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Interactive Investor Review 2019

4.4 4 stars · Sep 2019
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Interactive Investor logo

Interactive Investor was founded in 2003 and it is one of the biggest UK stockbrokers. It is regulated by the top-tier financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Interactive Investor is considered safe because it has a long track record, and it is regulated by a top-tier regulator.

Recommended for beginners and investors focusing on UK market.

Pros
  • User-friendly trading platforms
  • Fast and easy deposit and withdrawal
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • High stock, ETF, and fund fees
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Basic charting and analytic tools

Interactive Investor pros and cons

The web and mobile trading platforms are user-friendly and well-designed. Deposit and withdrawal are easy, fast, and in most cases, free. If you need assistance from the customer service, they answer quickly.

The stock, ETF, and fund fees are high. The product portfolio focuses covers traditional products, like stocks or funds, and mainly from the UK market. The sophisticated charting and analytic tools are missing.

Compare to other brokers

Interactive Investor review
Fees 3 stars

Interactive Investor has average trading fees and low non-trading fees.
Pros
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No inactivity fee
  • Low bond fees
Cons
  • High stock and fund fees
  • Monthly account fee
Interactive Investor fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock High Investor and funds fan fees: £7.99 per trade; super investor fee: £4.99 per trade
EURUSD - Not available
US tech fund - Not available
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

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, financing rates, and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions or spreads.
  • Financing / overnight / margin rates are charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than a day. A leveraged position means that you borrow money from the broker to trade.
  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.

We also compared Interactive Investor's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Hargreaves Lansdown and DEGIRO. This selection is based on objective factors like products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Interactive Investor alternatives.

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

Interactive Investor trading fees

Interactive Investor trading fees are average. You can choose from three fee structures which differ in the monthly account fee, the fees charged for certain products, and the monthly free trades.

Interactive Investor fee structures
  Investor Funds Fan Super Investor
Monthly flat fee £9.99 £13.99 £19.99
Fees per trade

£7.99 for UK shares

£7.99 for UK funds

£7.99 for UK shares

£3.99 for UK funds

£3.99 for UK shares

£3.99 for UK funds

Free trades per month 1 free trade 2 free fund trades 2 free UK trades

In this review, we calculated with the Investor service plan. 

Interactive Investor partnered with Gain Capital's City Index brand, LCG, and Saxo Bank. Interactive Investor offers forex, CFD, spread betting, and futures trading through their platforms. You can check the fees at Gain Capital and Saxo Bank in our reviews.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Interactive Investor has generally high stock trading fees. For UK and US stocks, it's lower than HL but higher than DEGIRO.

Stock fees of a $2,000 trade
  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
USA $11.7 $17.3 $0.6
UK $11.6 $17.3 $2.4
Germany $29.0 $17.3 $5.7

The stock fees calculated as a flat fee and they are different depending on the service plan you choose.

Interactive Investor stock fees
Commission per trade Investor Funds Fan Super Investor
UK shares £7.99 £7.99 £3.99
US shares £7.99 £7.99 £4.99
Other international shares £19.99 £19.99 £9.99

Fund fees

Interactive Investor fund fees are generally high.

Fees for a $2,000 fund purchase
  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
Europe stock fund buy $11.6 $0.2 $10.6

Similarly to stocks, the fund fees are charged as a flat fee and different among the service plans.

Interactive Investor fund fees
Commission per trade Investor Funds Fan Super Investor
Funds £7.99 £3.99 £3.99

Bond fees

Interactive Investor has generally low bond fees. 

Fees of a $10,000 bond trade
  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
Europe $11.6 $17.3 $11.5

The bond fee structure is the same as for funds.

Financing rates

You can't trade on margin, or in other words, you can't hold leveraged positions. Because of this, financing rates at Interactive Investor are not applicable.

Non-trading fees

Interactive Investor has low non-trading fees. It charges no inactivity. Three is also no withdrawal fee if you choose the standard withdrawal. Withdrawal fees are charged if you make an instant withdrawal for GBP and EUR or if you make a withdrawal in other than these currencies. 

On the negative side, there is a monthly account fee which is different mong the service plans.

