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Rising user numbers, decreasing profits at US brokers

Ádám Nasli



BrokerChooser’s analyst team is constantly on the lookout for emerging trends in the retail brokerage world. We went digging deep in publicly available databases to see the differences between US and EU brokerage markets. 

Using publicly available data from brokerages, we compared the influx of new clients and changes in revenue in 2020 between the two regions. Read on to learn what we’ve found.


US brokers have significantly more clients


Most US brokers have 10 or more times larger client bases than most EU brokers.


Notes to the chart:

  • Data was collected from brokers’ public reports for Q4 2020.
  • Plus500, E*TRADE and XTB data is for the end of Q3 2020. Robinhood’s data is from Q2 2020.

Source: Quarterly results of brokers available publicly


More clients do not mean more profits


Despite the significant increase in broker accounts and trading activity, most US brokers couldn’t increase their profitability, as many cut their commissions in late 2019.


Note to the chart:

  • Data was collected for H1 2020 and compared with H1 2019, as most brokers did not have reports for Q3-Q4 available.

Source: Quarterly results of brokers available publicly


You can download our findings here.