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?
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.
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.
+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.