If you want in on the next Amazon (AMZN) or Alphabet (GOOGL), you’ll need to open a trading account with an online broker. If you’re a European investor, you don’t want just any broker. You want one with low fees, a wide range of stocks and ETFs, excellent customer service and easy-to-use mobile and web platforms. The right broker can make or break your investing experience and, ultimately, your financial success. With so much choice these days, finding the right broker is no easy task.
Having invested in the stock market for over a decade, I have compiled this list of European brokers based on my experience. After years of researching and testing these options myself, and talking to other investors who have tried them too, I’ve compared price, products, ease of use, regulatory oversight and investor protection to bring you my top picks for the best brokerage accounts for European investors.
Best stock brokers in Europe
Here are the best online brokers in Europe, based on years of research:
- DEGIRO – Best for overall and for beginners
- Interactive Brokers – Best for trust and low trading fees
- eToro – Best for zero commission stocks
- XTB – Best for combining stocks and trading
- Firstrade – Best for investor protection and US stocks
- Bitpanda – Best for stocks and cryptocurrencies
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.
Best for: Beginners and passive investors
Investing involves risk of loss.
Best for: Long-term investors, most investment products
Recommended for: Zero-commission stock trading (EU & UK)
Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.
Recommended for: Combining investing and active trading
85% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
Recommended for: Investor protection & zero-commission options
Comparison of the best stock brokers in Europe
|Best for||Beginners & free ETFs||Trust & low fees||Commission-free stock trading||Trading||Investor protection||Stocks & crypto|
|Inactivity fee||€0||€0||$10 after 12 mo.||€10 after 12 mo.||$0||€0|
- Looking for more advanced options? Here are the best trading platforms in Europe
- Keep tabs on the go with the best mobile trading and investment apps
- Want to speculate on Bitcoin? These are the best cryptocurrency exchanges for Europeans
1. DEGIRO: Best overall, best for beginners
DEGIRO is once more our top choice for the best overall online brokerage in Europe and the best for beginners due to its low costs, commission-free ETF and stock offer, and beginner-friendly trading platforms. We continue to believe it’s the top low-cost broker in Europe for money-conscious, passive investors because it manages to combine low fees with a no-nonsense, honest investment platform.
2,000,000+ European investors and 80+ rewards, including “Top Rated Overall Investment Platform” by the Financial Times, is what DEGIRO has accomplished over the years, which attests to its reliability, robustness, and trustworthiness of the brokerage firm. The obvious reason for DEGIRO’s popularity is its combination of low fees, no-bells-and-whistles user interface, and extensive investment options, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, and options. In short, DEGIRO is a solid first choice for anyone looking for a top-quality European online brokerage.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.
Things to keep in mind
Fee-wise, it’s no surprise DEGIRO has become so popular among European investors. Their Core Selection ETF offer lets you trade familiar ETF names like the Vanguard FTSE All-World and iShares MSCI World with no trading commissions, aside from connectivity fees and currency exchange fees (if you’re trading in a different denomination). Furthermore, DEGIRO has low/zero non-trading fees, including zero annual, inactivity and deposit/withdrawal fees.
DEGIRO is owned by Flatex Bank, a large German bank, and is regulated by Germany’s BaFin, a tier-one financial authority, and is furthermore 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.
- Fees: Low
- Products: Stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures, crypto trackers
- Supported countries: See list
- Regulation: BaFin (Germany
- Minimum deposit: 0
- Inactivity fee: No
- Time to open account: 24 – 48 hours
- Account currencies: CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HUF, NOK, PLN, SEK
DEGIRO was one of the first discount brokers in Europe. They’re 100% online and have managed to cut costs down to a minimum, which is why their fees are among the lowest in the market. Here are is a snapshot of updated prices on DEGIRO for the “Basic Account,” starting 20-12-2021 (for current fees until 20-12-2021, please go to DEGIRO’s website). Also, note that fees can differ depending on where you live.
- Non-trading and account fees: When it comes to fees for withdrawals, deposits, etc. DEGIRO is very competitive. In fact, they don’t charge anything at all for these core services in most cases. DEGIRO also has no custody or inactivity fees. Furthermore, no minimum deposit is required and there are no fees for opening, closing or maintaining an account; however, there is a conversion fee if a deposit, withdrawal, or trade is made in another currency than the account’s base currency.
- Handling fee: DEGIRO charges a so-called handling fee of €1 per trade for all products except for the ETF Core Selection, Tradegate transactions and Options & Futures (excl. OMX indices).
- Commission-free ETFs: DEGIRO is famous for its commission-free ETF offer. 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. Note that connectivity and FX fees may still apply.
