City Index Review

Published by Filipe R. Costa on Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:55
city index

City index is one of the leading UK spread betting and CFD providers. The company belongs to a financial group holding several businesses in the financial arena including the other sister company Finspreads. City Index was created in 1983 and has been growing in several countries, currently having offices not only in the UK, but also in the US, Singapore, Poland, China, and Australia.

Company Overview

City Index is tailored for any type of trader that wants a global offer in a simple trading platform. The software is fast and reliable and very simple to understand at the same time. instead of being populated with enriched colors and unnecessary stuff, it is built for who wants to concentrate in the trade. Most markets can be traded with stakes less than £1 per point, making City index not only good for traders that have portfolios of thousands of pounds but also for traders just wanting to risk a few hundreds or maybe less.

Range of Markets

The range of markets offered at City Index is the same offered at Finspreads. The offer is very complete and in line with what the best spread betting providers offer: indices, shares, foreign exchange, interest rate, bonds, metals and commodities. At the same time, there are some interesting options inside those major categories like the possibility to trade some UK sectors and options on several markets with many expiry dates.

Shares – UK shares are the best covered. You can trade all FTSE100 shares, and also many other from the FTSE 250, FTSE 350 and even small caps. Besides trading UK shares, the offer extends to many European markets, the US, Asia, Australia, and Canada. City index and Finspreads have a really extended offer of global shares.

Indices – You can trade all the main equity index like the FTSE, the Dow, S&P, Nasdaq, Cac, Dax, and other. Most index trading is offered in rolling daily bets and futures.

Foreign Exchange - City Index offers all most traded pairs that are the result of combinations between USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD, and NZD. But if you are looking for minor pairs and crosses, there are also other currencies available. The most traded pairs have tight spreads, most with just one, two, or three pips.

Commodities– You can trade US and UK crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, grains, soft commodities, metals, and options on all these markets.

Bonds and Interest Rates – These markets are becoming more and more interesting for spread betters with all credit ratings problems around the world that make these markets move much more than at other times. You can trade Euribor, Eurodollar, Short Sterling, Bobl, Bund, Schatz, Treasury Notes and Bonds.

Options and Binaries – If you are used to the option-style of trading you can find several options in City Index, for currencies, for equities and for indices. This provider offers many options for the same instrument with varying maturity and strike price. Binaries are a special case of options in which there are just two possible outcomes. City offers thse markets at higher spreads than you will find on the other markets. But that is in line with what you will find at other providers.

Spreads, Margins & Minimum Stakes

As I pointed above, City Index is tailored for both high stake and lower profile trading. Most markets have minimum stakes per point of just £0.50. In certain cases the minimum is even less than that, as is the case for the Dow 30 index where you can place stakes of £0.40 per point movement. In terms of spreads, City Index has a very competitive offer with markets like FTSE and Dow trading at just 1 point during market hours, EUR/USD and GBP/USD also just 1 point. What I think is not the best part of City Index is the minimum margin requirement. These minimums are higher than what you will face at other providers. By one side that is good news since it will avoid you engaging in too much leverage. By other side, sometimes we want to lever the account just a bit more than it is allowed by these minimums. When the account reaches 80% of the initial margin requirement, your positions are sold. That is sometimes frustrating too.

The table below depicts the usual spreads charged at City Index, along with initial margin requirements and minimum stakes:

Spreads, initial Margins and Minimum Stakes
  Spread Initial Margin Minimum Stake
FTSE 100 1 60 50p
Dow 30 1 120 40p
Nasdaq 100 1 20 40p
S&P 500 4 150 60p
Nikkei 225 20 250 90p
Dax 30 1 80 50p
FTSE 100 0.20% 5 - 20% 50p
FTSE 250 0.20 - 0.40% 20 - 25% 50p
Major US 0.20% 5 - 20% 10p
Major European 0.20% 5 - 20% 50p
GBP/USD 1 160 30p
EUR/USD 1 140 40p
EUR/GBP 1 85 50p
USD/JPY 2 100 50p
Gold 4 350 50p
Brent Crude 6 300 50p
US Crude 4 160 50p
Bund 3 100 60p
US 10Y 2 64 70p
Gilt Future 3 100 50p
Euribor 2 30 50p


Trading Hours

Trading occurs continuously between Sunday 20:00 till Friday 21:15 UK time.

Platform Review

city index screenshot

City has a very simple platform that is not fully featured but has all the essential tools for a successful trading. The simplicity allows you to make your trading decisions very quickly and concentrate yourself in trading. At the same time, they provide software that runs on every system, being it Mac, Windows or Linux-based allowing you for access in any place. There is also software available for mobile phones: Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and other smart phones. City Index has invested a lot in mobile software but it was worth every cent since they have one of the best mobile trading platforms.

Account Opening and Money Matters

Opening an account is a simple proccess. You just have to fill an online form and send some documents. After that, your account is easily and quickly aproved. City Index also offers you £150 in trading credit.

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