CFD trading can offer a more flexible alternative to traditional share dealing. However it is also higher risk and you could lose more than you deposit.

Add to my collection

Find the right investment products to meet your individual needs and goals.

Feature CFDs Share dealing
Free from Stamp Duty
Receive dividend and interest adjustments
Trade on leverage
Access to global markets
Go long and short
Instant settlement
Own asset outright


CFD trade vs Share deal

CFD trading works a little differently to traditional share dealing. Instead of taking an ownership stake of an underlying asset, for example ABC Plc shares, in the hopes that it will increase in value, you are speculating that the price of the particular asset will move – either rising or falling. If the price moves in the direction you’ve backed it to, you’ll make a profit. If it moves against you, you’ll make a loss.

Opening Trade

  Share Trade CFD Trade
Price of ABC plc 100p 100p
Trade Size/Stake 10,000 shares 10,000 CFDs
Trade Value/Position £10,000 £10,000
Stamp Duty £50 £0
Deposit Requirement N/A £1000
Amount Invested £10,050 £1000


Closing Trade

  Share Trade CFD Trade
Price of ABC plc 110p 110p
Trade Size/Stake 10,000 shares 10,000 CFDs
Trade Value/Position £11,000 £11,000
Profit on Trade £950 £1000
ROI 9.5% 100%

This is an example of a successful trade that requires a 10% deposit. Remember that any losses would be magnified in exactly the same way as profits.

Things to consider

Leverage - remember that leverage magnifies returns and losses in exactly the same way. So you could lose more than your initial deposit.

Deposit requirements – to hold a CFD position, you need to have enough funds in your account to cover the margin requirement. If your position starts losing money, your broker may ask you to deposit additional funds (‘margin call’). If you don’t, your position may be closed.

Price movements - if prices move against you, you will lose money unless you are able to close or amend your position straight away. We offer a range of flexible orders to help you minimise your risk.

No shareholder privileges – because you don’t own the underlying asset, you won’t receive voting rights, invitations to AGMs or other shareholder benefits.

Dividends – Open CFD trades receive dividends (90% of net value) on long positions. However, with open short positions your account will be debited for 90% of the net value of dividends.

Tax advantages – While CFD trading is currently free from Stamp Duty, tax laws may change in the future and any benefits depend on your individual circumstances.

Remember, CFD trading is high risk and losses can exceed deposits. You should only deal with money you can afford to lose.

Barclays CFD trading is provided by GAIN Capital UK Ltd. All dealing, administration and settlement is carried out by them.

Apply now

CFDs and Financial Spread Trading carry a high level of risk to your capital and you should only deal with money you can afford to lose. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may lose significantly more than your initial margin payment.

Risks and disadvantages

  • CFD trading is high risk and losses can exceed deposits
  • You should only deal with money you can afford to lose
  • Tax laws may change and any benefits depend on individual circumstances
  • CFD trading is not suitable for everyone. We recommend that you consult an independent financial advisor if you are uncertain whether it’s right for you.