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the essentials in brief

  • Only one euro per order: the Trade Republic fee model is a challenge.
  • Investors can only trade with the online broker via smartphone.
  • To do this, they are tied to a single trading platform and have to cut back on their product selection.

Trade Republic has been active on the German financial market since 2019. The online broker from Berlin offers noticeably favorable conditions: It does not charge any deposit or order fees for securities trading and also no fees for the execution of the savings plan.

The financial experts from FMH examined for the Handelsblatt what is behind the offer of the Berliners and compared the Trade Republic conditions with those of other online brokers.


Depot in the test

The concept of the Berliner is based on a minimalist approach and low fees: If an investor places an order, it costs him only one euro flat rate for external costs.

In return, the product range offered is narrow, and users are tied to a single trading platform. This is how Trade Republic still manages to remain profitable. The administrative effort amounts to a minimum.

Advantages:

  • no custody account fees, no order commission, no fees for the execution of the savings plan
  • External costs of just one euro regardless of the order volume
  • modern app with user-friendly design
  • fast and uncomplicated deposit opening

Disadvantage:

  • limited selection of securities, providers and trading partners
  • Orders only on the Lang & Schwarz Exchange
  • Deposit protection not exceeding the minimum protection
  • only suitable for customers with a functioning smartphone

Commission-free trading

Trade Republic does not charge any order commission for securities trading. Investors only have to pay a flat-rate fee of one euro per trade, regardless of the size of the order.

Limited selection of stocks

The selection of securities is manageable. Users can trade more than 40,000 derivatives and 7,300 stocks from around the world - that's little compared to other online brokers. The offer is therefore suitable for investors for whom the lowest possible fees are more important than a large selection of tradable securities.

In total, Trade Republic offers over 1,500 ETFs, all of which are capable of savings plans - from as little as 25 euros per month. The execution of the savings plan is free of charge. In order to keep costs as low as possible, Trade Republic only works with ETFs from iShares and WisdomTree.

Trading in bonds and actively managed funds is not possible with the online broker. These asset classes require more complex support and would drive up costs.

Direct trading partners and stock exchanges

Compared to other online brokers, Trade Republic is limited to a single trading venue with the Lang & Schwarz Exchange. It is open on weekdays from 7.30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Trading in derivatives alone takes place over the counter via HSBC Germany between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Transactions on foreign exchanges are not possible with Trade Republic.

Trade via app

Investors can only use Trade Republic via the corresponding app. There are no options for web trading via a desktop. The offer is therefore only suitable for investors who want to trade exclusively with their smartphone.

The app impresses with its simple and user-friendly design. Even inexperienced newcomers to the stock market should be able to manage their securities trades. The limited selection of securities makes the app appear very clear.

  • No custody fees
  • No order fees
  • over 1,500 ETF savings plans

How much does it cost to switch to Trade Republic and how does it work?

It must be possible to change a depot free of charge within Germany - this is what the Federal Court of Justice prescribes. For this reason, the transfer of securities accounts to Trade Republic is also free. It is best for investors to proceed in four steps:

  1. Download the app and a Open a securities account with Trade Republic
  2. Open the settings in the personal area (far right). Under “Service” select the item “Depot transfer”, whereupon the transfer form appears.
  3. Then print out and fill out the transfer form. The following information is important:
    - Details of the previous custodian bank
    - the current depot number
    - a personal address
    - the tax identification number
    - Information on securities to be transferred
  4. In order to complete the change, the completed transfer form must be signed and sent to the current custodian bank.

Then the current provider takes care of the depot relocation. It usually takes two to three weeks for the switch to complete. Unfortunately, there may be delays in the transfer of securities due to the limited selection of tradable securities at Trade Republic.

Note: Before switching, investors should check that they can actually transfer all of their securities to Trade Republic. Fund shares or bonds, for example, are excluded from the outset. Here it is advisable to continue the old portfolio for such asset classes.

As a new customer, how do I open a securities account with Trade Republic?

Opening a securities account with Trade Republic takes less than ten minutes:

  1. Investors can either visit the Trade Republic website or download the corresponding app on your smartphone.
  2. Then you register as a customer. The following information is required for this:
    - Contact details and address
    - Mobile number
    - Tax liability
    - Data on the reference account
    - Details of the payout account
  3. Then you have to provide proof of identity via Video-Ident: To do this, new customers need a valid identification document and a device with a camera, such as a smartphone. A Trade Republic representative will video-call you and verify your identity. The process takes two to three minutes. You will then receive an SMS with a confirmation code, which must then be entered in the app.
  4. Trade Republic is legally obliged to inquire about the experience and knowledge of securities trading each customer has. This step takes about two minutes.

The securities account is opened immediately. Before customers can start trading securities, they must first make a deposit into their securities account.

How secure is the Trade Republic depot?

All customer deposits are kept at Solarisbank in Berlin. There the funds are in an escrow account. Deposits up to a value of 100,000 euros are secured per customer. There is no additional protection at Trade Republic, for example through the deposit protection fund of the Federal Association of German Banks.

Alternatives to the Trade Republic