Securities broker Degiro has launched its online trading platform in London today (11 June), aiming to end the “great UK retail rip-off”.
The firm’s director Gijs Nagel argued that the discrepancy in market access between retail and institutional investors is “completely unnecessary and nothing short of a scandal”.
“All of our progress has culminated in this point, and the UK is a natural next step for us. We’re excited to be launching in Europe’s financial heart and we look forward to liberating UK investors from the hidden costs that have plagued them for so long.”
The fully regulated platform covers stocks, futures, options, investment funds, exchange-traded funds, rights, bonds, leveraged products and contracts for difference, with fees it claims are on average 84 per cent lower than those of the competition.
The platform is currently available only for retail investors, though it may open options for professional or institutional clients in the future, it said.
Degiro says it treats European retail investors as one large institutional investor, with systems built from the ground-up over the last seven years. It is able to focus on keeping costs down by avoiding add-ons such as analysis and advice.
The platform also provides full segregation of assets, meaning that there is no risk for clients if a company defaults, allowing it to gain market share in 17 countries that fall under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.
Mr Nagel added that Degiro saved the UK for last, as it wanted to launch the most tried and tested product.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Amsterdam, the firm initially serve only institutional investors, launching its retail trading platform in 2013. It processes €30bn (£21.8bn) worth of transactions annually and expects to have €3bn in assets by the end of the year.