Update on the European expansion

Freetrade Team

June 5, 2018

Freetrade Team

Update on the European expansion

Bonnes nouvelles, Freetraders!

You may already know that Freetrade is planning for Euro-expansion and this week we’ve made major progress! 🇪🇺

We’ve just secured our passporting rights from the FCA and other regulators across the EU to offer our services across the continent.

Our immediate priority is onboarding our customers in the UK, but it’s important that we’re prepped now, so that we can enter new markets late this year or next.

We’ve always planned to take free stock trading beyond the UK and we have a strong following in Europe eager to start investing with us.

Everyone, this is the first step! 🚀

Passporting: fun financial jargon

Not the kind of passporting we mean

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Passporting is part of the EU’s commitment to free movement of services (one of the four key freedoms of the EU). It enables firms with passporting rights (like us) to offer our products and services everywhere in the EU and the EEA. 🇪🇺

This is the EU’s policy of harmonisation, aligning consumer standards and, where possible, available services across all member states.

To expand on our expansion

For our first few European markets we’re considering a set of markets, ranging from the Republic of Ireland to Germany. We’ll confirm our first countries in due course.

In any case, we want to expand quickly to as many markets as possible! 💪

What about the B-word…?

Yep, Brexit will potentially reshape how all UK financial services firms operate in Europe. Almost all finance businesses are currently undergoing huge risk assessment and strategy projects to manage the uncertain future.

UK passporting could potentially be sustained based on the final deal the UK makes with the EU. Like pretty much all elements of Brexit, this achievement will require a lot of negotiation and cooperation between several parties.

Yay — let’s leave it to them!

The shape of Brexit’s still ambiguous and no-one knows exactly what will happen (despite protests to the contrary on Question Time).

However, we’re in the lucky position that we haven’t already built our operations on the basis of passporting and can adapt to whatever comes next.

Our Brexcellent plan

Regardless of whether UK passporting rights are sustained post-Brexit, we’re in the process of establishing an EU subsidiary. This will allow us to passport from the subsidiary and continue to offer our services across the same countries.

Potential bases for our subsidiary include Dublin and Amsterdam. We like Holland! 🌹

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And Dublin is also cool.

We would have taken this step anyway to optimise our European operations and attract high quality talent across the continent. But with Brexit, it’s even more of a priority.

It means we can expand to European customers, confident that we can keep providing uninterrupted service post-Brexit.

We’ll keep updating everyone as we progress on this front but there’s already thriving chat in the forum! Come and make the case for your country (and stock exchange)!

We’re on a mission to bring fee-free investing to Europe and beyond. 🔥

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