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5 Best Stock Brokers in Europe for 2020

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Finding the best stock broker in Europe for your investment needs can be a daunting task. With so many online brokerage firms claiming to be the best, settling on just the right choice has become an almost impossible job for many new investors.

In a bid to help match you with the best broker in Europe, we analyzed several top stock and ETF trading platforms and compared them for price, products, ease of use, mobile trading, and much more.

Read our full review and comparison below, with the pros and cons of each broker.

Active traders looking for more advanced options should check out our ranking of the best trading platforms in Europe for 2020. If you’re looking to speculate on the price movements of currencies, we’ve compiled a list of the best and safest forex brokers for Europeans here.

Given the current market uncertainty, you might be interested in diversifying from stocks into European real estate. The best real estate investment platforms have a 99% capital and interest payback record and offer up to 10% returns from secured property loans.

Without further delay, let’s just jump straight to the ranking of our best online stock brokers for Europeans.

These are the best stock brokers in Europe

RankBrokerBest forRegulation
#1DEGIROOverall & low costAFM (Netherlands), FCA (UK)
#2Interactive BrokersExperienced investorsSEC, FINRA, NYSE (USA); FCA (UK), CSSF (Luxembourg), and more
#3eToroCommission-free investingFCA (UK), CySEC (Cyprus), ASIC (Australia)
#4Trading 212Mobile tradingFCA (UK), FSC (Bulgaria)
#5TradeStation GlobalBuy-and-holdFCA (UK) 
Ranking of the best brokers in Europe

Some online stock brokers in Europe are best for beginners and have very low fees, while others appeal to experienced investors with large portfolios. Whether you’re looking for low fees, specific investment products, or value safety above all else, this ranking has you covered. Without further ado, here are the top five stock brokers in Europe:

  1. DEGIRO: Our top overall broker recommendation for Europeans. DEGIRO offers stock trading at record-low fees and zero-commission ETF investing with no strings attached, making the broker a great choice for price-conscious buy-and-hold investors.
  2. Interactive Brokers: Best for experienced investors, large portfolios, and trust. Interactive Brokers is a highly trusted US-based discount broker available in most of Europe. It sports an unparalleled selection of products, is regulated by nine financial authorities, and offers low-cost trading in a highly professional setting.
  3. eToro: Best commission-free broker in Europe for stocks and ETFs. With over 12m clients, eToro provides a beginner-friendly platform with a broad range of equity markets at zero-to-low fees.
  4. Trading 212: Best online stock broker in Europe for beginners and mobile trading. Trading 212 boasts zero-commission trading of 1,800 instruments, including real stocks and ETFs, and CFDs on forex, crypto indices, and commodities, making it a well-rounded broker choice for ambitious new traders and investors.
  5. TradeStation Global: Excellent brokerage offering the best of Interactive Brokers but with no monthly fees, a broad range of markets, and sound protection from the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme

1. DEGIRO

#1 Best stock broker in Europe

DeGiro: Top online broker in Europe with low fees for stocks and etfs

Best European broker for: Discount stock trading and everyday investors

With more than 450,000 investors and 65 international rewards, Amsterdam-based DEGIRO tops our ranking as the best online broker in Europe. DEGIRO is highly popular among European investors because it offers industry-leading low trading fees, zero non-trading fees, and monthly free ETF trades.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

DEGIRO is owned by Flatex Bank, a large German bank, and is regulated by the tier-one financial authorities, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), and the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). It is also registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Moreover, clients are protected under the EU directive on investor compensation schemes, and assets are kept with a segregated custodian separated from the assets of the broker.

DEGIRO main features

FeesLow
Products Stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures
Supported countries See list
RegulationAFM (Netherlands), FCA (UK)
Minimum deposit0
Inactivity feeNo
Time to open account48 hours
Base currenciesCHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HUF, NOK, PLN, SEK

Fees

DEGIRO is a solid choice if you want to save on costs, as it has no minimum deposit, no minimum trading requirement, and no inactivity fees. Not only that, DEGIRO charges no fees for account opening or closing, deposits, withdrawals, annual maintenance, custodial services, or maintaining your account.

  • Commission-free ETFs: DEGIRO is popular for its commission-free ETFs. Each month, clients can buy or sell a number of popular ETFs commission-free, regardless of the order size. See the list of included ETFs and the terms here.
  • Discount trading costs: With the ‘Basic’ account, most international ETF only costs around a €2 plus 0.03% of the total order value. For stocks, you pay £1.75 plus 0.022% on each trade on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), with a maximum of £5.00. On German Xetra you pay €4.00 plus 0.05%, with a maximum of €60. Trading stocks on other European exchanges only cost around €4.00 plus 0.05%.
  • Low non-trading fees: Trading in a currency different from your own incurs a 0.10% fee of the traded amount. For each stock exchange you trade on, DEGIRO charges a connectivity fee of €2.5 per year, except for the LSE which is free.

