TD Waterhouse as an established financial institution is known for many financial enterprises, so it is natural that it would offer a spread betting service online. It’s actually based on the City Index trading platform, which is long-established and respected.
Having said that, it seems from user comments that TD Waterhouse has implemented spread betting more for the sake of completeness than because of a commitment to it. Perhaps the thinking is that existing clients would like to try spread betting, as TD Waterhouse does not want them opening accounts elsewhere. The lack of interest in spread betting is evidenced by the amount of trading education on the website, where spread betting seems to be more of an afterthought compared to traditional trading.
It’s interesting to see that TD Waterhouse is not offering any introductory promotion, particularly as many other spread betting brokers are competing on this level. Again, this may stem from a desire to provide a complete service rather than wanting to attract new customers to spread betting.
What it does offer is the ability to place smaller stakes during an introductory period, so the client is eased into a knowledge of spread betting. This trading period goes on for four weeks, but there is no restriction on placing larger bets as soon as you’re comfortable with them. However, there is no facility for a demo account to learn from without risking any money.
The spread offered are competitive, at least during market hours, and a guaranteed stoploss order is available. Overall, the appearance of the TD Waterhouse spread betting service is that it is adequate without being exciting, and instituted on the basis that TD Waterhouse, with a company capitalization of £5.2 million, should be represented in all types of dealing markets.
Unfortunately, when you look at customer feedback the situation is not good. With few exceptions, spread betting with TD Waterhouse is not recommended by existing clients. The exceptions mainly refer to the platform, which as it is the same as City Index can be commended.
Problems have been reported in terms of the time taken to place and acknowledge an order, and some orders are not completed. When this is because the price is moving too quickly the only answer is to cancel the trade and enter a new one, and because of the delay in cancellation you may find you’re unable to place the spread bet at all.
The situation is not much better when telephoning customer support. Several users have stated that the answers they receive on the telephone change from one call to another, depending who is providing the opinion.
We would anticipate that this situation will improve, as TD Waterhouse has the resources to make it better, and will find that the spread betting arena is one which it wants to take a share of because of the expanding popularity. However, at the moment it seems that there are better spread betting brokers, so it is not necessary to use Waterhouse.