At the time of writing this Trading 212 review, they are NOT accepting new accounts for UK residents while they deal with a backlog of account requests. However, if you click ‘Open Account’ on the Trading 212 website, you can choose to go on the waiting list where you will receive a notification when they are ready to accept new accounts. Of course it is impossible for me to predict how long this might be, however, there are reviews on the App store from people who have been waiting for over four months.
Alternatively, you could choose to open an account with another online broker like eToro, and to make this process easier, I have detailed what I believe to be the best alternatives to Trading 212 in the UK.
In my Trading 212 review, I have carefully examined every aspect of the trading platform including their costs, investment options, customer service and how user friendly the app is, in order to provide you with as much information as you require to make an informed decision of whether Trading 212 is the right investment platform for you.
Trading 212 was launched in the UK in 2013 with the aim of making trading in various assets easy and accessible to everyone. Based in London and approved by the Financial Conduct Authority, the Trading 212 mobile app is now ranked number one in the UK.
Trading 212 offers investors a freemium business model, allowing users to utilise the basic features of the platform for free, however, if you want to make use of some of the more sophisticated features you will be charged a fee. Trading on the CFD area of the platform will also incur a cost.
IMPORTANT ESMA DISCLAIMER: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail CFD 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.
Trading 212 Ratings
- Demo account available
- Free trading available
- Highly functional, user friendly mobile app
- No ready-made portfolio options
- No funds available to invest in
- No two step login for extra security
Who is Trading 212?
Trading 212 is a global online financial trading platform and multi-asset online broker based in London that provides investors with commission-free trading in global CFDs, forex, global stocks and Exchange Traded Funds. Trading 212 was founded 15 years ago in Bulgaria, and whilst they launched in the UK in 2016, they have not accepted any new accounts from UK residents since the GameStop Saga due to the unprecedented demand for commission free trading that ensued.
Trading 212 is considered primarily a CFD and forex broker. The zero-commission fee structure has helped to cement their place as one of the most popular trading apps in the world.
Who owns Trading 212?
Trading 212 is a Fintech start up that was founded by Ivan Ashminov, who plans to use his background in computer science to introduce new and innovative additions to the platform. Trading 212 is the Trading name of Trading 212 UK Ltd.
Trading 212 Product Range Overview
At the time of this Trading 212 review they had four main account types; Trading 212 CFD, Trading 212 Invest, Trading 212 ISA and Trading 212 Pro, which I will look at in more detail.
Trading 212 CFD Review
Trading on CFDs is essentially a gamble on whether you think an asset’s price is likely to rise or fall and is probably best left to more experienced traders who can afford to take a risk.
That being said, the Trading 212 CFD account offers investors the opportunity to trade across a variety of asset classes including stocks, forex and commodities and takes some steps in an attempt to reduce the risk for their traders such as stopping accounts from going into negative balance with negative balance protection and allowing traders to select a price point from which to stop investing and redeem their profits or stop once they reach a certain point in losses. However, even with these measures, 76% of retail CFD accounts have been shown to lose money when trading CFDs with this provider and investors should be aware that there is a currency conversion charge of 0.5% and the minimum deposit is £10.
Trading 212 have also recently introduced a charge of 0.15% for all trades that are conducted in a currency that differs from the account base currency. This is worth noting for investors looking for commission-free trading as it will obviously negate this. Other than this, there are no deposit fees, or withdrawal fees on CFD trades with Trading 212.
Trading 212 Invest Review
An appealing feature of Trading 212 Invest accounts is that you can start free trading with as little as £1 in over 3,000 stocks, shares and EFTs. Trading 212 offers users zero commission fees, which is great when compared to other trading platforms such as Halifax who charge £12.50 per trade and with Trading 212 Invest, shares can be purchased from within the UK, Germany, America, Netherlands, Switzerland and Madrid which is a great choice.
There is a fee of 0.15% for trades that are conducted in a currency other than the account base currency.
Watch the Trading212 video on how to buy your first share with their Trading212 Invest solution.
Trading 212 ISA Review
Again I found the Trading 212 ISA account to be a great offering with a minimum deposit of only £1 and no fees for administration, commission or dividend investment.