Why we like DEGIRO

Investors looking for an all-around easy-to-use, low-cost broker will find DEGIRO an excellent fit. While noticeable drawbacks include slow customer support and a complete lack of educational resources, DEGIRO delivers a great package for every-day investors, including tier-one regulatory licenses, beginner-friendly trading platforms, extremely low fees, and commission free ETF trades. This robust combination makes DEGIRO a winner for every-day buy-and-hold investors.

2. Interactive Brokers

#2 Best stock broker in Europe

5 Best Stock Brokers in Europe for 2020 1

Best European broker for: Experienced investors, large portfolios, and trust

For high-rolling investors with sufficient experience under the belt, Interactive Brokers is most likely the right stock broker choice. Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is today regulated in nine top-tier jurisdictions, with over 600,000 customers worldwide, making the most trusted broker in our lineup.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

Interactive Brokers offers the broadest possible range of tradable products, including access to 140 international exchanges for stocks, ETFs, bonds, funds, options, futures, forex, CFDs, warrants, metals, cryptocurrencies, and robo-trading. European investors can enjoy this experience to the fullest through Interactive Brokers’ FCA-regulated UK-based entity.

Interactive Brokers main features

FeesLow
Products Stocks, ETFs, FOREX, bonds, funds, options, futures, CFDs, warrants, metals, cryptocurrencies, robo-trading
Supported countries Most of Europe
RegulationSEC, FINRA, NYSE (USA); FCA (UK), CSSF (Luxembourg), and more
Minimum deposit0
Inactivity feeYes
Time to open account72 hours
Base currenciesEUR, GBP, USD and more

Fees

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees. However, for portfolios valued under $100,000 there is a $10 monthly custody fee. But any commissions generated from trading will be subtracted from that amount. Unfortunately, Interactive Brokers does not offer its commission-free ‘Lite’ account to European customers, making the broker less suitable for every-day investors with smaller portfolios.

  • Fixed pricing plan: Interactive brokers has a simple pricing plan for occasional investors. When buying a Euro-denominated ETF or stock on a European exchange, you pay around 0.10% commission of the trade value, with a minimum of €4 and a maximum of €29. This plan includes all commissions, currency exchange fees, and regulatory fees, making it easy to figure out.
  • Tiered Pricing: For experienced traders, Interactive Brokers offers a leveled pricing plan with decreasing commissions for larger volumes. This plan requires more calculations but will be cheaper when executing larger orders. You only pay around 0.05% of the trade value for Euro-based products, with a minimum of €1.25 and maximum around €29. On top, you pay a clearing fee of €0.1, plus currency exchange fees. 

Why we like Interactive Brokers

As a stock broker for Europeans, Interactive Brokers primarily appeals with its plethora of products and high level of trust more than with its fees. Interactive Brokers is great for experienced investors and large portfolio holders but was traditionally not built with small-time investors in mind.

In recent years, Interactive Brokers has luckily made great efforts to win over less experienced customers with the beginner-friendly Client Portal trading platform that is available in multiple languages. Hopefully, they will also make zero-commission trading available for Europeans in the years to come. All in all, Interactive Brokers has a time-tested, robust offering of investments that will satisfy most investors.

3. eToro

#3 Best stock broker in Europe

5 Best Stock Brokers in Europe for 2020 3

Best European broker for: Commission-free stocks & ETFs

Claiming more than 12 million users worldwide, eToro has grown to become one of the most popular stock trading platforms in Europe. The broker is regulated by multiple top-tier financial authorities around the world, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

If you plan on trading CFDs, note that 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

eToro offers commission-free ETF and stock trading with no strings attached, including popular picks like iShares Core S&P 500 and iShares Core MSCI World. Besides stocks and ETFs, investors get access to an impressive number of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ether, but also commodities, foreign currencies, and indices, all tradable at low costs. Another key feature of eToro is the ability to do social trading and copy the strategies of top-performing traders automatically, with no extra cost.

eToro main features

FeesLow
Products Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, CFDs
Supported countries Most of Europe
RegulationCySEC (Cyprus), FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia)
Minimum deposit$200
Inactivity feeYes, after 1 year
Time to open account48 hours
Base currenciesUSD

We do not endorse Contracts For a Difference (‘CFDs’), however, EU law requires that we provide the following disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 62% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Fees

eToro has commission-free stocks and ETFs for EU and UK clients, meaning there is no broker fee for buying or selling. Most importantly, you will own the underlying asset in your name, not a derivative. There are also no management fees, ticket fees or roll-over fees for non-leveraged positions.

