While at first glance, Degiro looks like a very decent and reasonable trading destination with low fees, there are scores of client complaints out there regarding the incompetence of its support staff. What is the truth though and should you consider joining the Degiro fold as a trader?
Degiro was launched in 2013, in the Netherlands, by a group of former employees of a major online financial organization. Currently, the trading services provided by Degiro cover some 18 European countries. The main selling point of the operation is the absolutely advantageous fee structure it offers. Apparently, the fees charged by the operator are some 85% lower than those used by the competition, and that would indeed explain the significant popularity the brand has achieved in a relatively short time.
Degiro has adopted an in-house approach to trading, meaning that its trading platform is one developed by the very own developer team of the operator.
Favorable trading conditions do indeed hang heavily in the balance when it comes to choosing a broker, but there’s one factor that will trump this aspect every time: regulation. Degiro seems to have covered all the bases in this regard too though.
The company – which is based in Amsterdam, and is registered with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry there, under number: 34342820 – is under the prudential supervision of the Dutch Central Bank and under the behavioral supervision of AFM (the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets). The AFM is the authority which granted the brokerage its license.
The Account-Type structure is quite peculiar at Degiro. The whole account-opening procedure starts with a free account registration. Would-be clients have to specify whether they’re opening a retail trading account or an institutional one. From there on, several account profile choices are presented: Custody, Basic, Active, Trader and Day Trader. The differences among these account types are mostly defined by the availability of various services.
For instance, the Custody and Basic accounts do not allow buying on margin. The Active account, on the other hand, does, up to 50% of one’s available margin. The Trader account takes this to 100%, while the Day Trader account even offers additional margin during trading hours.
As it’s normal, the Custody account is the most limited. It does not even allow the trading of leveraged products and warrants.
Financial derivatives, such as options, futures, and CFDs are only available for Active, Trader and Day Trader accounts.
The proprietary trading platform used by the brokerage is rather basic, but it works well. Its charting options are good, though complexity-wise it does fall a little short here and there.
It gives traders the possibility to create favorites lists, to place orders by amounts, and to access order books up to 5 levels deep on Euronext. The QuickOrder button makes short work of trader orders and the prices are presented in a real-time streaming format. Market news are also available directly in the trading platform.
The platform is web-based and as such, it does not require downloading. It is also available in mobile versions. While the features of the platform look impressive on paper, some users have complained about price inaccuracies and various other issues.
As far as trader deposits go, Degiro only accepts Bank Wire and Sofort.
The market-coverage of the brokerage is quite possibly the best in the business. It gives traders access to exchanges all over the globe, from Europe and North America to Oceania and Asia.
As far as financial products are concerned, everything is covered: Shares, ETFs, Investment Funds, Futures, Leveraged products, Bonds, Options, Warrants, and CFDs. For all those product categories, almost all order types are supported. Investment Funds, Leveraged products, and Options are the only exceptions in this regard.
The Degiro Help Center features an exhaustive FAQ section. The Service Desk can be called Monday to Friday, from 7:00 to 21:00 and there is a mail Service Desk as well, which can be contacted through a selection of department-specific email addresses.
It has to be noted again though, that people complain quite a bit about the quality of assistance offered.
Theoretically, Degiro is a safe destination. One just cannot look past the plethora of negative feedback available out there though.
From the perspective of trading conditions (fees) and market coverage, Degiro may just be second to none. Their reputation is far from stellar though.