- Stocks and ETFs: Trading international ETFs, aside from the commission-free ones, typically incurs a fee of around €2. US stocks are commission-free to trade for most users; fees for trading on international stocks vary depending on the exchange and your location but typically start from around €3.90 on European exchanges. Certain nationalities can trade stocks and ETFs on their home country exchange with €0 commissions. Additionally, there’s a fixed “Handling” fee of €1 per trade, except on trades via Tradegate; other fees may apply.
- Currency conversion: Trades on instruments denominated in a foreign currency than the currency of your base currency will incur a conversion fee. Currency exchanges via the “Auto FX trader” incur a 0.25% spread on the converted amount; manually traded currencies incur a fee of €10 + 0.25%.
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, a limited options offer, and a lack of in-depth educational resources, all-in-all DEGIRO delivers a great package for everyday investors, including tier-one regulatory licenses, beginner-friendly trading platforms, extremely low fees, and a grade ETF offer. I think this robust combination makes DEGIRO a winner for buy-and-hold investors.
2. Interactive Brokers: Lowest fees and best for trust
European investors looking for a highly trusted broker that has stood the test of time will find Interactive Brokers the best possible fit. Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is one of the largest online brokerages in the world, with regulatory licenses in 11 tier-one jurisdictions, a superb capital position of $9 billion, the strongest security track record, and the lowest possible trading fees across all major asset classes.
Interactive Brokers offers the lowest commissions and the largest list of stocks, ETFs, bonds, funds, options, futures, forex pairs, metals, on 150 markets, 90 stock exchanges, in 33 countries, all accessible from a single investor account. European users can enjoy this experience to the fullest thanks to Interactive Brokers’ local presence in the European continent and number of supported countries.
Things to keep in mind
Read more: My review of Interactive Brokers
- Fees: Low
- Products: Stocks, ETFs, FOREX, bonds, funds, options, futures, commodities, cryptocurrencies, robo-trading
- Supported countries: Most of Europe
- Regulation: SEC, FINRA, NYSE (USA); FCA (UK), CSSF (LUX), CBI (IE), MNB (HU)
- Minimum deposit: 0
- Inactivity fee: No
- Time to open account: 72 hours
- Account currencies: 22 in total, incuding. EUR, GBP, USD
Interactive Brokers offers some of the lowest trading fees and commissions available on the market (see examples below). The broker operates with two pricing models for international clients: fixed and tiered pricing. For both pricing structures, there are €0 monthly inactivity or custodian fees and no account minimums. Unfortunately, Interactive Brokers does not offer its commission-free ‘Lite’ account to European customers.
- 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: Interactive Brokers also offers a leveled pricing plan with decreasing commissions for larger volumes. This plan requires more calculations but will generally 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 Interactive Brokers
As a stock broker for European retail investors, Interactive Brokers appeals with its plethora of products, rock-bottom pricing, long history, and high level of trust. Interactive Brokers used to be great primarily for larger portfolios because of an inactivity fee for maintaining an account. However, in July 2021, the broker eliminated this fee along with any account minimums. This combination of low trading commissions and zero account maintenance fees makes IB more or less an ideal brokerage for large and smaller investors alike.
In recent years, Interactive Brokers has made great efforts to win over less experienced customers with the beginner-friendly Client Portal web platform and GlobalTrader app – both available in multiple languages. All in all, Interactive Brokers has a time-tested, robust offering of investments that will satisfy most investors.
3. eToro: Best for zero-commission stock trading and best for social trading
Our top online brokerage for social trading and commission-free trading in Europe continues to be eToro. We picked eToro for these categories because it offers almost unlimited commission-free stock trades and a versatile trading platform focused on social trading. The platform is reliable, user-friendly, and supports various assets to trade, and we’re not surprised that eToro has grown to become one of the most popular online stock brokerages in Europe, with more than 12 million users around the world.
eToro provides access to over 2,500 instruments. In addition to shares and ETFs, investors can also trade an impressive array of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ether, as well as also commodities, foreign currencies, and indices. Additionally, the unique stand-out feature on eToro is the ability to do social trading. With social trading, investors can copy the strategies of top-performing traders and their friends. For the novice investor, eToro offers a lot of value as budget-friendly brokerage service.
Things to keep in mind
eToro is regulated by multiple top-tier financial authorities around the world, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Licence No. FRN 583263), the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC Licence No. 109/10), as well as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
- Fees: Low
- Products: Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, CFDs
- Supported countries: Visit eToro for the most up to date list of supported jurisdictions
- Regulation: CySEC (Cyprus), FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia)
- Minimum deposit: $200 – 1,000
- Inactivity fee: Yes, after 1 year
- Time to open account: 48 hours
- Account currencies: USD
eToro has commission-free stocks for EU and UK clients, meaning there is no broker fee for buying or selling. For the most part, you will trade and own the underlying asset in your name, not a derivative, which is important in terms of protection. There are also no management fees, ticket fees, or roll-over fees for non-leveraged positions. However, please note that other fees may apply.
