Frequently asked questions and answers

Here you can find the most common questions and answers about your trading account.
Please contact us if you require any further information.

Products and services

Which Exchanges can I trade on?

With Swissquote you can trade equities listed on 23 exchanges in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. The exchanges include the following markets:

US and Canada

New York 
NYSE, Nasdaq, AMEX

Toronto 
TSX, TSXV

Europe

London 
LSE, AIM

Frankfurt
XETRA

Paris
Amsterdam
Brussels
Euronext

Zurich
SIX

Madrid
BME

Milan


Vienna
Wiener Börse

Stockholm
Copenhagen
Helsinki
OMX Nordic Exchange

Oslo
OSE

Asia-Pacific

Singapore
SGX

Hong Kong
HKEX

Tokyo
TSE

Sydney
ASX

* Please note that for Asian stock exchanges, our Client Desk will only be accessible by telephone from 8.00 to 22.00 CET from Monday to Friday.

What is a stop order?

A stop order is an order placed below the current market price and is triggered if the stock reaches at or below the stop price. Once a stop order is triggered, your order will become a market order. For a NYSE/AMEX/LSE/TSX stock, a stop order is triggered by the last trade. If a sell stop order is placed above the current market price of the stock, it will not be accepted by the exchanges and will be cancelled.

The advantage of the stop order is that you do not need to monitor your stock investments on a daily basis of how your stock is performing. The disadvantage of the stop order is that the stop price can be activated by a short term fluctuation on the stock's price.

Let us consider the example where you buy a stock on the NASDAQ market at $30 per share. If you have an investment strategy where you do not wish to lose much more than 10% of your initial investment, you then place a stop loss order for $27 (after buying the stock). This means that if the stock falls at or below $27 per share, your holding will be sold at the prevailing market price.

Another aspect to keep in mind is that once the stop price is reached, your stop order becomes a market order and the price at which you sell may be much lower from the stop price. In the above example, you may have a market fill at $25 which is more than your anticipated loss of 10%. This is to be considered in a fast moving market where stock prices fluctuate very rapidly.

Can I buy Investment Funds?

Swissquote offers mutual funds from major asset managers and promoters such as Fidelity, Schroders or HSBC, sourced from around the world. New mutual fund providers are regularly added to our website on the Investment Funds page.

Exchange Traded Products

For more information on "ETPs", click here refer for our dedicated section.

Open your account

What do I need to open an account?

Complete a new application online by clicking here. You will then need to provide the following either digitally during the online authentication, or by post:

  • A signed contract
  • A copy of your Passport or EU ID Card
  • Proof of residency

Please note the first transfer to your account must come from an account held in your name in one of the countries in this list. If you do not hold an account in one of these countries you will need to provide a certified passport copy.

Based on your planned investment, actual investment and profile we will request proof of origin of funds, and in some cases this may need to be provided in order to complete your account opening. For your convenience you can include this with your application.

Can I open more than one account with Swissquote?

Yes, you can open more than one account with us. A new application form needs to be completed and is available by clicking here

What do I need to open a joint account?

The first account holder completes a new application online by  clicking here. You will then need to return the following:

  • A signed contract from the first account holder
  • The joint account holder agreement available here
  • A copy of your Passport or EU ID Card for each account holder
  • Proof of residency for each account holder
  • Proof of origin of the funds you will invest

Please note the first transfer to your account must come from an account held in your name - either a transfer from each of your individual accounts, or one transfer from a joint account -  in one of the countries in this list. If you do not hold an account in one of these countries you will need to provide a certified passport copy.

Due to Covid 19 I’m struggling to return my documents by post. Is there an alternative?

We appreciate that you may be living in an area of the world where there are currently COVID-19 measures that may make it difficult for you to print and scan documents or to use postal services as you would normally do.

If you are impacted by these measures, we invite you to email us your account opening documents instead of sending them to us by post.

After you have completed your online application, carefully review the account opening contract. If you are in agreement, send an email to clientservices@swissquote.lu , stating: “I agree to open an account with Swissquote Bank Europe and confirm I have read and approved the account opening contract and applicable terms and conditions.” and attach a copy of your passport/EU ID card, proof of residency and proof of origin of funds.

Please be aware that we will ask you to send us a printed copy of your account opening form by post once the COVID-19 measures come to an end.

Which proof of residency documents do you accept?

The following documents are accepted:

  • Utility Bill* (e.g., a bill for electricity, gas, water, landline telephone, home broadband, or TV. Mobile phone bills are not acceptable forms of proof of address.)
  • Council tax bill*
  • Home insurance bill*
  • Bank, mortgage, brokerage or credit card statement* from a financial institution in one of the countries in this list
  • Government issued letters or statements* (e.g., a property tax bill, confirmation of residential address from the local authorities or a pension statement)
  • Residence permit
  • Driver’s license or national identity cards showing address. (If you use your national identification card as proof of identity, it cannot also be used as proof of address.)

The document should show your name and current residential address. Documents marked with * must be less than 6 months old.

All proof of residency documents are solely in my spouse’s name. What document can I provide?

Please provide all of the following:

  • A copy of your residency permit or visa
  • An accepted proof of residency (see Which proof of residency documents do you accept?) in your spouse’s name
  • A letter signed by your spouse confirming you reside at the same address
Which documents do you accept as proof of origin funds?

