Spread Betting UK

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Financial Times

February 9, 2015 8:20 am


Spread betting comparison site aims to improve transparency


A new price comparison website for UK financial spread betting companies has launched, designed to shine a light on the wide variety of fees being charged by many of these operators which are popular with retail investors.


Spread Angel allows clients to compare prices across 12 different UK-registered spread betting groups, including names such as IG GroupCMC Markets and City Index.


Will Hanbury, co-founder of Spread Angel, said: “The site is extremely useful as there are discrepancies across the industry. It enables people to identify which is the best spread betting firm for them.”


As online trading has exploded in popularity over the past decade, the spreads charged have reduced. However, the larger companies, which spend more money on marketing, do not always offer customers the cheapest rates.


Key areas of price discrepancy between the spread betting companies include trading costs and the overnight funding rate that consumers pay to hold their positions. All of these costs can add up over time and eat into profits.


Mr Hanbury said he wanted to bring price transparency to the industry, in the same way that Oddschecker compares the leading bookies and MoneySuperMarket.com allows consumers to compare prices on products such as mortgages and credit cards.


Users of Spread Angel can search different areas including fixed and variable rates, guaranteed stop losses and credit account facilities. As well as comparing the different prices the spread-betters offer, the site shows which companies have additional features such as social trading, where punters can follow expert traders, and mobile trading to attract new users with cash bonuses for new accounts.


Financial spread betting came under the spotlight in January when several retail brokers suffered big losses from volatility in the Swiss franc, after the Swiss National Bank removed the exchange rate ceiling against the euro.


IG Group, one of the largest UK spread betters, said in its latest results that the swings in the Swiss currency are likely to cost the company up to £30m because of market exposure losses and customer credit exposure losses.


In the half year to November 30, IG’s net trading turnover rose 8 per cent to a record £197.4m and pre-tax profit rose 2.8 per cent to £101.4m. The company reassured investors it would stick with its dividend policy despite the turmoil.


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