Brokers

5 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020

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Finding the best trading platform in Europe can be a daunting task. With so many brokers to choose from these days, it can be difficult to find the one that best fits your trading needs.

Our aim is to help you make the right decision about where to trade. To do that, we analyzed and compared several top trading platforms in Europe for beginners and professionals — and for every kind of market.

We looked at the top online trading platforms for stocks, ETFs, options, forex, commodities, crypto, and other tradable assets, and selected the best broker from each of these categories.

Are you a buy-and-hold investor and not a trader? Then head over to our ranking of the best stock brokers in Europe instead. If free stock and ETF investing is what you’re after, take a look at our list of the best commission-free brokers.

Risk warning: We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘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. Between 59 – 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with these providers. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Without further delay, let’s take a deep dive into this year’s ranking of the best trading platforms in Europe.

These are the best trading platforms in Europe:

BrokerBest forRegulation
eToroCommission-free stocks & ETF, crypto & social tradingUK (FCA), EU (CySEC), AU (ASIC)
TradeStation GlobalExperienced investors & professionalsUK (FCA)
XTBDay tradingUK (FCA), EU (CySEC)
City IndexDay trading for beginnersUK (FCA), AU (ASIC), SG (MAS)
DEGIROEveryday investorsNL (AFM), UK (FCA)

Our list of the best trading platforms in Europe:

  • eToro: Best for commission-free stocks & ETFs, crypto, and social trading. eToro sports zero-commission stock and ETF trading for EU and UK investors, while traders get access to around 100 cryptocurrency-fiat pairs, a unique social trading experience, and the ability to short around 2,000 financial instruments.
  • TradeStation Global: Best for markets, availability, and trust. A trusted introducing broker to Interactive Brokers, TradeStation stands out as one of the best brokers for experienced investors and traders, offering the largest arsenal of products and markets, rock-bottom pricing, and sophisticated trading tools.
  • XTB: Best day trading platform and CFD broker in Europe. Well-rounded offering with a broad selection of instruments, tight spreads, competitive pricing, and CFDs on over 1,700 stocks, 110 ETFs, 48 forex pairs, 21 commodities, and 42 indices.
  • City Index: Best day trading platform for beginners. UK-based City Index impresses with over 35 years in business, high levels of transparency, industry-leading tight spreads on over 12,000 global markets.
  • DEGIRO: Our top trading platform for discount stocks and ETF in Europe. DEGIRO boasts €0 ETF trades, low-cost stock trading, no maintenance costs, and access to over 30 international exchanges. It’s a solid choice for entry-level and price-conscious investors.

eToro: Best trading platform for commission-free stocks and ETFs, crypto, and copy trading

eToro - Popular trading platform in Europe

Best for: Commission-free stocks and ETFs, cryptocurrencies, social trading

Claiming over 9 million users worldwide, eToro joins our ranking as a great all-around broker, especially for commission-free stocks and ETFs but also for cryptocurrencies and social trading. Since its launch in 2007, eToro has expanded significantly over the years and is now regulated by multiple top-tier authorities, including the FCA (UK), CySEC (Cyprus), ASIC (Australia).

We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

With their proprietary trading platform, eToro makes a serious effort to give users a social trading experience, with the ability to automatically mimic the trading decisions and portfolios of other traders. You can also practice trades with the free, unlimited demo account before staking real money.

  • Zero-commission real stocks and ETFs
  • Regulated by the FCA, CySEC, and ASIC
  • 16 cryptocurrencies
  • Auto-copy trading strategies of others

In a bid to attract long-term equity investors, eToro has joined the race to slash several fees to zero, offering commission-free stocks and ETFs for EU and UK citizens, with markups, no ticket fee, and no management fees.

We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Crypto traders enjoy a regulated environment with a full selection of cryptocurrency pairs, spreads from only 0.75% for Bitcoin, and their own wallet with private keys. Coins are tradable as real assets or as CFDs for shorting or buying with leverage. More sophisticated traders might want to consider a dedicated cryptocurrency exchange like Binance.

Pros:

  • Regulated by multiple financial authorities
  • Stock and ETF trading is commission-free in the EU and UK
  • Large selection of cryptocurrency pairs
  • Social trading experience
  • Automated copy trading
  • Unlimited demo account

Cons:

  • High pips for forex trading
  • Currency exchange fee
  • Only USD as base-currency

Not available in: Albania, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia.

Disclaimer: Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short time frame and, therefore, are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and, therefore, is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.

