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Cornèrtrader Review 2024 – Cheapest Swiss broker

Baptiste Wicht | Updated: |

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Cornèrtrader is one of the oldest Swiss brokers. It is an interesting broker that claims to be very affordable, especially compared to other Swiss brokers.

So, is Cornèrtrader (CT) suitable for a Swiss investor, especially a passive investor? This in-depth review will answer this question. We will see what Cornèrtrader is, what you can do with it, how much it costs, and much more!

By the end of this review, you will know whether Cornèrtrader is a good broker for investing!

About Cornèrtrader
Custody Fees 0 CHF
Inactivity Fees 10 CHF per quarter
Buy Swiss ETF 0.20%, minimum 20 CHF
Buy American Stock 4 cents per share, minimum 25 USD
Currency Exchange Fee 0.50%
Languages English, French, German, and Italian
Mobile Application Yes
Web Application Yes
Custodian Bank Corner Bank
Established 2012
Headquarters Zürich

Cornèrtrader

Cornèrtrader logo
Cornèrtrader logo

Cornèrtrader is part of Corner Group. Corner Group is a private Swiss banking institution founded in 1879. It is now centered around Corner Bank, the bank of the group. Corner Bank was already established in 1952. Cornèrtrader itself was officially launched in 2012.

Corner Group also has business in several other countries. However, in this review, I will only focus on its trading services in Switzerland via the Cornèrtrader broker.

Corner Bank has a Swiss banking license and is regulated by FINMA. Cornèrtrader uses Corner Bank as its custodian bank. Corner Bank has a good reputation in Switzerland.

At the time of this writing, Cornèrtrader has more than 10’000 users. This is a relatively small number compared to some larger brokers, but they still have a loyal user base. They offer access to stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), options, Contracts For Difference (CFDs), and more investing instruments. Cornèrtrader has access to 22 stock exchanges in the world. So, if you are a passive investor like me, they have more than enough instruments.

So, now, we can delve deeper into what Cornèrtrader offers as a broker.

Cornèrtrader Account Types

Cornèrtrader has four different account types:

  1. Private. The default trading account.
  2. Capital. The trading account for large portfolios.
  3. Pro. The trading account for professional investors.
  4. VIP. The trading account for very large portfolios.

The Pro and VIP accounts have very high trading volume requirements, so they are not possible for us to achieve. So, we need to focus on the first two accounts. Capital is significantly cheaper than Private but requires having more than 75’000 CHF in your account. You can start with Private, and once you reach this limit, you will be promoted to Capital.

In this review, I will review the details of both the Private and Capital account types since they are both useful. And apart from the fees, they have the same features.

Cornèrtrader Fees

4/5

In the long term, you need to reduce your fees. Investing fees are extremely important. Therefore, we must look at the fees of the broker accounts at Cornèrtrader.

One great thing about Cornèrtrader is that they have no custody fees. No custody fee means you will not pay anything to have an account. Most Swiss brokers have custody fees, so it is excellent that Cornèrtrader has none.

On the other hand, Cornèrtrader has an inactivity fee. You must pay a 10 CHF inactivity fee if you do not invest during one quarter. I do not think this is an issue since most investors make at least one investment per quarter. I recommend investing monthly during the accumulation phase and withdrawing once a month during retirement.

For trading, the fees are different for each stock exchange on which you are doing a stock operation.

Fortunately, the pricing system is straightforward and much simpler than other Swiss brokers. Also, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have the same fees as stocks. This makes it even simpler to study the fees of Cornèrtrader.

