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Press Release

Saxo Bank welcomes ESMA’s proposals and supports consistent EU-wide regulation on the provision of CFDs to retail clients

Saxo Bank, the global multi-asset trading and investment specialist, welcomes ESMA’s latest update on its preparatory work in relation to the provision of CFDs to retail clients. The update, which was issued on Friday, 15 December and envisages a brief period of consultation in January 2018, paves the way for a more level playing field among EU providers offering CFDs to clients, avoiding an arms race on leverage.

Commenting on ESMA’s proposals, Kim Fournais, co-founder and CEO, Saxo Bank, said: “Saxo strongly welcomes and supports the proposals set forth by ESMA and believes that consistent, harmonised regulation at a European level will be positive for clients and the industry as a whole. At Saxo, we have been expecting these developments for some time and have provisions in place. We made a clear strategic decision not to compete on high leverage, placing us in a good position to maintain and grow our business in this new regulatory environment.”

Saxo believes that trading with CFDs and FX instruments has its advantages for traders looking hedge their global market exposure in a flexible and efficient way. However, with too high leverage, the risks of trading these products can outweigh the benefits.

“It is important to note that this is a leverage problem – not a product problem. Responsible caps on leverage are therefore key to consumer protection. Our approach and business model clearly show that running a profitable business and being a responsible market participant are not mutually exclusive. For its long-term survival, the industry should welcome the move away from competition on leverage and embrace competition on quality of platform, price, product and service,” added Fournais. 

ESMA’s latest proposals signal a need for better alignment between leverage levels and market conditions. Saxo takes a dynamic approach to leverage, adapting margins to volatility, market capitalization when trading stocks and available liquidity in the market. It believes that offering very high leverage which is out of sync with underlying market conditions at any given time is irresponsible.

Earlier this year Saxo Bank Saxo Bank signed up to the FX Global Code of Conduct, published and Enhanced Disclosure and announced the decision to withdraw from the UK CFD and Association. Saxo Bank aims to continuously be at the forefront of driving transparency, integrity and trust in the sector.  

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Saxo Bank is a leading Fintech specialist and global multi-asset facilitator of capital markets products and services. Saxo enables private clients to trade more than 35,000 instruments from one single margin account.

Additionally, Saxo provides institutional clients such as banks and fintechs with Open Banking solutions from multi-asset execution, prime brokerage services to trading technology. Founded in 1992, Saxo Bank has embraced Open Banking from the beginning and is focused on helping clients and partners through win-win partnerships and product innovation.

Since launching its first online trading platform in 1998, Saxo Bank works to empower everyone to navigate their financial future by opening up access to trading and investment. The Saxo Group’s client assets total more than 45 billion euros, and the Group employs more than 2100 people in financial centres around the world including London, Singapore, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, Zurich, Dubai and Tokyo.

For more information, please visit

Saxo Bank A/S (Headquarters)
Philip Heymans Alle 15

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