The Trading212 ISA account allows UK residents to take advantage of everything the Invest Account offers, with the additional benefit of it being tax free. The UK allows traders to invest up to £20,000 per tax year, however, it is prudent to know that the Trading 212 ISA requires traders to create their own portfolio and therefore, for the purposes of this Trading 212 review, I have found this to be more suitable for experienced investors looking for a tax free account from which to conduct trades.
Trading 212 Pro
This account is for experienced traders and can only be accessed by meeting the following the criteria:
- Traders must have traded previously on financial instruments such as CFD or significant sized forex an average of 10 times in each of the preceding quarters.
- Traders’ investment portfolio must be to the value of 500,000 EUR or more.
- You must have at least 1 years of work experience in the financial sector in a position that clearly demonstrates your knowledge of CFD trading.
Whilst upgrading to this account is free, there are some protections that you will sacrifice that have been put in place to protect retail investors. Therefore I would only recommend Trading 212 Pro for very experienced investors.
Both the Trading 212 Invest and ISA accounts offer investing and trading in fractional shares. This can be accessed by enabling the Fractional Shares Indicator from Trading Preferences in the settings menu on your account.
Once enabled a small circle will appear above each instrument where fractional shares are available.
Trading 212 Platform Review
Trading 212 offers investors both web trading platforms and mobile trading platforms which I will look at in more detail in this Trading 212 review.
Web Trading Platform
Trading 212 have their own in-house designed web trading platform which I found to be really easy to use and simple to navigate. One of the outstanding features was its customisability and search functions. As well as this there are other handy little functions such as alerts and notifications as well as portfolio and fee reports giving you access to your results, interest charged and earned, and other useful bits of information.
Another feature that I really liked was the ability to place trades in several ways and execute several manoeuvres on the same trading pair at the same time.
Trading 212 App Review
Whilst conducting this Trading 212 review, I found using the mobile trading app a great experience for both novice and more experienced traders. It has a clean, modern interface that is easy to use. Simple swipes can help you switch between different functions and areas of the app and there is the capability of setting price alerts and accessing forums and training videos via the menu.
The mobile app also gives new traders the option of utilizing a demo account so you experiment with the platform without risking your investment funds and it takes less than a minute to set up and start trading. This demo account can then be switched between real and practice funds should you decide to take advantage of one of the three account types on offer and start trading with real money.
On the downside, security could have been a little tighter with a two-step login option and features such as touch or face ID login.
Research Service and Tools Review
Research and tools can be a bit hit and miss with Trading 212. Whilst users can take advantage of daily trading ideas and their charting includes over 60 technical indicators making it one of the most comprehensive offerings on the market, they fail to provide any fundamental analysis or data for the products they have and their news feed is extremely limited.
That being said, they do offer a detailed economic calendar and technical analysis to their users as well as tutorials on how trading works in all its elements within their education section. Trading 212 also offer research-backed analysis on financial markets and investments from top analysts and traders are able to set price alerts and notifications about entities such as executed orders, important news, or margin calls.
Trading 212 Fees and Charges Review
Trading 212 offers users very low fees, in particular their zero commission stock and EFTs and low CFD fees. When it comes to comparing their fees to other brokers, they are comparable to eToro, with very slightly higher CFD trading fees which they make up for by scrapping the inactivity fee that eToro charges. Forex trading fees are comparatively high at Trading 212 when held up against other online brokers which is worth consideration should you be intending to trade forex.
When it comes to fees, Trading 212 are certainly an attractive offering, although they have indicated in the past that they plan to add more ‘premium’ financial services to the platform which users will almost certainly need to pay for to access.
In terms of non trading fees, Trading 212 does not charge account fees, inactivity fees, deposit fees, foreign exchange fees or withdrawal fees.
From 4th January 2021 they are offering a lifetime limit on free deposits via all payment methods, except for a bank transfer and an instant bank transfer, otherwise known as Open Banking.
If you fund your Trading 212 account with Credit or Debit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay or Skrill, there are no fees until you have deposited £2,000 in total. After this a fee of 0.7% will be applied, which, in their words “is to cover costs levied by payment providers and card companies”.
A bank transfer remain free unless your bank charges you for making them.
Future plans in 2021 include BACS Direct Debit enabling you to make recurring and one-off bank transfers in the UK, or SEPA Direct Debit if you reside in the EU.
It is also worth noting that if you make a deposit into your CFD account, this will remain fee-free without any limits.
