All for the better

Competition among financial spread betting companies grows ever more intense. But some firms' willingness to take on more proprietary risk worries established players, and the threat of tighter regulation looms over the industry. By Navroz Patel


In 1974, Stuart Wheeler, a former barrister, launched Investors Gold, the first financial bookmaker, from his home, with just £30,000. Thirty years on, IG Group, as the firm is now known, is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index and has a market capitalisation of nearly £655 million.

"We now offer products that allow you to bet on almost anything you can think of," says Will Armitage, senior quoting dealer at IG Index, IG's financial spread betting bookmaker. "And to think, it all began with a

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