Choosing a broker is an important step when starting to invest. There are many different options available, so choosing the right one for you is a challenge. Let's take a closer look at Fineco, a broker based in Italy. We will analyse the pros and cons, the commissions, the convenience of creating an account and the security of your assets. In the end you will be able to decide whether Fineco is the right broker to invest your savings or whether another broker is more suitable for you.

Pros and cons of using Fineco

✅ Pros of Fineco ❌ Cons of Fineco
Manages tax declarations for you No fractional shares
Reduced fees for the under-30s High fees if no promotions applied
"Zero Commissions" for many ETFs Only available in Italy and the UK

The story of Fineco

Fineco's website targets all ages and investment plans!

FinecoBank is an independent multi-channel direct bank based in Italy, offering banking, credit, trading and investment services in a single account. It is a European leader in brokerage and has one of the largest networks of financial advisors in Italy. It was founded in 1999 as the first retail online trading service in Italy.

In 2000 it launched its financial advisory services and in just two years reached 250,000 clients. In 2014 it was listed on the Euronext Milan segment and in 2016 it joined the FTSE MIB. Today it has more than 1.4 million clients and more than €100 billion in assets.

Let's take a look at their offer.

Two account types at Fineco

Before we dig into the fees, it's important to note that Fineco offers two types of accounts: the Fineco account and the Trading account.

The Fineco account is free of charge for the first 12 months, after which a monthly fee of €3.95 is charged: the fee can easily be waived. Fineco offers the possibility of eliminating this charge if various requirements are met. The service is free of charge if you meet at least one of the following requirements as a customer:

  • being credited with your salary or pension on Fineco
  • being under 30
  • pension fund with an annual payment of at least €1,000
  • an advanced advisory service of at least €20,000
  • managed savings of at least €40,000
  • a minimum of 4 trading transactions executed per month.

The trading account is, on the other hand, free of charge.

Fees

Unfortunately the fee structure with Fineco is quite complex and depends on the type of account opened and any promotions (such as the one reserved for under-30s which we'll dig into below).

Fineco Account

If you open a Fineco Account, you have fixed commissions which are reduced depending on how many commissions are generated each month and/or the value of the total assets in your portfolio. These are the fees based on your assets on Fineco:

Total Assets Less than €500k Over €500k
Italy and Europe funds €19 €9.95
USA $12.95 $9.95

These are the fees per trading. You can clearly see that the more you trade, the less you pay:

Transactions Less than €50 €100 €1500 Over €2500
Italy and Europe funds €19 €9.95 €6.95 €2.95
USA $12.95 $9.95 $8.95 $3.95

Trading Account

If you decide to open a zero-fee Trading Account, you pay commissions as a percentage of the order value.

Transaction fee Minimum fee
Stocks 0.19% €2.95
ETFs 0.19% €2.95
Bonds 0.19% €2.95

Fineco is great if you're under 30

Fineco is a great option if you're under 30 and want to manage the investments yourself

For the under-30s there is a great promotion. The account fee is zero, as is the fee for the associated debit card. If you decide to open a PAC (capital accumulation plan), commissions are zero for all ETFs. For single orders you pay a commission of €2.95 for European stocks and ETFs whilst a $3.95 fee for the US equivalent.

Currency exchange commissions

For trading transactions between major currencies, there is no currency exchange commission, only the spread. This is the difference between the buy (bid) and sell (ask) price of a currency pair.

ETF fees

Fees vary depending on the type of plan chosen and any available promotions. The cost for a single transaction varies from zero to €19. In particular, if you are under 30, commissions on ETFs are free.

Thus, if you want to buy the popular ETF IWDA it will cost you zero transaction fees. Please note that you cannot buy IWDA on Fineco, but you can get the same fund with the alternative ticker SWDA.

"Zero Commission" promotion

Currently about 30 ETFs (from Blackrock, Amundi, Xtrackers) are subject to a promotion and the transaction commission is zero, both for single orders and for periodic investments, for all clients. Fineco is able to offer this promotion because it receives a commission from the ETF issuer. As they say, there's no free lunch with investing.

