Is Etrade available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2022

Franklin Silva| Updated January 18th, 2022
E*TRADE UK alternatives

Until 2013, Etrade was operating in the UK and EU through its subsidiary E*Trade Securities Ltd. Etrade has since shut down much of its operations in Europe and the UK, as the company decided to sharpen its focus on its core US business. So, unfortunately, Etrade is no longer available in many European countries like the UK or Ireland (save for the exceptions mentioned below).

At the time of Etrade’s withdrawal from Europe, concerns about the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis and the global economy reduced trading activity by UK investors and those in other parts of Europe. Since it already represented a small fraction of E*TRADE’s total trades and revenues, the company’s decision to cease operations in those regions wasn’t a difficult one.

As of this writing, you may open an E*TRADE account in France, Germany and some other European countries (E*TRADE only gives you this information upon request). However, you must submit a paper version of the application form and a copy of your passport via fax or regular mail (there is no e-mail option or other online option), which makes it costly, complex and not worth it, in our view.

But don’t despair. We believe you are well-served by plenty of existing European alternatives, and this article will help you find the right one for you.

How did Etrade reach stardom?

Well, it all started in 1982 (yeah, 39 years ago!) in Virginia, US. It has been through major economic crises, financial bubbles, political instability and got away pretty easily, so it does not admire the reputation that it has achieved so far.

E*TRADE, which Morgan Stanley acquired at the beginning of 2020 (more info here), offers an electronic trading platform to trade financial assets, including stocks, ETFs, futures contracts, options, mutual funds and fixed-income investments (bonds). While better known for these easily accessible investment services, however, it also offers online banking and advisory and other cash-management services.

In Europe, we can find no comparable one-stop shop for all of these services, but then that’s not why you’re here.

You’re here to learn about low or zero-commission trading platforms. Your bank takes care of everything else.

So read on. We’ve got your back…

UK and EU alternatives to E*TRADE

The following options are based on our due diligence in this field and we believe that they are the best ones available in the UK and EU markets. We used some criteria such as top-tier regulators (FCA), customer feedback, platform ease-of-use, accessibility for UK and EU investors, and, of course, costs.

eToro

Commission-free stock and ETF trading. You can also copy other traders/investors.
Disclaimer: 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

DEGIRO

One of the leading online brokers in Europe due to the low-cost structure. It offers commission-free stock and ETF trading.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

Firstrade

The UK equivalent to Robinhood, Freetrade lets you invest in more than 1600 UK and US stocks, as well as ETFs, for free. Mobile app only. Offers an ISA.

Trading 212

Commission-free stock and ETF trading (+10,000 global stocks and ETFs), 0.15% of foreign exchange fees, and presents fractional shares. Offers an ISA.
Disclaimer: 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

Revolut Trading

1 free trade every month. Mobile app only.

Etrade Europe Alternatives

1# eToro

Is Etrade available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2022 1
Visit eToro
67% of retail CFD account lose money.

eToro at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs, ETFs, Stocks, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum Deposit50$ (it varies between countries – 10$ in the UK)
RegulatorsCySEC, FCA, and ASIC

eToro has been a leader in the global Fintech revolution. It is the world’s leading social trading network, with over 14 million registered users and an array of innovative trading and investment tools. You can trade by yourself, follow other traders, discuss ideas, and even mimic successful trading strategies.

The online platform is intuitive, allowing one to navigate the PC version or the mobile app smoothly. It offers many different financial instruments to trade, such as CFDs, ETFs, stocks, commodities, Forex, and cryptocurrencies. eToro provides 0% commission on stocks and ETFs (not all ETFs are commission-free). The spreads on CFDs may vary according to each financial product, so keep that in mind before placing an order.

The account opening process is pretty easy and fast. You only need a couple of minutes to sign up and follow the identification procedure. Moreover, if you are not yet comfortable with investing, eToro provides you with a practice account.

eToro is considered safe since top-tier financial authorities regulate it like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and it has shown resilience during the Covid-19 market turmoil.

On the negative side, it only has one account base currency (USD) and charges a 5$ commission per withdrawal you decide to make. Plus, cost-free trading only applies when you trade real stocks or ETFs. In other words, if you leverage your positions, you’re trading CFDs and not real stocks or ETFs, and so you will incur spreads and overnight fees.

If you are interested, please read our eToro Review.

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.

Etrade Europe Alternatives

2# Degiro

Is Etrade available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2022 2
Visit DEGIRO
Investing involves risk of loss.