Interactive Investor non-trading fees
  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
Account fee Yes No No
Inactivity fee No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

When you transfer in a currency or trade with an asset different from your account base currency, a currency conversion fee is charged. The FX fees start at 1.5% margin and get lower rates if more amount is exchanged.

Interactive Investor currency conversion fee
  Currency conversion fee
£0 - 24,999 1.50%
£25,000 - 49,999 1.25%
£50,000 - 99,999 1.00%
£100,000 - 599,999 0.50%
£600,000+ 0.25%

 

Interactive Investor review
Account opening 5 stars

In theory, opening an account with Interactive Investor should be fairly easy and fast. In practice, it can be troublesome if for example you lived outside the UK sometimes during the past 3 years.
Pros
  • Fully digital
  • No minimum deposit
  • Many account types
Cons
  • No option to provide addresses outside the UK for past 3 years

Can you open an account?

Residents in the UK and Ireland can open an account at Interactive Investor.

What is the minimum deposit at Interactive Investor?

There is no required minimum deposit Interactive Investor.

As there is a flat monthly subscription fee to use the platform, you need to have this amount available in your account. Alternatively, having to hold a minimum account balance is not an issue if you set up a direct debit to pay the monthly fees.

Account types

Interactive Investor has a variety of available accounts in the UK:

Interactive Investor account types
Account type Short description
Trading Account Basic investment account.
Stocks and Shares ISA ISA account to invest tax-free up to the yearly limit
Self Invested Personal Pension Tax-efficient pension investment account
Junior Stocks and Shares ISA ISA account to invest tax-free up on behalf of a child
Company Account Trade in the name of a UK Limited Company
Pension Trading Account Invest in assets (e.g. property) that aren’t tradeable via ii
Research Account A demo account
Spread Trading and CFD Account Account provided by Interactive Markets for forex, CFD, and spread trading 

In this review, we tested the Trading Account which is also the only one that is available in Ireland.

How to open your account

For UK residents, opening an account is supposed to be a standard, straightforward procedure. You provide your details on their website, which they will then try to verify online. If the verification is successful then you're done in about 10 minutes

The first issue arises when you need to provide your addresses for the past 3 years in the UK. There is no option to give an address abroad, in case you lived abroad sometimes during the past 3 years. Here onwards, you are poised to fail their online verification which makes the process not very user-friendly.

If their online verification fails, you'll need to send in certified copies of your:

  1. proof of identity, e.g. passport or UK driver's license, and
  2. proof of residence, e.g. bank statement or utility bill. 

In our experience, these copies are received and processed surprisingly quickly (1-2 business days). However, we had a hiccup with the verification process, so the documents that were posted were very not immediately accepted by Interactive Investor. Following this, they didn't reply to our email for 14 days, but then they replied to our follow-up email the next day. It was an experience of the extremes: Interactive Investor was either super responsive or extremely not.

Interactive Investor review - Account opening

Interactive Investor review
Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

The deposit and withdrawal are easy, quick, and in most cases, free. There is also a lot of account base currency. On the negative side, electronic wallets and credit/debit cards for withdrawal are missing.
Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • Quick deposit and withdrawal - within 3 days
  • Free withdrawal for non-instant GBP and EUR withdrawal
Cons
  • No credit/Debit card withdrawal

Account base currencies

Interactive Investor can hold 9 currencies in your account in you are in the UK. These are GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, AUD, SGD, HKD, CHF or SEK. If you are in Ireland, CHF and SEK are not supported. Unfortunately, not all currencies are treated equally when it comes to topping up and withdrawing. There is a lot more flexibility for GBP and EUR.

Base currencies at Interactive Investor vs similar brokers
  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
Number of base currencies 9 1 9

These currencies can be held simultaneously within one account, and it is also possible to exchange between them using Interactive Investor's FX services. For currency conversion, there is a fee charged.

Why do the account currencies matter? Two things. First, if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, you won't be charged a currency conversion fee. Second, if you trade assets in the same currency as your account base currency, you will not have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on the currency conversion fees can be to open a multi-currency bank account. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. The account opening only takes a few minutes on your phone.

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Deposit fees and options

Depositing money is free with Interactive Investor.

Using a debit card, you can deposit money instantly up to GBP 99,999. You can also send in money via a bank transfer. If you wish to transfer in money other than GBP or EUR, you will need to contact Interactive Investor for the bank details where each respective currency could be sent to.

