feed linkedin-square facebook-square twitter-square question-circle-o
Flatex Logo

Summary

Recommended for german-speaking investors and CFD traders focusing on European securities

Flatex is Germany-based stockbroker, regulated by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). Its predecessor, PRE.IPO AG was established in 1999 and it received the banking and brokerage license in 2005 when the company was renamed to Flatex.

Flatex is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on several stock exchanges, has a banking background, discloses its financials, and is regulated by a top-tier regulator.

Overall Rating
4.0
Fees
2.0
Account opening
2.0
Deposit and withdrawal
3.0
Trading platform
4.0
Markets and products
4.0
Research
3.0
Customer service
4.0
Education
5.0

Flatex pros and cons

Flatex has low mutual fund and bond fees. Moreover, It holds a banking license, is listed on several stock exchanges and has a strong parent company. It also has lots of high-quality educational tools.

On the other hand, the stock, ETF, and forex fees are high. The account opening for non-German residents is overly complicated and takes several days, even weeks. You can use only use bank transfers for deposits and withdrawals. Lastly, as most of the services are in German, good German language skill is needed.

Pros Cons
Low mutual fund and bond fees High fees for stock, ETF, and forex
Listed on a stock exchange, strong parent company Only bank transfer is available for deposits and withdrawals
Great educational tools Complicated account opening for non-German residents
Flatex main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation Germany
💰 Trading fees class High
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account >3 days
💳 Deposit with credit card Not available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Not available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 1
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Forex, Fund, Bond, CFD, Warrant, Certificate, Turbo
Gergely Korpos

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Author of this review

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Everything you find on Brokerchooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

Flatex review
Fees

2.0
Flatex has high trading fees for stock, ETF, and forex. As a plus, the mutual fund and bond fees are low.
Pros Cons
Low fees for mutual funds and bonds High stock and ETF fees
High forex fees
Flatex fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock High €15.9 per trade flat fee
EURUSD High The fees are built into spread, 1.0 pips is the average spread cost.
Mutual fund Low €5.9 per trade flat fee
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

We ranked Flatex's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of Flatex for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing, commissions are the most important fees.

We also compared Flatex's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Comdirect and Degiro. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Flatex alternatives.

To have a clear overview of Flatex's fees, let's start with the trading fees.

Flatex trading fees

Flatex's trading fees are high for forex, stocks and ETFs. The CFD fees are average, while the mutual fund and bond fees are low.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Flatex has generally high stock and ETF commissions but they are lower if you trade with German assets.

Flatex stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
US stock $17.5 $14.2 $0.6
German stock $6.5 $10.9 $5.6

You have to pay a flat fee for stock trading, which is quite unusual since most European brokers apply volume-based pricing for stock trading. Flat fees are great if you trade in higher volumes.

Flatex stock fees
Exchange Commission
Germany €5.9 flat fee per trade
NASDAQ, Toronto €15.9 flat fee per trade
Eurnext Brussel, Eurnext Lisbon, Eurnext Paris, Eurnext Amsterdam, Milan, Vienna, Zurich €15.9 flat fee per trade

If you trade with ETF saving plans, the fee is €1.5 per trade or completely free for 350 selected ETFs.

If you prefer stock trading on margin or short sale, you should check Flatex's financing rates.

Financing rates or margin rate is charged when you trade on margin or short a stock. This basically means that you borrow money or stocks from your broker to trade. For this borrowed money/stock you have to pay interest. This is the financing rate. It can be a significant proportion of your trading costs.

Flatex's financing rates are high.

Flatex annual financing rates for stocks
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
EUR margin rate 7.9% 4.0% 0.8%

Forex fees

Flatex's forex fees are high. 

To have a clear picture on forex fees we calculated a forex benchmark fee for major currency pairs. This catch-all benchmark includes commissions, spreads and financing costs for all brokers.

Flatex forex benchmark fee of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
EURUSD benchmark fee $24.6 $26.4 -
GBPUSD benchmark fee $20.5 $23.0 -
AUDUSD benchmark fee $20.5 $23.7 -
EURCHF benchmark fee $17.5 $19.7 -
EURGBP benchmark fee $22.2 $24.8 -

Fund fees

Flatex's fund fees are low. It is much lower than a discount broker's (for example Degiro's) fees.