- Zero-commissions: eToro has a solid selection of popular real stocks that can be traded with no extra broker fees involved, as long as you don’t use leverage. This includes 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.
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. XTB: Best multi-asset broker
XTB started in 2002 as a derivatives and forex broker but has now expanded to offer real stocks and ETFs in multiple European countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Portugal, Poland, France, Spain, and Slovakia, with more to follow in the future. If you reside in one of these jurisdictions you can invest commission-free with XTB in over 2,500 real shares and 200 ETFs across 16 exchanges worldwide.
Things to keep in mind
This offer includes top companies like Tesla, Apple, and Amazon, as well as the most popular ETFs from iShares/BlackRock, Amundi, and Lyxor. With the purchase of securities, you acquire company shares and participate in the results in the form of potential dividends.
XTB has been making great progress into the fast-changing online brokerage scene of Europe and provides access to a variety of markets besides equities such as stock CFDs, cryptocurrencies, forex, indices, metals, and commodities. Investors can not only trade real stocks, but also synthetic stocks. This new derivative initially behaves like real stocks and reflects the stock value, but instead of being an security, the underlying instrument is a CFD with no leverage. Investors also receive a dividend for synthetic stocks.
- Who it’s for: Equity investors from eligible countries who want to do occasional trading.
- Tradable assets: Real stocks and ETFs in select countries; synthetic shares; CFDs on forex, currencies, cryptocurrencies (not available in the UK).
- Fees: XTB advertises zero commissions on shares; 0.08% per lot for stock and ETF CFDs with a min. of €8 per trade, and a min. spread of 0.5; zero commissions on cryptocurrency trades, but a varying spread applies; no minimum deposit; no deposit fee; no withdrawal fee withdrawals above $100; €10 inactivity fee after 12 months; other fees may apply
- Trading platform: XTB’s proprietary xStation and xStation Mobile platforms have a modern look and feel one-click trading, news feeds, and offer quick access to set market, limit, and stop orders.
- Regulation: XTB is a publicly-traded company and regulated in the U.K. and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (License No. FRN 522157) as well as the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (License No.169/12).
It’s free to open an account with XTB and there are no activity monthly/yearly fees except €10 if there is “no opening or closing of the position on the Customer’s account within the last 365 days and no cash deposit within the last 90 days.” Fees for trading real stocks and ETFs on XTB may vary and include exchange connectivity fees. There are, however, no minimum deposit requirement, no costs for deposits through bank transfers or via debit cards, no withdrawal fees for amounts over $100, and no fees for closing an account.
5. Firstrade: Best investor protection
Firstrade is a well-known, low-cost US online brokerage with extensive investing opportunities for both beginners and experienced investors. The firm was founded in 1985 and is a standout due to its long-standing commission-free trading offer for stocks, options, and ETFs for investors across the world. Eligible European nationalities can trade on Firstrade with $0 commissions per trade, with no minimum deposits or account maintenance fee.
Things to keep in mind
Firstrade offers international accounts high account protection of up to $500,000 through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), of which $250,000 may be in cash. In addition to the regular compensation scheme, Firstrade provides additional account insurance up to an aggregate of $150 million through their clearing firm, Apex Clearing Corporation.
Firstrade’s web-based platform is basic design-wise but highly functional, whereas the Firstrade mobile app delivers a highly intuitive experience where can do just about anything you need in an investment account. The firm is especially interesting in the area of combining regular investing with options trading and has an extensive library of educational material on the subject.
Besides fee-free trading, Firstrade offers investors the opportunity to generate additional income and improve returns by lending their securities to financial institutions for short selling. Interest is accrued on a daily basis and paid out to you once every calendar month. There are no restrictions on stocks that are lent out and the account holder can sell at any point. This unique feature could potentially improve returns greatly for investors with large holdings.
Firstrade is currently available in the following European jurisdictions: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
You now know the most important aspects to watch out for when choosing a stock broker in Europe. In the end, the most important thing is that the broker is reliable and that you’re satisfied with the level of fees you’re paying and the selection of products available. Personally, I think it’s sometimes worth paying a bit more to feel that my money is safe and that I can rely on the broker for several decades into the future.
How to chose a stock broker
There is no one-size-fits-all stock broker, and sometimes you’re going to need more than just one.