The proof of origin of funds should demonstrate how you acquired the funds that you are going to invest, and may be evidenced by providing more than one document.

Accepted documents include:

  • Employment letter/contract with salary details
  • Salary or pension slip (less than 6 months old)
  • Income tax certificate
  • Inheritance document showing the amount inherited
  • Deed of purchase and sale of real estate
  • Contract for the sale of other assets
  • Evidence of portfolio growth or trading gains with another institution
I need to provide a certified copy of my passport or EU ID card. Which certifications do you accept?

The certification must be completed by one of the following authorised authorities:

  • Police Officer
  • Town Hall
  • Embassy
  • Consulate
  • Notary
  • UK Solicitor
  • Foreign and Commonwealth office lawyers in the Middle East

The document must show your photo, signature and personal information pages, and the date, place, signature, name and position of the certifying authority. The certification can be made in English, French or German, otherwise an official translation of the document will be required. The certification must be less than 6 months old.

Do I need to complete a W-8BEN form?

This is optional. For clients tax resident in a country with a tax treaty with the US, reduced withholding tax can be applied to US income (e.g., dividends, coupons) upon completion of a W-8BEN form.

Please also see FAQS > Manage my account > How do I complete a W-8BEN?

Manage my account

How can I fund my account?

To transfer money into your account at Swissquote, please use the following information:

Account HolderYour name (last name and first name)
IBANYour personal IBAN (can be found in your account)
SWIFT BICSWQBLULL
AddressSwissquote Bank Europe SA.
2 rue Edward Steichen, L-2958,
LUXEMBOURG

Please note

We can accept money transfers from a bank account in your name to your account with us. Please note we are unable to accept third party transfers.

We may ask you to provide further information and documentation on money transfers from certain countries, and in limited circumstances we may decide to decline the transfer.

Please note the first transfer to your account must come from an account held in your name in one of the countries in this list.

If you do not hold an account in one of these countries, please include a certified copy of your passport or EU ID card. The certification must be completed by an authorised authority (for example: Police Officer, Town-Hall, Embassy or Consulate, Notary, UK Solicitor, Foreign and Commonwealth office lawyers in the Middle East). The document must show your photo, signature and personal information pages, and the date, place, signature, name and position of the certifying authority. The certification can be made in English, French or German, otherwise an official translation of the document will be required.

How do I obtain a form to transfer securities in?

Our Securities Transfer in form can be downloaded by clicking here.

How can I access my funds?

To transfer money out of the account please log into your account and submit your instruction under Payments/Transfers, Withdraw funds. Please note that we cannot transfer funds to a third party.

How long will it take for purchase or sale to settle?

Settlement will be two or three working days after the transaction, depending on the exchange. However, the amount of this trade will be taken into account immediately in your available funds.

Can I trade and settle in different currencies?

Yes, the currency of settlement does not have to be the currency of the stock you are trading in. When placing an order on a stock or ETF, you can choose from any of the 22 available currencies for settlement, depending on your available funds. FX charges apply.

Can I sell a stock in a different Stock Exchange from where I bought it?

No, you have to sell the stock on the same stock exchange where you bought it from.

How will I receive dividends?

The bank will credit all dividends directly to your account, less any applicable withholding tax. Dividends are usually paid in the currency of the stock.

What are corporate actions?

A corporate action is any event by a company that affects your holding of shares or other securities in that company and which may in turn require action by you. Examples of corporate actions include take-over bids and mergers, rights issues, capitalisation issues and stock splits.

What is the tick size for limit orders placed on the Euronext market (Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels)?

If the stock price is:

  • Less than EUR 50, there are no restrictions 
  • Between EUR 50 and EUR 100, the tick is EUR 0.05 (a limit of 63.24 is not possible; has to be 63.20 or 63.25) 
  • Between EUR 100 and EUR 500, the tick is EUR 0.10 
  • Above EUR 500, the tick is EUR 0.50
What are the trading conditions for orders placed on Asian markets (Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia)?

Hong Kong

CurrencyHKD
Trading timesHK time: 10am to 4pm / CET: 4am to 10am
Settlement dateT+2
Order types and conditionsLimit order: good for today + Market order Input of invalid limit prices may result in your order rejecting.
Trade lotsBoard lots
Tick size$0.01
Local dutiesTransaction levy (SFC charge) 0.004% on traded amt  Trading fee (SEHK charge) 0.005% on traded amt  Trading tariff of HKD 0.50 payable to the exchange for each B/S order  S/Duty (Gov. charge) 0.1% on traded amt rounded up to nearest HKD  Levies charged on both purchase & sale
Web addressList of stocks available: http://www.hkex.com.hk/eng/index.htm

 