Flatex commission for a $2,000 fund purchase
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Mutual fund $6.5 $20.0 $10.3

Flatex charges a €5.9 flat fee per trade for funds. If you trade with fund saving plans, the fee is €0,9 per trade.

Bond fees

Bond fees at Flatex are low. Similarly to fund fees, the bond fees are even lower than at Degiro.

Flatex commission of a $10,000 government bond trade
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
US Treasury bond $6.5 $33.7 -
EU government bond $6.5 $30.4 $11.3

A €5.9 flat fee is charged after every order.

CFD fees

Flatex has average CFD trading fees: US and UK stock CFDs have lower fees than at Comdirect. At Degiro, the commission is even lower for these products.

To have a clear understanding of CFD fees we calculated a CFD benchmark fee for the selected products. This catch-all benchmark includes commissions, spreads and financing costs for all brokers.

Flatex CFD benchmark fees, for a $2,000 long position held for one week
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Apple CFD benchmark fee $13.2 $24.0 $2.4
Vodafone CFD benchmark fee $13.1 $23.9 $11.9

Non-trading fees

Flatex has low non-trading fees. There are no inactivity, custody, account and withdrawal fees, which is awesome.

Flatex non-trading fees
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee No Yes No
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

On the other hand, if you trade with US penny stocks, you have to consider a €30 per month custody fee.

Flatex review
Account opening

2.0
The account opening is easy and fully digital for German residents, but complicated and long for non-German residents.
Pros Cons
No minimum deposit Slow
Low minimum deposit Not fully digital
Fully digital account opening for German clients Not user-friendly

Can you open an account?

Visit broker

It is not transparent, which residents are eligible to open an account. We believe that most European clients can open an account at Flatex. On the other hand, for non-German and non-Austrian residents, the account opening process is way more complicated.

Also, we recommend opening an account only if you speak German on an intermediate level as the account opening process and most of the trading platforms are in German. Customer Service is a hit or miss, but in our recent test, they spoke English well.

What is the minimum deposit at Flatex?

There is no minimum deposit at Flatex. This is a good feature if you would like to trade in smaller amounts. 

Account types

Based on ownership you can choose from three account types:

  1. individual
  2. joint
  3. corporate account.

When you open an account at Flatex, your account will be a cash and a securities account by default. After, you can activate the forex or CFD accounts separately if you want to trade with these assets.

Flatex account types
Account Tradeable products Trading platform
Cash and securities Stocks, ETFs, funds, and bond

    
Flatex WebFiliale

flatex Trader 2.0

Forex Currency pairs CFD-FX-Handelsplattform
CFD CFDs CFD-FX-Handelsplattform

How to open your account

If you are from Germany, the account opening process is fully digital and convenient via video identification.

Account opening for non-German citizens is rather complicated. For us, it took more than 2 weeks and involved notarial work. After registering online we had to send our notarized documents to Flatex via post.

After we got verified, Flatex sent us our login credentials and an iTANCard via mail. The iTANCard is a security card that contains codes that are needed for trade execution and logins. FlateXSecure app can substitute the functions of iTANCard, but it is safer if you have both available when needed.

Flatex review - Account opening

Flatex review
Deposit and withdrawal

3.0
Deposit and withdrawal at Flatex are free of charge, but only wire transfer is available. This means it can take a couple of business days.
Pros Cons
Free withdrawal Credit/Debit card not available
No deposit fee Only one account base currency
User-friendly Slow withdrawal - over 3 days

Account base currencies

At Flatex, you can only hold your accounts in EUR. This can lead to expensive deposits: you will be charged a conversion-fee if you deposit from a non-EUR account.

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Deposit fees and options

Flatex charges no deposit fees, but you can only use bank transfers.

Flatex deposit options
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No

You can only deposit money from accounts which are in your name and it can take several business days

Flatex review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Flatex withdrawal fees and options

Withdrawals are also free of charge and again, you can only use bank transfers. 

Flatex withdrawal fees and options
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

For us, it took 3 business days to withdraw our deposit through a bank transfer. Withdrawal can only be made to accounts that are in your name, just like deposits.

How do you withdraw money from Flatex?