Guide to opening a Trading 212 account
For first time users, Trading 212 provides a demo account where you can test out the platform and trading tools without any risk or registration. You can be ready to start trading on this in seconds and I found it to be very easy to use.
Should you decide to open a real trading account, you will be required to provide some documentation as proof of identity and address such as a recent bank statement, however, this is standard of any provider and my account was verified within one working day.
I liked that Trader 212 asks you to complete a set of questions at this point so they can understand what experience you have of trading including financial details such as your annual salary and estimated savings. With Trading 212 CFD being such a high risk option, they will at this point reject trading accounts where they feel the account holder is too inexperienced to start trading high risk CFDs.
Whilst conducting this Trading 212 review, the whole process of opening an account took around 15 minutes to complete.
Trading 212 Deposit and Withdrawal Review
Trading 212 offers the following deposit and withdrawal options:
- Bank transfer
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Direct eBanking
Trading 212 also offers nine different account base currencies, and in any one country you can still trade in 2 to 3 different account base currencies which is a better offering than some of Trading 212’s nearest competitors and can save users paying conversion fees.
There is a minimum deposit of only £1 which is great for investors who want to start slow.
Withdrawals to your bank account are free of any fees and whilst conducting my Trading 212 review, I found the process to be quick and easy.
Trading 212 Customer Service Review
Trading 212 offers their users support in the form of email, phone and live chat. A quick glance at TrustPilot has shown a fairly consistent level of service, and certainly I found that response times were fast and the replies I received were informative and relevant.
One of the strong points of their customer service is that they are available 24/7 in 16 different languages which is very competitive.
We conducted this Trading 212 review during the pandemic, at which time some of their live services had been suspended.
Who is Trading 212 Suitable For?
Trading 212 could be a useful trading platform for beginners as their demo account and user friendly trading platform make for a great learning experience. That being said, CFDs are extremely risky and are best left to more experienced traders who are also interested in equities or leveraged FX and want to take advantage of zero commission fees.
Regardless of your level of experience, trading any financial instrument carries a level of risk and doing so will always be at your sole risk.
Trading 212 vs Freetrade
Freetrade is another ‘freemium’ business model available to investors in the UK and arguably one of Trading 212’s main competitors within this space. I have therefore taken a moment to compare the two platforms so you can make an informed decision. I have stuck to the main differences I could find below.
|Stocks and Shares ISA||FREE||£3 per month|
|Desktop/web app||Yes||Not available|
|Demo account||Yes||Not available|
|Videos and walk through||Yes||Not available|
|Accepting UK accounts||No||Yes|
Below are some useful bits of information to make your experience with Trading 212 as seamless as possible.
How do I contact Trading 212?
Contacting Trading 212 is relatively easy and can either be done by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or if you are logged via phone, or by clicking on the live chat function on the trading platform itself.
It is worth noting that during COVID19 the support at Trading 212 has been limited and all live support has been halted temporarily, however, in normal circumstances Trading 212 offers 24/7 support.
How do I withdraw my money from Trading 212?
Withdrawals can be done either from your app or from the web trading platform by selecting the three lines icon at the bottom right corner of your screen on the app, or by selecting your email address on the top corner of the screen if you are using the web platform. Then it is simply a matter of selecting ‘Manage Funds’ followed by ‘Withdraw’.
How do I close my account at Trading 212?
Closing your account at Trading 212 is quick and easy and can be done by emailing email@example.com. Before closing your account ensure you have closed all open positions and withdrawn your balance. You may also want to consider looking at alternatives to Trading 212.
Trading 212 FAQs
Is Trading 212 any good?
In short, yes. The app has an excellent design, trading is commission free, and they have excellent educational and research features, a minimum deposit of £1, as well as no non trading fees and 24/7 customer support.
Trading 212 is also authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which means you can be assured of safety when trading with them. Considering there are not many trading platforms available that offer free trading, they are certainly worth bearing in mind.
I did however find the product portfolio a little limited with some popular asset classes such as bonds or options unavailable.
Trading 212 have also received a lot of controversy over market manipulation following the GameStop saga and the subsequent decision by Trading 212 and Robinhood not to accept trades in GameStop stock. This has led to the threat of legal action by traders who bought GameStop stock.
Is Trading 212 safe?
Trading 212 is as safe as you will get from an online trading platform. They are authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and all client funds are stored separately from company funds. There is also protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme which entitles users to up to £85,000 should the company ever go insolvent.