So, here are the fees for some important stock exchanges with a Private account:

  • Swiss Stock Exchange (SWX): 0.20% with a minimum of 20 CHF
  • Euronext Amsterdam: 0.25% with a minimum of 25 EUR
  • London Stock Exchange (LSE): 0.25% with a minimum of 20 GBP
  • NASDAQ: 4 cents per share with a minimum of 25 USD
  • New York Stock Exchange (NYSE): 4 cents per share with a minimum of 25 USD

And here are the fees for the same exchanges with the Capital account:

  • Swiss Stock Exchange (SWX): 0.12% with a minimum of 18 CHF
  • Euronext Amsterdam: 0.20% with a minimum of 20 EUR
  • London Stock Exchange (LSE): 0.12% with a minimum of 18 GBP
  • NASDAQ: 3 cents per share with a minimum of 12 USD
  • New York Stock Exchange (NYSE): 2 cents per share with a minimum of 12 USD

These fees are not cheap. Given the large minimums, they are not suited for small transactions. For instance, if you buy 1000 CHF on the Swiss Stock Exchange, you will pay 20 CHF, a 2% fee! Only if you buy for 10’000 CHF will you reach the minimum. So, I would not recommend using Cornèrtrader if you do many small transactions.

For large transactions, Cornèrtrader is affordable when compared with other Swiss brokers. As far as Swiss brokers go, Cornèrtrader is a good choice in terms of prices.

If you invest in currencies besides CHF, you will also need to pay the currency conversion fee. At Cornèrtrader, you will pay 0.5% of each currency conversion. If you buy shares for 5000 USD from CHF, you will pay a 25 USD currency conversion fee. You will also have to pay this fee when you sell your shares. You should not neglect this fee since it is relatively high. Over time, this can accumulate to be a lot of fees.

But Cornèrtrader is the Swiss broker with the lowest currency conversion fee! I do not say it is cheap because it is not. But as far as Swiss brokers go, this is the best you will get.

Finally, we should not forget the Swiss Stamp Tax Duty fee. Since Cornèrtrader is a Swiss broker, you must pay this tax on each stock market operation. This fee is 0.075% for Swiss shares and 0.15% for foreign shares. This fee is the same for each Swiss broker.

Overall, Cornèrtrader is not cheap. Its fees for small transactions are high. However, when we compare it only with other Swiss brokers, it is one of the most affordable. Cornèrtrader is especially cheap for currency conversion and fees on large transactions.

Opening an account at Cornèrtrader

4/5

We can also see how we can open a Cornèrtrader account.

You can fully open an account online. Opening an account will take you less than 10 minutes. However, before investing in the stock market, your account must be validated based on the documents you submitted during the onboarding process. So, it may take days before the account is fully accessible. In the meantime, you will still be able to look at the platforms.

Aside from this point, there is nothing special about the account opening process. Cornèrtrader will ask you all the usual questions:

  • Your personal information
  • Your investing knowledge and experience
  • Proof of address and identity

There is no minimum for opening an account at Cornèrtrader, so you can start trading with very little money. But as mentioned before, be careful about the high minimums for trading operations. Small operations on Cornèrtrader may quickly become very expensive.

So, overall, the process of opening an account is very straightforward. But Cornèrtrader could speed up the process.

Trading with Cornèrtrader

4/5

Cornèrtrader offers three platforms to invest with:

  • Invest: A simple platform for investors.
  • Flexibility: A slightly more advanced platform for investors on the move.
  • Advance: The platform for advanced investors. For instance, you can use up to 6 monitors to show off to your friends.

So, if you are a passive investor, the Invest platform will have all the features you will ever need. The first two platforms can be used on desktops, phones, and tablets, while the Advance platform can only be used on a desktop computer.

These options are pretty good. It is excellent to separate platforms based on each level of investing. That way, simple investors are not lost in a sea of features they do not need. 99% of investors will only need the Invest platform.

The Invest trading platform from Cornèrtrader (Source: Cornèrtrader)
The Invest trading platform from Cornèrtrader (Source: Cornèrtrader)

Is it safe?

5/5

If you invest a significant amount of money with a broker, you must ensure it is safe.

CornerBank is regulated by FINMA in Switzerland. Its other entities are also regulated in other countries. Since your assets are deposited at Corner Bank, they are regulated.

CornerBank is a well-established bank with a good reputation. I would say that the chances of it going bankrupt are slim. Nevertheless, it is good to know what would happen if a broker went bankrupt. Deposit protection will protect your cash for up to 100’000 CHF. Your securities should be deposited in your name in Corner Bank and should be safe.

For technical security, you can activate the second authentication factor for your account. I strongly recommend doing that. It should be enabled by default. Many people have told me that it is difficult to configure.

