One of the ways people in Europe trade is via CFDs' or Contracts For Difference. The main advantage versus buying the underlying is high leverage and low transaction costs. CFD providers nowadays are global, but for issues we will mention, it is best to avoid providers that have bad compliance service resulting in thousands of pounds of losses in particular GFTUK and potentially long legal battles to get your money back. See gftuk.com. Also GFTUK has significantly higher transaction costs than all other companies, including even FXCM.
Essentially if you open an account via iii.co.uk or a host of other relabeled brands, you are actually trading via GFTUK. The trouble with GFTUK is they can close your positions without authorization even if you have more than adequate funds in place. In particular, if you take a holiday to a country like Cuba your account can be closed with no warning. I am not kidding. GFTUK does not prevent you from trading from such countries, but instead they simply close your account when you trade from these countries. Thus it is a waste of your time to choose GFTUK and similar brands when you can open accounts in companies such as www.dukascopy.com/. We recommend them wholly over NY based companies which act strangely.
Here is the email I got from GFTUK when my accounts where closed for no good reason other than being on holiday in a country they did not approve of:
We hereby give you 30 days notice that GFT Global Markets UK Ltd, (GFT), has decided to close your account with our company, and this will be done in accordance with Clause 20 of our General Terms which are located at:
Our decision has been made in accordance with Clause 20.2 of our General Terms. GFT UK are not obliged to provide you with any further information as to why we have chosen to close your account at this time.
We thank you for your past custom.
At least with Paypal and FXCM they are courteous and just ask questions, once answered they unsuspended my account. So if you are going to trade with a NY based firm, trade with FXCM. They are more courteous.