Singapore

CurrencySGD
Trading timesSingapore time: 9am to 12.30am - 2pm to 5pm  CET: 3am to 6.30am - 8am to 11am
Settlement dateT+3
Order types and conditionsLimit order: good for today + Market order  Input of invalid limit prices may result in your order rejecting.
Trade lotsBoard lots of 100
Tick sizeEnter valid tick size for limit price:  -Stock price< $1.00 = $0.005  -Stock price< $10.00 = $0.01  -Stock price> $10.00 tick is $0.02
Local dutiesClearing fee (CDP* imposed) 0.04% (max SGD 600)  SGX Trading fee 0.0075%  GST (Goods and Services Tax) 7% on all fees starting 01-07-07  *Central Depositary  Levies charged on both purchase & sale
Web addressList of stocks available: www.eoddata.com/Symbols/SGX/C.htm 

 

Australia

CurrencyAUD
Trading timesSydney time: 10:10am to 4pm / CET: 2:10am to 8am
Settlement dateT+3
Order types and conditionsLimit order: good for today + Market order  Input of invalid limit prices may result in your order rejecting.
Trade lotsNone
Tick sizeEnter valid tick size for limit price:  -Stock price< $0.10 = $0.001  -Stock price> $0.10 to < $0.50 = $0.005  -Stock price> $0.50 = $0.01
Local dutiesNone
Web addressList of stocks available: http://www.asx.com.au
What is a low-priced security?

Low-priced or "microcap" securities have been and continue to be a topic of increased regulatory scrutiny because these securities are often thinly traded and under-capitalized, and present elevated risks for potential money laundering, fraud, illegal distribution, and market manipulation.

Our Clearing and Settlement partners advised that dealing with such instruments is getting more complex as the custody and settlement of low-priced securities now carry significant pass-through charges, including execution fees, depositary fees, deposit fees, transfer agent fees, for our custodians and sub-custodians.

From 1st August 2021, these charges will be reflected on holdings in Low-Priced Securities/Penny Stocks. The effective charges are available here.

The list of Low-Priced Securities is available here and is updated once per year.

Please note that affected securities may be subject to limited trading liquidity. Keeping the positions in your account will not guarantee your right to benefit from future gains, as the regulator can decide to block the handling of these securities at any time.

When will I know how much I have paid for my Mutual Fund shares/units?

It depends on what kind of fund you are buying. Mutual Funds are 'forward priced' - which means that the orders are placed with the fund companies on a daily basis prior to the Net Asset Value of the shares being calculated - again each day.

How is performance calculated?

Performance figures are calculated using the average book cost method. It is calculated daily based on the closing price using the following formulas:

  • Book value = (quantity x purchase price) + commission 
  • Average book price = ((quantity x book value) + commission) / quantity 
  • Performance = (closing price - book value) / book value
What happens if I buy or sell additional shares?

If you buy or sell additional shares, the average book value and performance figures are automatically updated.

How can I view performance data for my portfolio?

Log-in at https://www.swissquote.lu. You will find the performance in the «Account summary» widget of your trading account.

Example of performance calculation for an initial position

You hold BMW shares in your portfolio at EUR 25

Quantity: 250 

Value of purchase: EUR 6'250 

Comission: EUR 29.95 

Total purchase price: EUR 6'279.95

In this case, the book cost per share is EUR 25.12 (6'279.95/ 250] and the book value of the position is EUR 6'279.95 [ (250x25)+29.95]

If the closing price of the shares is EUR 27, the closing value of this position is EUR 6'750 [250 x 27]. Therefore, performance is 7.48% [(6'750 - 6'279.95) / 6'279.95].

Example of performance calculation in the case of an additional purchase

You buy an additional 350 BMW shares at EUR 27

Purchase price of the additional position: EUR 9'450

Commission: EUR 29.95

Total transaction cost: EUR 9'479.95

Total cost of the position: EUR 6'279.95 + EUR 9'479.95 = EUR 15'759.90

Consequently, the average book value is EUR 26.26 [15'759.90 / 600] and the book value of the position is EUR 15'759.90 (EUR 26.26 x 600).

If the share's closing price stay at EUR 27, the closing value of this position is EUR 16'200 [600 x 27]. Therefore performance is 2.79% [(16'200 - 15'759.90) / 15'759.90].

Example of performance calculation in the case of a partial sale

You sell 300 BMW shares.

Book value of sold shares: 300 x EUR 26.28 = EUR 7'885

Book value of remaining shares: 300 x EUR 26.28 = EUR 7'885

Performance if shares are quoted at EUR 27: [(8'100 - 7'885) / 7'885)] = 2.73 %

How do I complete a W-8BEN form?

For clients tax resident in a country with a tax treaty with the US, reduced withholding tax can be applied to US income (e.g., dividends, coupons) upon completion of a W-8BEN form.

The following fields should be completed on the form:

Part 1.

1. Full name of beneficial owner

2. Country of citizenship

3. Your full residential address

4. Mailing address (if different from above)

6. Your Tax Identification Number (TIN) for the country in which you are resident

7. If you hold multiple accounts with Swissquote Bank Europe, please enter the account numbers here

Part 2.

9. If you reside in a country that has a treaty with the US, you should enter the country here

Part 3.

Sign and date (in U.S. format) the form, and enter your full name and the capacity in which you are signing

Full guidance notes on how to complete the form, as well as information about treaty rates, are available on the IRS website.

An example form is available here.

If you require further guidance on how to complete the form, you should speak to your tax advisor.

