Central Bank of Russia May Ban Leveraged Trading for Non-Professionals

Deputy Chairman Sergei Shvetsov told reporters a draft law was already in place that would ban leveraged trading

Russia, the land of Ladas and extrajudicial killings, may about to change the rules governing its retail trading industry. According to a report by local outlet Tass, the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia, Sergei Shvetsov, told a group of reporters last Thursday that regulators may ban leveraged trading for non-professional traders.

“For forex, we will offer to expand the number of products that are being processed through forex dealers, but at the same time reduce their leverage,” said Shvetsov.

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Those other products are likely to be stocks and securities. At the moment, Russian-regulated brokers can only offer their clients contracts-for-differences in forex.

Expanding the number of products on offer may sound like a positive for brokers, but it seems it will come at a cost. Shvetsov told reporters that a draft law is now in place that could see leverage for non-professional traders being scrapped entirely.

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“Depending on the classification of a citizen to whom a market participant offers a financial product,” said Shvetsov, “in some cases [leverage] will not be allowed at all.”

Central Bank of Russia Already Pushing Traders Abroad

Currently Russia restricts leveraged trading at 50:1 but, earlier this month, regulators in the country announced that it would be reduced again – this time to 30:1. At the same time, regulators also announced that they were mulling over new rules that would allow brokers to hedge against their clients’ trades – something that has been forbidden since 2015.

It’s as a result of these rules that barely any Russian retail traders actually use brokers with Russian licensing. As reported by Finance Magnates in August of this year, only 1.75 percent of retail traders in Russia use brokers with licensing from local regulators.

There is a chance that all of these rules could be circumnavigated in the future. At the same time as they announced the reduction in leverage, regulators also said that that they may form a professional training programme.

It remains unclear, however, what that programme would entail and whether traders would be free from the confines of the caps on leverage as they are under the European Securities and Markets Authority.

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