Freetrade strikes German stock deal to bring Adidas and BMW to the masses

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Talk broking upstart FreeTrade has struck a deal to plug directly into the German stock market to give customers duty-free access to names like Adidas and BMW.

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The app-only trading platform has signed an agreement to allow UK clients to trade directly with exchange operator Deutsche Börse. Freetrade customers can now buy and sell most German stocks without any commissions or fees, only forex fees.

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CEO and Founder Adam Dodds said: “Adding European stocks to the platform is an important step for us as we begin our expansion into Europe and beyond. Our mission is to inspire everyone to invest while keeping prices low. “

Freetrade, which has over 1 million customers, lets people trade shares for free on its app, like the wildly popular American business Robinhood. Freetrade started life in London in 2016 and launched its app in 2018.

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Like Robinhood, FreeTrade targets young first-time investors, primarily those in the millennial demographic. It makes money through a “freemium” model, encouraging users to sign up for monthly subscriptions that offer extras like an ISA account and interest on cash balances.

Many rival brokers allow clients to buy and sell European stocks but do so by working through a third party that charges a fee. Most also charge their own platform fees on top of that.

Plugging directly into exchanges is technically challenging and expensive to build but Freetrade believes the investment will pay off.

Dodds said: “FreeTrade’s unparalleled direct market access and proprietary brokerage platform help to unlock the cost-savings that we can pass on to our clients through a simple and low-cost investing experience.”

Major German companies such as Adidas, BMW, Mercedes, Deutsche Telekom, Puma and Siemens will now be available at no charge to FreeTrade customers. Small companies tradable will be commission free for customers who sign up for membership.

Freetrade already offers Finnish stocks on its platform and plans to add markets in Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden soon.

Dodds said: “We will continue to add more European exchanges to the platform as we expand across Europe.”

Freetrade’s rapid growth and aggressive trading plan have prompted rivals to take action. AJ Bell, which was a challenge a while back, is launching its own commission-free investing app called Dodle.

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