Additional Information:

  • For joint accounts, please provide one W-8BEN form per account holder
  • If your country of residence changes, you will need to complete a new W-8BEN form
  • Forms that contain crossing out or correction fluid will be rejected
  • We can only accept forms that have been physically signed, or signed with an authenticated digital signature
  • Your completed form can be returned by email to clientservices@swissquote.lu or by logging into your account and sending a new message
Can I change my individual account to a joint account?

It is not possible to change the Beneficial Owners on an existing account, however a new account can be opened with the joint account holder and the assets transferred to the new account.

To open a joint account please see our FAQs > Open your account > What do I need to open a joint account?

How do I add a Power of Attorney?

To add a Power of Attorney please download the Power of Attorney form.

The form should be completed by the account holder(s) and the Power of Attorney and returned to us by post with a certified copy of the Power of Attorney's passport and proof of residency document.

For a list of accepted certifications and proof of residency documents please see our FAQS > Open your account.

I have more than one account. How do I link them?

To link your accounts please call us or send us a message from within your account, confirming which accounts you hold and which account you would like to use as the Master login account.

We are only able to link accounts with the same Beneficial Owner(s) held in your name with Swissquote Bank Europe. Once the accounts are linked, they cannot be unlinked.

I have received a request to reverify my Know Your Customer (KYC) information. Why do I need to do this?

As a regulated Financial Institution we are required to conduct periodic reviews in order to fulfil our regulatory obligations. As part of these reviews we may ask you to provide updated information or documents, such as a copy of your current passport or EU ID card if the document we hold on file is invalid.

I need to provide proof of origin of funds. What documents are accepted?

The proof of origin of funds should demonstrate how you acquired the funds that you have invested or are going to invest, and may be evidenced by providing more than one document.

Accepted documents include:

  • Employment letter/contract with salary details
  • Salary or pension slip (less than 6 months old)
  • Income tax certificate
  • Inheritance document showing the amount inherited
  • Deed of purchase and sale of real estate
  • Contract for the sale of other assets
  • Evidence of portfolio growth or trading gains with another institution

Rates

Pricing

Please visit our pricing page.

Technical aspects

What software do I need to access Swissquote?

To get the most out of our website we recommend you use the following browser versions:

  • Mozilla Firefox version (current version)
  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • OSX Safari 8

You can also use the following browser versions, but you may experience some problems accessing certain areas of our website.

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 & 9
  • OSX Safari 7

For our transactional site, we support 128-bit encryption. If your browser does not support this level we strongly recommend that you upgrade. If you don't, you can still trade on the site, but you will not be using the highest levels of security available.

Security/Solidity

Who is Swissquote?

Swissquote has a pioneering spirit, which we combine with world-class security thanks to our membership of the Luxembourg Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGDL), guaranteeing deposits up to EUR 100'000. In addition to this, Swissquote Bank Europe is a subsidiary of Swissquote Group Holdings Ltd, the Swiss leader in online banking with CHF 32.2 billion of client assets (as of 31/12/2019). Swissquote offers you the reassurance and peace of mind that only comes with a leader in international investing.

How secure is the Swissquote website?

The Swissquote website supports the latest security encoding, which requires at least 128-bit encryption. If you do not have a browser that supports this level of encryption, we strongly recommend that you upgrade to the newest browser family available. If you require further assistance, please call our Customer Services Team on +352 2603 2003.

Does Swissquote record telephone calls ?

Yes, telephone calls are recorded to ensure accuracy and enable us to check any details or instructions you have given us.

What is phishing?

"Phishing" is an attempt to trick people into giving out private information that will be used for identity theft (e.g. usernames and passwords, bank account numbers).

An e-mail generally formatted to appear to be from a legitimate source is sent to an unsuspecting user. The message, usually providing a link to a login page, may ask you to "update," "validate," or "confirm" your account information. Sometimes it also threatens the user to terminate his account unless he responds immediately.

What should you do in case you think you have a received a 'phishing' email?
  • Never respond to suspicious emails asking for sensitive information. Swissquote will never ask for your details in this way. 
  • Never follow the links / open any attachment in an email you suspect might be phishing.

Should you receive any unsolicited e-mail communication claiming to be from Swissquote and requesting such sensitive information, please DO NOT RESPOND to it and REPORT it to us as soon as possible (phishing@swissquote.lu or +352 2603 2003).

Financial scams - know how to identify and avoid fraud

Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis as they continue to target new victims every day. Phishing attacks and email or telephone scams have spiked since the start of the pandemic and this is why it is of utmost importance that you remain vigilant.


Spotting fraudulent phone calls and emails

The goal of fraudsters is simple – to steal your money and/or your identity. In order to do this, they may try to get you to invest in fake financial products in order to obtain your bank account details, or to persuade you to transfer them your money. Be sceptical of claims of instant returns or high yield with no risk and keep in mind that being pressured to make a decision quickly is usually a red flag.


Common types of scams

There are various types of financial scams. Some of the most common one include:

Fraudulent saving opportunities

Often called "savings products" or "savings accounts", these typically involve someone getting in touch by telephone and/or email to offer you an investment opportunity, using a similar but fake contact address. The conditions offered are often suspicious, and may involve the promise of "guaranteed" returns, or abnormally high interest rates.