Convenience of Fineco

Savings plan ✅ Yes
🇮🇹 Taxes ✅ Adminstrative regime
Fractional shares ❌ No
Customer support ✅ FAQ, email, phone, chat

Savings Plan

Fineco offers the "Replay service" which is an automatic investment system that allows you to accumulate capital on one or more ETFs through small monthly investments. It's a variant of the Capital Accumulation Plan (or PAC) based only on ETFs.

With this service, Fineco automatically invests the sums indicated for you, charging you a fixed cost instead of ordinary trading commissions. The cost of the plan ranges from €2.95 per month for 1 ETF to €13.95 for 10 ETFs. Note that the cost can be reduced to zero if you are under 30 or if you buy "zero commission" ETFs.

Administered Regime

Fineco offers the possibility to choose between the declarative and the administered regime for your taxes. In the case of the declaratory regime, you will have to calculate the taxation yourself, while for the administered regime, Fineco will act as tax withholding agent by applying any applicable taxation. You will be able to monitor the capital gains/losses realised by consulting the tax section in your Fineco account.

You cannot buy fractional shares using Fineco

Fractional shares are what they sound like: they allow you to buy a fraction or part of a share according to your budget, instead of only being able to buy whole shares. For example, if you have €125 to invest but each share only costs €50, you will get 2.5 shares.

Fractional shares allow you to buy what you can afford and build a portfolio that would otherwise be unaffordable. One of the advantages of investing in ETFs is that it allows you to diversify your portfolio. Buying several ETFs with fractional shares can make a diversified portfolio even more affordable.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to buy fractional shares with Fineco.

Customer support

Fineco's customer support is available for any questions you may have via email and a telephone number. You can call them until 8.30pm at night, which is useful to know! On Trustpilot they score 4.8/5 with almost 50,000 reviews.

Setting up an account

Let's dig into the details of setting up your Fineco account for the first-time.

🕰️ Time to open an account ✅ Fairly quick
📱 Mobile app ✅ Yes
💻 Web app ✅ Yes
🙂 Ease of use ⭐ 4/5
💑 Joint accounts ✅ Yes
🧒 Children accounts ❌ No

Opening an account

Opening a Fineco account can be done quickly via the online procedure, provided that two basic requirements are met: residence in Italy and being 18 or over. It is not necessary to submit pay slips or guarantees of any kind to start the account opening process.

To start the application, all you need is your tax code and a valid identity document. The procedure for opening a Fineco account is quite quick: after providing the required data, you will have to carry out the remote recognition via webcam. You will then have to wait for the confirmation email containing the account activation codes.

Create an account on the web and mobile

Fineco provides both a mobile app and a website. The website is very convenient and complete, the app is also intuitive but has some gaps compared to a fast-moving market (for example through apps like Revolut).

Ease of use: 4/5

Fineco provides the essential and useful tools for long-term investors, without distracting them too much with tools that are only useful for those who want to trade. The app could be improved a bit, while the website is comprehensive.

Joint accounts

To open a Fineco account with a joint account holder, simply follow the same procedure as for opening a single account. In the 'Joint Account Holders' section, simply select 'to me and one other person'.

With the online procedure, you can add up to 3 co-holders. If you wish to open an account with more than 3 people, you will need to visit a Fineco Centre and request specific assistance.

No children accounts

You cannot create children accounts at Fineco. All the investments are in your name.

Is Fineco safe?

Regulator CONSOB (Italy)
Past issues with the regulator ✅ No
Protection of financial assets €20,000
Cash safeguarded by deposit guarantee ✅ Yes
Securities lending ❌ Yes (default)
Payment for order flow ✅ No

Who is the regulator?

Fineco is an Italian banking institution authorised by the Bank of Italy and supervised by CONSOB, the Italian government authority responsible for regulating the Italian securities market.