Interactive Investor deposit options
  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes No
Electronic wallets No No Yes

If you make a deposit from your debit card, you won't be able to request a bank transfer withdrawal for 60 days. These funds can instead be requested to be refunded to your debit card, or need to be invested first before being withdrawn by bank transfer.

Interactive Investor review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Withdrawal fees and options

Standard withdrawals in GBP or EUR are free with Interactive Investor. Withdrawals can only be made via bank transfer.

Interactive Investor withdrawal fees and options
  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No Yes No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

If your withdrawal request is submitted before 2 pm, it can arrive the next day. Otherwise, it will take 2 business days. For a fee, urgent same-day transfers can be requested before 2 pm. 

Interactive Investor withdrawal fees, GBP or EUR
  GBP EUR
Standard 0 0
Urgent, up to 100,000 GBP 15

EUR 30

Urgent, above 100,000 GBP 25

If you wish to withdraw money in any of the other currencies, it can be done for an extra fee. For USD and CAD, you can request the withdrawal online. Unfortunately, withdrawal requests for the rest of the currencies (AUD, CHF, HKD, SEK, SGD) can only be made via the phone. 

Interactive Investor withdrawal fees, other currencies
Currency UK Ireland
USD USD 35
CAD CAD 45
AUD AUD 45
SGD SGD 50
HKD HKD 250
CHF CHF 35 NA
SEK SEK 250 NA

How long does it take to withdraw money from Interactive Investor? We tested the standard bank transfer withdrawal and it took 2 business days.

How do you withdraw money from Interactive Investor? You can do it by following these steps:

  • Once logged in, click on the "cash and transfers" button in the top header
  • Select the "withdraw/transfer cash" menu point
  • Click on the orange "Bank transfer" button
  • Add your bank account or choose from the list of accounts you previously added. Click the orange "Transfer" button next to the one you wish to withdraw the funds to
  • Specify the amount, the investment account you want to withdraw money from, the withdrawal type (standard or urgent), and if you want to set up a recurring withdrawal
  • Tick the box that you accept the conditions of the withdrawal and click the orange "Check and Preview" button
  • If all the details seem correct, click the orange "Confirm" button

Compare to other brokers

Interactive Investor review
Web trading platform 4 stars

Interactive Investor's web platform is user-friendly and easy to use. However, it lacks a two-step login and customizability.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Limited order types
Interactive Investor platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 4 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop - No

Interactive Investor's own platform for all accounts except when you trade with forex, CFDs, spread betting, or futures. In these cases, you will use Interactive Investor's partners' trading platforms. You can read more about Gain Capital's City Index and Saxo Bank's trading platforms.

Interactive Investor's web trading platform is available in English.

Look and feel

The Interactive Investor web trading platform is user-friendly and it is easy to get around. The platform's customizability is limited though.

Interactive Investor review - Web trading platform

Login and security

Interactive Investor provides a two-step authentication only when you log in to the web platform from a new device. In this case, the platform will ask for the last 4 digits of your phone number, and then a verification code sent via text message to this number. On subsequent logins, II only provides a one-step verification.

On the mobile app, there is no two-step verification even on the first login.

Search functions

The search functions work as you would expect. You can search by typing both a company's name or asset's ticker and during the search, a relevant list appears. You can also search based on investment types and based on markets.

The search fields can be found in more places. For example, on the bottom of the page or when you click on "Reserach" > "Find an investment" sections.

Interactive Investor review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following basic order types. The list is quite limited, you won't find very sophisticated orders like the "one cancels the other" order:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop Loss

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

There are also order time limits you can use: Fill or Kill, Good 'til date (GTD).

Interactive Investor review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and notifications through email or SMS. The range of alerts is very limited, you can set alerts only for price moves.

Portfolio and fee reports

Interactive Investor has clear portfolio and fee reports. These can be found in the "Portfolio" section. 

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Interactive Investor review
Mobile trading platform 4 stars

The Interactive Investor mobile trading platform looks neat and it is user-friendly. However, it lacks two-step login and you can't set alerts.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Modern design
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • Limited order types
  • No price alerts

Similarly to the web trading platform, you can use Interactive Investor's own mobile trading platform at accounts except for CFD and spread betting account.