Investment scams

Investment scams typically involve financial investments with the promise of very high rates of return. The investments may be in any type of financial product, including real estate, royalties, commodities or precious metals and minerals.

Impersonation and identify theft

Scams can involve someone impersonating a bank or financial services institution to offer fake products or services in an attempt to steal your money and/or your identity. In some cases, the fraudsters may even use the identities of the bank’s real employees when contacting their victims.


Beware of people posing as Swissquote

The protection of your personal information is our top priority. Knowing how to identify potentially suspicious requests will help prevent fraud and ensure your data remains safe.

Swissquote will never ask you:

  • to reveal personal data about yourselves (login, passwords, L3 card, personal or banking information) through an e-mail or text message
  • to connect to websites that are not endorsed by Swissquote
  • to call us on a new telephone number
  • to make a cash transfer to a safe account or a new bank account (payment instructions can be verified on your online account at any time), nor hand over cash
  • to carry out a "test" transaction online
  • to take quick decisions or respond under pressure, especially through unsolicited messages
  • to download an attachment or to install software or let anyone remotely log on to your computer or other devices either during or after a call

Swissquote will also never:

  • send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards or for any other financial interactions
  • provide banking services through any mobile apps other than the Bank's official apps


Stay in control with these easy guidelines

Please follow these simple steps to safeguard your personal data:

  1. Do not disclose your log in and personal details to third parties. Swissquote will never ask you for sensitive information.
  2. Always use your personal Swissquote secure mailbox
  3. Visit the Swissquote website by typing its address in your browser. Do not "copy and paste" links provided in e-mails or text messages into your browser.
  4. Never be rushed into anything, wait 5 minutes and reflect on what is being asked
  5. Increase your system security. Secure your computer with effective security programs with regular updates. For example:
    - Install a firewall
    - Use the latest version of your browser, most browsers have built-in protection against phishing and will notify you if you open a fraudulent website
    - Ensure your operating system is also up to date
    - Use a recognised anti-virus software and update it regularly
    - Use an anti-spam and anti-spyware programs
    - Delete cookies, browser history and cache as often as possible
  6. Take precautions when using a shared or open-access computer (internet café, hotel lobby…) or wifi hotspot. Always log out of your session using the buttons or hyperlinks provided and close the browser.
  7. Make your password more secure. Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers to create strong passwords and change them regularly
  8. Report any suspicious email links or attachments to us at phishing.lu@swissquote.lu

Taxes

What is the scope of the EU Tax Savings Directive?

This note applies to individual and holders of joint accounts who are residents of EU Member states. Individual resident outside EU are generally not affected, although if you hold a passport issued by an EU Member state, you should also read on.

The EUSD is an agreement between the EU Member States to automatically exchange of information with each other about customers who earn savings income in one EU Member state but reside in another. It was approved by the EU Council of Ministers on 03/06/2003 and came into effect from 01/07/2005. The directive can be applied in two ways (Exchange of Information or Withholding tax).

The EUSD extends to a number of forms of saving income and not only to interests paid on bank accounts. These are interests from, and the proceeds of sale or redemption of, certain bonds and income from certain type of investments funds. The Directive affects:

  • Interests paid or credited to accounts 
  • Interests rolled up when the balance is repaid 
  • Interest paid out on debt-claims (this would include all UK Government securities and certain other types of bonds) 
  • Interest accrued and paid out on the above when debt-claims are sold 
  • Distribution made by certain unit trusts and other open ended collective instruments funds which have invested more than 15% of their investments in debt claims 
  • Accumulated income paid out when units in certain collective investment funds that have invested more than 25% of their investments in debt claims are redeemed, repaid or sold

For a transitional period, Luxembourg has been allowed to apply a withholding tax, instead of engaging in the automatic exchange of information. To align with the rest of Europe, from 01.01.2015 the country has now introduced the automatic exchange of information.

What is the withholding tax for Luxembourg residents and who is concerned?

The law of 23 December 2005 ("Law introducing a domestic withholding tax on certain interest income on interest payments") introduced new tax provisions for Luxembourg taxpayers. As one of the main features, since 1 January 2006, certain income interest received in Luxembourg by a natural person resident in Luxembourg have been subject to a final withholding tax of 20%.

What is the effect on the personal income tax?

Income on which the withholding tax has been levied should not be subject to any further income tax.

What is CRS?

The Common Reporting Standard (hereafter “CRS”) is a regulation initiated by the OECD, aiming at preventing tax evasion and leading to a global automatic exchange of information between CRS-participating jurisdictions. A CRS participating jurisdiction (or “CRS jurisdiction”) is a country that agreed to implement the CRS. The CRS has been implemented at European Union level through the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (Directive 2014/107/UE), known as “DAC 2”. Relationships with non-EU countries are ruled by mean of multilateral agreements known as “Competent Authority Agreements”. The CRS requires financial institutions to report financial accounts held, directly or indirectly, by account holders that are tax residents in a CRS jurisdiction. For further information please consult the OECD website.

CRS in Luxembourg
On 14 August 2015, the bill N° 6858 was introduced requiring Luxembourg's financial institutions to identify bank accounts to be communicated on the basis of residency indicia established by the OECD Common Reporting Standard. The first exchange of information will take place in 2017 and will concern financial data relating to the financial year 2016. From this point onward the report will be due each year for the previous calendar year.

