The fee chaos at Flatex goes into the next round. Because of the massive criticism of price increases and poor communication, the Flatex bosses pull the emergency brake and change (again) the “price and service directory”. Only a few weeks ago, a new fee for securities accounts was announced that wealthy customers in particular should not have liked (wallstreet: online reported).
The small caps magazine called the process in December 2019 a “marketing disaster” and rightly asked whether Flatex had already given up the German market. Even in numerous forums, users did not give a good hair to the strategy of Flatex. Many users felt that they were insufficiently informed and are now apparently considering a broker change – after all, investing is a matter of trust.
An important point that should have led to a rethink at Flatex and which could be read again and again in the debate is the strong competition from Smartbroker – the new full service provider from wallstreet: online capital AG. The Smartbroker offers exactly what most Flatex customers miss: transparency and a clear, reliable and fair pricing policy. Because Smartbroker customers pay a flat fee of four euros per order. In addition, there are no custody account fees and no fixed trading venue fees. Investors also benefit from free savings plans, comprehensive deposit protection and a personal contact (+49 30 275 77 64 64 – from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
Flatex is now trying to save with improved conditions, which can hardly be saved. The broker responds to the strong growth of Smartbroker, which brokervergleich.de recently was awarded the top grade in the broker test. A few days ago, Flatex customers received an email announcing that the company would not start charging foreign dividend payments from March. In addition, the order costs in foreign exchange trading are to be reduced from EUR 15.90 to EUR 5.90. After all, one would like to think, but unfortunately there is a catch.
The official statement states: “In addition, we will be setting up the new Flatex VIP Club for our particularly active customers on March 1, 2020 with many special promotions and additional fee advantages.” In plain language, this means nothing less than a two-tier company at Flatex.
And in order to make the chaos perfect, the Flatex boss puts his own customers on additional “details” that will be made available in the “next few weeks”. When and what that should be, is unclear. You can already look forward to the fine print. It is open, for example, who is admitted to the VIP Club and what sales are required for this.
Smartbroker boss Thomas Soltau assured IR-News when asked: “Smartbroker and our group of companies are consistently committed to investors. Smartbroker is a product that emerged from the financial community and was designed according to their wishes. We treat all customers equally and are constantly working on being able to offer particularly favorable conditions. “