We tested Interactive Investor's own mobile trading platform. It is available both on iOS and Android. We tested it on iOS.

In functionalities and design, it is very similar to the web trading platform. It offers the same order types, has the same search functions. It offers a one-step login, but there is also a Touch ID login.

The major difference compared to the web trading platform is that you can't set alerts. You can't even set mobile push notifications. This is a major drawback of the mobile platform.

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Interactive Investor review
Desktop trading platform

Interactive Investor does not offer a desktop trading platform.

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Interactive Investor review
Markets and products 2 stars

Interactive Investor offers stock, ETF, fund, and bonds. However, fund and bonds cover only in the UK. Other asset classes, like forex, futures, or CFDs are only available through one of the Interactive Investor's partners.
  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes No
Fund Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes
Options No No Yes
Futures No No Yes
CFD No Yes Yes
Crypto No Yes Yes

Interactive Investor has a great fund and average stock and ETF offers. The bond offer lags behind the competitors.

If you prefer forex, CFDs, spread betting, or futures, you have to open an account one of Interactive Investor's partners: Gain Capital's City Index brand, LCG, or Saxo Bank. You can read more about City Index's and Saxo Bank's product offers.

Stock and ETF

Interactive Investor gives you access to European, Australian, some North American, and some Asian stock exchanges. 

The stock and ETF offers are average, with Hargreaves Lansdown's and Charles Stanley's.

  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
Stock markets (#) 16 21 32
ETFs (#) 1,600 1,400 5,400

These stock exchanges are available at Interactive Investor:

Interactive Investor stock exchanges
Europe North America Asia/Pacific
London Stock Exchange American Stock Exchange Singapore Exchange
Amsterdam Stock Exchange NASDAQ Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Brussels Stock Exchange NYSE Australian Securities Exchange
Paris Stock Exchange Toronto Stock Exchange  
Irish Stock Exchange TSX Venture Exchange  
Madrid Stock Exchange    
Italian Stock Exchange    
Deutsche Boerse Exchange    

Fund

The mutual fund offer is great. It is similar to Hargreaves Lansdown's fund offer and much more than DEGIRO's offer.

  Interactive Investor Hargreaves Lansdown DEGIRO
Fund providers (#) 150 164 68

Bond

It's not transparent which bonds you can trade at Interactive Investors.

We found only UK government bonds. It's less than what Hargreaves Lansdown or DEGIRO have.

Interactive Investor review
Research 3 stars

The research tool is quite easy to navigate, you won't have any problems with finding what you are looking for. However, the more sophisticated analytic and charting tools are missing.
Pros
  • Data on asset fundamentals
  • Quality news flow
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Limited interactive charting
  • No trading ideas
  • No/limited set of analytic tools

We tested the research tools on the web trading platform. The research tools are good and useful, however, there is a limited range that you can use. 

All research tools have nice and clean visuals. The drawback of the platform is that the charting tool and the analytic tools are quite limited in the provided data and customisability.

Trading ideas

Interactive Investor does not provide trading ideas. They have some articles on their "News" section about current market news, but there are no specific suggestions on the trading platform.

Fundamental data

Interactive Investor offers fundamental data. You can find a wide range of useful information ranging from performance charts to the financial reports of the past couple of years.

Interactive Investor review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

Interactive Investor has poor charting tools. You can use 7 technical indicators. This is a way smaller number than what most brokers provide. 

Interactive Investor review - Research - Charting

News feed

Quality news is available from several screens on the interface. The main news section is available even without a trading account.

  • the main news flow are articles by resident authors of Interactive Investor and some guest authors 
  • news section of the fundamental data screen combines news, reports, and company announcements

Other research tools you will enjoy

There is a technical analysis tool, called Technical Insights. It shows the patterns emerged on the charts. It also shows whether bullish or bearish price moves are expected.

Interactive Investor review - Research - Technical insights

Compare research pros and cons

Interactive Investor review
Customer service 4 stars

Interactive Investor's customer service is fast to reply both via phone and email. On the flip side, there is no 24/7 availability and live chat is not provided.
Pros
  • Fast response time
  • Professional tone
Cons
  • No live chat

You can contact Interactive Investor via:

  • telephone
  • email

Interactive Investor's phone support was great. They connected us to an associate in under a minute and we got relevant answers.

