CFDs are a leveraged product and can result in losses that exceed deposits. Trading CFDs may not be suitable for everyone, so please ensure you fully understand the risks and take care to manage your exposure.

What is a professional client and how do I become one?

What is a professional client?

A Professional Client is deemed more capable of understanding the risks involved in financial trading than a Retail Client. Professional Clients may thus benefit from more flexibility in terms of rates and benefits.

If you are eligible to be classified as a Professional Client under DFSA rules, you may request IG to consider classifying you as such.

What are the benefits of becoming a Professional Client?

The potential benefits of being a Professional Client are:

  • A significant reduction in margin rates, allowing trades with more leverage (e.g. the FTSE rate of 2% is reduced to 0.45%, provided that higher leverage is commensurated with higher risk of losing money).
  • Access to a personal account manager
  • Greater flexibility in funding using bank transfers as well as a Debit and Credit card.
  • Invitations to premium hospitality events and increased chances of meeting like-minded traders.

What are the risks?

  • We can use more technical trading and financial language when talking to our professional clients and presume understanding by the clients unless they specifically advise to the contrary.
  • When executing your orders, we owe you a duty of best execution. For retail clients we must prioritise overall prices and cost of a transaction when giving best execution. As a professional client, we may prioritise other factors in giving best execution, such as speed and likelihood of execution if we determine they are equally or more important than overall price. In practice, we will not change the way we execute your orders.
  • IG offers limited risk accounts and those where losses may exceed deposits. While also Retail Clients may opt to open an account where losses may exceed deposits, Professional Clients typically, even though not necessarily in all instances, opt predominantly for accounts with IG which under certain circumstances may cause the client’s unrealized and/or realized losses to be higher than the client’s deposits. Entering into transactions using higher leverage increases the risk, irrespective what account type is chosen by the client.
  • DFSA client protection rules applicable to Retail Clients do not apply to Professional Clients. You are solely responsible for understanding the risks of not benefitting from such rules. IG does not incur, and shall not be deemed to incur any legal liability resulting from a classification as Professional Client.

How do I become a Professional Client?

You can apply to be categorised as a Professional Client by logging in to My IG and selecting ‘settings’ and then ‘client and account status’.

To qualify as Professional, you need to meet certain criteria related to your trading history, investment portfolio, and/or your employment history.

Other questions

Can I change my mind if I no longer want to be classified as professional?

Yes, you must contact us in writing if you no longer want to be classified this way.

You will only be re-classified as Retail Client once we confirm to you in writing that we have re-classified you as Retail Client.

Will this change apply to all my accounts?

Yes, the change will apply to all your IG accounts held with IG Limited in DIFC, Dubai.

What are the criteria to qualify for a Professional Client Status?

You’ll need to meet the following two criterias in order to qualify as a professional client:
  1. Trading experience: Placed a trading average of 40 significantly sized leverage transactions with a minimum notional value of $50,000 each over the last year. Or provide us with documentary proof of professional employment in the financial sector in a regulated financial institution in a professional position requiring knowledge of financial derivatives trading for at least 2 years.
  2. Investment portfolio: You are required to have a ‘financial instrument portfolio’, including cash deposits, exceeding $1 million net of any liabilities.

Does the experience I’ve gained trading with IG count towards the application?

Only in terms of trading experience. If you want to qualify on the basis of your professional experience, you’ll need to have held a role in the financial sector that required knowledge of leveraged financial derivatives.

What kind of proof may I need to provide?

We’re likely to ask for proof of an investment portfolio consisting of $1 million in financial instruments or cash. This would normally be in the form of a bank statement.

For trades that have not been carried out with IG, we may ask for an account ledger showing enough trades of the required notional value.

We will need a proof in the form of documentary evidence of, and an in-depth description of the relevant professional experience in a regulated financial institution and how the role gave you exposure to leveraged financial derivatives.

In any event, IG’s consent is required for any upgrade to “Professional” status.

Can I upgrade from a joint account?

Yes, you can. However, each of the account holders will need to qualify under the criteria for this to be possible.

Can I upgrade from a corporate account?

Yes, you may be able to upgrade a corporate account. However, it’s important to note that the required financial assets would need to be legally owned by the company. Professional experience will be tested by reference to the private individuals that are authorised to give trading instructions to IG in the course of the business relationship. A “look-through” to the natural person’s eligibility to be classified as “Professional” may be possible for companies that are owned to 100% by such natural person. More detailed rules apply depending on the legal nature of the company and the individual circumstances. IG will inform you about the relevant requirements in more detail upon request.

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