I have not heard of any security leaks or breaches from Cornèrtrader.

So, investing with Cornèrtrader is as safe as investing with other Swiss brokers.

Cornèrtrader Reputation

3.5/5

It is essential to look at a broker’s reputation before using it to invest in the stock market.

I generally use TrustPilot as a source of reviews. Unfortunately, there are no reviews of Cornèrtrader on TrustPilot. However, I found 25 reviews on Google, with an average score of 2.5 stars. This score is a bad result, but given the small number of reviews, it may be inaccurate.

We can classify most of the negative reviews into two categories:

  • Poor communication when introducing the inactivity fees in 2019. Cornèrtrader introduced this fee without giving the customers enough time to prepare. And since closing an account is not free, many customers were unsatisfied.
  • Very long account creation time. Since the account has to be manually validated, it takes a long time. Given the age we live in, people are used to creating and using an account within minutes, not days.,

Since most issues are regarding account creation, I am not worried since this only happens once. However, the reputation of Cornèrtrader took a hit when they introduced their inactivity fees with poor communication.

On the other hand, positive reviews are focused on two different categories:

  • Good customer service. It is rare to read that, so that is interesting.
  • Simple investment. This is a good point for simple passive investors.

I also got some feedback from my readers, which was not great. Most people who have used Cornèrtrader are not satisfied with it. They will describe it as cheap in both senses of the term. So we may want to be careful about this service.

Overall, user reviews on Cornèrtrader are very mixed. Many reviews are on both extremes (love and hate).

Alternatives

It is essential to compare a financial service with some other alternatives.

Cornèrtrader vs Interactive Brokers

The best broker
Interactive Brokers
5.0
No custody fees

The broker you need to buy stocks and ETFs reliably and at extremely affordable prices. Trade U.S. stocks for as little as 0.5 USD!

Pros:
  • Extremely affordable
  • Wide range of investing instruments
Invest your money Read My Review

It is important to note that I am not using Cornèrtrader. Why is that? As soon as you look at international brokers, you will find much cheaper and better alternatives. For my investing, I decided to go with Interactive Brokers. So, we should compare both platforms.

Interactive Brokers is a much larger broker, with many more customers and better established. Both are appropriately regulated and protected.

Both brokers have zero custody fees! The main difference between these two brokers is comparing the trading fees.

Even on the Swiss Stock Exchange, Interactive Brokers is cheaper (10 CHF against 20 CHF). However, the main difference lies in the American Stock Exchange. For instance, if I buy 10’000 USD of Microsoft shares, I will pay about 0.40 USD on IB. On Cornèrtrader, this would cost me 12 USD with the cheaper Capital account. In this example, IB is 30 times cheaper than Cornèrtrader!

Finally, currency exchange at IB costs about 2 USD, while it costs 0.5% at CT. So, unless you convert less than 400 USD, IB will be much better at converting money.

In addition, since IB is a foreign broker, you will not pay the Swiss Stamp tax. With IB, you save 0.075% on each Swiss operation and 0.15% on each foreign operation.

Overall, I believe IB has too many advantages to pass on. I save a lot of money every year by using IB. The only advantage of CT over Interactive Brokers is that it is a Swiss broker, and your money is in Switzerland.

Cornèrtrader vs Swissquote

Best Swiss Broker
Swissquote
4.5
Very affordable

Everything you need to start investing in the stock market! Open an account with Swissquote and get 100 CHF in trading credits with my code MKT_THEPOORSWISS.

Pros:
  • Swiss broker
  • Easy to use
Invest with MKT_THEPOORSWISS code Read Our Review
The MKT_THEPOORSWISS code is only valid for active Swiss accounts.

Another well-known Swiss broker is Swissquote. So, we can quickly compare Cornèrtrader and Swissquote.

These two brokers are very similar in terms of features and are both Swiss brokers.

Overall, Cornèrtrader is cheaper than Swissquote:

  • SQ has some custody fees, while Cornèrtrader has none
  • SQ has 0.95% currency conversion fees, while CT has 0.50%

As for trading fees, it depends on what you trade. They are pretty similar, being cheaper in different areas. But in most cases, CT will be cheaper.

