8

Let's say I have bought many stocks, ETFs and other products through Degiro. If degiro closes, do I have "access" to my financial products? How? Can I sell them aftewards through another broker?

  • 1
    The answer to this question will vary based on where you are investing. What country is your broker in? – Chris W. Rea Nov 5 '17 at 19:58
  • I am a resident of France and this broker I am planning to use is Dutch. – Grandmaster Nov 5 '17 at 20:28
  • 3
    You have marked as correct an answer that is specific to the U.S. but you are not using a U.S. broker. The answer does not necessarily apply to your situation. – Chris W. Rea Nov 5 '17 at 22:02
  • @ChrisW.Rea you are right, I chose the next one as the accepted answer since it applies to my situation – Grandmaster Nov 7 '17 at 14:50
6

Here is my perception of the situation, obtained from reading Degiro's Client Agreement.

If Degiro shuts down, it will notify you about the fact at least one month in advance, and you will have enough time to order a transfer of your positions to a different broker.

If Degiro shuts down unexpectedly, your assets will remain to be held at SPV, a separate legal entity which Degiro uses to hold the financial instruments belonging to the clients. Since SPV does nothing else but holding the assets, it is very unlikely that something bad will happen with it on its own. With some help from Degiro and/or the regulator (AFM) you should be able to transfer your assets from SPV to a different custodian and broker and thus regain control over them.

If you have a non-Custody account, you have slightly higher chances of losing your assets, because Degiro can borrow your securities held at SPV. If both the client for whom Degiro borrowed a security and Degiro itself go bankrupt at the same time, the lent security will not be returned to SPV, there will arise a shortage, which will be proportionally distributed among the accounts of the clients holding this particular security. However, then the investor compensation scheme should kick in and help you recover up to 20000 EUR of your losses.

2

If you are using a US broker, you are protected by SIPC up to $500,000.

SIPC also oversees the liquidation of the broker itself, either by appointing a trustee, or by directly contacting clients. If they are able to transfer accounts to a healthy broker before bankruptcy, they will do so, but if not, you will need to file a claim with them.

  • 2
    This answer presumes the OP's broker is in the U.S. but that isn't necessarily so. – Chris W. Rea Nov 5 '17 at 19:58
  • @ChrisW.Rea Fair point. Will update the answer to reflect that. – Yosef Weiner Nov 5 '17 at 20:10
  • When you are saying $500,000, this means the money in the account (not invested), or the sum of the price of the stocks and products I have? – Grandmaster Nov 5 '17 at 20:37
  • @Grandmaster Up to $250,000 in cash within the total of $500,000 – Yosef Weiner Nov 5 '17 at 20:39
1

+1 to YosefWeiner. Let me add:

Legally, technically, or at least theoretically, when you buy stock through a broker, you own the stock, not the broker. The broker is just holding it for you. If the broker goes bankrupt, that has nothing to do with the value of your stock.

That said, if the broker fails to transfer your shares to another broker before ceasing operation, it could be difficult to get your assets.

Suppose you take your shoes to a shoe repair shop. Before you can pick them up, the shop goes bankrupt. The shoes are still rightfully yours. If the shop owner was a nice guy he would have called you and told you to pick up your shoes before he closed the shop. But if he didn't, you may have to go through legal gyrations to get your shoes back. If as his business failed the shop owner quit caring and got sloppy about his records, you might have to prove that those shoes are yours and not someone else's, etc.

  • 2
    Not necessarily, if you sign a securities lending agreement with the broker, or if the stocks are pledged as collateral against a margin loan that you are taking from the broker. – Yosef Weiner Nov 7 '17 at 9:41
  • @YosefWeiner Fair enough. I was thinking of the "normal" case. There are all sorts of special cases. – Jay Nov 7 '17 at 18:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.