Spread betting

Financial spread betting is the tax-free* way to take advantage of rising or falling markets

  • No capital gains tax or stamp duty*
  • No commission to pay – just the dealing spreads
  • Gain full exposure by putting down a small initial deposit
  • Take a position on forex, indices, shares, commodities and more
  • Manage your risk with a range of stops

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What is spread betting?

Spread betting allows you to take a position on whether you think a market will rise or fall, without having to buy the underlying asset.

  • Importantly, spread betting is a leveraged product. This means you only have to put down a small deposit for a much larger market exposure.
  • Betting using leverage means there are significant benefits and risks: your investment capital can go further, but you can also lose more than your initial deposit.

Spread betting is flexible as it's possible to take short positions and deal on over 10,000 markets. However, it is important to understand the risks involved and have suitable risk management strategies in place.

With spread betting you are betting on the financial markets, not trading them directly. This means any potential profits are tax-free*.

How it works

With each market you are given a 'buy' and 'sell' price either side of the underlying market price – this is known as the spread. If you think the market will rise, you open your spread bet at the ‘buy’ price. If you think it will fall, you open at the ‘sell’ price.

The more the market moves in your favour, the greater your profit. The more the market moves against you, the greater your loss.

See more detailed examples for forexindices and shares.

News and analysis

Is spread betting for me?

Spread betting is suitable for:

  • Active traders looking for tax-free profits*
  • Shares traders looking to diversify their portfolios
  • People who are interested in the markets and what affects them
  • Those looking to add flexibility to their investment capital, through leverage

Is it for me?    What are the risks?

 

Compare with CFDs

You can spread bet and trade CFDs with IG. Each has its own unique features and can suit different trading styles.

Compare with CFDs

What are the costs?

We are committed to being transparent about our costs and charges.

  • You pay a dealing spread on all markets
  • Small charge to fund positions overnight
  • Small premium for guaranteed stops

See our costs and charges

Our dealing technology

Our award-winning dealing platform is available on desktop, tablet and mobile.
Try our web-based platform for yourself.

Fast, reliable execution
Deals are executed in 0.1 seconds¹

 

Benefit from better pricing
Improved prices and no requotes

Analyse then deal from charts
Access to real-time market information

Spread bet with confidence
Less than 0.05% platform downtime2

Spread bet with the UK’s most popular provider

We’re proud to offer the UK's leading spread betting service: 41% of all spread bettors in the UK are betting with us.3

With over 125,000 clients around the world, we are a trusted, global provider of spread bets and CFDs. Advanced dealers benefit from our premium services, specialised charting packages and more. We’re regulated by the FCA and segregate individual client funds from our own accounts. Discover more about IG.

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  • Get started in moments
  • Access charts and view live prices
  • Deal online or via our mobile apps

Create an account

Try our platform – no login needed

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Start spread betting with IG in minutes with our quick online form: simply apply for an account and follow the instructions.

* Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

1 99.01% of trades executed in 0.1 seconds: average per month, IG globally (12 months to September 2014).

2 99.95% core platform uptime: average per month, IG globally (12 months to September 2014).

3 Number of active accounts (Investment Trends UK Leveraged Trading Report December 2013).

Buying Barclays plc detailed

Buying Barclays: detailed

  Spread bet DFB CFD
Underlying market/value

Barclays Plc 289.85/290

Our price 289.56/290.29 289.85/290
Deal

Buy at 290.29

Buy at 290

Deal size £20 per point 2000 shares
Margin required

£580.58

Deal size x price x margin rate (10%)

£580

Number of shares x price x margin rate (10%)

What happens next? By 4.35pm our price has risen to 292.25: this is the level our funding is calculated at. It rises steadily the next day, reaching 295.35 By 4.35 the market has risen to 291.95: this is the price our funding is calculated at. It rises steadily the next day, reaching 295.05
Funding

Overnight funding charge of £0.48

(One-month Libor + 2.5% eg 0.49% + 2.5%) x deal size x price)/365

(2.99% x £20 x 292.25)/365

Overnight funding charge of £0.48

(One-month Libor + 2.5% eg 0.49% + 2.5%) x number of shares x price)/365

(2.99 % x 2000 x 2.9195)/365

Underlying market 294.85/295.05
Close

Sell at 294.55

Sell at 294.85

Gross profit

£85.20

294.55 – 290.29  = 4.26

Value of one point = £20

4.26 x £20 = £85.20

£97

294.85 – 290 = 4.85p

4.85p x 2000 shares = £97

Costs

0.1% spread of price (included)

Funding: £0.48

Commission £ 20

Value of position x 0.10% (Minimum £10)

(2000 x 2.90) x 0.10% = £5.8

(2000 x 2.9485) x 0.10% = £5.90

Funding: £0.48
Net profit

£84.72 profit tax-free*

£76.52 profit subject to tax

What if...

