Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs or our other products work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FAQ

Find answers to the most popular questions regarding trading with Tickmill.

Product Intervention Measures

You can use bank statements, share certificates and SIPS (provided it is not a company pension). This list is not exhaustive.

We will not accept company pensions, physical commodities and fixed assets (including properties and vehicles).


  • The negative balance protection limits the maximum losses that a retail investor could have. It is designed as a backstop for cases when margin close-out does not work effectively as a result of a very sudden price movement.
  • By introducing negative balance protection per account, the investor can never lose more than the total sum invested for trading CFDs. There can be no residual loss or obligation to provide additional funds beyond those in the investor’s CFD trading account.

  • The margin close-out rule standardises the percentage of margin at which CFD providers are required to close out a CFD or multiple CFD positions.
  • The margin close-out has been set at 50% to ensure that investors’ margin is not eroded close to zero.
  • Specifically, if the total margin in an account falls more than 50% of the amount of the initial margin required in respect of the open CFD position, the provider must close one or more of the CFD positions.
  • The margin close-out rule does not prescribe which positions must be closed out or in what order.

As a Professional Client, you will not have the following protections afforded to Retail Clients under the FCA UK:

  • FOS – If you are an elective Professional Client who is not defined as a ‘consumer’, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
  • No leverage restrictions – You might be exposed to higher leverages that can amplify your losses.
  • These are listed in the Loss of Protection document that you need to read and accept before your reclassification is confirmed. (https://secure.tickmill.co.uk)

  • Evidence of trading activity showing approximately 40 trades of a significant size during the past year.
  • Any documentation that shows that the client has worked in the industry in the relevant financial sector for over a year in a professional position requiring knowledge of the transactions or services envisaged.
  • Bank statements, share certificates, broker accounts, etc. that evidence 500,000 EUR or more in investments.

A Professional Client can be either ’per se’ or ’elective’:

Per Se Professional Client:

  • A client required to be authorised or regulated to operate in the financial markets, including but not limited to credit institutions, investment firms and insurance companies.
  • A large undertaking meeting of two of the following size requirements on a company basis:
  1. A balance sheet total of 20,000,000 EUR or more;
  2. A net turnover of 40,000,000 EUR or more;
  3. Own funds of 2,000,000 EUR or more;
  • A national or regional government, including a public body that manages public debt, central banks, international or supranational institutions.
  • An institutional investor whose main activity is to invest in financial instruments.
  • A large undertaking, including a partnership, a body corporate or an unincorporated association, which meet the relevant criteria.

Elective Professional Client:

  • A client must meet the requirements set by the FCA UK.
  • A client must pass a “Qualitative test”, where we must assess their knowledge, experience and expertise with reference to the nature of the transactions or services envisaged, to ensure that they are capable of making their own investment decisions.
  • A client must also complete a “Quantitative test” and satisfy 2 of the following criteria, where applicable:
  1. The client has carried out transactions in significant size and averaged a frequency of over 10 trades per quarter on the relevant market over the previous 4 quarters;
  2. The client has an investment portfolio and cash investments of over 500,000 EUR in value;
  3. The client is employed or had been employed in the financial sector for over a year in a professional position that requires knowledge of the transactions or services envisaged.

There is uncertainty as to the position that the UK will take post-Brexit, but updates will be provided as soon as clarity is provided by Government and Regulators


The leverage limits imposed on CFDs set the maximum leverage that providers can offer you when opening a CFD position.

In order to comply with the ESMA Product Intervention measures, Tickmill has reduced the maximum leverage of Retail Clients 1:500 to 1:30. So, whereas the requirement on a 150,000 EUR position would previously require a deposit of just 300 EUR, this has been increased to 5,000 EUR for Retail Clients.

With lower leverage limits investors are protected from certain risks.


In accordance with FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) rules, clients reclassifying as Elective Professionals are required to satisfy a 2/3 criterion:

  • An Investment Portfolio size equal to or greater than €500,000.00;
  • Significant trading experience;
  • And professional experience in the financial services industry with leveraged products, for one year or more.

The product intervention measures stipulated by the relevant competent authority restrict the marketing, distribution or sale of CFDs to retail investors, by providing the following protections:

  • Leverage limits on the opening of a position between 1:30 and 1:2, which vary according to the volatility of the underlying asset:
    • 1:30 for major currency pairs;
    • 1:20 for non-major currency pairs, gold and major equity indices;
    • 1:10 for commodities other than gold and non-major equity indices;
    • 1:5 for individual equities and any underlying not otherwise mentioned;
  • A margin close-out rule on a per account basis;
  • A negative balance protection on a per account basis;
  • A prohibition on benefits and incentivising trading;
  • A standardised risk warning.

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.


The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 with a Withdrawal Agreement. It has entered a transition period which is due to operate until 31 December 2020. During the transition period, EU law will continue to apply in the UK. Therefore, UK CFD providers will be required to comply with ESMA’s product intervention measures.