Much like IG index, City Index is one of the original ‘founder members’ of the spread betting market, having started back in 1983, but almost 10 years later than IG, which at the time formed the big two in the spread betting industry. Since then the company has grown significantly by a combination of organic growth and acquisition to reach its current place as an international organisation spanning the globe with operations in the Far East, Australasia, the US and Europe. Some of the key changes to the company have occurred in the last decade in particular the introduction of CFD’s ( contract for difference) in 2001, the acquisition of  Finspreads and IFX Markets in 2005 and finally the acquisition of FX Solutions, a US based forex broker which allowed the company to develop it’s overseas markets in forex, particularly in the USA and the Middle East. Today the company operates in over 50 countries and executes in excess of 1.5 million trades a day in spread betting, forex, and CFD’s. City Index is part of the Intercapital Private Group ( recently merged with Garban Intercapital), which has a large shareholding in ICAP,  one the world’s largest derivatives brokerages, and now a FTSE 100 company. ICAP plc was founded by Michael Spencer  who is one of the wealthiest men in the City having started ICAP from nothing in the mid 1980′s, and who remains its CEO, and if you would like to check out the latest ICAP  share price then simply follow the link here.

Now moving on to the trading platform and markets covered, as you would expect the company covers a diverse range of financial spread betting, and as well as all those you would expect including equities, currencies, indices and commodities, the company also offer spread betting in bonds, interest rates and market sectors, more specialised markets for spread bet traders. One of the advantages of the City Index trading platform is that it is browser based with no software to download to your pc, allowing you to trade from anywhere in the world by simply logging in to your account online, and trading away. This is compatible with all the latest browsers including Firefox, IE7 and above, and  Safari. In addition the company provide an App for the IPhone for both spread betting and CFD trading online.

One of the big disappointments for me however is that the company does not provide details of it’s spreads or bet sizes online, ( with only some basic information on the most popular markets) so you will have to open an account or download a demo account in order to see these details. I’m afraid this is a big negative for me, as other companies are quite happy to publish their spreads, bet sizes and margins to allow you to make an informed decision, so this is a big negative for me. I like to see prices published for anything I buy, whether a luxury item, electrical goods or in this case a spread betting service, and to me this is not an encouraging signal when I am looking for information that should be freely available.  Reading between the lines in the spread betting forums, the City Index spread are not as tight as some of the other companies, so perhaps this is the reason why? On the positive side however, they do have a delta options module on their trading platform, so if you are looking to spread bet options then this is a plus.

Below I have listed those spreads that are freely available  ( not very many I’m afraiid) which will give you an idea of they compare with the other spread betting companies that I am covering on this site, which I hope gives an indication of where they sit in the market.

Main Indices

  • Daily FTSE 100  – the minimum spread is 1 index point and the minimum bet size is £3
  • Daily FTSE future – not available
  • Daily Wall Street – the minimum spread is 1 index point – bet size not available
  • Daily Wall Street futures – not available
  • Daily SPX 500 – not available
  • Daily Germany 30 – not available
  • Daily Japan 225 – not available

Major Currency Pairs

  • EUR vs USD – not available
  • GBP vs USD – not available
  • USD vs CAD – not available
  • USD vs JPY – not available
  • AUD vs USD – not available

Commodities

  • Daily Brent crude oil – not available
  • Brent crude oil – not available
  • Daily US light crude oil -not available
  • US light crude – not available
  • Gold – not available
  • Daily spot gold – not available
  • Silver – not available
  • Daily silver – not available

Stocks and Shares

  • Over 1500 UK shares available to trade
  • Shares in FTSE 100 would typically cost 0.1%  to 0.15% of the trade value

In summary, if you plan to open a spread betting account with City Index, then their deposit margin will be in the region of 10% to 100% with a minimum spread of 1 and a minimum bet size of £1. Their account minimum is £0, and they offer 24 hour trading along with a demo account of their trading platform. As far as I know they have no special offers running at present, although it is always worth checking!