  1. Through 'Client Login', login to your Flatex account
  2. Click on 'Konto & Depot', and choose 'Überweisung' from the list
  3. Choose your account (Aktuelles Konto), the receiver (Empfänger) and the withdrawal amount (Beitrag)
  4. Click 'Eingaben übernehmen' to send your request. You'll need to validate your request with flateXSecure

Compare to other brokers

Flatex review
Web trading platform

3.0
Flatex's web trading platform, WebFiliale is well designed, offers several order types and a great search engine. On the other hand, there are no price alerts, and it is only available in German.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No clear fee report available
Two-step (safer) login Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good search function No price alerts
Flatex platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 3 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 4 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop 3 / 5 stars Yes

Flatex provides different trading platforms for different products.

Available trading platforms at Flatex
Tradable instruments Trading platforms & their names
Stock, ETF, mutual fund, and bond

Web: WebFiliale

Mobile: flatex

Desktop: flatex trader 2.0 or TeleTrader Workstation

CFD and FX trading 

Web: CFD-FX-Handelsplattform

Mobile: CFD2GO

We tested WebFiliale, Flatex's own web trading platform which is only available in German.

Look and feel

Flatex's web trading platform is simple and great for executing trades. It is well designed, but the interface lacks customization options.

Flatex review - Web trading platform

Login and security

To login to WebFiliale, the platform will only ask your username and password. Despite this, for every executable transaction, you will either need your physical iTAN card, or a one-time generated code through flateXSecure app. This is also needed when you want to login to CFD-Handelsplattform to trade CFDs and FX.

Search functions

WebFiliale's search engine works well: you just have to type in the name of the product you are looking for. Clicking 'Alle Ergebnisse' (All results) will show you all related products separated by their type like shares, bonds, etc. The results will also tell you which stock exchange is the product from and what its currency is.

Flatex review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types, including some advanced ones:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop Market
  • Stop Limit
  • Trailing Stop
  • Trailing Stop Limit
  • OCO
  • OCO Limit

To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.

There are order terms available too to make your trading more convenient:

  • Good 'til time (GTT)
  • Fill or kill (FOK)
  • Immediate or cancel (IOC)
  • All or none (AON)

Also, you can choose between stock exchanges when you place your order. This definitely is an extraordinary feature as it is generally not available at other brokers, except Comdirect or Interactive Brokers.

Flatex review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can't set price alerts and notifications.

Portfolio and fee reports

Flatex has a clear portfolio report: just click on 'Steuerbuchungen' to see the profit/loss and the tax you have to pay.

On the other hand, you can't see how much fees you paid for your trades. This seriously decreases the transparency of Flatex's fee structure.

Visit broker

Flatex review
Mobile trading platform

4.0
Flatex mobile platform is similar to the web trading platform in design and functionalities: it is user friendly and has a great search function, but doesn't have price alerts and available only in German.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No price alerts
Two-step (safer) login
Good search function

Similarly to the web trading platform, we tested Flatex's mobile trading platform that is for stock, ETF, bond, and mutual fund trading.

Flatex's mobile trading platform is available both on iOS and Android, we tested it on Android.

You can think of Flatex's mobile application as a miniaturized version of WebFiliale: it is exactly the same as the web platform when it comes to functionalities and available assets, This is a good thing because often brokers limit the functionalities of the mobile trading platforms heavily.

For this reason, we gave the mobile trading platform 4 stars instead of 3 which we gave to WebFiliae on the web. Why is that? We value user-friendliness higher when it comes to a mobile platform than a web platform.

Flatex review - Mobile trading platform

 

Visit broker

Flatex review
Desktop trading platform

3.0
Flatex's own desktop platform, flatex trader 2.0 is provided by TeleTrader Workstation. The platform is advanced, with many features and customizable options available. On the other hand it's complex so we recommend it for advanced traders only.
Pros Cons
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) Not user-friendly
Good variety of order types No clear fee report available
Two-step (safer) login Not free of charge

You can choose among two desktop trading platforms, but none of them is free:

  1. flatex trader 2.0, which costs €15 / month
  2. TeleTrader WorkStation, which costs €39 / month

The difference among the desktop platforms is that TeleTrader Workstation has more charting indicators and real-time and delayed data from overseas exchanges. (Earlier Flatex offered Metatrader, but they recently switched to TeleTrader.)

In our review, we tested flatex trader 2.0, which is available only in English

Look and feel

Flatex's own trading platform is complex and poorly designed. But with complexity comes high customizability: for example, you can set your own templates.

Flatex review - Desktop trading platform

Login and security

The login process is the same as for the web trading platform: it is easy to log in with only your user name and password, but later iither your iTAN card, or flateXSecure is required.

