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6 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020

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To make our content free of charge, this post may contain references to products from our partners. However, our opinions are our own and aren’t influenced by compensation.

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 analysed 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.

However, if you’re mostly interested in low-cost stock and ETF investing, you should check out our ranking of the best stock brokers in Europe. And if commission-free stock trading is what you’re after, you can find our list of the best fee-free brokers right here.

Risk warning: 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. 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
DEGIRODiscount stocks & ETFsNetherlands (AFM), UK (FCA)
Trading 212New traders & mobile tradingUK (FCA), Bulgaria (FSC)
eToroFree investing, crypto & social tradingUK (FCA), Cyprus (CySEC)
Interactive BrokersSerious investors & pro tradersUSA (SEC), UK (FCA)
XTBDay tradingUK (FCA), Cyprus (CySEC)
Fusion MarketsDiscount forex tradingAustralia (ASIC)

Our list of the best trading platforms in Europe:

  • DEGIRO: Our top trading platform for 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.
  • Trading 212: Best trading platform in Europe for beginners and mobile trading. Trading 212 caters to novice traders with its smooth trading interface and zero-commission fee schedule, but also appeals to buy-and-hold investors with 3,000+ stocks and ETFs that can be traded for free.
  • eToro: Best for commission-free stocks & ETFs, crypto, and social trading. eToro sports close to 100 cryptocurrency fiat pairs, offers a unique social trading experience, and lets you short around 2,000 financial instruments. With free stock and ETF trading for Europeans and low fees, this is one of the most affordable trading platforms in Europe.
  • Interactive Brokers: Best for serious investors, availability, and trust. U.S.-based Interactive Brokers stands out as one of the best brokerages in the world for serious investors, offering an unparalleled selection of products and markets, rock-bottom pricing, and sophisticated trading tools. Available in almost all countries.
  • XTB: Best day trading platform and CFD broker in Europe. Well-rounded offering with 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.
  • Fusion Markets: Best discount forex trading platform for Europeans. Fusion Markets impresses with industry-leading tight spreads, impressive commission rates, and zero account maintenance fees. Great for experienced traders.

DEGIRO: Best discount share and ETF trading platform in Europe

6 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020 1

Best for 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 but also due to the fact that the broker has no commissions for deposits, withdrawals, inactivity, or custodial services.

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.

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

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

Pros

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

Cons

  • No demo account
  • Minimal research and educational material
  • Limited range of advanced products
  • No deposits via Credit/Debit Card

Trading 212: Best Trading Platform in Europe for Beginners

Trading 212 Platform Review

Best for entry-level traders and mobile trading

Trading 212 delivers a great package of tools for both investors and novice traders, including a 4.6-star rated powerful mobile app, zero commission pricing model, competitive spreads, €0 stock and ETF investing, an extensive library of videos and written tutorials, and no account service fees. This dynamic combination makes Trading 212 a great overall broker for entry-level traders and long-terms investors for this year.

Day traders should note that Trading 212 does not allow scalping, which they define as “opening and closing of a position within a very short timeframe (e.g. five minutes or less)”.

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

Licensed by the FCA in the UK and the FCS in Bulgaria, Trading 212 is fully compliant with European regulation. Investors funds are kept in segregated bank accounts that are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. With around 14 million downloads of its app and press mentions from Forbes, Financial Times, The Telegraph, and other big media, the trades and conduct of this broker are carried out under close supervision.

Trading 212 competes in the race to offer zero commissions stocks and ETF investing, while forex and CFD instruments can be traded with relatively competitive spreads (around 0.1 for an S&P500 CFD), although not the tightest (e.g. around 0.8 pips for EURUSD).

In terms of non-trading fees, the broker does not charge anything for deposits, withdrawals, inactivity, currency conversion, or leaving a position open for the next day. All in all, this broker presents a solid springboard for entry-level traders thanks to its sleek and intuitive interface and novel allure.

