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 February of 2022, the company started onboarding customers from the UK again, who still had to go through the waiting list due to the backlog of new clients from the region.
We can split investors into four categories based on their regions:
- Customers from the EEA: Customers from this region are fully allowed to open accounts on Trading 212 without the waiting list.
- Customers from the UK: The company is onboarding customers from the UK, but there is still a waiting list because of the backlog of applications in the last months. According to the company, we can expect them to clear this backlog soon, which will normalise onboarding for these customers.
- 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. The difference between your application and the application of a UK client is that there is no estimate as to when you will be able to open the account since no client from the list is being accepted. Although the waiting list for these regions is only getting bigger, the company states that everyone who joins it will be accepted eventually.
- 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:
Commission-free stock and ETF trading. You can also copy other traders/investors. Slick, modern, and easy for anyone to use. It is trusted by over 25 million clients worldwide.
Disclaimer: 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
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).
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.
A 0% commission platform that provides low overnight fees, tight spreads, and no currency conversion fees! With access to over 6,100 markets, It offers stocks and ETFs plus CFD trading in indices, shares, cryptos, commodities and Forex. Check out our full Capital.com review.
Disclaimer: 83.45% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
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: 79% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Recent commission-free broker with no currency conversion fees. Besides, you have access to “curated investing” (similar to social trading).
Disclaimer: 56.65% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
One of the leading online brokers in Europe due to its low-cost structure. It offers commission-free stock and ETF trading and a wide product portfolio.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.
Top tier regulators supervise all the companies mentioned here, like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
eToro at a glance
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 25 million users worldwide. You can also invest in other products such as CFDs, ETFs, stocks, commodities, Forex, and cryptocurrencies 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. 67% 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 at a glance
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 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.
Capital.com at a glance
Founded in 2016, Capital.com is a fintech group of companies committed to building the world’s best trading experience. They utilise AI-enabled technology and integrations with the likes of Trading view to offer a unique trading experience.
With 500,000+ active users, Capital.com is a commission-free broker in stocks, ETFs and CFDs in indices, shares, cryptos, commodities and Forex. The only charges you will notice are spreads (the difference between the buy and sell prices) and overnight fees (only if you have leveraged positions).
The trading platforms on desktop and mobile are highly customised to your individual trading preferences. You have access to news feeds, extended trading hours and a wide range of orders types. Investors also have lots of educational content to explore, the minimum deposit is only €20 (except for a wire transfer: €250), and the customer service is available 24/7 through different channels (live chat, e-mail, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger,…).
Besides, Capital.com is supervised by top tier regulators such as FCA, CySEC, ASIC and NBRB. You are under Investment Protection Schemes, Negative Balance Protection, segregated funds, two-factor authentification and data protection.
On the downside, stock and ETF trading is not available in all countries, the platform does not offer Options or Bonds, and it may be overwhelming for beginners.
Want to know more about Capital.com? Check our Capital.com review.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 83.45% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and/or CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
XTB at a glance
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. 79% 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.
Nextmarkets at a glance
Founded in 2014, Nextmarkets is an online broker well-tailored for those with a basic understanding of the financial markets. It has a very intuitive and hassle-free mobile app. You can invest in financial products such as shares, ETFs, and CFDs on shares, ETFs, indices, forex, bonds, cryptocurrencies, and commodities.
In addition to the “Do-it-yourself” segment, Nextmarkets sets itself apart from its competitors because it offers “curated investing”. You have probably heard about social trading, where you follow other peoples’ trades. Nextmarkets wants to take the idea of social trading further by allowing you to benefit from the experience of proven experts (called “coaches”) and stock market professionals.
The fee structure is also unique: you only pay spreads. So, there are no fees on deposit, withdrawal, inactivity, currency conversion fees, and even no overnight fees in CFDs (something not usual in most brokers). On the downside, the web platform is quite “buggy”, you have no educational materials, and there is a €1 commission for orders below €250.
Nextmarkets Trading Ltd, the legal name of Nextmarkets, is registered in Malta and, consequently, authorized and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). You are protected up to a maximum of €20,000 on your money and assets.
If you want to learn more, check our Nextmarkets Review.
DEGIRO at a glance
Founded in 2013, Degiro is a low-cost brokerage firm that has become very popular due to its low rates! With over 2 million users, the innovative platform has become widely known for its “do-it-yourself” philosophy in the sense that you have everything at your disposal to start investing on your own. It offers a wide range of financial assets to trade, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures contracts, warrants, investment funds, and some leveraged products (not quite the same as CFDs. More info here).
For instance, you can trade some stocks and ETFs for free (a €0.50 flat handling fee – external costs – still applies). You also have a list of 200 ETFs where you may trade once a month completely free with no minimum amount required. The web trading platform is basic, but it is efficient and straightforward to use. In a matter of minutes, you get used to it. The same applies to its mobile app. On the downside, there is an absence of any significant fundamental research, a €2.50 connectivity fee applies and pricing alerts are missing.
Regarding security, Degiro is the Dutch branch of flatexDEGIRO Bank AG (a German regulated bank). In the unlikely event that the segregated assets cannot be returned to clients, Degiro falls under the German Investor Compensation Scheme, which compensates any losses from non-returned assets up to 90% (with a maximum of €20,000), so do bear this in mind if you are planning to invest much larger volumes. Furthermore, any money deposited on a DEGIRO Cash Account with flatexDEGIRO Bank AG will be guaranteed up to an amount of €100,000 under the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
Still any doubts? Go through our Degiro Review!
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 are fully allowed to open new accounts. Clients from the UK are being onboarded but are still on the waiting list. 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 time of arrival.
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.