City Index Australia is easily one of the better-known Forex trading platforms available to Australians. A subsidiary of online brokerage leader Forex.com through its parent company Gain Capital LTD, City Index plugs Australian traders into one of the world’s largest foreign exchange trading networks. The company was founded in 1983 in the United Kingdom and eventually expanded into the Australian market in 2006.
In our comprehensive City Index review, five of the key strengths found in the platform were:
- Reliable MetaTrader 4 trading platform with customised exclusive features
- Flexible leverage options
- Innovative price improvement technology to prevent slippage losses
- Tight spreads
- Market news and analysis readily available on the City Index website
Like any other brokerage, City Index has its weaker points. The areas of poorer performance identified in our City Index review include:
- Lower maximum leverage than other platforms at only 200:1
- Somewhat slow connection on automatic trading platform
- Initial deposit requirement of $500
- Limited educational resources for intermediate traders
- No social trading features
Basics of City Index Forex Trading
City Index offers traders the ability to pick from a total of 84 Forex currency pairs. These pairs include all of the so-called majors and minors, as well as some exotic pairs. This diversity of pair options gives traders a great deal of flexibility in how they choose to trade on the platform. Though it is not as relevant to this City Index review, it should be noted that the site does also offer CFDs trading.
City Index are market makers rather than ECN broker. This means there is a dealing desk involved in the forex trading sales structure. By this, we mean City Index are dealers who buy and sell securities. This will generally mean prices are higher when compared with a ECN broker who have no dealing desk. You will however find City Index offer a wide range of risk management tools such as guaranteed stop loss which can help negate the costs of the wider spreads.
City Index Review of Trading Platform Options
The basic trading software on City Index is MetaTrader 4, which is the dominant standard trading software in the Forex market. On City Index, the standard MT4 platform is upgraded with variable Forex pricing and access to all of City Index’s market analytics. These upgrades, on top of an already well-proven system, give this version of the MT4 platform versatile function while keeping it relatively user-friendly.
Also available is AT Pro, a downloadable trading software that was created specifically for use on City Index. AT Pro offers automatic trading features based on common Forex trading strategies. Used correctly, this software has the ability to make Forex trading a somewhat more passive investment strategy. However, traders still need to keep a careful eye on their positions while using automatic trading.
For those who prefer to trade on the go, City Index also offers mobile apps compatible with Android, Windows and iOS. With so many traders these days choosing to trade remotely using smartphones and tablets, such mobile functionality is almost essential.
City Index Leverage Structure
A key component of a City Index review for beginner and experienced traders trying to decide whether this platform is right for them is the leverage structure. As stated in the overview, City Index only offers leverage ratios of up to 200:1. Since many Forex brokers now offer leverages of 400:1, 500:1 or in some cases even more, this puts City Index behind the curve in the leverage department.
Effectively, 200:1 leverage will limit the volume of currency a trader can work with on any given position relative to his or her personal investment. A trader opening a position with $100 leveraged at 200:1 will be able to trade with $20,000. A more standard leverage ratio of 400:1, by comparison, would let the trader work with double that amount of money. This lower leverage results in:
- Lower potential gains from successful trades
- Lower risks in unsuccessful trades
- ability to open fewer large volume positions simultaneously
Though City Index has some noticeable weaknesses in the area of leverage, it also has some strengths. The fact that the leverage ratio on any given trade can be set anywhere between 20:1 and the maximum of 200:1 can be very helpful for more conservative traders trying to reduce their exposure to risk. For traders who need higher leverage for opening large numbers of positions or as part of their overall trading strategy, however, the 200:1 ratio can be a handicap.
Full Australian Regulation
Another point that’s important in a comprehensive City Index review is the fact that it is fully regulated under the authority of the Australian Securities Investment Commission. Thanks to regulation by this body, traders choosing City Index can be sure that they are doing business with a reputable brokerage that must conform to all Australian investment laws.
City Index Support and Service Levels
Traders using City Index have multiple ways to reach out to the company’s cystomer support staff when they need to, including:
- Live chat assistance
- Email support
- Direct phone support based in Australia
In addition to these methods of contacting support, traders can also try to find the answers to their questions in the FAQ section of the brokerage’s website. This set of common questions will provide answers and solutions for most issues. When more rigorous support is needed, however, City Index’s staff is there to help.
Opening a City Index Account
If, after reading this City Index review, you wish to open an account with this brokerage, the steps to do so are very simple. To open a new account:
- Select the “Open an Account” option from the header bar on the City Index website
- Fill out your personal and financial details. These will be used to verify your identity and for tax purposes
- Use a debit or credit card or a wire transfer to deposit at least $500 into your new account
If you are a complete beginner as a Forex trader, city index also offers a demo account. The demo account will allow you to place mock trades in real time and acquaint yourself with the trading platform without risking any real money. Trade on this account for a few days or until you feel comfortable putting your own hard-earned money into your investments, then upgrade to a full account.
Deposits and Withdrawals
City Index allow deposits via Credit/Debit Card, Electronic Funds Transfers and BPay. If using local (Australian) banks then there will be no charges for deposits. Charges may occur if using international banks. Up to 3 cards can be used to fund your account. When it comes to withdrawals, you must use a card associated with your account, City Index may require documentation from you before approving withdrawals. There is a minimum withdrawal amount of $50 (unless your account has less than $50) and a maximum withdrawal limit of $20,000 per 24 hours. It can take up to 3 business days for funds to be delivered to your bank account.
City Index Review: Final Impressions
Overall City Index is a strong brokerage that beginning and intermediate Forex trading Australia enthusiasts should consider when looking for a new place to trade online. Though its leverage restriction may be an issue for some traders, it is not enough to offset the advantages this brokerage offers.