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ASIC margin rules from March 27th


MaxIG

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New ASIC regulations coming into force for Australia are set to standardise the way margin close out rules work for retail traders. If the total equity of your CFD account fall below 50% of the margin required for all your open CFD positions on your account, one or more of your open CFD positions will be closed out as soon as market conditions allow. On the IG trading platform the new margin close-out rules will come into effect from Saturday 27th March 2021. Please find an overview of the new regulation and how this may affect your account.

Please remember that these changes only affect retail client accounts held with the Australian office of IG Markets Ltd (this includes New Zealand clients), and do not apply to IG Pro clients. Please add any query, question, or request for clarification in the comments box.

 

What is the new ASIC margin close out rule?

Put simply, under the new ASIC rules we will need to include running losses for limited risk positions when looking at the equity calculation. Let's look at a worked example. 

  • Say you have $1200 cash on your IG account. 
  • You place an Australia 200 trade with a guaranteed stop and it requires a margin of $1000. 
  • If the market moves against you $200's worth you would then start to eat into your equity.
  • If the market continues to move against you by a further $500 (i.e. 50% of the margin required to open your trade) your position would be closed.
  • This is because your equity is now only 50% of your margin requirement. 
  • The new ASIC rules require us to close the position. 
  • You would be left with $500 in your account.
  • Please remember if the market gaps over this level then there is no guarantee to close your trade at this exact 50% level. There is a 'negative balance protection' rule which will be in place from March 27th, however this applies to the account as a whole and only applies to new positions opened after March 27th.

There are a couple of other important things to note

  1. We will not be implementing 24 hour or weekend close out rules for ASIC retail clients.  This change will be made on March 27th and will be applied on an account level (both existing and new positions).
  2. If you have a regular trader account, you can still use running profits to cover margin on new positions.
  3. Positions which have guaranteed stops will be margined at the higher value; maximum risk on the trade or the underlying market margin rate

 

What does this mean for me?

"I currently have a limited risk account" - If you currently have a limited risk account (i.e. every time you open a new trade you have to have a guaranteed stop attached to your trade) then you may be at risk of having your positions closed out automatically. This will be the first time that previously 'limited risk' accounts could get closed out automatically. 

"I currently have a regular account" - If you currently have a regular account (i.e. you don't need to apply a guaranteed stop to every position, however it is an option if you wish) then you may be at risk of having your positions closed due to the above change in close out rules. When we calculate account equity today, we do not currently include running losses on positions with guaranteed stops. Under the new ASIC requirements, we will need to include running losses on such positions as part of the margin ratio calculation. This means that your positions will be closed out when your equity (ie cash including all running profits and losses) covers only 50% of your margin requirement.

 

You may also find the following links useful.

https://www.ig.com/au/asic
https://www.ig.com/au/professional

Once again, please remember that these changes only affect retail clients of the Australian office of IG Markets Ltd (this includes New Zealand clients), and do not apply to professional clients. Please add any query, question, or request for clarification below.

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