If the underlying market fell to 281.95 instead:

281.95 – 290.29 = -8.34 pts

-(8.34 x £20 + £0.48) 

£167.28 net loss

If the underlying market fell to 282.25 instead:

282.25 – 290 = -7.75p

-(7.75p x 2000 shares + £0.48 + £20) 

£175.48 net loss


Daily funded bets (DFBs) are long-term bets on the cash price of an underlying instrument. DFBs have no expiry date, so we make a cash adjustment to your account to reflect funding charges. 

*Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

Buying Barclays plc light

Buying Barclays

  Spread bet DFB CFD
Underlying market/value

Barclays Plc 289.85/290

Our price 289.56/290.29 289.85/290
Deal

Buy at 290.29

Buy at 290

Deal size £20 per point 2000 shares
Margin required

£580.58

£580

What happens next? Our price rises steadily to 295.35 The market rises steadily to 295.05
Underlying market 294.85/295.05
Close

Sell at 294.55

Sell at 294.85

Gross profit

294.55 – 290.29  = 4.26

Gross tax-free* profit = 4.26 x £20 = £85.2

294.85 – 290 = 4.85p

Gross profit = 4.85p x 2000 shares = £97

What if...

If the underlying market fell to 281.95 instead:

-8.34 pts x £20

Gross loss = £166.80

If the underlying market fell to 282.25 instead, and assuming same costs:

-7.75p x 2000 shares

Gross loss = £155

 

To calculate your net profit or loss, you would need to factor in any spread, commission or funding charges. See our detailed example for more information.

Daily funded bets (DFBs) are long-term bets on the cash price of an underlying instrument. DFBs have no expiry date, so we make a cash adjustment to your account to reflect funding charges.

* Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

Selling the FTSE 100 Cash CFD and FSB Light

Selling the FTSE 100

  Spread bet DFB Cash CFD
Underlying market/value

FTSE 100 JUN13 Future 6400

Our market and price 

FTSE 100 DFB

6441.05/6442.5

FTSE 100 Cash

6441.05/6442.5
Deal

Sell at 6441.05

Sell at 6441.05

Deal size

£10 per point

1 contract

£10 per contract
Margin required

£250

Margin factor x deal size

25 x £10

£250

Margin requirement per contract x number of contracts

£250 x 1

What happens next? The market drops falls to 6310
Close

Buy at 6310.5

Gross profit

Gross tax-free* profit = £1305.50

6441.05 – 6310.5 = 130.55

£10 per point

Gross profit subject to tax = £1305.50

6441.05 – 6310.5 = 130.55

One contract is worth £10 per point

What if...

If the market rose 130.5 points instead:

130.5 x £10

£1305 gross loss

 

 

To calculate your net profit or loss, you would need to factor in any spread or funding charges. See our detailed example for more information.

Daily funded bets (DFBs) and Cash CFDs are no-expiry deals on futures markets. We make a cash adjustment to your account to reflect funding charges for any DFB or Cash CFD held open overnight.

* Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

Selling the FTSE 100 Cash CFD and FSB Detailed

Selling the FTSE 100: detailed

  Spread bet DFB Cash CFD
Underlying market/value

FTSE 100 JUN13 Future 6400

Our market and price 

FTSE 100 DFB

6441.05/6442.5

FTSE 100 Cash

6441.05/6442.5
Deal

Sell at 6441.05

Sell at 6441.05

Deal size

£10 per point

1 contract

£10 per contract
Margin required

£250

Margin factor x deal size

25 x £10

£250

Margin requirement per contract x number of contracts

£250 x 1

What happens next? The market drops dramatically, reaching 6300 at 10pm, when funding is calculated. It rises a little overnight, to 6310
Funding

Funding = £3.47

(One-month LIBOR eg 0.49% minus 2.5% x £10 x 6300)/365

Close

Buy at 6310.5

Buy at 6310.5

Overall market movement & profit/loss

Gross profit = £1305.50

6441.05 – 6310.5 = 130.55

£10 per point

Gross profit = £1305.50

6441.05 – 6310.5 = 130.55

Each contract is worth £10 per point

Costs

1-point IG spread (included)

Funding cost: £3.47

Net profit

£1302.03 tax-free* net profit

£1302.03 net profit subject to tax

What if...