Stock brokers often specialize in different areas or cater to different investor groups. You might find some European brokers have vast product assortments and numerous trading platforms available but are equally more expensive.
In contrast, discount brokers in Europe may have a small repertoire of investments and only a single platform but have meager prices.
1. Know your needs
The best stock brokers in Europe generally offer the same set menu: individual stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), bonds, and instruments and derivatives like options, futures, and varying leveraged products.
Beginners often choose to invest in a combination of stocks and ETFs. Hand-picking stocks can be advantageous if you wish to better manage your portfolio or have information about the sector to potentially beat the market.
However, ETFs like an S&P 500 tracker gives you exposure to many different companies, usually at a meager cost, and requires few trading decisions and time to manage. If you believe gold or another commodity presents a safe haven during financial turmoil, gold ETFs give you the ability to invest in a market and currency-hedged product.
2. Fees and commissions
Research how much the broker charge in fees and commissions for buying and selling your favorite investments. A low-fee online brokerage lets you keep most of your profits for yourself without charging too much for converting currency, withdrawing money, or adding hidden fees or markups to trades.
Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced investor, you’ll want a trading platform that’s easy to navigate with a user-friendly design. The best European brokers offer a web-based and mobile option to keep track of your account, buying, selling, and researching new markets and products.
Unfortunately, there are very few brokers out there with a clean public image and zero complaints about them. In recent years, Trustpilot and other popular review sites have been spammed with fake reviews and fake offers to recover lost money, making it difficult to separate genuine reviews from false ones. We suggest you spend some time researching Reddit or similar forums that are more strictly moderated to familiarize yourself with the first-hand experience of other investors.
All European Union member states have adopted in full or partially the same regulatory framework for investment services and activities called MiFID II and MiFIR.
An authorized broker will also be able to “passport” or offer its financial services to residents in other members states based on the authorization given in the country where it has an address.
For example, many brokers choose Cyprus as their European base as the country has the lowest cooperate tax of only 12.5% and because the government has adopted the MiFID in full.
In theory, all EU-based and regulated brokers are subject to much the same rules and scrutiny. In practice, your safety as an investor largely depends on the abilities and resources of the national financial authority overseeing the broker.
Bodies also enforce varying rules, and there are differences in terms of money segregation and withdrawal times. Moreover, strictly regulated brokers are not too big to fail, and strict regulatory oversight is by no means a guarantee of indefinite financial solvency.
5 Simple investment strategies for beginners
- Time in the market, not timing the market: This investment strategy is based on the belief that a good thing will happen over time if you just wait long enough. This strategy is one of the most important ones to remember when trying to invest. I would never invest in anything, for example, and then try to time the market. That’s a bad idea because I’ll either lose money or make minimal gains. The best thing you can do is make your purchase and just wait for it to get more valuable before selling it.
- Dollar-Cost Averaging: This next investment strategy is one that you might have heard of before. This strategy works by just investing your money in increments over time rather than all at once. The idea behind this strategy is that if you invest too much money all at once, then the market will drop, and you’ll lose all of your money. So, investing in increments gives you time to make up for any losses before they become too great.
- If the price drops: You won’t be able to buy as much with one significant investment, so instead of making that big of an investment if the price drops suddenly, just wait until the price of it goes back up, then buy more. This strategy might work best if you invest the same amount at regular intervals. So some people do this by investing the same amount of money every month. If you don’t have any extra cash in your budget for investment, then just try to put away a little bit of money each week.
- The Diversification strategy: This is a practical and essential investment strategy to remember because it will help you to not lose all of your money should something unexpected happen. The diversification strategy tells us that we shouldn’t put all of our eggs in one basket. We should try to divide up our investments into more than just two groups. Maybe we have our money invested in the stock market, but we should also invest a little bit of it into something that isn’t so volatile.
- Investing in ETFs over single stocks is an excellent way to diversify your investments because they can give you more bang for your buck. You’ll have less risk because ETFs comprise several stocks, and you can divide your money into different sectors. You’ll have to do a little research on this one, though, if you want to make the most out of it.
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 it 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 expense 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 Revolut. 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 that 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 risks to increase the potential return, cryptocurrencies may be worth exploring.
Which broker charges the lowest fees?
For normal stock trades, DEGIRO and eToro offer the most competitive prices. While DEGIRO has the edge for cheap currency conversions and has no inactivity fees, eToro offers the most competitive all-in pricing plan with zero-commissions stock trades. Both platforms are great to save on costs.
Methodology: How the best brokers in Europe were selected
We’re dedicated to providing readers with honest, in-depth reviews and rankings of online investment and trading platforms. Our ratings result from 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 representing the lowest rating (one star) to the highest rating (five stars).