Junior member
First excuse me for my English I write from Italy and I hope you understand my question.
I have experienced problem in getting price with FINANCIAL SPREADS when the index moving slow there are no problem I fill the order and immediately I have the windows update with the Sell-Buy price but when the market become more volatility and ‘’causality’’ go against the position of the company (for example the index is on 9800 the sell – buy is 9790-9796 and sudden go 9900) when I click for update price, more time I have an error of system an other time a delay of getting price, again if the index go down I have the sell-buy price. But if I take a buy position on 9796 I’m not in a position to close when the price is more higher and this happen many time during the day.
Have you this problem with the other spreading betting firm? And how many time per day – month will happen?
Thank for your useful comment.
Hi redcloud,

Fins spreads tend to move ahead of the actuall markets when they are volatile and have tha habit of their server going down.
Which has just happened again today that's why I'm replying to your question.

Although recently I think they have been ok, but you can never know when it will happen. Today is a bad one too, lost count how many times its gone and froze.

You may find more about it here:


I quickly learned that spread betting with shares is stacked in favour of the spreadbetting company. You are really assuming a lot when you think that you can attain the price they quote by September, especially when you consider that, as a last resort. they conveniently crash the site.

There are better ways to trade!

Redcloud, unfortunately Fins now trying every trick in the book to hit their clients, this includes skewing the price, swinging it instantly and harshly, switching off the website, delaying the quote, stopping the quote, etc...

I dont think server problems is an excuse for this, they simply benefit from it and once again proving that spread bet firms do not only make profits on the spread but they mainly rely on the majority of their clients' losses and when they can't achieve this with the usual service they provide, they start messing up with the service to make sure the majority loses...

Time to move on from Fins and shop around or even consider alternative trading...

Getting price

CIAO at all
I’m full agree with your reply but the point is; this practice is common to all spread betting firm or is only for FINS? It’s clear that the real trading is not this but if we accept the fact that they are always head with the current market . But if the price are in any case updated, we can in some manner play with it.
In Italy and in the rest of Europe ( excluding U.K.) there are instrument for trading with low amount of money with ‘’ in theory’’ high leverage called Covered Warrant the function is like the option and are issued by the major bank like City Bank – Abn – S.G. - Merrill Lynch – and many many many other. The same bank are also Market Maker, under control of the regular Stock Exchange ( because the Covered Warrant are changed on official Stock Exchange) and in theory the Market Maker MUST ALWAYS have n° 5 offer in Bid and 5 in Ask, if you see the trading book you don’t see thousand of CW with the price updated but you see GREAT – BIG Manipulation of this called Market Maker, there are many CW that in a day don’t have neither a 1 (one) price updated. Naturally there are many that are updated…………..

Now for return on your conversation, on your experience the other spread betting firm (cityindex , del4free ecc) have the same problem of Fins?

I can only speak of my own experience RC. I use CMC (Deal4free). I find their server to be generally reliable. The main problem is that the prices are manipulated (biased). As the real index price moves up to a known resistance level, or the index is moving quickly the spreadbet price will shoot ahead of the index price. Thus, for example, depriving you of profit if you're going long at the breakthrough point or on a short possibly triggering a stoploss just above the resistance level even if the index doesn't actually break resistance. As the minimum stake on CMC is £1 per point you can easily lose £10 to £20 per point staked on these moves.

CMC can presumably justify this behaviour on the grounds that the index is not a tradeable instrument!

Every time Fins have had a problem with the internet site and I have phoned them to trade and asked for the price I would have dealt at they have given it to me. No 'ifs or buts' they have just done it.

I have just spoken with Fins about my concerns with regard to the reliabilty of the internet service and the damage this is doing to their reputation. They are very aware of the problems and are upgrading the servers at the moment.

I should make it clear that I have no connection with Fins other than being a client.

In my opinion the Fins site when it is working properly takes some beating if you are an index tick trader.

Price bias is a feature of spreadbetting that (if you want to use spreadbets to trade) you have to live with. The spreadbet company you deal with is effectively the market maker as well and they can and do move the prices to reflect their view of the market and the current movement of the underlying instrument.

It is frustrating when it does not work but Fins are aware of the problem and seem to be flexible when you phone them with a problem

I've give up fins

Baised spreads.

And moved to City Index.

Continuous streaming quotes on S&P futures/others , and no requotes and always up and no bias.

Maybe not so flexible.. Fins 1p per point.. on S&P City are £30 per point...And some spreads are too wide. BUT if you are serious no comparison...

(no I'm not employed by them or paid to advertise etc...)
We know Fins been aware of the problem for months if not years, the question is whether the problem suits them...
Talking to Fins is a waste of time, they have been unreliable since I joined them ( 12 months ago ), everytime I phone them up, they say it's a problem beyond their control.
Hi all.

I would just liked to add my view on Fins. I found it very difficult to make money using them, but on D4F it's a lot easier - I'm trading UK and US stocks, so maybe Fins is better on the indicies. I'm not trading any differently on the 2 accounts, but the D4F is a lot more profitable. (sorry if I've pointed out the obvious)

I hope after clarified the pros and cons of the various SB firm we can continue this discussion with really matter of trading can will be useful for each other.

