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Firms that trade in contracts for difference (CFDs) are skirting regulators’ efforts to curb their sale to retail investors, Europe’s securities regulators are warning.

Despite the recent adoption of measures to restrict the marketing and sale of CFDs to retail clients by various regulators, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said that firms in the sector are trying to evade the rules.

For instance, the ESMA said firms are looking to reclassify retail clients as professional clients, allowing them to avoid the curbs on dealing with retail investors.

It also said that some firms in countries without CFD restrictions are marketing CFDs that don’t comply with the ESMA’s restrictions, and that firms within the EU are seeking to evade the regulators’ requirements using affiliates outside the regulators’ orbit.

Amid these apparent efforts to skirt the restrictions, the ESMA said that it “still has serious concerns” about firms’ activities in the sector.

“Ensuring investors are protected necessitates that all CFD providers respect all applicable requirements and do not circumvent them using professional client status or third country entities,” Steven Maijoor, chair of the ESMA, said in a statement.