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Trading 212 Waiting List: What has happened to Trading 212?

Gustavo Gomes| Updated January 5th, 2023

Trading 212 is a fintech company from the United Kingdom founded in 2004. It is known in the market for its commission-free stocks, ETFs, and CFD trading. The company wants to make investments more accessible to the general public. For that purpose, it is known for its simple, intuitive mobile application and the referral program where you can get a free share worth up to €100 upon deposit.

In this article, we will try to uncover what happened to Trading 212. We will explain why investors from certain regions have to go through a waiting list before being able to use the trading platform and try to figure out when Trading 212 will open again for new customers. We will also provide alternatives to the service for those who do not want to wait.

Why has Trading 212 stopped new accounts?

In January of 2021, a joint action triggered by retail investors from a Reddit forum led to exceptional circumstances where the stock of the company GameStop multiplied its value by up to 30 times over a short period. Aiming to profit from the situation, many people new to the world of investments decided to try to profit from the circumstance. 

Ultimately, this triggered a high increase in subscriptions for the Trading 212 platform, which was not prepared for it. Therefore, claiming an “unprecedented demand”, in February of 2021, as the company saw the demand for its service immensely grow, they had to pause the admission of new users, restricting the product and introducing a waiting list for new customers. Not accepting new customers allowed the company to prepare the platform to receive more clients. After a few months, the company started onboarding new customers from a few regions again.

Which countries cannot open an account on Trading 212?

After starting to onboard clients from most EU countries in August of 2021, in October of the same year, Trading 212 allowed investors resident in the EEA to open new accounts without having to join a waiting list. Later, in August of 2022, the company started fully accepting customers from the UK again, who will no longer be on a waiting list.

We can split investors into four categories based on their regions:

  1. Customers from the EEA and UK: Customers from this region are fully allowed to open accounts on Trading 212 without the waiting list. 
  2. Clients from outside the UK and the EEA: Clients from these regions are not being onboarded. They have to join the waiting list. You will be allowed to enter the waiting list if you reside in countries such as Australia, Brazil, Argentina, or Mexico. Although the waiting list for these regions is only getting bigger, the company states that everyone who joins it will be accepted eventually.
  3. Customers from areas where the platform does not operate: There are certain countries where the company does not operate, such as the US, Russia, China, and others.

As we can see on Trading 212’s Facebook page, the company does not share any specific reason for resuming onboarding only customers from the EEA and the UK. They only mention that they “do not have a timeframe for expanding to other regions”, but they will share with the public whenever they have an update.

When will Trading 212 open again?

Trading 212 prefers not to provide an ETA (estimated time of arrival) to resume onboarding for new clients from outside the EEA and the UK. They claim to be making progress in clearing the existing backlog of applications. Besides that, they also claim that they will invite everyone on the waiting list sooner or later.

Trading 212 Alternatives

To help us answer this question, we focused on low-cost, popular brokers. Given that, here are our suggestions:

eToro

With over 25 million users, eToro is the leading social investing platform (copy and follow other traders/investors). It offers commission-free stock trading.

Interactive Brokers

Founded in 1978, IBKR is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers an enormous range of financial products (stocks, ETFs, Options,…), and low currency conversion fees (FX fees). Note: Trading 212 uses Interactive Brokers as their custodian.
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.

Plus500

Plus500 is a multi-asset online broker that offers no commissions when trading CFDs in Indices, Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Options, and ETFs. It also recently launched Plus500 Invest for those who want to invest in real shares. Check out our full Plus500 review.
Disclaimer: 81% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

XTB

Free stock trading up to €100.000 monthly volumes in some European countries (Portugal, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, Spain, Romania and Germany). It also allows you to invest in CFDs, cryptocurrencies, and forex with low fees.
Disclaimer: 81% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Top tier regulators supervise all the companies mentioned here, like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

1# eToro

etoro logo
Visit eToro
81% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

eToro at a glance

0% Commissions(only on Stocks and ETFs)
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs, ETFs, Stocks, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum Deposit$50 (it varies between countries)
RegulatorsCySEC, FCA, and ASIC

Founded in 2006, eToro is a well-known worldwide fintech startup and the leader in the social trading field (follow other people’s trades), with over 30 million users worldwide. You can also invest in other products through their platform, which is intuitive and simple to use, making it a good choice for beginners. Plus, they started offering commission-free stock and ETF trading in Europe (not all ETFs are commission-free).

Opening an account and depositing is easy, and you can even try it out with virtual money. On the downside, spreads can be high for some products. The only currency accepted is the USD, which means that you’ll be charged currency conversion fees upon deposit and withdrawal if you deposit in another currency.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% 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.

2# Interactive Brokers

interactive brokers logo
Visit Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, ETFs, Bonds, Forex, Funds, Commodities, Options, Futures and CFDs
Minimum deposit0€
RegulatorsFINRA, SIPC, SEC, CFTC, IIROC, FCA, CBI, AFSL, SFC, SEBI, MAS, MNB

Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers is a global online broker which surpassed major financial crises, showing resilience and a rigorous risk management process.

Interactive Brokers offers an advanced investment platform that includes a wide range of products (stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, bonds, and currencies) from 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and a set of technical and fundamental tools to help you in your investment decisions.