Search functions

The search functions are ok but can be improved. The filter settings are great if you know which asset type or specific exchange are you looking for. Despite this, it does not show the most relevant results first: for example, if you search for Apple, the Swiss stock exchange appears first instead of the US NASDAQ.

Flatex review - Desktop trading platform - Search

Placing orders

Flatex trader 2.0 has the same order type and order term selection, as the web trading platform.

Alerts and notifications

In contrast with all its other platforms, you can set up price alerts and notifications of your trades on flatex trader 2.0.

Portfolio and fee reports

Flatex trader 2.0 does not have clear portfolio and fee reports. This is something we have missed: a clear fee report helps a lot to understand Flatex's trading and non-trading fee structure.

Visit broker

Flatex review
Markets and products

4.0
At Flatex, you can trade with almost all asset classes, only options, futures, and cryptos are missing. As an extra, there are special products, like warrants, certificates, and turbos. Most of the available exchanges are focusing on EU markets.
Flatex asset classes
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No
Fund Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes
Options No Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes
CFD Yes Yes Yes
Crypto No Yes Yes

The product and market coverage at Flatex is great. Almost all asset classes are available, except options, futures, and cryptos. 

Stocks and ETFs

Flatex's stock and ETF selections are OK. It is in line with Comdirect but is worse than DEGIRO.

Flatex stock and ETF selection
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Stock markets (#) 22 27 30
ETFs (#) 860 1,714 5,400

Beyond German exchanges, Flatex gives access to multiple European and international exchanges.

Flatex's stock exchanges
Country Exchange
United States NYSE Alternext US, NASDAQ, NASDAQ OTC
Canada  Toronto Exchange
Belgium Euronext Brussels
Portugal Euronext Lisbon
France Euronext Paris
Netherlands Euronext Amsterdam
Italy Milan Exchange
Austria  Vienna Exchange
Switzerland Zürich Exchange

On the US exchanges, you can trade with penny stocks. However, in this case, there is a custody fee charged.

You can also invest in hundreds of ETF saving plans. This means that you invest a fixed amount in ETFs regularly and Flatex charges small or even zero fees.

Forex

The selection of tradeable currency pairs is great, it almost matches the amount of currency pairs at Comdirect.

Flatex forex selection
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Currency pairs (#) 70 71 -

Funds

Flatex's mutual fund selection is low.

Flatex mutual fund selection
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Fund providers (#) 60 150 68

Within this great fund offer, there are also fund saving plans. It is the same as the ETF saving plan, i.e. you can invest a fixed amount in funds regularly and Flatex charges favorable fees.

Bonds

There is no information about how many bonds can you trade with, but both government and corporate bonds are available. Within government bonds, you can invest in smaller countries too, like Paraguay or Hungary. All of these suggest that the range of available bonds is great.

CFDs

With Flatex, you can trade with stock index CFDs, stock CFDs, and commodity CFDs. The number of stock CFDs is greater than at Comdirect or Degiro.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.  

Flatex CFD selection
  Flatex Comdirect Degiro
Stock index CFDs (#) 22 30 -
Stock CFDs (#) 2,000 1,000 900
Commodity CFDs (#) 13 19 -

Other assets

You can also trade with special assets that are generally distributed by investment banks like Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. These are called 'Platin', 'Gold' and 'Silver' assets and they include special leveraged products, like warrants, turbos, and certificates with favorable fees

Premium trading assets at Flatex
Premium account type Fee per order Available assets
Platin 0,00 EUR  Mini futures, OpenEnd & Term Turbos, Factor Certificates
Gold  1,90 EUR Warrants and certificates 
Silver 3,90 EUR  Warrants and certificates 

Just type the asset's name or WKN/ISIN code in the search bar to trade with these products. 

Social trading 

Flatex provides a social trading service called Wikifolio. Wikifolio is a third-party online platform where traders publish and supervise their trading ideas. You can purchase these trading ideas through WebFiliale, the web trading platform.

Flatex review
Research

3.0
Flatex's research tools are OK. The charting tools are advanced and fundamental data is also provided. On the other hand, the research tools are not user-friendly and trading ideas are not provided.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart No trading ideas
Data on asset fundamentals No/poor quality news flow

The research functions are available at the Flatex desktop trading platform, flatex Trader 2.0. This desktop trading platform has a monthly fee, so basically there are no research tools for free.