TradeStation Global: Interactive Brokers account with no monthly fees

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Best for: Experienced investors and professionals

TradeStation Global is an introducing broker to Interactive Brokers (UK), one of the largest and most trusted online brokerages in the world. Regulated by the FCA and founded in 2004, TradeStation Global is the European branch of the TradeStation Group that has been operating since 1982.

  • Users are legally clients of Interactive Brokers (one of the world’s largest brokers)
  • Access to all IB tools and markets with no monthly fees
  • Low equity fees
  • Regulated by the FCA

TradeStation Global provides European traders with a universal Interactive Brokers’ account with zero monthly fees, allowing them to trade an enormous arsenal of equities, forex, futures, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and a ton of financial derivatives. You get direct access to all the world’s major and minor stock exchanges in Europe, North and South America, and Asia-Pacific, including over 10,000 ETFs, 100 forex pairs, and 60,000 bonds at extremely competitive prices.

Disclaimer: Your capital is at risk.

When you open an account with TradeStation Global, you get all the benefits of Interactive Brokers, including access to all IB platforms, tools, and educational materials, but with zero monthly maintenance or inactivity fees. Pricing for trades is very attractive, with US Stocks starting from 0.007 USD per share, EU and UK stocks from 0.12% per order, equity options are as little as 1.50 USD/EUR/GBP per contract, and futures from 1.75 USD or EUR 1.35 per contract.

Pros:

  • Low trading fees (stock and non-trading fees)
  • Access to IB platforms, tools, and resources
  • No monthly fees
  • Unmatched number of financial instruments including equities, forex, futures, ETFs, crypto, options, and more
  • Round-the-clock customer service
  • Up to 20 base currencies

Cons:

  • High minimum deposit $1,000
  • Strenuous account opening

XTB: Best day trading platform and CFD broker in Europe

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Best for: Day trading and CFD trading

XTB, one of the largest stock exchange-listed brokers in the world, offers access to a solid number of instruments, including CFDs on over 1,700 stocks and 110 ETFs, as well 48 forex pairs, indices, popular commodities, and cryptocurrencies, with leverage up to 1:30 (as limited by EU regulation).

  • Low fees for forex and indices
  • No fees for deposits, withdrawals, inactivity, or maintenance
  • We think the xStation trading platform is fantastic
  • Full client money segregation

Known as a reputable and transparent company, XTB is registered with a number meticulous financial authorities in Europe, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), and the Polish Financial Supervision Authority.

We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

XTB has low fees overall, although these vary by account type. For Standard Account holders, commissions are included in the spread for forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, while fees for CFDs on stocks and ETFs start from 0.08% per lot. Forex spreads start from 0.1 pips for popular pairs like EURUSD / GBPUSD / EURGBP/ with a minimum of 0.35 per trade.

When it comes to training materials and client support, the brokerage firm sets itself miles apart from competitors. Its extensive, free-to-use library holds in-depth video courses with supplementary text and is graded into levels of difficulty or topic.

We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Besides integration with MetaTrader 4, XTB’s own xStation 5 delivers a beginner-friendly but powerful trading experience in a modern interface, with market sentiments, advanced charting, live trader statistics, 29 drawing tools, and 34 technical indicators for analysis.

Pros:

  • Regulated by the FCA and the CySEC
  • Long track record (since 2002)
  • Publicly traded company
  • Great proprietary trading platform
  • Fast order execution
  • Low fees for forex and CFD indices
  • Free of charge credit card deposits (€ / £ / $)
  • No fees for deposits or withdrawals
  • Negative balance protection for Standard Account

Cons:

  • A narrow focus on high-risk products: CFDs and forex
  • High fees for CFD stock trading
  • Spreads vary depending on the country

City Index: Great for beginners

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Best for: Day trading for beginners

With more than 12,000 international instruments in-store and 35 years in the market, City Index offers an impressive one-stop-shop for all kinds of traders. Thanks to its award-winning trading platforms, competitive pricing, and easy-to-follow learning materials, City Index delivers a great all-around trading experience.

  • 20 industry awards since 2009
  • Long track record
  • Low fees for indices and popular forex pairs

City Index, the brand name of GAIN Capital UK, was founded in 1983 and is used by over 120,000 clients, making it one of the largest retail brokers in Europe. The company is regulated and authorized by top-tier financial authorities across the globe, including the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, making it a trusted multi-asset broker.