Have they had any issues with the regulator?

No, they have never had any problems with the regulator

How much of your assets are protected by the investor protection scheme?

You are protected by the €20,000 EU investor protection scheme.

Is your cash protected by the deposit guarantee scheme?

Accordingly, Fineco is a member of the Interbank Deposit Protection Fund. The fund guarantees each Fineco account holder up to a maximum of €100,000 in the event of bank insolvency.

Does Fineco do securities lending?

Yes, Fineco does securities lending. Securities lending is a practice in which brokers borrow shares and ETFs from clients to use directly or to lend them to institutional investors in exchange for interest income, which is automatically accumulated in the client's account.

The securities are only remunerated when Fineco actually borrows them, at its own discretion, depending on market demand.

Does Fineco do payment for order flow?

No, they do not do payment for order flow (PFOF). It is an important  source of revenue for many new brokers, including another German provider Trade Republic. This practice involves routing your orders to certain market makers, who then pay the broker for the right of executing these orders. PFOF can work at your detriment, as brokers may prioritise payment over executing the best possible trade for you.

The easier way: Curvo

Brokers push you to trade and to pick individual companies to invest in. Rather than picking individual stocks such as Amazon or Tesla, index funds are a way to buy the whole market, across all sectors and regions of the world. Essentially, you own a small portion of thousands of companies throughout the world. Instead of betting on a particular company, you are placing a bet on the global economy.

Rather than having to pick the right stocks or ETFs among the thousands available through a broker like Fineco, you invest in a portfolio that is tailored to you and your goals. These portfolios are composed of globally diversified index funds, meaning you earn a piece of the growth of the global economy, and they're best suited to make the most of your savings long term. And they're secure, as they're managed by NNEK, a Dutch investment firm under supervision of the regulator in the Netherlands (AFM).

Create an account in minutes through Curvo's app

We believe that investing is an important tool for our generation to improve our financial well-being and to prepare for our future. We are building Curvo to fulfil that vision, by making good investing easy and accessible to all:

  • Diversified portfolio set up for you: The best portfolio for you is built by NNEK based on your time horizon and financial goals. Simply answer a short questionnaire and you’ll get everything set up for you.
  • Automated savings plans: Through Curvo’s app you can set up a monthly contribution from €50. That means that money is automatically invested for you in your portfolio. Put your savings on autopilot!
  • Fractional shares: All the money you send towards your portfolio is fully invested by NNEK. No cash is left on the side.
  • Sustainable investments: Your investments focus on one guiding principle: don’t invest in companies that are considered destructive to the planet. This means that sectors like non-renewable energy, vice products, weapons and controversial companies are all excluded.
  • Project yourself into the future: Through Curvo you can see how much your portfolio is expected to be worth in the future. You can answer questions like “how will increasing my monthly contribution by €50, €100 or €200 affect my long-term savings?” to give a concrete idea for the “future you”.

Learn more on how it compares to investing through a broker.

Summary

Fineco is a good alternative as a broker for investing in the financial markets. In general, the commissions are on average high, but if you take advantage of the various promotions, you can reduce or even eliminate transaction costs. The possibility of adopting the administered regime makes the service very convenient. In this way you do not have to worry about any tax declaration, Fineco will do everything for you. Furthermore, Fineco is a highly secure broker, authorised by the Bank of Italy and supervised by CONSOB.

Questions you may have

How reliable is Fineco?

Fineco is a safe and reliable Italian bank: its CET1 ratio (a value that determines the stability of a bank) stands at 20.39%, compared to a national average of 13%.

How much does Fineco cost per month?

Fineco offers an account with a monthly fee of €3.95, which can be reduced to zero thanks to the discounts you can get when certain conditions are met.

Which bank does Fineco support?

Fineco customers can also use UniCredit Group branches to make withdrawals and deposits throughout Italy.

How much money do I need to open a Fineco account?

Fineco does not have a minimum amount to open an account.