Which data are reported?
Essentially the same information must be reported under the CRS as under FATCA but there is a broad definition of what constitutes a financial account. The following data will be reported:Identification of the person resident for tax purpose in a CRS country (Full Name, Address, Date and place of birth, tax identification number)Identification of the accounts held (account numbers) and their balances;Details of financial revenues received (interest, dividends, proceeds from sales).

What does CRS means for Swissquote customers?
Swissquote will determine if customers enter into the CRS field of application and will be legally obliged to report these to the relevant tax authorities. All new customers will be required to provide their tax residence(s) for tax purposes, and their tax identification number(s). Without this information, Swissquote will be unable to open an account for the applicant.

Quotes and Research sections

What is the content of the Quotes and Research sections?

Swissquote's clients have access to the following contents and functionalities:

  • Functional "Quotes" page: allowing you to view all important information quotes, graph, news, corporate actions.
  • Stockwatch including the performance and new functional links to news and charts.
  • Search tool for stocks and news with multiple sort criteria : symbol, name, date, sector, market.

Margin Loan

What is a margin loan ?

With a Margin Loan you can use your securities as collateral to take out a cash loan or build your portfolio without additional funding. Click here to find out more

Margin trading involves a high degree of risk to your capital and is not suitable for all investors. Losses can quickly and substantially exceed your initial investment. In the event of a Margin Call, you will be notified by email. You may need to make further contributions to your account or immediate action will be taken that can result in open positions being closed. You may need to sell stock or pay back part of your cash loan. You should fully understand the risks and seek independent advice if necessary.

Regulatory Information

Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs)
  • PRIIPs regulation

Alongside MiFID II, the European Union is implementing the ‘Regulation (EU) No 1286/2014 on Key Information Documents for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products’ (PRIIPs Regulation).

This Regulation aims to increase investor protection and extends the obligation for distributors to provide a Key Information Document (KID).

The PRIIPs regulation will apply in all EU member states as of 1 January 2018. This Regulation doesn’t apply to clients resident outside of the European Union.

  • What products are governed by the PRIIPs Regulation?

The PRIIPs regulation covers in a first phase Packaged Investment Products such as non-UCITs ETFs and Funds, REITs, Covered warrants.

  • What is a KID?

The KID is a standardised factsheet, which is designed to present the main characteristics and risks of the investment product in a simple and accessible manner, creating a uniform basis for the comparison of similar products.

  • How will this impact you?

You will be provided with a KID at the point at which you place an order, in much the same way as you are currently provided with a Key Investor Information Document (KIID) when you buy a UCITS investment fund.

  • Why are some instruments no longer tradable?

With the introduction of PRIIPS, where a KID is not produced by the manufacturer, the instrument can no longer be made available to clients living in the European Union. 

Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II)
  • Background

On 3 January 2018, the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) will come into force across the European Union (EU).

MiFID II is the framework of legislation for the provision of investment services by banks and investment firms and the operation of trading venues.

Most of the measures being introduced under MiFID II will not impact directly on the services we provide to you, however, you will see some changes from 3 January and, in the meantime, we will ask you to update your personal data, so that we can meet our regulatory reporting requirements. A summary of the relevant changes is set-out below:

  • Transaction Reporting

On a daily basis, we report every trade we have carried-out on your behalf to our regulator, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF). The CSSF uses this information to identify suspicious trading activity, such as ‘insider dealing’ (the buying or selling of a security by someone who has access to price-sensitive, non-public information about the security). The transaction reporting regime has been enhanced under MiFID II and, from 3 January, we will be required to include the following personal data in each report:

Natural Persons (Single/Joint Accounts)

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality (including multiple nationalities)
  • National identifier (click here for more information)

 

When you login to your account, if your national identifier is missing, you will be prompted to enter this information. If you do not provide this, we may be unable to provide the following services:

  • Buying and selling investments
  • Accepting certain corporate action instructions
  • Margin lending through a Credit Lombard

 

  • Multiple Nationalities

If you are a national of more than one country, we will require the national identifier of the first of these nationalities when sorted alphabetically by its ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code (click here for more information)

f you have both an EEA and a non-EEA nationality, we will require the natural person identifier of the EEA nationality.

  • Joint Accounts

If there are three or more holders on a joint account, you will need to submit your information by sending an email from the Secure Mailbox instead of using the online forms.

  • Third Parties

As we do not accept trading instructions from authorised third parties, including Power of Attorneys, we do not need to collect this information.

  • Legal Entities (e.g. companies and trusts)

Instead of providing a natural person identifier, legal entities, must provide a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI).

  • Appropriateness Assessment for ‘Complex’ Investments

When you ask us to buy ‘complex’ investments (e.g. derivatives) on your behalf, we are required to establish whether investment is appropriate. We do this by way of a standard questionnaire (the ‘Appropriateness Assessment’) that asks you about your knowledge and experience of relevant investments. If you do not have sufficient knowledge and experience, we may prevent you from buying the particular complex investment. For joint accounts, you will need to call us to complete the questionnaire.

