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Trade Republic: From Neobroker to Full-Fledged Bank – The Journey to ECB Licensing


The Berlin-based neobroker, Trade Republic, has achieved a significant milestone in the fintech industry by securing a full banking license from the European Central Bank (ECB). This development marks a transformative moment for the company, broadening its financial service offerings to a substantial customer base across Europe.

Trade Republic’s Evolution

Founded in 2015, Trade Republic has grown to become Europe’s largest savings platform. The acquisition of the full banking license, a step up from its previous securities trading bank license, allows the company to diversify its services. This includes managing customer deposits and providing credit services, areas previously handled by partner banks like Citibank Europe and Deutsche Bank.

A Journey Through Regulatory Challenges

Christian Hecker, co-founder of Trade Republic, emphasized the importance of navigating through rigorous regulatory challenges to achieve this growth. The process, taking nearly four years, was essential for Trade Republic to establish itself as a major player in the financial sector.

Trade Republic Logo

Impact on Services and Corporate Governance

With this license, Trade Republic can now offer essential banking services such as deposits and lending. The company plans to enhance its product offerings around investing and saving, maintaining its focus on easy and affordable wealth creation. Additionally, the company is strengthening its corporate governance with the formation of an experienced audit committee, enhancing oversight and strategic guidance.

Financial Innovations and Market Impact

Trade Republic has been a pioneer in affordable trading and ETF savings plans in Germany, democratizing financial services. The company’s new banking status allows it to pass on benefits like higher interest rates to its customers. Furthermore, the full banking license is expected to accelerate Trade Republic’s market share growth both in Germany and internationally.

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The ECB’s granting of a full banking license to Trade Republic is more than a regulatory approval; it’s a testament to the company’s commitment to revolutionizing financial services in Europe. By combining technology and banking, Trade Republic is set to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the European financial landscape.

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