We do not endorse Contracts for a Difference (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

European retail clients belong to the broker’s FCA-regulated entity with investor protection of up to £85,000 and negative balance protection. A big plus in terms of transparency, Gain Capital is publicly traded and releases financial statements free for everyone to read.

The company offers retail and professional accounts, with commission-free CFD trading on all asset classes except shares and transparent spreads, allowing you to speculate on whether the markets will rise or fall. Markets include over 4,500 shares, 21 indices, 84 foreign currency pairs, and 21 global commodities, with the ability to long or short most instruments.

Spreads are easy to understand and transparently displayed on the website, with low prices for indices and forex especially. This includes an average of 0.4 for S&P500, 1.0 for FTSE100, 1.05 for Nasdaq, while shares have competitive commissions from around 0.08% per trade, with a minimum of £10 per contract.

We do not endorse Contracts for a Difference (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

You can trade on the broker’s own web-based platform, smartphone applications for iOS or Android, or on the advanced MetaTrader 4 software. To manage gains or losses, you can easily set order stops, limits, OCOs, trailing stops, and guaranteed stops.

Not available in: Belgium, Belarus, France, Serbia.

DEGIRO: Best discount share and ETF trading platform in Europe

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Best for (in our opinion) price-conscious, buy-and-hold stock investors.

Popular for its low stock and ETF fees, Amsterdam-based DEGIRO stands out as a top choice for European investors who want to reduce costs for stock trading to the bare minimum. Founded in 2008, the broker now houses over 450,000 clients, making one of the most popular broker choices on the continent.

It joins our list as one of the best trading platforms not just because of its rock-bottom fee schedule (see full price comparison on the website) but also due to the fact that the broker has no commissions for deposits, withdrawals, inactivity, or custodial services.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

Charging only £1.75 + 0.022% per stock trade on the LSE, €4.00 + 0.05% on Xetra, and €2 + 0.03% for any ETF, DEGIRO is noticeably cheaper than its immediate competitors. Clients are also given one commission-free ETF trade per month regardless of the order size. You can find the list of included ETFs and applicable terms here.

Pros:

  • Rock-bottom fees – among the lowest in Europe, according to their website
  • Zero-to-low non-trading fees
  • One monthly fee-free ETF trade
  • Regulated by AFM, supervised by DNB, registered with the FCA (UK).
  • Easy-to-operate platform
  • Fast account opening
  • Client funds are kept segregated

Cons:

  • Minimal research and educational material
  • No deposits via Credit/Debit Card
  • Not so great for professionals

DEGIRO recently redesigned its trading platform for enhanced trading experience and better integration with its mobile app to accommodate the needs of modern traders. Though limited to basic instruments, we think DEGIRO satisfies the needs of price-sensitive investors with a long-term buy-and-hold strategy in mind.

More platforms to consider

Interactive Brokers

5 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020 5

Best for serious investors, availability, and trust.

If you’re an experienced investor or frequent trader, then Interactive Brokers is the number one professional broker choice you can go ahead with. The firm boasts the broadest range of products and markets in the industry, with an unmatched suite of instruments and analysis tools for any kind of trade.

Founded in 1978, the firm has grown to become the largest U.S.-based brokerage when it comes daily average revenue trades, executing 797,000 orders per day. Licensed by eight national financial authorities across the globe, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK Financial Conduct Authority, Interactive Brokers is among the best regulated brokers in the industry.

Key among its advanced offerings is the flagship desktop software, the Traders Workstation. With highly adjustable charting views, this scary but powerful goliath is specifically geared towards complex technical analysis and truly shines when it comes to algo testing, price modelling, and risk management.

For the more relaxed retail investor, Interactive Brokers offers the beginner-friendly, browser-based Client Portal. Released in late 2019, the Client Portal comes clubbed with advanced charting, tools and features that entry level traders need to place and manage orders.

Pros:

  • Available in most European countries
  • Unparalleled offering of markets and tradable assets
  • Beginner-friendly Client Portal trading platform
  • Industry leading technology
  • Broad range of research and trading tools
  • Offers very low margin interest
  • Regulated by numerous financial authorities across the globe
  • Offers fixed-rate plans and tiered plans
  • Operates a $0 account minimum

Cons:

  • Account opening process is strenuous (up to 3 weeks)
  • Workstation software is powerful but complex
  • Payment options are limited (only bank transfers)

Fusion Markets: Best Discount Forex Broker for Europeans

Fusion Markets

Founded by a group of veteran forex traders, Fusion Markets has entered the industry with significantly lower prices than its competitors. It earns our top spot for discount forex trading by offering clients a great package of cut-price spreads on popular currency pairs, zero fees for deposits, withdrawal or maintenance, and white-glove onboarding service for all new customers.

59% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Fusion Markets provides a comprehensive selection of instruments, including 90 forex pairs, commodities, CFDs on indices, and cryptocurrencies. It leverages the industry-standard MetaTrader 4 software, and its accompanying browser-based WebTrader, with 0.02 ms order execution, customisable charts, and 50+ indicators.

As part of a growing trend, the firm offers spreads starting from 0.00 pips for most currency pairs, but also for metals, commodities, and a couple of crypto-fiat pairs.

The average spreads for popular pairs like EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, and AUD/USD are among the lowest in the market, with just 0.12, 0.14, 0.59, and 0.22 respectively. Commission rates are also surprisingly low, with one Standard Lot (Volume 1.0 on MT4) of Forex & Precious Metals costing only EUR €4.05 per round-turn.

All in all, Fusion Markets presents a great broker choice for European forex traders with some experience thanks to its highly competitive pricing schedule and integration with MT4.

Pros:

  • Highly competitive pricing
  • Regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • Uses MetaTrader 4
  • Zero fees for deposits, withdrawals, and maintenance
  • White glove onboarding
  • Accepts European clients
  • Digital account opening
  • Credit/Debit Card deposits
  • Demo account

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Limited educational materials
  • Narrow range of products

LYNX

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Based in the Netherlands, Lynx is one of the best online trading platforms in Europe. Lynx is one of the top competing platforms for stock and ETF traders due to the low trading fees. Similar to TradeStation Global, Lynx is an introducing broker to Interactive Brokers. Thus, implying that Interactive Brokers will hold your funds, but Lynx will charge you the necessary fees. The partnership also allows traders to use Interactive Brokers’ trading platforms. Lynx has become a favorable stock broker thanks to its regulation by leading financial authorities.

Pros

  • Has an excellent mobile trading platform
  • Lists a wide range of financial market instruments including cryptocurrencies
  • Low ETF and stock trading fees
  • Several order types available

Cons

  • A high minimum deposit amount (€3,000)
  • Deposit and withdrawal of funds are tough
  • The desktop platform is not user-friendly
  • Doesn’t support credit/debit card payment options
  • Limited security protocols
  • No price notifications

Swissquote

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This is a Swiss banking group that specializes in providing online financial trading services. Swissquote Holdings AG is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, making it a reliable stockbroker. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK regulates Swissquote. They provide traders’ access to FX pairs, stocks, robo-advisory, and more.

Swissquote Pros:

  • Excellent customer service with live chat, phone, and email supports available
  • Accepts both bank transfer and credit card payment options
  • No inactivity fee
  • Grants traders access to numerous financial markets and instruments
  • A demo account is available
  • No minimum deposit amount
  • Supports several base currencies

Swissquote Cons:

  • Offers only fixed spreads
  • High trading fees
  • The trading platform is tough to navigate
  • Extra charges for some research tools
  • FX and robo-advisor accounts have high minimum deposit amounts

Frequently asked questions

How to choose a trading platform

What is trading?

Trading is a multi-trillion dollar industry that is evolving more rapidly than ever before. In the traditional sense, trading refers to the buying, holding, and selling of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, commodities, derivatives. Perhaps the biggest change in the evolution of trading are the number of new brokers to choose from, with numerous new service providers cropping up every year.

In terms of quality, Europe not only houses some of the best online trading platforms but the continent also offers some of the finest regulatory standards. Moreover, the increasing competition amongst brokers has lead to lower transaction fees, improved customer services, and availability of more instruments and products to trade.

However, with more options come more headaches for investors and traders. Accordingly, it has become harder for retail investors and hardened professionals to settle on the best trading platform due to the numerous brokers currently available.

What is a trading platform?

A trading platform is a piece of software used by brokers to enable their clients to place orders on the market. As such, a trading platform is a complex system of code that connects to the global markets through a financial intermediary – the broker.

Trading platforms can be very simple and geared towards beginners, while others are more complex and suitable for advanced and professional traders, offering highly detailed charting and tools for technical analysis.

Most established brokers use one or multiple custom designed trading platforms that was built to match their brand identity and the needs of their customer base. While new traders usually find it more comfortable to use these, advanced traders mostly prefer independent software applications, such as the MetaTrader, as these are highly customizable.