For now tank at all, for your very useful comment, I think that is impossible support the continued interruption of Fins, I have contacted him, and they are assured me that in case of loss for server problem I will not be charged. I know that I continue by phone but this mean to do many many call each day, and because the market move faster I don’t have in many case the time for to do this.
I try the software of D4F and I noticed that really is another world. But as a non U.K. resident I can’t open an account. Someone know, how many is the min stake and min deposit to trade with Cityindex?
I have a list of the Investors Chronicle that report min stake 3£ and min deposit 500£ is right?

I go along with JPWone on this argument. Most of the losses I make on Fins are my own fault.

I have found the telephone service reliable during site problems and they take my word when I tell them the price that I have been trying to trade at.

I make money just trading the FTSE100 index, volume or no volume. I like to knock off at the London close so do not trade US markets. I do not think that SBs are suitable for stocks trading, but that is my view.

One day I hope to have enough to trade with GNI or similar. Until then I have to do the best I can with the spreads and bias.

Just thought I'd put in my tuppence worth...
If fins will (generally) honour any trade that hasn't gone through as a result of technical problems, then beleive me thats jolly good of them. I've been trading with cantorindex (don't as me why - it's a long story), and when it comes to something similar, they are as unhelpful as they can possibly be. Putting the customer first is their last priorty it would seem...

I'll look forward to having my fins account up and running shortly....
I think some of us missing the point here...Fins been widely criticised for their internet trading service, providing a good phone service is not an excuse for that..this is like saying but thier bus service work well for an airline whose flights keeps delaying or cancelling or like underground service providing bus services when no service in some main lines...

Very true, there is no good SB co's about IMO, all have their faults or tricks. I know someone trading with Fins the other day and the server went down, he tried to phone them and got the answering machine !. We all opened the acc at Fins for their internet trading service, not phone trading providing poor and suspicious internet trading undermines their reliablity.

PS... I use CMC, lately their 8 pt spread on dow is too much, esps with the bias and holding the order for a long time before requoting.
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Apart from the cheapness of opening an account i am still at a loss why people use sb firms for trading US indices or stocks.I trade the Nasdaq index by using direct access software supplied by my US broker direct into the market.There is no bias at all.the QQQ's which i trade are one of the most liquid stocks in the world.I enjoy trading them with island because of its liquidity.

If i buy on the ask,islands software will automaticly make sure i get the very best price.I get filled so fast i estimate it to be under 1 second every time.If i have a problem my US broker has never failed to answer the phone immediately.The staff understand short term traders,they immediately have my account and trading screen infront of them and will follow my orders to the lettter in how i want to play the position.

By the way the spread is normaly 1c.However if i want to be greedy and wait a little longer for a fill i can buy on the bid and have no spread at all.Oh and if i'm realy cute i can buy under the official quoted bid using island and as soon as the order is filled my P/L will be positive immediately.
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Hi Naz

Apart from the cheapness of opening an account i am still at a loss why people use sb firms for trading US indices or stocks

That's the reason why I use Deal4Free :( . The spreads for the US Stocks are 8c - which if your swing trading isn't too much of a problem.

Don't get me wrong - I would love to open an account with a direct access broker, but I think it's the US law that says you must have $25,000 in your account to trade more than 6 times a week. I suppose I'm caught in a catch 22 - Can't take advantage of the smaller spreads, until I get a larger trading account - can't get a larger trading account without spreadbetting.

If anyone knows a way to open a direct access account with around $5000 please let me know.

PS: Is Island mainly used by retail investors?
I am not saying that SBs are the ideal trading vehicle, that would be ridiculous of me. They provide a service for the smaller trader and we have to accept their conditions, warts and all.

I, frankly, would not be happy trading with a minimum of $25,000
in the account. That kind of money I reserve for investing in shares, although I do have ambitions.....

To answer Riz, lately Fins have improved a great deal and I have not had to phone them for months. I just mention that when I have had to do so they have always accepted my word, even under protest by saying that the price had moved since then and I should try to be quicker on the phone.

FTSE Beater

Island is the most liquid ECN so one can argue that the majority of retail investor/traders are using it.I agree that if you are swing trading for large moves 8c on D4F isnt that much.But you have to remember that buying at a support level scalpers are only looking for 20c/30c.So with direct access, with minimum spreads this gives the US direct access player a chance to take a quick profit with the scalpers and wait again for another entry.

However as the D4F trader is stuck because he has to pay 8c in and 8c out.The other thing is that using direct access allows the trader another dimension to his trading expertise.

Think on this.a slow stock is at support at$20.00 and a trader loads up with 2000 shares.He has a select net prefrence order that allows him to deal any where on the screen.So he buys another 100 at $20.06 and a 100 at $20.10 and 100 at $20.14 Anyone looking at a chart will see his chart suddenly move up 14c.Where as the level 2 player just saw three trades go off outside the market price.The D4F trader if he wants to get in has to pay $2.22.

But what has realy happened is that the guy buying 2000 shares has just created his own momentum and tried to entice chart readers into the fray.If he succeds he'll be offering out at $20.20 and hoping that uninformed traders without level 2 take the bait.If it works its just made him about $400.What chance has the D4F trader got of 1) getting in on the act and playing the move and 2)using a direct access level 2 screen to see what is realy happening.

It may be worth the D4F traders to get US charts and level 2 information from someone like without opening an account so that they can see what is realy going on or wait for FREE level 2 data on US stocks that i'm trying to sort out now for a new web site coming out later this year.