Under MiFID II, the range of instruments we will treat as complex is expanded and may include some investment trusts, or ordinary shares if traded using margin lending i.e. with a Credit Lombard.

  • Cost Disclosure

From 3 January 2018, MIFID II requires us to provide you with a much more detailed cost disclosure when you buy certain ‘manufactured’ investments (such as investment funds and ETFs). This consists of both our charges and the manufacturer’s charges. It also includes an illustration which shows the cumulative effect of these charges on the potential return of your investment.

1. What is an ex-ante (pre sales) cost disclosure?

MIFID II rules state that institutions are required to provide investors with information on costs likely to be incurred before or at the point of sale, before the investment is placed. Ex-ante disclosures are estimated and include assumptions on what growth may look like. Estimates should be reasonable within the assumptions described, but are unlikely to reflect actual return on investment. Pre-sale disclosures have been required on applicable instruments since early 2018. Where we have been unable to source external costs from the instrument provider, instruments have been blocked from purchases.

2. What is an ex-post (post sale) cost disclosure?

The MIFID II rules specify that institutions are required to provide investors with information about the total costs and charges actually incurred on qualifying instruments, at least once per year. The post sales disclosure document summarises these costs based on actual data, by instrument, so you can assess performance.

3. What is the difference between pre-sale and post-sale cost disclosures?

Pre-sale cost disclosures are a reasonable estimate of costs before they are incurred, whereas post-sale disclosures are based on actual costs after they have been incurred within a portfolio.

4. How are post sales costs and charges presented?

Example of a Post Sales Disclosure. (embedded Link) A cover page explains how the figures have been calculated and prepared, while the remainder of the document details the values for each qualifying instrument that you have held or traded during the reporting period.

5. When are post-sale disclosures published?

Swissquote works with its service providers to source the required data for reporting. Reporting for the period from January to December 2018 will be published in June.

6. Where can I find my Post Sales Cost Disclosure report?

The report is available on the Documents page on the secure website, accessible by selecting Document Type “Cost Disclosures” in the drop down.

7. Which instruments do I receive cost disclosures for?

If you are a retail client resident in the EEA and traded or held your instrument during the reporting period and/or received a pre-sales disclosure document for your trade, then you will receive a post sales disclosure document for that instrument. All costs are broken down by instrument. In broader terms, the Bank provides information for instruments in line with the regulations which include Funds, ETFs & Investment Trusts. Equities or defunct stocks are not in scope of these regulations.

8. What costs and charges need to be disclosed?

Information needs to be provided about all costs and charges. This includes Swissquote’s costs, as well as product manufacturer costs, and all other costs and charges associated with the investment, such as Stamp Duty, and tax on dividends. Dividend income is not included in the net performance result of the instrument and should be considered separately.

9. What are product manufacturers and distributors?

A product manufacturer (e.g. Blackrock) is a firm which creates, develops, issues and/or designs investment products. Swissquote is a distributor, which means it makes instrument products available for trading to its customers.

10. Are there costs and charges that are excluded?

All costs and charges that could be directly linked to the individual investment are included. However, Swissquote also levies account level charges for services such as quarterly administration fees, cash withdrawal fees and debit interest. These charges are not included in the post-sales costs disclosure as they cannot be uniquely pro-rated to the investment impact.

11. Are government charges included in the figures?

Yes. Where applicable Government charges such as income tax, stamp duty and VAT are included.

12. What data is used to compile product manufacturer costs?

Swissquote calculates product costs based on data provided by Morningstar, or as described below.

13. Further information in respect of manufacturer costs and charges.

a. In most cases, product manufacturers have provided an ‘effective from’ date alongside the % cost to be applied, but sometimes this date does not cover the whole year. In order to be able to meet the requirement to provide an illustration for the whole year, we have assumed that this rate should be applied to the whole year, and we have based our calculation on this assumption. This means that we are effectively providing you with an estimate for part of the year. This estimate should not differ materially from actual figures.

b. Non-European Union providers have no obligation to comply with the new rules. As such, data has been sourced on a best endeavours basis using published information.

c. In relation to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), only those classified as Alternative Investment Funds are captured under the new rules.

d. In a very small number of cases we have been unable to source data from Morningstar or directly from the manufacturers. In these scenarios we have used a proxy based upon a sector average of similar instruments.

e. The product transactions costs are the costs associated with buying and selling the underlying securities within the fund. The transactions costs disclosed under MiFID II are not a new additional cost. They have always been involved in managing a fund and are already fully reflected in the price of the instrument. However, this is the first time they have had to be disclosed separately and expressed in percentage and monetary terms.

14. My investment underwent a corporate action last year.

Where an instrument ceased to be traded through the year, or was transformed in any way, Swissquote provides two illustrations: one for the trading value up until the corporate action event, and one for the period from the corporate action date until the end of the year. In other words, you have illustrations for the lifecycle of each instrument.

  • Reporting on 10% depreciations in leveraged instruments

When you buy a leveraged financial instrument (e.g. a leveraged ETF), we will notify you if the value depreciates by 10% (and thereafter at multiples of 10%). 

IBORs transition and EU Benchmarks Reform (BMR)

1. Why and when is the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) ceasing?

The interest rate benchmarks are based on the rates banks lend to each other in the interbank market. LIBOR rates are derived from an average of submissions by panel banks.