Recommendations and Trading Ideas

Flatex doesn't provide any analyst recommendations or trading ideas.

Fundamental data

Flatex has fundamental data available for equity trading. You can check income statements 4 years prior, the main shareholders or even valuation ratios.

Flatex review - Research - Fundamental data

On the negative side, searching for such data is not intuitive at all. To reach the search interface, you have to search with the 'Symbol search' feature. After finding the desired equity, right-click on the equity and open the 'Profile'.

Charting

Flatex has advanced charting with almost endless features. There are more than 200 technical indicators and editor tools. You can easily edit and save the charts, which is a great feature.

Flatex review - Research - Charting

News feed

The quality of Flatex's news feed is low. It has an outdated design which makes the news hard to read. The news feeds are both in German and English, which is inconvenient.

Flatex review - Research - News

Compare research pros and cons

Flatex review
Customer service

4.0
Flatex's customer support service gives relevant answers, but live chat is service is missing. Also, it is available mainly in German.
Pros Cons
Phone support No live chat
Fast response time No 24/7 support
Relevant answers

You can contact Flatex via:

  • phone
  • email

Flatex has great phone support, but it is mainly in German. We have encountered multiple operators who could help us in English, which was a great surprise. We got connected within a minute and their answers were helpful.

The email support gives relevant answers as well. The speed is also great as we got answers within 1 day.

Customer service is available from Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM in the GMT+1 time zone if you are already a Flatex user. If you are not yet a customer the opening hour is from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Friday. We missed the 24/7 availability and a live chat service would also be helpful.

Flatex review - Customer Service

Visit broker

Flatex review
Education

5.0
Flatex has several educational contents and they have high-quality. The only thing we missed is the educational texts.
Pros Cons
Demo account No educational texts
Trading platform tutorial
Educational videos

At Flatex you improve your knowledge in the following ways:

  • Demo account
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars

All these options help to boost financial knowledge and familiarity with the trading platforms. There are also demo options available for the various platforms. The spectial thing about this is that you need to request these separately after you opened your account and you can use it only for a limited time.

Flatex review - Education

All educational materials are available only in German.

Visit broker

Flatex review
Safety

Flatex is regulated by Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), which is a top-tier regulator. The broker is also listed on the Stuttgart Stock Exchange and has a banking background.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority None
Banking background
Listed on stock exchange

Is Flatex regulated? Yes, it is regulated by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

The predecessor of Flatex, PRE.IPO AG was founded in 1999 in Germany. The start date of its brokerage services is 2006 when PRE.IPO AG was renamed to Flatex.

Is Flatex safe? To be certain, we highly advise you to check two facts: how you are protected if something goes wrong and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

Flatex provides its broker services under the entity flatex bank AG since March 2019. Through it, all European clients are eligible for the same amount of investor protection thanks to BaFin.

Flatex legal structure
Country of clients Protection amount Regulator Legal entity
All countries

€22,000 for securities

€110,000 for cash

Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) flatex Bank AG

Flatex provides negative balance protection for forex spot and CFD trading, but only for retail clients from the European Union. Professional and non-EU clients are not covered with any negative balance protection.

Background

Flatex operates under its parent bank named flatex Bank AG and as such, it is subject to tougher regulations than regular brokers. The bank has shares available on the Stuttgart Stock Exchange under the name of flatex AG. This means that the broker has to publish annual financial statements regularly and transparently.

Having a banking license, being listed on a stock exchange, providing financial statements, and being regulated by a top-tier regulator are all great signs for Flatex's safety.

Find your safe broker

Flatex review
Bottom line

Flatex is great for those who look for long-term investments and can speak German well.

Investing in mutual funds and bonds are cheap compared to its competitors. Also, it has extra savings and mutual fund plans for long-term investors. Because it is listed on multiple German exchanges, Flatex's financials are clear and transparent, as they have to publish them regularly. Their high-quality educational materials can help you to understand trading with the broker's services.

On the other hand, the fees for stock, ETF, and forex are high. The account opening for non-German citizens is complicated and you can only use bank transfers for deposits and withdrawals. We also missed the option to switch to English during account opening and on the web and mobile trading platforms. Despite this, most of the time customer services could help us in English.

Because there are no required minimum deposit or inactivity fee, feel free to try Flatex.

Visit broker

Share

Comments

×