Beginners and intermediate investors have educational tools to explore, but the learning curve will be steep. That´s why we mainly endorse it to more advanced traders. Besides, the customer service gives crystal clear answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.

On the downside, Interactive Brokers’ fee structure is quite complex, the registration process is lengthy but fully online, and the broker doesn’t offer commission-free trading. However, when considering FX fees, narrower spreads, and the stock loan program, Interactive Brokers’ clients still get significant savings compared to most brokers.

Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, demo account, and more.

Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Interactive Brokers Review.

3# Plus500

Trading 212 Waiting List: What has happened to Trading 212? 2
Visit Plus500
81% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Plus500 at a glance

0% Commissions(only in Plus500 CFD)
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs and, on Plus500 Invest, Real Shares
Minimum Deposit€/£/$100
RegulatorsFCA, CySEC, MAS, ASIC, FMA

Founded in 2008, Plus500 is an online broker offering a wide range of financial products, including real shares and CFDs on forex, indices, shares, commodities, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. It is available in over 50 countries and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

There are two distinct account types:

  • Plus500 CFD: It only focuses on CFD products;
  • Plus500 Invest: Where you can trade stocks (real shares);

As a side note, Trade Sniper, a platform only available for US users and where you can trade Futures, is also part of the Plus500 group.

The web platform you will use is the WebTrader, Plus500’s proprietary platform, offering a stable trading experience and easy access from multiple devices, including a mobile app. All platforms are easy to use and responsive, and you can start testing the features by opening a demo account.

Their customer support is helpful and easy to assess through a chat that is always shown on the trading platform. Their spreads are low, and they offer accounts in sixteen currencies, including USD, EUR, and GBP. Still, they charge a 0.70% currency conversion fee and a $10 monthly fee following three months with no activity. On Plus500 Invest, they only charge a small commission per trade (US market: $0,006/share).

Finally, it is regulated by financial regulators like the FCA and CySec, meaning that Plus500 is appropriately supervised and that there is an investor protection scheme under the entity you open an account with. For instance, If you open an account as a European investor through Plus500CY Ltd, you are protected up to €20,000. Additionally, Plus500 provides negative balance protection for CFD trading on a per-account basis – only to retail clients from the European Union.

Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Plus500 Review.

81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

4# XTB

XTB Review - XTB Logo
Visit XTB
81% of retail CFD account lose money.

XTB at a glance

0% Commissions(Stocks and ETFs - only in some jurisdictions)
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs, Stocks, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum Deposit€0
RegulatorsCySEC, FCA, KNF, CNVM, and IFSC

Founded in 2002, XTB presents itself as a market player with extensive worldwide experience, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The platform offers 0% commissions on stocks. However, its software is more oriented to CFDs and forex trading with competitive costs.

XTB also offers other financial products such as commodities and cryptocurrencies. XTB charges high commissions on CFDs of cryptocurrencies but low costs for Forex. Besides, you will face an inactivity fee of €10/month after one year of non-trading and if you have not made any deposit in the last 90 days. Opening an account and transferring money is a quick and hassle-free process (demo account available).

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investors accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this broker. It is important to understand how CFDs work and the risks involved in trading, like losing all the invested capital.

The bottom line

Trading 212 saw a high increase in customers’ subscriptions in early 2021. The platform could not handle such an increase and had to introduce a waiting list.

Currently, clients from the EEA and UK are fully allowed to open new accounts. Customers from other regions are not being onboarded but are welcome to join the waiting list. It is difficult to predict when Trading 212 will open again since they decided not to provide an estimated arrival time.

If you live in the EEA or the UK, you can enjoy Trading 212’s advantages, such as the free stock upon first deposit. If you do not live there and want to start investing as soon as possible, we have provided a few alternatives for you to consider.

We hope that this article was informative enough and that your questions were answered. If you still have any doubts, please feel free to comment below, and good luck with your investments!

Other FAQs about Trading 212

Can I still benefit from the Trading 212 free stock promotion?

It is still possible to benefit from the free stock promotion. You can check our article on the subject to find out how to gain a free stock worth up to €100.

If you are worried about losing the free stock due to the waiting list, Trading 212 has confirmed that the waiting list considers the referral program. Therefore, when you are accepted to onboard the trading platform, you will have access to the free stock if you proceed with the verification and deposit the minimum amount for your region.

How long is the waiting line for Trading 212?

There is no consistent answer to this question as the period may vary. In the community discussion at the Trading 212 website, we can find reports from clients who had to wait up to a year to be accepted. Others claim to wait between one to three months. The waiting list seems to be getting smaller, and new customers now have to wait less than they used to.

How good is Trading 212 as a brokerage?

Trading 212 offers commission-free stocks and ETFs, is regulated by a top-tier regulator and offers new clients a free stock. On the other hand, it provides a limited number of instruments for clients to invest in: you will not be able to trade bonds, options, mutual funds, or futures. To know more about the brokerage, check our Trading 212 review.

Gustavo Gomes
Contributor

Gustavo has professional experience in banking law, commercial law, consumer's law and financial instruments law and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Law and Financial Markets

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