On the other hand, SQ is more established in Switzerland and has many more users. And they also have a good reputation. I trust SQ more than CT with their execution. But note that I am using neither at this time.

If I were to use a Swiss broker, it would be for extra safety. So I feel Swissquote would achieve that goal better than Cornèrtrader. As usual, it is up to you to decide on the balance between price and reputation.

If you want more information, you can read my review of Swissquote.

FAQ

Is CornerTrader regulated?

Yes, CornerBank is regulated in Switzerland by the FINMA

Does CornerTrader have custody fees?

No, Corner Trader does not have any custody fee.

Does CornerTrader has an inactivity fee?

Yes, it has an inactivity fee of 10 CHF per quarter, if you do not make a trade during a given quarter.

What is Cornèrtrader good for?

Cornèrtrader is good for Swiss investors that want to use a Swiss broker and want decent fees.

What is Cornèrtrader not good for?

Cornèrtrader is not the cheapest Swiss broker and has a mixed reputation. It may not be great if you want a very well established broker or if you want the cheapest broker available.

Cornèrtrader Summary

3.5/5
CornerTrader

CornerTrader is one of the most affordable Swiss brokers. They offer many investing instruments at a fair price.

Product Brand: CornerTrader

Editor's Rating:
3.5

CornerTrader Pros

Let's summarize the main advantages of CornerTrader:

  • No custody fees
  • Well established broker
  • Relatively good trading fees for large transactions
  • The Best currency conversion fee among Swiss brokers

CornerTrader Cons

Let's summarize the main disadvantages of CornerTrader:

  • A small number of users
  • Mixed reputation
  • Inactivity fee if you do not one investment per quarter
  • Expensive trading fees for small transactions
  • It may take a few days to open an account
  • Communication may be improved

Conclusion

Overall, Cornèrtrader is a cheap Swiss Broker. They offer access to many investing instruments on many stock exchanges. In terms of prices, they compare very well with other Swiss brokers.

If you are looking for a Swiss broker, Cornèrtrader is a good candidate. However, you must be careful about the price of small transactions, which can be costly with this broker. Also, they have relatively few users compared to some other brokers, so some people may want to use a better-established broker. Finally, the reviews of this broker are very mixed, with many dissatisfied users. So, it is something to consider.

Now, do I recommend Cornèrtrader to Swiss investors? Not really. Compared to international brokers, Cornèrtrader is much more expensive (an order of magnitude). Therefore, I still recommend Interactive Brokers as the best broker for Swiss investors. However, if you only want to consider Swiss brokers, Cornèrtrader is a good broker.

If you are interested in Swiss brokers, I compared the best Swiss brokers. This comparison should help you choose, but you must know the cost differences between Swiss and foreign brokers. The only other good Swiss broker alternative is Swissquote. You can read my review of Swissquote for more information.

What about you? What do you think of Cornèrtrader?

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Photo of Baptiste Wicht

Baptiste Wicht started thepoorswiss.com in 2017. He realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. Since 2019, he has been saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

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4 thoughts on “Cornèrtrader Review 2024 – Cheapest Swiss broker”

  1. Hi,
    I am currently one of clients of SAXO but considering to change a broker.

    Thanks for a good comparison but frankly speaking, you recon Interactive Brokers is far better than CornerTrader in terms of sorts of fees for long term?

    Do you feel any disadvantages to trade with a broker outside of Swiss?

    1. Hi Yuji,

      Yes, it’s much better than CT in terms of fees. You will save on transaction fees and currency conversion fees.
      I do not feel there is much of a disadvantage. I feel like IB is well regulated. But some people believe there is much more risk due to different regulations.

  2. > Corner Bank has an excellent reputation in Switzerland.

    I would disagree on the “excellent” and would say they have rather a “cheap” reputation. Of course it gets the job done but it’s not really a bank you wanna work with.

    1. Hi,

      I have tried to find reviews or comments about Corner Bank but I have not found any that came with a “cheap” reputation. I have read good things about the reputation. Do you have any source or any personal experience with that?

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