The email support works well as well. We got answers within 1 day and they were relevant.

We missed 24/7 availability and the live chat. You can contact them between 07:45 am - 17:30 pm GMT

Interactive Investor review - Customer Service

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Interactive Investor review
Education 3 stars

Interactive Investor's educational content is embedded in the "News" section of the main website. It's well-designed, available without an account. A demo account is available under the name "Research Account". On the negative side, platform tutorial videos and webinars are not provided.
Pros
  • Demo account
  • Educational videos
Cons
  • No trading platform tutorial videos
  • No webinars

At Interactive Investor you can learn in the following ways:

  • Demo account
  • General educational videos
  • Quality educational articles

We really liked that Interactive Investor publishes articles frequently about relevant topics in the investment world. Some of these are news, but many of them have an educational purpose as well. It is a plus that many of these articles are also available in a video format. 

Interactive Investor offers a demo account as well, named "Research Account". It is free of any charges.

Interactive Investor review - Education

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Interactive Investor review
Safety

Interactive Investor is regulated by FCA, a top-tier regulator. A high level of investor protection, £85,000 is provided. lt is not listed on any stock exchange and doesn't have a banking background.
Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
Cons
  • Does not hold a banking license
  • Not listed on stock exchange
  • Financial information is not publicly available

Is Interactive Investor regulated? Yes, it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Interactive Investor is based in the UK and it was founded in 2003. Is Interactive Investor safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes wrong and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

This is important for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from entity to entity.  This is not an issue in this case as all customers are covered by Interactive Investor Ltd. 

The FSCS investor protection protects against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker goes bust. The limit of FSCS protection is £85,000.

Background

Interactive Investor was established in 2003. The longer the track record of a broker, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Being in operation for a long time and regulated by a top-tier regulator are all great signs for Interactive Investor's safety.

Filter the brokers by investor protection

Interactive Investor review
Bottom line

Interactive Investor is one of the biggest UK brokers regulated by the top-tier FCA.

It has a user-friendly and well-designed trading platforms. The deposit and withdrawal are easy and fast. Its customer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time.

It has some drawbacks though. It has high fees for stocks, ETFs, and funds. The product offer covers only traditional products, like stock or funds. The technical research tools are limited.

As there is no minimum deposit and you can use great trading platforms, feel free to try Interactive Investor.

Interactive Investor main features and highlights

🗺️ Country of regulation UK
💰 Trading fees class Average
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with credit card Available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Not available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 9
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Fund, Bond

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Interactive Investor logo

Interactive Investor was founded in 2003 and it is one of the biggest UK stockbrokers. It is regulated by the top-tier financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Interactive Investor is considered safe because it has a long track record, and it is regulated by a top-tier regulator.

Recommended for beginners and investors focusing on UK market.

Compare to other brokers

Overall 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly trading platforms
  • Fast and easy deposit and withdrawal
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • High stock, ETF, and fund fees
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Basic charting and analytic tools

Fees 3 stars

Pros
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No inactivity fee
  • Low bond fees
Cons
  • High stock and fund fees
  • Monthly account fee

Account opening 5 stars

Pros
  • Fully digital
  • No minimum deposit
  • Many account types
Cons
  • No option to provide addresses outside the UK for past 3 years

Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • Quick deposit and withdrawal - within 3 days
  • Free withdrawal for non-instant GBP and EUR withdrawal
Cons
  • No credit/Debit card withdrawal

Web trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Limited order types

Mobile trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Modern design
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • Limited order types
  • No price alerts

Markets and products 2 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Stock
  • ETF
  • Fund
  • Bond

Research 3 stars

Pros
  • Data on asset fundamentals
  • Quality news flow
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Limited interactive charting
  • No trading ideas
  • No/limited set of analytic tools

Customer service 4 stars

Pros
  • Fast response time
  • Professional tone
Cons
  • No live chat

Education 3 stars

Pros
  • Demo account
  • Educational videos
Cons
  • No trading platform tutorial videos
  • No webinars

Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
Cons
  • Does not hold a banking license
  • Not listed on stock exchange
  • Financial information is not publicly available

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager

METHODOLOGY

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

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