Opening a TD Ameritrade brokerage account in Europe: Germany, UK, France, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Poland, Belgium, and Austria.

Is TD Ameritrade Available in Europe?

Although TD Ameritrade used to offer investment accounts to residents of many foreign countries, the brokerage firm is currently winding down this service. Europeans do have other options, however.

Eligible European Countries For TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade’s online application form generates an error message when attempting to open an account from most European countries. During our investigation, Switzerland was the only country in Europe we could find that TD Ameritrade was still accepting applications from.

TD Ameritrade Europe

According to TD Ameritrade customer service, paper applications from most European countries are no longer accepted, either, so using the old-fashioned method won’t circumvent the new policy.

TD Ameritrade was recently purchased by Charles Schwab, and many changes at TD Ameritrade are currently being implemented. The reduction in foreign account applications is probably one of them.

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Alternative to TD Ameritrade in Europe

Investors outside of Switzerland have a second option with Firstrade. The brokerage house doesn’t accept applications from Swiss residents, but it does accept applications from 15 other European countries. These include Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK.

Firstrade has a big emphasis on Chinese investors. As such, the firm offers its website and customer service in both English and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin).

Firstrade Europe

Like TD Ameritrade, Firstrade provides access to the U.S. exchanges only. This does include over-the-counter instruments, and a lot of European securities do trade there.

Opening an international account at Firstrade is fairly straightforward. The broker-dealer has an international application page on its website. This should be used by European applicants in lieu of the regular account application.

In addition to Form W-8BEN, Firstrade requires a phone number and a passport to open a foreign account. The brokerage house estimates a time frame of just 1 to 2 business days to get the account open.

Once open, the international account will have the same commission schedule as any other account, and this includes zero commissions on equity trades and on option trades, too.

A wire transfer is one way, and probably the best way, of funding a Firstrade international account from overseas.

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Opening a Foreign Account on TD Ameritrade

To open a foreign account with TD Ameritrade, just head over to the broker’s website and click on the green Open New Account link at the top of the site. This is the same link that Americans will use. On the application, there’s a drop-down menu for country of residency. Most of these return an error message that TD Ameritrade is no longer accepting applications from residents of that country.

Requirements for Swiss Applicants

Swiss applicants for a TD Ameritrade brokerage account can choose either a paper form or an online form. For obvious reason, the online form is going to be more convenient. The digital application will be found on the TD Ameritrade website via the green Open New Account link. It’s located in the upper-right corner.

Foreign applicants must submit several pieces of information along with the application itself. These documents include:

1) Form W-8 BEN.
2) Non-expired passport. TD Ameritrade will also accept a government-issued ID along with a letter stating that the applicant doesn’t have a passport.
3) Proof of residence. This could be in the form of a utility bill, such as a gas or water bill. There are several documents that TD Ameritrade won’t accept, including a TV or landline phone bill.

Required documents can be faxed to TD Ameritrade toll free on 866-468-6268. They can also be mailed to:

TD Ameritrade
200 South 108th Ave
Omaha, NE 68154-2631

Funding Methods

A TD Ameritrade account can be funded in a variety of ways, including wire transfer, check deposit (made payable in U.S. dollars), and deposit of physical stock certificates. An ACH transfer is a possibility if the external bank is located in the United States.

Available Investments

A foreign account at TD Ameritrade can trade a wide variety of asset classes. These include stocks, bonds, funds, futures, and forex.

Pricing Schedule on International Accounts

TD Ameritrade imposes its same commission schedule on foreign-based accounts. This means $0 commissions on online trades of stocks and ETFs. Futures contracts are $2.25 per side. Forex trades have no commissions, but there’s compensation baked into the bid-ask spread.

Online Tools

Traders overseas will benefit from e-delivery of statements, trade confirmations, and other account documents. TD Ameritrade has a user-friendly website, an effective mobile app, and one of the best desktop platforms in the business: thinkorswim.

International Support

TD Ameritrade’s website has a convenient internal messaging widget that clients overseas may want to use. It is of course available 24/7, which is not the case with all of the broker’s customer service options.

The internal messaging tool will be found by hovering over Client Services on the website and then selecting Message Center. The message system has an attachment feature, and this is another method of submitting account opening documents, such as scans of passports and proof of residence (assuming you can log in at that point).

There is also an online chat feature. Go back to Client Service and choose Contact US instead of the Message Center. On the contact page, there is an artificial intelligence named Ted. If you want a human rep instead, just type “human” in the chat window.

For phone support, investors located in most countries will be able to reach a customer care associate at 800-368-3668. A few countries may need to use 402-970-5805.

Spanish-language support is available at 888-376-4684.

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Best European Broker

For an European broker, we recommend a company called DEGIRO. This is one of the largest brokerage firms in Europe. In addition to low fees, investors get access to more than 50 exchanges across 30 countries, including United States. Learn more in DEGIRO Review.

Open DEGIRO Account

Open DEGIRO Account

Updated on 4/2/2022.

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