Which online trading platform is the best for Europeans?

5 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020 8

We believe the list we’ve compiled above represent the best trading platforms for Europeans, but there are several others sites that may be more suitable for your personal needs. Regardless of your choice, we recommend you select a broker that is licensed in a tier-one jurisdiction within the European Union.

Despite the increasing number of brokers to choose from, the platforms reviewed in this post offer some of the best services to investors. They are regulated entities with good track records of providing quality services. Still, we recommend you conduct your personal research before you choose a broker.

What is the safest trading platform?

Safety is the number one key criterion for picking a trading platform. Unfortunately, there are many factors that influence whether a broker is considered trustworthy. To start with, the company you pick to trust your money should hold regulatory licenses in multiple highly developed countries and have survived multiple economic recessions. Moreover, the most reliable firms are those that are publicly traded and hold a banking license.

On the service level, you need to check if the broker has a history of poor trade executions. More precisely, see if their prices and charts generally match those of other brokers. Equally important, test small withdrawals and deposits before transferring larger sums of money.

How to choose a trading platform in Europe

How to choose a trading platform in Europe

While choosing the best online trading platform in Europe is a tough task, there are some things you can look out for before making a choice. Here are a few criteria to watch out for.

Overall service level

As a trader, the first thing you should look at is the trading platform the broker operates. The best brokers in Europe operate standard trading platforms that provide traders with various resources such as educational materials, high-end trading tools, tutorials, videos, and a few others.

The tutorials and other educational resources help new traders learn more about the market. For advanced traders, trading tools, market research, and others help them perform to the best they can.

While some brokers charge for some resources, others don’t. Thus, you have to consider what each one is offering and how the prices would affect your overall finances.

Commissions

Trading platforms usually list stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies and other instruments. The commission for each of the asset-classes differ, and as a trader, you have to compare the prices before choosing a broker. For individual stocks, the new trend is zero commission and this is currently practiced by several trading platforms in Europe.

If fee-free trading is what you’re looking for, you can opt for those that offer zero commissions on individual stocks, like eToro which multi-platform trading services. That said, several online brokers in Europe charge no commission when purchasing bonds and ETFs. However, they do charge for options and ETFs.

Account minimum

An important feature to consider is your starting budget. Some of the best online trading platforms in Europe have no set account minimum. However, a few others do, and it can go as high as €500. So, you have to evaluate your options to see if you wish to choose a platform with no account minimum or otherwise.

Account fees

Brokers attach a few account charges such as withdrawal, inactivity, annual, trading platform subscription, research or data, and account closure fees. While it is almost impossible to avoid such fees, you can minimise them. You can go for brokers that have the lowest account fees. This way, you pay less when you conduct significant activities.

Security measures

This criterion has become common knowledge that people rarely consider it. But you have to consider the security protocols of the broker before you trade with them. You need to ensure that they’ve put in place adequate protection measures to guard your personal information and funds from hackers.

More frequently asked questions

5 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020 9

🤔 How do I choose a trading platform?

Select a licensed and transparent broker with low commissions, fees, and good spreads. Besides costs, compare several brokers for products, markets, trading environment to find the one that suits your needs. If you’re just starting out, prioritise educational resources, and the ability to place demo trades.

⚙️ What trading tools do I need?

While most are fine with trading on desktop, many enjoy the convenience of mobile trading as well. Advanced users should look for detailed real-time charting, news feeds, advanced scanning, hotkeys, virtual trading, watch lists, tools for ladder trading and more.

💵 Can I start trading with €100?

The short answer is yes. However, the amount you need to start trading depends on the broker you want to use and the investment strategy you plan to follow. Strictly speaking, you trade with €100 / £100 if your broker allows it. Still, any amount of capital will never be properly used if your strategy is not carefully thought through.

📊 What is day trading?

Day trading is the buying and selling instruments within the trading day, with the intent to close all one’s positions before the market closes for the day. As such, day trading is involves high technical acumen and demands high degree risk-willingness, analytical skills, and objectivity.

❓ What is the difference between trading and investing?

Investing generally means holding assets for a long period of time, whereas trading mostly involves buying and selling products with leverage on a daily basis.

🚄 Is day trading risky?

In general, day trading is considered a speculative, high-risk investment strategy for speculating in securities, as it is mostly done with leverage at high speed.

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.