Choosing a broker is an important step when investing. There are many different options available, so picking the right one for you is challenging. We compare investing in ETFs through Saxo Bank and LYNX, two brokers available to European investors. The goal of this article is to help you find out which broker is best for you for investing in ETFs. We’ll compare the brokers based on their fees, convenience, the ease of setting up an account and importantly the safety of your assets.

The overview

The table shows an overview of how Saxo Bank compares to LYNX for different criteria. Read on to get the full details!

Saxo Bank

✅ Pros of Saxo Bank ❌ Cons of Saxo Bank
Handles all taxes for you High fees
Easy to sign-up No fractional shares
Built for traders
Not suited for monthly investing
No savings plans

Story of Saxo Bank 🇩🇰

Saxo Bank has a focus on traders.

The story of Saxo begins with its founding in Copenhagen in 1992. The company was established with a vision to make global financial markets more accessible to a wide audience. By 1998, Saxo Group had launched one of the first online trading platforms in Europe, offering professional-grade tools and easy access to global financial markets for anyone interested in investing. They serve over 1m customers and have over €100bn under management. In 2018, they purchased the popular online broker BinckBank for €428m. All BinckBank customers were automatically switched over to the Saxo Bank platform for trading.

Fees for ETFs

Saxo Bank is one of the most expensive brokers in Europe. To buy €1,000 worth of IWDA, the cost is €9.75 for the transaction fee alone.

Convenience

Savings plan ❌ No
Fractional shares ❌ No
Customer support ✅ FAQ, email, phone
🇮🇹 Taxes ✅ Adminstered regime
🇧🇪 TOB ✅ Saxo handles it
🇧🇪 Dividend tax ✅ Saxo handles it
🇧🇪 Reynders tax ✅ Saxo handles it
🇧🇪 Declare your account to the NBB ✅ No need

Saxo Bank, catering to experienced traders, supports a wide array of complex order types but does not offer automated savings plans or fractional shares making regular investing less practical due to high fees. Depending on where you're registered in Europe, Saxo Bank assists investors. For example, in Belgium (🇧🇪), it helps with transaction taxes, dividend taxes, and the Reynders tax on ETF profits, and due to its direct presence in Belgium, customers don't need to declare their accounts to the Belgian National Bank.

Setting up an account

🕰️ Time to open an account ✅ Within a few days
📱 Mobile app ✅ Yes
💻 Web app ✅ Yes
🙂 Ease of use ⭐ 2/5
🧒 Children accounts ❌ No
💑 Joint accounts ✅ Yes

Setting up an account with Saxo Bank is streamlined though approval may take a few days. While Saxo Bank does not provide children accounts, it does offer the option to set up joint accounts.

Safety

Regulator DFSA (Denmark)
Past issues with the regulator ❌ Yes
Protection of financial assets €20,000
Cash safeguarded by deposit guarantee €100,000
Securities lending ❌ Yes (opt-in)
Payment for order flow ✅ No

Saxo Bank, with its primary regulator being the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA), continues to operate under a Dutch banking license after acquiring BinckBank. Saxo Bank participates in securities lending with an opt-in policy for transparency, and does not engage in payment for order flow (PFOF).

The full review

Learn more about the pros and cons of investing through Saxo Bank in our review.

LYNX

✅ Pros of LYNX ❌ Cons of LYNX
Transparent fees Not the cheapest
Large selection of ETFs Targeted for traders
Fractional shares Not easy for beginners
No savings plans

Story of LYNX 🇳🇱

LYNX is focused on catering to traders.

LYNX was launched in 2006 in Amsterdam. It's grown to over 300 employees and has offices spread out across ten countries. They formed an initial and crucial partnership with Interactive Brokers which allows them to offer a variety of investment choices. The broker MEXEM also benefits from a partnership like this. They have over 60,000 customers and provide a variety of access to different exchanges and all types of securities.

Fees for ETFs

LYNX isn't the cheapest broker on the market. For instance, it costs €6.00 when buying €1,000 of the popular ETF IWDA by iShares.

Convenience

Savings plan ❌ No
Fractional shares ✅ Yes
Customer support ✅ FAQ, email, phone, chat
🇧🇪 TOB ✅ LYNX handles it
🇧🇪 Dividend tax ❌ LYNX doesn't handle it fully
🇧🇪 Reynders tax ❌ LYNX doesn't handle it
🇧🇪 Declare your account to the NBB ❌ You have to do it yourself

LYNX does not provide automated savings plans, requiring manual account funding and trade execution, but it does offer fractional shares for strategies like euro-cost averaging. Their customer service is responsive and helpful, with quick email responses and local phone support. If you're a Belgian investor (🇧🇪), LYNX assists with transaction taxes on securities and somedividend taxes but does not withhold the Reynders tax on ETF profits, and users must declare their accounts to the National Bank of Belgium.

Setting up an account

🕰️ Time to open an account ❌ 2 to 4 days
🙋 itsme ❌ No
📱 Mobile app ✅ Yes
💻 Web app ✅ Yes
🙂 Ease of use ⭐ 3/5
🧒 Children accounts ❌ No
💑 Joint accounts ✅ Yes

Opening an account with LYNX, though possible through their app, is more user-friendly via computer. The account verification takes between 2 to 4 business days, and a minimum deposit of €3,000 is required. LYNX supports joint accounts but not children accounts; business accounts are available with a minimum €20,000 deposit.

Safety

Regulator AFM (Netherlands)
Past issues with the regulator ✅ No
Protection of financial assets €20,000
Cash safeguarded by deposit guarantee €100,000
Securities lending ❌ Yes (opt-in)
Payment for order flow ✅ No

LYNX is regulated by the AFM in the Netherlands, has not had any known issues with regulators. While LYNX participates in securities lending through its opt-in "Stock Yield Enhancement Programme," they do not engage in payment for order flow (PFOF), a practice common among many brokers like Trade Republic.

The full review

Read our review to get a full breakdown of LYNX's pros and cons.

Curvo: easier than a broker

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 Saxo Bank or LYNX, 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).

How Curvo works
Investing through Curvo is an easy way to invest well in Belgium. All portfolios are managed by NNEK, a Dutch investment firm licensed with the AFM.

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.
  • No TOB 🇧🇪 : Significant savings as the portfolios aren’t liable for the Belgian transaction tax (or "TOB"). This saves you between 0.12% and 1.32% for every time you buy or sell!
  • 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”.

Summary

In this article we highlighted the key differences between Saxo Bank and LYNX, two brokers accessible to Europeans. Due to the fact that Saxo Bank charges higher fees, you need to ask if it's worth it to invest through their app over the long-term. But cost is not the only factor to take in consideration when you’re putting your savings to work. For instance, you should also take into account the ease of use of the app and their help with taxes. We hope this comparison has helped you make a decision!

Questions you may have

Is Saxo Bank better than eToro?

The answer is, it depends on you and your goals for a broker. You're in luck though as we have a comparison of both brokers available to guide you on your investment journey!

Is Saxo Bank good for forex?

Saxo supports all types of orders and has low forex fees in comparison to other brokers. You can run complicated orders like limit, market, stop, stop limit, market if touched, limit if touched, trail, relative, etc...This means it's a powerful broker, but it also makes it a lot more complex in use. It's clear that Saxo Bank targets the experienced trader rather than the beginning investor. It's similar to trading platforms such as eToro and MEXEM.