Interbank lending has decreased materially since the credit crisis in 2008-2009 and has been subject to manipulation (e.g., the Libor scandal of 2012). The underlying market that LIBOR seeks to reflect has also become less active.

Given the decrease in transactions, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) has observed that submissions used to determine LIBOR are increasingly based upon expert judgment rather than actual market transactions, making it opaque and disconnected from actual market activities.

In 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which oversees LIBOR, announced that the FCA would no longer persuade or compel member panel banks to make LIBOR quote submissions after 2021 and that market participants should expect LIBOR to be subsequently discontinued, or at least no longer be deemed representative.

On 5 March 2021, the ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA), as the administrator of LIBOR, indicated that it would cease the publication of most LIBORs at the end of 2021, except for most used USD LIBOR tenors which will be published till the end of June 2023.

The European Union (EU) has also introduced a Benchmark Regulation (BMR), adopted in 2016, that requires benchmarks, including IBORs, to be based on actual transactions, where possible, with an end of 2021 deadline for third-country index administrators.

 

2. What are alternative reference rates/ risk-free rates?

As part of the change in the benchmark rates methodology from a forward looking approach to a more transaction-based one (backward-looking), and of the development of replacement benchmark rates meeting regulatory requirements, market participants and industry bodies have come up with Alternative Reference Rates (ARR), also called Risk Free Rates (RFR), based on overnight transactions, which are designed to be representative of a nearly risk-free rate.

Below is an overview of the recommended alternative rates for some major currencies:

CurrencyAdministratorRFR
USDFederal Reserve Bank of New York (Fed)Secure Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR)
GBPBank of England (BoE)Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA)
EUREuropean Central Bank (ECB)Euro Short Term Rate (€STR)
CHFSIX Swiss ExchangeSwiss Average Overnight Rate (SARON)
SGDMonetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA)

 

3. What is the impact on Swissquote’s product offering?

Swissquote will progressively use Risk-Free Rates as reference rates for setting its debit interest rates and use the rates endorsed by the regulators for the key currency jurisdictions.

  • Following the permanent cessation of the publication of certain IBOR reference rates on 31/12/2021, Swissquote will transition to the term RFR (1 month) in EUR, GBP, CHF and SGD from 1/1/2022 onwards.

  • Given that the publication of the ICE LIBOR USD 1 Month (USD) will only permanently cease on 30/06/2023, the Bank will not immediately transition to an Alternative Risk-Free Rate, but will have to transition by no later than this date.

  • For the other currencies, the Bank regularly monitors when local authorities start to publish RFR that are intended to eventually replace or complement local benchmarks. These developments are still ongoing and the approach and state of play differs for each jurisdiction.

The list of benchmarks in use can be found here.

Swissquote has amended its Lombard Loan Agreement and its General Terms and Conditions to include fallback clauses to ensure the smooth transition to an endorsed alternative reference rate where required (e.g., when a benchmark is no longer published, or when it is no longer representative of the underlying market).

Complaints

How we handle complaints

If you are not satisfied with any aspect of our service you can tell us about your concerns in the following ways:

  • By Telephone

In the first instance we would always prefer to hear from you by telephone on + 352 2603 2003.

This will allow you to have a discussion with one of our representatives who will listen to your concerns, consider the issues raised, discuss your options and attempt to resolve your concern at first contact. 

It is not always possible to resolve your concern at the first point of contact, in these instances our representatives will take full details of any issues raised and arrange for your concern to be investigated internally. We will then contact you to explain our findings.

We may also ask you to provide details of your complaint in writing if we are unable to resolve the issue at first contact.

  • By Email, Letter or Fax 

You can send full details of your complaint by email to clientservices@swissquote.lu or by fax to (+352) 2603 2042.

If you prefer to send your concerns by postal mail, you should address your letter to:

Client Services Manager,

Swissquote Bank Europe SA

2 rue Edward Steichen

L-2958 Luxembourg.

How long will it take?

Our aim is to resolve your complaint at first contact. If we are unable to do this, we will write to you to within 10 business days to:

  • Acknowledge the reception of your complaint
  • Explain why we have not managed to resolve your concern
  • Tell you who is dealing with your concern and how to contact them
  • Obtain further information to help us resolve your case

Please note that a complaint received on any day other than a business day, or after 17.00hrs CET on a business day, will be treated as received on the next business day for reporting purposes.

Once we have sent you an acknowledgement of receipt of your complaint, we will aim to resolve your case within one month from receipt.

In exceptional circumstances where the issues raised are particularly complex, matters may take longer to resolve. We will inform you when we expect to reach a final conclusion and when we anticipate providing you with our final response.

Our final response, once issued will explain the outcome of our investigation and make you aware of the availability and contact details of the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) who can be contacted should you not be satisfied with our response. 

What happens if we cannot reach agreement?

The CSSF operate a process to facilitate out-of-court resolution of complaints between customers and financial institutions and acts independently of Swissquote. It provides a service as an unbiased adjudicator.

The CSSF address is:

Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier

110, route d'Arlon

L-1150

Luxembourg

Tel : (+352) 262511

Fax : (+352) 26251601

Email : direction@cssf.lu