IG is one of the largest providers of leveraged trading services (such as spreadbetting and CFDs) globally. Its stockbroking services are more limited, covering the UK and a handful of other countries, although more markets are occasionally added.
The UK service is notable for offering execution via Direct Market Access (DMA) as well as the more common Retail Service Provider (RSP) model. DMA can be useful to more active traders and the firm is one of only four UK platforms to provide this for retail investors – the others are iDealing, Interactive Brokers, and Saxo Markets.
For international investors, perhaps the most significant aspect of the service is the low FX conversion charge of 0.5% – this compares very well with almost all rivals at present. The account fee is waived if you trade three times per quarter, making it potentially quite cost-effective for regular investors if it covers the markets you want.