If the market rose 130.5 points instead:

130.5 x £10 + £3.40

£1308.40 net loss

 

 

Daily funded bets (DFBs) and Cash CFDs are no-expiry deals on futures markets. We make a cash adjustment to your account to reflect funding charges for any DFB or Cash CFD held open overnight.

* Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

Example: buying cable (GBP/USD) detailed

Buying GBP/USD: detailed

  Spread bet DFB CFD
Market Spot GBP/USD
Price

15,579.7/15,580.5

1.55797/1.55805

Deal

Buy £10 a point at 15,580.5

Buy 1 contract at 1.55805 (1 contract = £100,000)

Margin required One contract is £100,000 and the margin rate is 0.5% = £500
What happens next? GBP/USD climbs one hundred points into the next day. 
Funding

Funding = size x (daily tom-next rate + admin fee of 0.0022% per day)

£10 x 1.05 = £10.50

Funding = size x (tom-next rate + admin fee of 0.3% pa)

£10 x 0.25 = £2.50

Price 15,695 - 15,695.8 1.5695 - 1.56958
Close

You sell at 15,695

You sell at 1.5695

Gross profit

£1145

15,695 – 15,580.5 = 114.5

Value per point = £10

114.5 x £10 = £1145

£1145

1.5695 – 1.55805 = 0.01145

Number of contracts = 1

Value per contract £100,000

0.01145 x £100,000 = £1145
Costs

0.8 point IG spread (included)

Funding cost = £10.50

0.8 point IG spread (included)

Funding cost = £2.50
Net profit

£1134.50 tax free*

£1142.50

What if...

If the market dropped 114.5 points instead:

£1145 + £10.50

Net loss = £1155.50

If the market dropped 114.5 points instead:

£1145 + £2.50

Net loss = £1147

 

What are DFBs?

Daily funded bets (DFBs) are long-term bets on the cash price of an underlying instrument. DFBs have no expiry date, so we make a cash adjustment to your account to reflect funding charges.

Why do CFD and spread betting FX prices look different?

  • You trade forex via CFD in contracts or lots. We therefore display CFD forex prices in the same way you would expect to see them on an FX exchange: e.g. 1.31425
  • Because you spread bet on forex in currency per point, we display prices differently e.g. 13142.5. This makes it easier to see per point movements.

This makes no difference to the price you deal at or your potential profit or loss: it simply makes it easier to track per point movements.

*Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

Example: buying cable (GBP/USD) light

Buying GBP/USD

  Spread bet DFB CFD
Market Spot GBP/USD
Price

15,579.7 - 15,580.5

1.55797 - 1.55805
Deal

Buy $10 a point at 15,580.5

Buy 1 contract at 1.55805 (1 contract = £100,000)

Margin required One contract is £100,000 and the margin rate is 0.5% = £500
What happens next? GBP/USD climbs over one hundred points. 
Price 15,695.0 - 15,695.8 1.56950 - 1.56958
Close

You sell at 15,695.0

You sell at 1.56950

Gross profit

 

Gross tax-free* profit = £1145
 

15,695.0 - 15,580.5 = 114.5

Value per point = £10

114.5 x £10 = £1145

 

 

 

Gross profit = £1145


1.56950 - 1.55805 = 0.01145

Value per contract = £100,000

0.01145 x £100,000 = £1145

What if...

If the market dropped 114.5 points instead:

Gross loss = $1145


To calculate your net profit or loss, you would need to factor in any funding charges. See our detailed example for more information.

What are DFBs?

Daily funded bets (DFBs) are long-term bets on the cash price of an underlying instrument. DFBs have no expiry date, so we make a cash adjustment to your account to reflect funding charges.

Why do CFD and spread betting FX prices look different?

  • You trade forex via CFD in contracts or lots. We therefore display CFD forex prices in the same way you would expect to see them on an FX exchange: e.g. 1.31425
  • Because you spread bet on forex in currency per point, we display prices differently e.g. 13142.5. This makes it easier to see per point movements.

This makes no difference to the price you deal at or your potential profit or loss: it simply makes it easier to track per point movements.

*Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.