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Is E*TRADE available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2024

Franklin Silva| Updated January 4th, 2024

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

At the time of E*TRADE’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 difficult.

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), making it costly, complex, and not worth it, in our view.

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

How did E*TRADE reach stardom?

It all started in 1982 (yeah, 41 years ago!) in Virginia, US. It has been through major economic crises, financial bubbles, and 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, it also offers online banking, advisory, and other cash-management services.

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

You’re here to learn about low or zero-commission trading platforms such as E*TRADE and its US competitors (Webull, Robinhood, TD Ameritrade). Your bank takes care of everything else.

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, CySEC), customer feedback, platform ease-of-use, accessibility for UK and EU investors, and, of course, costs.

eToro

With over 30 million investors, it offers commission-free stock and ETF trading. You can also copy other traders/investors. Check our eToro review.

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). Check our Interactive Brokers review.
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.

XTB

It offers commission-free stock and ETF trading (in some European countries) and low spreads on hundreds of markets through CFDs on Stocks, Forex, Indices, Commodities, and Cryptocurrencies. Awarded multiples time as the best Forex and CFD broker.
Disclaimer: 80% of retail CFD accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

Webull UK

Webull is one of the biggest US discount brokers. Recently, it launched in the UK. Users can invest in US stocks and fractional shares with very low commissions, and new users get a signup bonus.

DEGIRO

One of the leading online brokers in Europe due to the low-cost structure. It offers commission-free ETF trading (external fees apply). Check our DEGIRO review.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

1# eToro

etoro logo
Visit eToroIs E*TRADE available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2024 1

51% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

eToro at a glance

0% Commissions(Stocks and ETFs - other fees apply)
Mobile App
ProductsETFs, Stocks, Cryptocurrencies and CFDs on Stocks, ETFs, Commodities, Forex, Indices and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum Deposit$50 (it varies between countries)
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 30 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 or 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 (other fees apply). 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. 51% 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 BrokersIs E*TRADE available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2024 1

Interactive Brokers at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, Bonds, ETFs, Forex, Funds, Commodities, Options, Futures, CFDs and Cryptos
Minimum Deposit€/£0
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 that 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, cryptocurrencies, futures, bonds, and currencies) from 150 markets, solid trade execution (Smart routing), 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, 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, a lengthy registration process, 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, a demo account, and more.

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

3# Webull UK

Is E*TRADE available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2024 3
Visit WebullIs E*TRADE available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2024 1

Webull at a glance

0% Commissions(0.025% commission per trade)
Mobile App
ProductsUS Stocks
Minimum Deposit£0
RegulatorsFCA

Founded in 2017 in the US and launched in the UK in July 2023, Webull joins the British brokerage industry with low commissions. At the moment, it only offers access to US stocks (over 10,000). New users get a signup promotion.

As a UK user, you also have access to a demo account where you can buy and sell as you would with real money. You can only deposit in pound sterling (GBP), which means that when investing in US stocks (traded in US dollars), you will be charged a currency conversion fee of 0.35%. Besides, each trade has a cost of 0.025%. Basically, you would pay roughly 0.375% per transaction (minimal regulatory fees also apply). 

The offering of fractional shares is also crucial since most US stocks trade at high market values per share. Still, the limited range of asset types (no ETFs, bonds, options,…) and only offering a general investment account (no tax-efficient accounts like Stocks and Shares ISA) may affect users also looking for broader solutions.

Finally, Webull UK is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As such, it is also under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection, which protects your money (assets + cash) up to £85,000.

All in all, it is a great E*TRADE alternative for beginners looking for low commissions, a great mobile app, and access to US shares.

4# XTB

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Visit XTBIs E*TRADE available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2024 1

76-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

XTB at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, ETFs, and CFDs on Stocks, Forex, Indices, Commodities, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum Deposit€/£/$0
RegulatorsFCA, KNF, CySEC and FSC

Founded in 2002, XTB is a major player in the brokerage industry with extensive worldwide experience, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – plus other relevant regulatory bodies – and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

You can invest through xStation 5 and xStation Mobile in different investment products, such as stocks, ETFs, and CFDs on stocks, Forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies (this product offering may vary slightly from country to country). It offers 0% commission on stocks and ETFs, but only in some European countries*. International investors only get a 0% commission on stock and ETF CFDs.

Opening an account and transferring money is a quick and hassle-free process. For beginners, it presents a demo account where you can trade as if it were real money to help you feel the investment platform firsthand, and you get access to educational tools. For intermediate and advanced investors, you will find plenty of technical and fundamental tools to help you better assess your investment decisions.

On the downside, you will face an inactivity fee of €10/month after one year of non-trading, and if you have not deposited in the last 90 days, it charges high commissions on CFDs of cryptocurrencies but low costs for Forex. XTB is not available in the United States and Australia.

Want to know more about XTB? Check our XTB Review.

*The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain.

5# DEGIRO

DEGIRO logo
Visit DEGIROIs E*TRADE available in the UK and EU? Alternatives for 2024 1

Investing involves risk of loss.

DEGIRO at a glance

0% Commissions(in some ETFs - external fees apply)
Mobile App
ProductsStocks, Funds, ETFs, Futures, Leveraged Products, Bonds, and Warrants
Minimum Deposit€/£1
RegulatorsAFM, DNB

Founded in 2013, DEGIRO is a low-cost brokerage firm that has become very popular due to its low rates! With over 2.5 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 ETFs for free (a €/£1.00 flat handling fee – external costs – still apply) 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!

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 factor.

We hope we made a valuable 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.

Franklin Silva
Co-Founder & Fintech Analyst

Franklin is a CFA Level III Candidate with 3 years of experience in Wealth Management as a Fund Research Analyst and the Host of the "Edge Over Hedge" YouTube Channel.

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