CFDs.org.uk make offers BTW: CFDs were originally developed in the early 1990s in London. Based on equity swaps, they had the additional benefit of being traded on margin and being exempt of stamp duty, a UK tax. The invention of the CFD is widely credited to Brian Keelan and Jon Wood, both of UBS Warburg, on their Trafalgar House deal in the early 90s.  They were initially used by hedge funds and institutional investors to hedge their exposure to stocks on the London Stock Exchange in a cost-effective way. In the late 1990s CFDs were first introduced to retail investors. They were popularised by a number of UK companies, whose offerings were typically characterised by innovative online trading platforms that made it easy to see live prices and trade in real time. The first company to do this was GNI (originally known as Gerrard & National Intercommodities); GNI touch is now owned by MF Global UK Limited. They were followed by IG Markets and CMC Markets.