MEGATHREAD: European expansion 🇪🇺

Until they pulled out

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So it looks like the guy who was in charge of France community, @Romain , is no longer with Freetrade. I won’t share is LinkedIn profile here but if you find it, you’ll see Freetrade is not listed in his Experiences and that he started a permanent job in another company 4 months ago.

I have not seen a job opening to fill back the position and no Freetrade officials have posted in the french part of the forum for quiet a while.

@adam, @sampoullain is France still happening ?


I expect Sweden is first, once they have the EU licenses sorted it will be easier. And that’s still going ahead it looks like

Someone mentioned on an AMA they recruit multiple candidates for certain positions. I’m pretty sure one of the country launcher roles was an example of this.

Lol - they wouldn’t hire two France Country Managers

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Yeh, looks like a miss-match of expectations, either on the employee or the company. Fortunately for whomever side decide to end it, it was quick. Better the cut the losses quickly than wait months and months in paralysis, which is often the case with established companies.

Is there recent communication from free trade regarding expected timelines to launch in europe? I hope they start in 2021

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In the 1M user blog post today Adam says “EU trading in the coming months”. I read that as EU stocks available in 2-3 months time.

EU expansion we know will happen after we get EU stocks, so realistically we’re looking at Q2 2022.


I fear your realistic view will overcome a much wanted optimistic view for 2021


Trade Republic just launched in Spain and opened waiting lists on Italy and Netherlands. European expansion expected to be completed by 2022. Keep on delaying the European expansion …


I really hope FT gets to the EU before I move out of the UK or at least they allow people to keep their UK accounts and make the transfer to the Eu -based FT when it launches… I’d hate having to sell and rebuy my shares just because I am moving places.


The regulatory application will be for a new Swedish entity to conduct cross-border activities in the EU, rather than the existing FT Ltd from the UK.

That’s not to say that UK-factors don’t influence the licence decision-making, due to regulatory questions relating to e.g. location of core systems etc, but there won’t be cross-border activities from the UK as passporting disappeared for UK firms with Brexit.


The thing is, that without context (much of which will be commercially sensitive) around the businesses this wouldn’t tell you very much. Each application is determined on the basis of the specific business model and activities being proposed. Some firms will already have some form of presence/licensing in Europe, while others are starting from scratch (and every variation in-between).

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV), regulators in this part of the world can be slow and thorough in their approval of new entrants. It’s just a case of patience, and not possible to say whether the timescale is unique to FT or a wider issue. Too many variables.

There’s no doubt though that Brexit has caused a massive headache here, as the previous simple passporting route is now shut. UK firms without existing EU operations now have to start essentially from scratch in terms of their EU business (though at least existing UK tech, control processes etc can be applied in the new jurisdiction).

It’ll happen when everything is satisfied from an FI perspective.


It’s not the regulations their working on, they apply to everyone. FT are unknown the the Swedish regulator and making sure they have all the compliance, reporting and policies in place takes time. The regulators incentive is for thoroughness not speed and establishing a high barrier for entry in financial services is a good thing - it means you can trust who your dealing with.


If only it worked like that :wink:

The regulations are the same for the same activities, but different companies set themselves up in different structures. The regulators have to look at the risk profile of the individual company (where functions sit, what operational, financial, compliance etc. risks are involved).

Two companies may have the same regulatory permissions but have different target markets, for example - the risks are therefore different and need to be assessed differently. There will also be assessments individually and collectively of the individuals running the business etc.

Since Brexit, being approved and regulated in the UK is not of particular relevance in the EU, especially as there is not likely to be an equivalence agreement for some time.


What’s interesting is that the application should have been processed by now, as by their own (the Swedish regulator) timeframe they aim to process applications within 6 months.

I don’t believe a decision has been made yet, so either there was an error in the documents submitted or perhaps they are blaming any delays on COVID.

My guess it’s the latter, COVID has become the excuse for everything :sweat_smile:


Some companies that I’ve dealt with that are less busy because of covid, still throw that out there as a blanket excuse for anything :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


There probably won’t be a transfer option anyway because of the different tax jurisdictions and legislation each account will reside in (i.e. EU & UK). It’s the same for T212, no way to transfer between jurisdiction accounts without selling off first to settle any outstanding tax.

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But that is a bit wrong: there are no tax obligations on ISAs so that would not be an argument. Furthermore: you can switch from one broker to another in the UK without selling off (at least with established brokers, not sure if FT already allows it) so there is another argument that does not hold up. Third: if I sell I realize the urealised gains but I reinvest them immediately, so the realised gains wre only a moment, I would not use those gains for buying a house or so.

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