Pros

  • Regulated by the FCA (UK)
  • Easy-to-use proprietary platform
  • Real time price streaming
  • 4.6-star rated mobile app
  • Credit/Debit card deposits
  • Client funds are kept segregated
  • Low minimum deposit
  • No account fees
  • Available in whole Europe (minus Belgium)
  • Unlimited practice account

Cons

  • Limited analytical tools for pro traders
  • Average spreads not disclosed
  • Busy support lines
  • No options or bonds
  • No banking licence

eToro: Best Trading Platform for Crypto & Copy Trading

eToro - Popular trading platform in Europe

Best for social trading and cryptocurrencies

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).

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.

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.

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
  • Large selection of cryptocurrency pairs
  • Ability to short most instruments
  • Deposits through Credit/Debit Card, PayPal, Bank Transfer, Skrill
  • Stock and ETF trading is commission-free in the EU
  • Swift account opening
  • Traders get to enjoy a social trading experience
  • Automated copy trading
  • Unlimited demo account for practising trades

Cons

  • High pips for forex trading
  • High currency exchange fee
  • Funds withdrawal can be slow
  • Only USD as base currency
  • Not backed by parent bank

Note that 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.

Interactive Brokers: Best for Serious Investors, Availability, and Trust

6 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020 3

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

Interactive Brokers Cons:

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

XTB: Day Trading Platform and CFD Broker in Europe

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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).

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.

80% 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.

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 (founded in 2002)
  • Publicly traded company
  • Sleek 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

  • Narrow focus on high-risk products: CFDs and forex
  • High fees for CFD stock trading
  • Spreads vary depending on country
  • Mixed experience with customer support

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

More Platforms to Consider

Saxo Bank: Best Full-Service Broker for Professionals

6 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020 7

With more than 40,000+ international instruments in store, Saxo Bank offers an impressive one-stop-shop that caters to all kinds of trading preferences. Founded in 1992, this multi-asset broker delivers a complete experience thanks to its award-winning flagship platforms, SaxoTraderGo and its big brother, the SaxoTraderPRO, competitive pricing for frequent traders, high-quality research materials, and seven top-tier regulatory licences.

As a multi-asset broker, Saxo Bank has over 19,000 stocks, 3,000 ETFs, 5,000 bonds, and 250 mutual funds avaible for investors, while active traders can enjoy access to 182 forex pairs, including, minors and exotics, 9,000 CFD instruments, with the ability to go long or short, and a long list of popular commodities, as well as Bitcoin and Etherum through exchange traded notes (ETNs).

Saxo Bank is an exclusive broker that mainly appeals to high-net-worth individuals. For a number of European nations, the minimum account deposit is $10,000 or equivalent. The VIP focus shows in the pricing model which is volume-based. For retail clients, fees for most products are average, while high-volume accounts can enjoy competitive prices.

For example, the UK stock trading price is 0.10% / min. 8 GBP per share but only 0.05% / min. 5 GBP for VIP accounts. Trading fees for leveraged products are average, following the same pattern of tiered pricing.

Saxo Bank Pros:

  • 40,000 trading instruments
  • First-class trading environment
  • Competitive pricing for VIP accounts
  • Banking licence and regulated in multiple jurisdictions
  • Embedded news and research tools
  • Advanced charting
  • 19 base currencies

Saxo Bank Cons:

  • High account minimums
  • Expensive choice for low-volume traders
  • Mixed experience with customer service
  • Does not offer MetaTrader platform

TradeStation Global

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This is a UK-based broker that is regulated by the FCA. It’s a combined product of Interactive Brokers and TradeStation. It provides traders with a universal Interactive Broker’s account, allowing them to trade equities, forex, futures, and more.

By combining the power of the two platforms, TradeStation Global grants users access to over 125 markets and 31 countries. The availability of over 180 indicators makes it an exciting brokerage platform. The account opening process is tough and so is navigating the platform. TradeStation Global has a minimum deposit amount of over $500.

TradeStation Global Pros:

  • Low trading fees (stock and non-trading fees)
  • Various financial instruments including equities, forex, futures, ETFs, crypto, options, and more
  • Round-the-clock customer service
  • Up to 20 base currencies
  • High minimum deposit ($1,000)

TradeStation Global Cons:

  • Tough deposit and withdrawal processes
  • Complicated account opening procedure
  • Inadequate educational materials
  • No demo account
  • High fund fees

LYNX

6 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020 11

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?

6 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020 15

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

6 Best Trading Platforms in Europe for 2020 17

🤔 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.