 drawing tools, and can be customized in terms of view size and color layout, with up to 16 charts supported at a time from among five different chart types (e.g., candlestick, line).
Areas for improvement: My only gripe when placing a stock order on xStation 5 is that while it is easy to attach a stop-loss or take-profit limit order, I found it less smooth when trying to attach both at the same time. In other words, if I added a stop-loss order, it wasn’t immediately apparent how to add the take-profit limit order, or vice versa.
Having the ability to add both a stop-loss and take-profit in one step could be an added benefit to the otherwise seamless user experience on xStation 5.
Note: The MetaTrader 4 platform suite is also available at XTB, but is primarily optimized for forex and CFD traders.
Besides trading tools, there are news headlines within xStation 5 that can be filtered by asset class or technical analysis and other research reports, complementing XTB’s research offering. The XTB login to the client portal dashboard has some basic features, such as switching between accounts, and accessing deposit and withdrawal information.
Finally, one minor attention to detail that I liked that can otherwise go unnoticed is the ability to view economic calendar events, including dividend dates overlaid on the chart (this setting must be enabled by right-clicking within the chart window).
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||59|
|Charting - Drawing Tools||9|
|Charting - Notes||Yes|
|Charting - Display Corporate Events||Yes|
|Charting - Stock Overlays||Yes|
|Charting - Index Overlays||Yes|
Offering of investments
While the total range of markets available to you will depend on your country of residence and the applicable XTB entity you establish your account with, for the purposes of this review we have assessed the brand’s FCA-regulated U.K. offering for U.K. residents.
U.K. investors get access to nearly 6,000 asset classes, including shares and ETFs from the U.S., U.K., and regional exchanges in Europe, all of which are nicely integrated into the xStation 5 trading experience.
XTB’s U.K. entity offers 2,854 shares and 163 ETFs, from across the U.S., U.K., and regional EU stock exchanges, alongside CFDs including 71 forex pairs, 34 indices, 1,933 stock CFDs, and 163 ETF CFDs. To learn more about XTB’s forex and CFD offering, read our related XTB review on sister site ForexBrokers.com.
Cryptocurrency CFD trading is not permitted in the U.K. for retail investors due to regulatory requirements, though it is available for traders designated as elected professionals and from within XTB’s professional account offering.
|Research - ETFs||Yes|
|Bonds - Corporate||No|
|Bonds - Government (Gilts)||No|
XTB has done a great job at accumulating a variety of educational content in various formats to meet the needs of different types of investors and traders.
Educational content by experience level: Whether you are just starting out as an investor or already an experienced trader, XTB has basic content as well as more advanced materials, such as master class webinars and courses. For example, there are six video lessons on how to create a stock portfolio, which I found to be good for beginners, while a more advanced course for developing a trading mindset has a great amount of hands-on training with accompanying PDF workbooks and mental training exercise recordings.
Integrated video courses and archived webinars: XTB has integrated many of its educational videos right into its xStation 5 platform suite, available via the web and on mobile devices.
|Education (Share Trading)||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
XTB is a well-established brand that caters well to a variety of investors and traders, ranging from beginners to professionals, and across a wide range of markets.
XTB’s U.K. share trading offering is great if you trade less than £100,000 worth of monthly turnover; otherwise, commissions could be a limiting factor for cost-sensitive active traders who don’t qualify as elected professionals.
In addition, the lack of a SIPP or ISA account could hold back longer-term investors from an otherwise attractive offering. Given XTB’s history of innovation, I suspect that these features will be coming along with other future improvements, given how new its U.K. share trading is. In other markets, it has more established and mature offerings in place for its products and services.
Founded in 2002, XTB has since grown into a global brand with numerous entities regulated across the world, and as a public company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE: XTB.PL) with a market cap of 3.79 billion PLN (or roughly £711 million GBP) as of September 2023, and 860 staff as per its latest annual report. Previously known as X-Trade Brokers, XTB is headquartered in Poland and with offices in the U.K., and across the EU.
Is XTB regulated in the U.K.?
Yes, XTB is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under its U.K. entity XTB Limited (under license number 522157), and authorised to hold customer funds and act as a broker for a wide range of investment products and asset classes. XTB also holds regulatory licenses across other jurisdictions outside of the U.K., adding to its trustworthiness factor as a highly regulated broker.
Is XTB a good broker?
Whether XTB will be a good choice for you may depend on your specific circumstances and what you are looking for from a U.K. share broker. The key points are that in addition to being regulated, as a public company XTB is subject to greater disclosure requirements than private companies, and is well-capitalised.
In addition, XTB has a proven history of innovation when it comes to its proprietary trading technology and platform software, helping it to compete among the best U.K. share brokers, including across other regions and asset classes.
Is my money safe at XTB?
Your money can be considered safe at XTB, as it is a highly regulated broker. But as with any broker, regulation does not protect you from losses due to market movement or other types of risk, such as counterparty risk.
When you work with any broker that is regulated in the U.K. by the Financial Conduct Authority and authorised to hold client funds for share trading, you are relying on the creditworthiness of the broker to a certain extent, such as for margin trading. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) may also apply, where you can receive compensation up to £85,000 in the extraordinary event of a broker going into bankruptcy.
For these reasons, it is important to not only choose a broker that is properly regulated and has sufficient experience weathering market turmoil and geopolitical events, but also one that has sufficient capital on hand. XTB holds nearly 4 billion Polish zloty (PLN) in assets as of 31 December 2022, and appears to be well-capitalized as a public company. Its 20+ year history makes it a mature brokerage as well.
What is the minimum investment for XTB?
While the minimum deposit at XTB is £0, the smallest trade you can place is for £10 worth of shares when trading in the U.K. stock market, or 10 EUR when trading shares on EU regional exchanges. $10 USD is the smallest trade size for U.S. stocks.
Likewise, if you are trading other asset classes with XTB, the minimum order size (investment amount) may vary. It’s shown within the platform under the instrument specification icon for each investment product you select.
Does XTB have fees?
While XTB offers commission-free trading on up to £100K worth of shares per month, trading with XTB can involve costs, as with all U.K. brokers. This will depend on a variety of factors, including the method used to deposit or withdraw funds and specific investment products you trade, as well as the volume of your trading each month.
Currency conversion for foreign stocks: Trading shares in the U.K. will be different than trading EU shares if your account is denominated in GBP, since there will be a currency conversion of your GBP to EUR (in order to purchase the EU stocks) and then back again after your close your trade. There is a small markup added to the midpoint of the bid/ask exchange rate on the major currencies that are supported for trading foreign stocks.
Spreads and commissions: No matter which broker you choose, even a commission-free one, you will always incur the prevailing spreads at that broker for the given market you are trading (and for shares, the spreads are the same across exchanges, except in off-tape trading or alternative venues where there can be greater restrictions and liquidity available).
Holding costs for margin-based trades: If you trade CFDs, for example, there can be a holding cost for carrying trades overnight, in case you are using leverage from a margin account.
You may also encounter an inactivity fee, if your XTB account is inactive for 12 months and you have no deposits in the last 90 days. There are a number of other potential fee types found in XTB account agreement, including costs related to specific exchanges or when you order a hard copy of your account statement in the post.
For the 2023 StockBrokers.com U.K. Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 11 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker was exhaustively tested on all available platforms and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 17,000 words of research were produced.
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