Angela Merkel spooked the markets when she announced a ban on short selling certain bank securities.  There is a very real danger that this could be extended throughout the market, no matter what regulators say now.

So will this affect spread betting and contracts for difference?

The short answer is no.  The logic of the short selling ban is that it can directly affect share prices.  CFDs and spread bets can not.

Short selling is when a share is sold by a person before it is bought.  It can either be covered short selling where the share is borrowed from another holder and then is sold, or it can be naked short selling when it is sold and then bought back later.  It was naked short selling that was banned, for now.

Short selling directly affects the share price in that the supply of shares increases.  Although it can be argued that all it does is affect the time it takes for the share price to get lower as the shares are clearly over bought, it undoubtedly affects the share price.

Contracts for difference and spread bets are both taking the share price off the market.  A contract for difference is an arrangement between two parties, while the spread bet is an arrangement between a large number of parties and the spread betting exchange.  The effect on the share price is indirect.

So if the short selling ban is enforced more widely then spread betting is a way of getting round this.