  • Zero-commission stocks and ETFs: eToro has a solid selection of popular real stocks and ETFs that can be traded with no extra broker fees involved, as long as you don’t use leverage. This includes more than 150 ETFs like iShares and Vanguard, and stock favorites such as Amazon, Boeing, and Tesla. There is no limit to the number of stocks you can buy, making it a great fit for buy-and-hold investors.
  • Leveraged trading fees: Thrill-seeking traders get access to a broad selection of leveraged CFD products at competitive spreads (the difference between the ask and the bid price). This includes 94 crypto pairs, 13 indices, 19 commodities and metals, and 47 traditional forex pairs, employable with leverage for shorting or longing.
  • Other fees: eToro has no exchange connectivity fees, general management fees, deposit fees, or stamp duty fees. There is a $10 inactivity fee after 12 months, but simply logging into your account will reset the timer. There is a 0.5% currency exchange fee for conversions into USD, and a withdrawal fee of $5.

Why we like eToro

eToro has come a long way since it was first started in 2006 and now attracts close to 20 million website visits each month. They are fully regulated within Europe, with financial oversight from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK watchdog, and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Most importantly, European clients are protected by EU or UK investor compensation schemes and own the underlying asset upon purchasing.

By joining the growing trend of free stock trading, eToro offers a great package for investors with fundamental needs, as well as for those with more speculative trades in mind. Thanks to its beginner-friendly trading platforms and simple pricing structure, investors can easily buy and sell over 1,500 stocks and 150 ETFs without worrying too much about fees or complexity.

4. Trading 212

#4 Best stock broker in Europe

5 Best Stock Brokers in Europe for 2020 5

Best European broker for: Beginners and mobile trading

Trading 212 is a beginner-friendly CFD and forex trading platform, but investors can also trade real stocks and ETFs commission-free with ownership of the underlying asset. Key among its unique range of features for investors is the ability to buy and sell around 3,000 international stocks and 200 ETFs at low cost, while traders can access large variety cryptocurrencies, commodities, metals, and indices at competitive spreads.

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Trading 212 broker was founded in 2004 and is today regulated by the FCA in the UK and the FSC in Bulgaria. To protect investors, it keeps clients’ funds separated in segregated bank accounts, uses Interactive Brokers as its main custodian for equities, and provides negative balance protection.

Trading 212 main features

FeesLow
Products Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, CFDs
Supported countries Most of Europe
RegulationFCA (UK), FSC (Bulgaria)
Minimum deposit$1
Inactivity feeNo
Time to open account48 hours
Base currenciesGBP, EUR, USD, RON, PLN, CHF, NOK, SEK, CZK

We do not endorse Contracts For a Difference (‘CFDs’), however, EU law requires that we provide the following disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 78% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Fees

Trading 212 is a discount broker designed for new active traders and cost-sensitive investors. It charges very little for its non-trading services, with no fees for deposits, withdrawals, inactivity, or account maintenance, while accepting a variety of account funding methods like Credit/Debit card top-ups, Apple/Google Pay, and bank transfers with no fees involved.

  • Zero commissions: Investors can trade over 3,000 popular equities on European exchanges like the LSE and Xetra with zero broker commission involved.
  • No service fees: Trading 212 is a great choice for beginners and passive investors who want to save on costs as it charges no fees for deposits, withdrawals, or inactivity, with a low minimum investment requirement of only €1.
  • Competitive spreads: For risk tolerant traders, Trading 212 offer up to 1:30 leverage and tight spreads on a long list of CFDs, cryptocurrencies, forex pairs, and indices with spreads, margin requirements, and swap rates clearly displayed on the website and during trading.

Why we like Trading 212

Trading 212 appeals to millennial traders by focusing on the mobile trading experience and low fees. While some downsides include a mixed customer service experience and a tricky switch between demo money and real funds, the company has done an excellent job of creating a unique trading platform and providing equal accessibility to more European countries than most other brokers in our ranking.

5. TradeStation Global

#5 Best stock broker in Europe

5 Best Stock Brokers in Europe for 2020 7

Best European broker for: Buy-and-hold

TradeStation Global is an FCA-regulated introducing broker to Interactive Brokers UK. With TradeStation Global, you can access all features of Interactive Brokers, one of the largest and most trusted brokers in the world, but avoid paying the $10 monthly fee and receive much faster support, all while legally being a client of Interactive Brokers. After opening an account, you can log in directly to Interactive Brokers’ website or mobile app.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

With TradeStation Global, you can trade on 140 exchanges worldwide, with access to around 13,000 stocks, and close to 100 ETFs, all tradable at very low fees. Moreover, you can use all the platforms of Interactive Brokers, including the beginner-friendly and easy-to-understand Client Portal, the IBKR mobile app, as well as the more advanced Traders Workstation, but also TradeStation’s proprietary platform that is geared towards professionals.

