Professional Trading

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued its product intervention measures affecting Retail client accounts with effect from 1 August, 2018. The measures mainly relate to leverage, margin close-out and negative balance protection.

Professional accounts are not subject to ESMA’s leverage restrictions.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Bar graph and pie chart on a financial report

What Does it Mean?

ESMA's measures do not affect Professional Accounts. See the differences between a Retail Account and a Professional Account in the comparison table below:

Leverage Comparison Table (max leverage)
Other Criteria
Leverage Comparison Table (max leverage)
Instruments Category Retail Account Professional Account
Forex 1:30 1:300
Indices 1:20 1:300
Commodities 1:20 1:150
Shares 1:5 1:20
Options 1:5 1:5
ETFs 1:5 1:100
Crypto 1:2 1:20
Other Criteria
Criteria Retail Account Professional Account
Client Money Protection
Negative Balance Protection
Best execution for orders
Clear and transparent information
Financial Ombudsman Service
ICF rights -

Illustrative Example:

When Selling €15K of EUR/USD CFD at a Sell rate of 1.1750:

  • Retail clients with a leverage of 1:30 will need an initial margin of €587.5.
  • Professional clients with a leverage level of 1:300 will need an initial margin of €58.75.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a Professional Account?

Clients who meet at least 2 of the following 3 criteria are eligible:

  • Sufficient trading activity in last 12 months

    You have performed an average of at least 10 transactions per quarter, of significant size, over the previous four quarters on the relevant market1 (with Plus500 and/or other providers).

  • Financial instrument portfolio of over €500,000 (including cash savings and financial instruments)

    You will not be required to deposit this amount.
    The size of your financial instrument portfolio2 exceeds €500,000.

  • Relevant experience in the financial services sector

    You work/have worked in the financial sector, for at least one year in a professional position which requires knowledge of the related transactions or services.

1 Relevant Market - OTC Derivatives such as Leveraged CFDs, Forex, Spread Betting.
2 Financial instruments portfolio includes shares, derivatives (only cash deposits made to fund/profits realised from investing in derivatives), debt instruments and cash deposits. It does not include property portfolios, direct commodity ownership or notional values of leveraged instruments.

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