Degiro at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, Funds, ETFs, Futures, Leveraged Products, Bonds, and Warrants
Minimum Deposit0€
RegulatorsAFM, DNB

Founded in 2013, Degiro is a low-cost brokerage firm that has become very popular due to its low rates! With almost 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!

Etrade Europe Alternatives

3# Freetrade

Is Etrade available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2022 3
Visit Freetrade

Freetrade at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ISA
ProductsStocks and ETFs
Minimum Deposit1€
RegulatorsFCA

Freetrade is considered, by some, the Robinhood of the UK. No commission on trades and offers you fractional shares. The only cost you will face is a 0.45% fee on the FX rate (conversion from one currency to another).

Freetrade was only launched in 2018 with the simple objective of making stock trading accessible and affordable for every single investor. As of the 6th of January 2020, it still only operates in the UK, but it has already announced plans to expand to France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

So far, it has attracted over 250,000 clients not only by its incredible well-designed and user-friendly mobile app but also by its transparent and trustworthy investment vision to help you achieve better long-term financial outcomes.

On the cons, it lacks research, so you will not be available to dig into a company’s financials, and the number of available products is quite limited. You are only allowed to trade stocks and ETFs only from the US and UK.

Freetrade is authorized and regulated by the FCA, so it must follow the rules on segregating client money and treating customers fairly. Besides, your funds are protected by the FSCS scheme up to £85,000.

If you want a more in-depth analysis, read our full Freetrade Review.

Etrade Europe Alternatives

4# Trading 212

Is Etrade available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2022 4
Visit Trading 212
76% of retail CFD account lose money.

Trading 212 at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ISA
ProductsCFDs, Stocks, ETFs, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum Deposit1€
RegulatorsFCA and FSC

Founded in 2006, Trading 212 is a fintech based in London that aims to democratize the entire investment process through a simple mobile application. The company aims to do this by allowing anyone to invest in over 10,000 stocks and ETFs, Forex, commodities, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. Over 15 million people have already downloaded the app. In 2017, it was the trading app with the most downloads in Germany and, since 2016, it has remained 1st in the United Kingdom.

In Trading 212, you will find commission-free stock and ETF trading, fractional shares, and even an automatic investment system (Robo-advisor). Opening an account is extremely quick and easy. On the downside, it shows limitations regarding available products, such as the lack of bonds and options. It charges a 0.15% currency conversion fee when buying assets in a currency different from your base account.

Within the app, you will notice two distinct sub-platforms: Trading 212 Invest, where you can trade a range of assets free of charge and trading 212 CFD, where you may trade leveraged financial products (CFDs).

Do you still have questions to be answered? Check out our full Trading 212 Review.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this broker. It is important to understand how CFDs work and the risks involved in trading, such as losing all invested capital.

Etrade Europe Alternatives

5# Revolut Trading

Is Etrade available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2022 5
Visit Revolut

Revolut at a glance

0% Commissions (only 1 free trade a month, US stocks)
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, Cryptocurrencies, Gold, and Silver
Minimum Deposit0€
RegulatorsSEC, FCA, and FINRA

Revolut trading is not an app by itself but a feature inside the Revolut App. It is a reliable and efficient way to invest in a single tap. You are allowed to trade US stocks free of charge for up to 1 transaction per month. You have access to cryptocurrencies with a spread of 1.5%, gold and silver with a spread of 0.25% when the market is open.

In Revolut Trading, you are essentially on your own, so you need to know what you are doing, what your investing strategy looks like, and when you want to buy and sell. Aligned with low commissions, a streamlined and intuitive app, it makes investing a trouble-free process.

The downsides are the annual custody fee of 0.12% and the limited number of products available. In stocks, you can only trade US ones, and you have no ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures contracts, and bonds. Research and educational tools are missing as well.

Revolut is also authorized and regulated by the FCA.

Learn more in our in-depth Revolut Trading Review.

Which broker should I use?

Ask yourself: what are my needs as an investor? Are low commissions my priority or a robust online platform? Does a range of products matter to me or am I just looking for a particular financial instrument?

We believe most brokers cover the basics that let you start investing, but you should prioritise the importance you give to each of these factors.

We hope we made a useful contribution to your investment journey! Remember that investing requires prior research and a focus on building a diversified portfolio, to spread your risk and ultimately ensure that your money is put to good use.

The best online broker in your specific case will depend on your profile, preferences, and objectives. Explore the websites mentioned above and decide for yourself.

Remember that while this article is meant to be informative, it should not be construed as investment advice. Investors should do their own research and due diligence about the services and opportunities best suited for their risk, return, and impact strategies.

We hope we helped you, and please leave your comments below.