TradeStation Global main features

FeesLow
Products Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, CFDs
Supported countries Most of Europe
RegulationFCA (UK)
Minimum deposit$1,000
Inactivity feeNo
Time to open account48 hours
Base currencies22

Fees

TradeStation Global charges no fees for accounting opening, inactivity, or depositing, and offers one free withdrawal per month. On the other hand, the minimum initial deposit is $1,000, and Credit/Debit card top-ups are not supported.

  • Stock and ETF fees: US stocks and ETFs cost $0.007 in commission per share, with a minimum of $1.5, while the commission for most European and Asia-Pacific shares is 0.12% of the traded amount, with a minimum averaging €1.8. Other fees apply, including clearing fees and exchange fees, but they are generally in the low end.

Why we like TradeStation Global

TradeStation harmonizes the best parts of Interactive Brokers—low fees, exceptional number of products, and fantastic trading platforms—with the needs of both beginners and professionals.

In terms of safety, TradeStation clients in the European Economic Area are protected up to £85,000 by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme, one of the best protections in Europe. When you open a TradeStation Global account you are officially the customer of Interactive Brokers UK, a daughter company of the Interactive Brokers Group which has rock-solid financials and a total equity of $8.3 billion as of mid-2020.

Some drawbacks include an unnecessary complicated account opening process and a sharp learning curve. However, novice traders get access to excellent learning material and live webinars, while investors can choose Interactive Brokers’ user-friendly and near-foolproof Client Portal. All in all, this unique combination makes TradeStation Global a solid broker choice.

FAQ

What is a stock brokerage?

A stock brokerage or broker is a firm that gives investors access to securities exchanges in return for a commission. Modern brokerages facilitate the connection between investors and exchanges through feature-rich online software called trading platforms.

What is a stock?

A stock is an investment that represents the partial ownership of a corporation. Stock owners are entitled to a share of the corporation’s profits. Strictly speaking, “shares” are units of stocks. But in everyday financial language, “stocks”, “shares”, and “equity” are used interchangeably.

What are ETFs?

An exchange-traded fund or ETF is an investment that usually follows a major index like the Dow Jones or S&P 500, but they can also track a specific industry sector such as information technology or represent a collection of securities from developing markets. While owners of ETFs do not own any underlying assets, ETFs are popular because they offer low expensive ratios and reduce exposure to individual securities through diversification.

How do I choose an online broker?

Choosing the right online brokerage presents the biggest obstacle for most new investors. When it comes to selecting a broker, there’s no one size fits all choice. Depending on your experience and specific needs, you may need accounts with multiple independent brokerage firms. Brokers tend to specialize in different areas, and those who don’t are mostly expensive for beginners.

What is the best European stock broker for beginners?

For new investors, choosing the right brokerage account is about much more than having access to thousands of products. The best stock brokers for beginners offer simple pricing structures, fast online support, and excellent onboarding tutorials. Above all, a simple trading platform without too much fuss is key to getting started.

What European stockbroker offers the lowest fees?

For private investors with small and medium-sized portfolios, the cheapest stockbrokers in Europe are DEGIRO, eToro, and Trading 212. All three are popular discount brokers with very low fees.

Who are the largest brokerage firms in Europe?

Many of the largest brokerage firms in Europe do not disclose their financials publicly, making it difficult to compare them for size. However, in terms of revenue and number of users, the largest European brokers include Saxo Bank, IG, DEGIRO, and Comdirect.

Can I invest in US stocks from Europe?

In short, yes. Most respected European brokers will let you invest in US stocks and provide access to US securities exchanges. However, you cannot buy US-domiciled stocks in Euro, which means you need to account for the currency exchange rate risk.

What are the best alternatives to stocks?

There are plenty of alternatives to stocks which may help you build a more diverse portfolio. The best alternatives to stocks include real estate crowdfunding and commodities like gold and silver. If you’re comfortable taking higher risk to increase the potential return, cryptocurrencies and peer-to-peer lending may be worth exploring.

Methodology

We are dedicated to providing readers with honest, in-depth reviews and rankings of online investment and trading platforms. Our ratings are the result of several months of testing all aspects of a platform, focusing on the products and markets available, the overall platform experience, fees, the account opening process, safety, account security, and our experience with customer support. Our ranking is visualized with stars or percentages used represent the lowest rating (one star or percent) to the highest rating (five stars or one hundred percent).

About the author: Lucas Peterson is an investor and expert finance writer with over 10 years of industry experience. Lucas has previously served as editor for a major financial news outlet in his European home country but now spends his time dealing with investments, managing his real estate portfolio, and learning about blockchain technology. To learn more about Lucas, visit his profile page.