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forced to sell Cannabis shares by IG while they push leveraged trading in the exact same companies


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Disclaimer: I'm already shifting my portfolios out due to IG's moronic policies over REIT and MLP dividends and truly awful customer service.

The latest genius move by IG. They will no longer allow clients to hold cannabis related stocks (although even more illogically Altria, Constellation brands and other megacaps that effectively own the companies in question are fine). Holdings have to be sold by May 27th. In my case this is Aurora, Canopy, Cronos, Hexo, CannGroup, Auscann.

But what do I see on the opening page of the IG website? "GET EXPOSURE TO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY" "TRADE CANNABIS WITH AN IG ACCOUNT IN MINUTES" etc etc. in different stocks, on different markets, under different rules sets? No. Same stocks.    

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Hi @hariboid - Whilst this has be posted on other areas of the forum, I thought I'd copy the comments to this thread which should give some insight into the decision we have made to stop offering Cannabis stocks for UK share dealing clients, but allow leverage CFD (and spread betting in the UK) :

IG has become aware of various financial institutions performing reviews of the regulatory and political implications of offering Cannabis stocks in the UK with a recreational link, and because of this and IG's own internal review the stocks listed are no longer appropriate for IG's risk appetite. 

Therefore there has been a business decision to take action as quickly as possible but within the legal allowances detailed in IG's Customer Agreement. 

Regarding why we can continue to offer these stocks on leverage accounts, the reason is that there is additional certainty with regards to derivatives referencing the underlying stocks, and as IG uses swaps to hedge our clients' leveraged trades with us, we will not be engaged in the physical trading of recreational linked cannabis stocks.

It's also worth noting that a number of other stockbrokers have also recently taken similar action. As stated on other threads...

Unfortunately I am unable to advise on other companies [specific] dealing practices, however in the interest of forum transparency other Community members are more than welcome to have their say as some already have (in accordance with our terms of service and within reason of course).

When it comes to 'moving' stock we are unfortunately unable to facilitate a stock transfer and you can only sell to close with us when it comes to Cannabis stocks on a share dealing (and/or ISA account in the UK). Our CFDs and Spread Betting leverage accounts remain unaffected by this decision.   

 

To shift your exposure from IG would therefore require you to sell on IG and buy on an alternative brokers platform. One possible option to reduce market movements / fluctuations in the individual share price over this period and reflect exposure on this new broker is to set simultaneous orders in the same auction with IG and the new broker.

As a service industry customer satisfaction is an absolute priority, and whilst I understand the frustration with the outlined action, we must act appropriately given our recent review of the regulatory and political implications of offering Cannabis stocks in the UK with a recreational link.

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@JamesIG, thankyou for the response. 

Since i'm leaving IG anyway, I won't engage further to explore why it is mostly doublespeak. And to say: 'customer satisfaction is an absolute priority' well, my experience has been the opposite. All I will say is that many of the cannabis stocks in question trade on the NASDAQ ffs. And you are in error, plenty of other platforms do allow clients to hold cannabis stocks across a range of markets. I have similar holdings with ii and Hargreaves Lansdowne with no issue.  

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