In this current BNP Paribas review we recommend the broker to investors who insist on managing their investments with a large banking group, who are looking to use investment advisory services and who are willing to pay an extra for these services.
BNP offers investment services to international clients under Luxemburg-based BGL BNP Paribas Direct Invest. While the system allows you to manage your portfolio and place your orders online, it is based on a classical bank-based brokerage model. The team of advisors is ready to take your order over the phone, assist you in your research and provide investment recommendations. This all comes at the cost of very high fees and relatively simplistic online platform.
There are two service packages to choose from: ‘Investor’ offering custody and execution for autonomous investors with advice available only on request and ‘Advisory’ offering proactive advice and investment recommendations. The two packages have slightly different fee structure, with the later charging lower trading fees but also 0.8% advisory fee. Both services require minimum 50k EUR investment to open the trading account.
It needs to be emphasized that investing with BNP will cost you a lot, especially if you are a small investor. On top of high trading fees (0.36% with a minimum of 40 EUR per trade for stocks) and flat 200 EUR per year account management fee, you are also charged 0.6% of your investments each year on custody fees.
Together with the trading account, you get international banking account with BNP, which you could utilize for banking products such as credit card, term deposits or life insurance. Funds up to 20k EUR are protected by Luxembourg Investor Compensation Scheme.
Having brokerage with a large international banking group you would expect high fees being compensated by access to a complete product range and premium research tools. However, while you get access to most international stock markets and a solid range of mutual funds and European bonds, there is no Forex or CFD trading. Research and stock analysis tools accessible directly via online platform are also very limited.