Webull reliability

Whether a financial provider like Webull is reliable and legit is an important and very legitimate question one can have. After all you trust Webull with your investment money and savings. It is also a very common question, we get this asked a number of times.

One thing worth bearing in mind: all the brokers that you find on BrokerChooser are regulated by at least one top-tier authority. So in this basic sense Webull is of course legit. Additionally, there are other factors you can take into account when you check the reliability of Webull, e.g. if Webull is listed on any exchange, provide two-step login, disclose transparently its financial result, etc.

Here, we've collected and summarized the common questions on broker reliability, enabling you to decide for yourself whether you consider Webull reliable in your individual circumstances. We also compared Webull with two similar brokers.

Is Webull legit?
Webull moomoo Robinhood
Banking background No No No
Broker listed on stock exchange No No Yes
Annual financial statements on website No No Yes
Mobile two-step authentication Yes No Yes
Broker ownership transparency No Yes Yes
Broker management transparency No Yes No
Broker is audited by the Big Four No Yes Yes

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Webull reliability
Things always worth considering

When you assess a stock broker it's best to think through the following aspects:

  • What authority or authorities regulate the broker? In other words who can you turn to if something goes south?
  • How much protection do you have?
  • For how long Webull has been in operation?
  • Is it publicly traded itself?
  • How transparent is it?
  • How much do they protect your account from unauthorized access?
  • What auditor audits the brokerage?

As you see there are a number of aspects above. But not all of them were created equal.

We think the most important feature is to be regulated by at least one trustworthy authority.

Comparing regulators

First and foremost, to gather a wider knowledge about one broker's reliability, you should check the regulators of it. For this purpose, we sum up below the most important things to know about regulators and how to interpret them for your individual case.

Webull is regulated in the following countries and provides the following investor protection:

Webull regulation and investor protection
Webull
Country of regulation: USA, Hong Kong
Investor protection amount: $500,000 (securities up to $500,000, cash up to $250,000) for US customers, and HKD 500,000 for securities and HKD 0 for cash in Hong Kong and China

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The investor protection amount and the regulator might differ based on which entity you belong to.

For the avoidance of doubt, it is

  1. By and large your home country (i.e. your residence, not your passport) that will determine under which regulator you'll fall, should there be more than one regulator.
  2. In some cases you might choose between regulators, and that being said, we recommend you choosing the higher-tier regulator, e.g. FCA over CySEC.

Don't forget that regulators are not created equal. Investor protection can also vary from authority to authority. There are top-tier regulators whose excellence lies within their features such as the presence of segregated accounts, the range of protection tools or the investor protection amount itself. Check out a few of the top-tiers in the table below. Most brokers reviewed by BC fall below one of the following four regulators:

Some regulators and their investor protection
FCA in the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) provides coverage up to £85,000.
SEC, FINRA in the US Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) covers up to $500,000, including a $250,000 limit for cash.
BaFIN in Germany €100,000 for cash, and €20,000 for securities.
ASIC in Australia No investor protection.

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As you could see, Webull is regulated by SEC and provides the SIPC investor protection scheme. SIPC protects against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker goes bust. The limit of SIPC protection is $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash. A non-US citizen with Webull is treated by the SIPC the same as a US resident in case something goes bad. These amounts are substantially higher than what most European investor protection schemes offer.

Not all investments are protected by SIPC. In general, SIPC covers notes, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment company shares, and other registered securities. It does not cover instruments such as unregistered investment contracts, unregistered limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, and interests in gold, silver, or other commodity futures contracts or commodity options.

There are some brokers that provide additional insurance because they have private insurance (e.g.: eToro through Lloyd's, among the US brokers Charles Schwab and Ally have similar setups), which means that you have an extra reliability net above the regulatory. It's worth checking it out when you're choosing your broker.

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Webull reliability
Additional "nice to have" safety features

The subsequent bullet points are rather supplementary, “nice to have” features. Ticking them definitely adds to the reliability and legitimacy of an online broker, but not having them is not necessarily a big red flag.

Banking background

Webull doesn't have a banking background, which is not crucial, but would make a better case for their reliability. The reason is that even if it's not required by law that a struggling broker must be saved by its parent bank, in most cases you can count on this happening.

Broker listed on stock exchange

Webull is not listed on any stock exchange, hence it's harder to get detailed or any kind of direct information about its financial performance.

Why is being listed on the stock market useful? For two reasons:

  • Listed companies by and large have stringent reporting requirements
  • If something really goes wrong with the broker, you'll be able to tell it from the (rapidly falling) share price of the broker in most cases. In this unlikely scenario, you'll have time to move your funds and securities to another broker.

Annual financial statements on website

Webull doesn't publish annual financial statements. These are sort of financial reports, which generally contain information about a brokerage's income, profit and loss, retained earnings and cash flows. Not having these exposed to the public doesn't necessarily mean that a broker is not reliable or legit, it's just a factor that we should take into account when choosing where to invest or trade.

Mobile two-step authentication

Webull provides two-step authentication when logging in, which makes the platform safer to use.

Broker ownership transparency

Ownership structure of Webull is not public, it can't be checked on their website, which leaves some questions open about one's feeling of being up-to-date about the broker.

Broker management transparency

Webull has not made their management structure public, which can leave you with a sense of lack considering the broker's transparency and reliability.

Broker is audited by the Big Four

Webull is not audited by one of the so-called Big Four auditors (KPMG, PWC, Deloitte, EY), which is not necessarily an issue, however it would guarantee another layer of reliability.

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Webull reliability
Bottom line

Now that we have gone through the most frequent and - as we think - most important reliability aspects of Webull, we hope that you feel armed enough with information for your future decision. In case you're still unsure, use our broker finder and meet the best online broker that suits your needs.

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Author of this article

Ádám Nasli

Author of this article

Ádám worked in banking and investment, and holds a professional degree in this field. He is a motivated finance expert, having joined BrokerChooser in 2018. He's also eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible. In his spare time, he loves learning new things, especially data science, algo-trading, programming and trading.

Ádám Nasli

Analyst head

Ádám worked in banking and investment, and holds a professional degree in this field. He is a motivated finance expert, having joined BrokerChooser in 2018. He's also eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible. In his spare time, he loves learning new things, especially data science, algo-trading, programming and trading.

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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