Who is ESMA
ESMA is an independent EU Authority that contributes to safeguarding the stability of the European Union’s financial system by enhancing the protection of investors and promoting stable and orderly financial markets.
What are the ESMA new measures
ESMA announced new regulatory changes for CFD brokers designed to provide greater protections to retail clients. These changes will go into effect on 1 August 2018 and will have a direct effect on all retail clients trading with a broker regulated in the European Union and includes the following.
- Leverage limits on the opening of a position by a retail client from 30:1 to 2:1, which vary according to the volatility of the underlying:
- 30:1 for major currency pairs;
- 20:1 for non-major currency pairs, gold and major indices;
- 10:1 for commodities other than gold and non-major equity indices;
- 5:1 for individual equities and other reference values;
- 2:1 for cryptocurrencies;
- A margin close out rule on a per account basis. This will standardise the percentage of margin (at 50% of minimum required margin) at which providers are required to close out one or more retail client’s open CFDs;
- Negative balance protection on a per account basis. This will provide an overall guaranteed limit on retail client losses;
- A restriction on the incentives offered to trade CFDs; and
- A standardised risk warning, including the percentage of losses on a CFD provider’s retail investor accounts.
MiFIR gives ESMA the power to introduce temporary intervention measures on a three-monthly basis. Before the end of the three months, ESMA will review the product intervention measures and consider the need to extend them for a further three months.