The best financial services for your money!

Download this e-book and optimize your finances and save money by using the best financial services available in Switzerland!

Download The FREE e-book

Saxo vs Swissquote 2024 – Which is the best Swiss broker?

Baptiste Wicht | Updated: |

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

Swissquote is one of the most well-known brokers available in Switzerland. And Saxo, while being less known, is a massive broker, with an entity in Switzerland as well.

So, which one should you use? What are the differences between these two brokers? In this article, I review Saxo vs Swissquote in depth. We will see when you should use one over the other. By the end of this comparison, you will know whether Saxo or Swissquote is for you.

Saxo

Saxo Bank (or Saxo for short) is an investment bank, founded in 1992. They have more than a million customers, and they operate in 28 different countries.

Saxo is a private company from Denmark. However, they have an entity in Switzerland (Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd). This entity is a licensed Swiss bank. As such, Saxo is subject to the same rules as any other Swiss broker. Therefore, I consider it on the same level as a Swiss broker, but some people may argue that it is a Swiss-regulated broker.

In 2024, Saxo has greatly reduced its fees in Switzerland. While they were an expensive broker before, they are now a very interesting candidate for Swiss investors.

For additional information, you can read my review of Saxo.

Swissquote

Swissquote is the Swiss broker with the highest number of users in Switzerland. As of 2024, they have more than half a million customers. Swissquote is quite profitable and is traded on the Swiss Stock Exchange.

Swissquote was established in 1996 alright. As of 2024, they have more than a thousand employees.

On top of the investing features we will focus on in this article, they also have a banking license and have banking packages.

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

Features – Saxo vs Swissquote

Draw

Let’s start by comparing the investing features of these brokers. I will only focus on the stock market investing features and not on the other banking features.

Both brokers will provide you with access to the most used stock market instruments:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • and more

Since I only recommend people use stocks, bonds and ETFs, I think that both brokers have more than enough investing instruments for people.

They are both advanced brokers and will let you trade from a browser, from the desktop or from your phone. You can also use many stock market order types such as market and limit orders. And, they will both support more order types, but again, people rarely need them.

Neither of these brokers lend your shares by default. And both allow you to lend your shares and share the profits with you.

One very slight advantage to Swissquote is that it fully supports Italian, while Saxo bank only supports it in the app but not in the onboarding and website.

Another slight advantage of Swissquote is that they let you register shares in your name. If you want to register shares to attend shareholder meetings or to get some shareholder swags, you may want to consider that.

Overall, both brokers have all the features you need to implement a simple index investing strategy.

Access to US ETFs

Winner: Swissquote

As a Swiss investor, US ETFs are the best ETFs available. So, if you want to optimize your portfolio to the maximum, you should use a broker that offers them. While European investors lost the ability to invest in US ETFs, Swiss investors still have this ability because the Swiss regulations are more lax than the EU regulations.

Unfortunately, Saxo does not offer US ETFs to Swiss investors. For that, they follow the FINSA requirements of only providing ETFs with a Swiss Key Investor Document (KID) to their private investors.

Swissquote on the other hand, provides access to US ETFs, by following the execution-only rule, meaning they cannot advertise the ETF, but people can invest in it.

This gives a significant advantage to Swissquote over Saxo.

Fees – Saxo vs Swissquote

Winner: Saxo

When you are investing in the stock market, it is essential to look at fees because reducing fees is a direct way to increase our returns. So, we will look in detail at all the fees of Saxo vs Swissquote.

First, we can look at custody fees. This is a fee paid each year, based on the amount in your portfolio. Saxo has a yearly 0.22% custody fee, capped at 10 CHF per month (120 CHF per year). Swissquote has a 0.025% quarterly custody, with a quarterly cap of 50 CHF (200 CHF per year).

Moreover, Swissquote has an extra 0.03% on assets above one million. So, Swissquote is pricier than Saxo for custody fees.

Saxo vs Swissquote Transaction Fees
Saxo vs Swissquote Transaction Fees

We should then look at transaction fees. I have put a few examples on the graph for a few operations on SIX, Euronext Paris and NYSE, the stock exchanges that interest us the most. This graph paints a clear picture of the difference of the fees. We can see that Saxo is much cheaper than Swissquote for transactions.

Both brokers will incur the same Swiss stamp tax duty.

Finally, we should not forget to look at currency conversion fees. Swissquote has a 0.95% currency conversion fee. Saxo only has a 0.25% conversion fee. So, Saxo is much cheaper than Swissquote for currency conversions.

Overall, Saxo is significantly cheaper than Swissquote on all counts.

US ETFs or Low Fees

Draw

We have noted that Saxo has significantly lower fees than Swissquote. On the other hand, Swissquote offers access to US ETFs. So, we will run a few scenarios to see the difference in total fees between Saxo vs Swissquote.

The advantage of a US ETF is saving money on dividends. We can assume a 2% dividend yield for US stocks (more or less the average these last years). If you hold your US stocks with a non-US ETF, you will lose 15% of these dividends. This is basically a 0.3% fee on your ETFs.

First, we see what happens if you invest 200 USD per month and have different amounts of USD in their portfolio.

Saxo vs Swissquote Total Fees - 200 USD per month
Saxo vs Swissquote Total Fees - 200 USD per month

The results are already interested in this case. Until you reach a large portfolio, Saxo is significantly cheaper than Swissquote. After your portfolio reaches 50’000 CHF, Swissquote will be cheaper because of what you lose with US ETFs.

We can see what happens with 1000 USD per month in investments.

Saxo vs Swissquote Total Fees - 1000 USD per month
Saxo vs Swissquote Total Fees - 1000 USD per month

These results are quite consistent with the previous results. However, the difference is smaller with a 50K portfolio because the transaction fees for investing are much lower at Saxo.

We can continue with 2000 USD invested per month:

Saxo vs Swissquote Total Fees - 2000 USD per month
Saxo vs Swissquote Total Fees - 2000 USD per month

These results are quite interesting because in this case, Saxo is always cheaper than Swissquote. Indeed, at this point, the lower transactions fees of Saxo are more interesting than the extra tax efficiency of Swissquote.

We can do it once again with 5000 USD per month:

Saxo vs Swissquote Total Fees - 5000 USD per month
Saxo vs Swissquote Total Fees - 5000 USD per month

Starting at around 250k portfolio, Swissquote is cheaper than Saxo.

Overall, it all comes down to how high your goal is. If you are aiming for something really high (several hundreds of thousands or even millions), the lack of US ETFs will outweigh the cheap transaction costs. But if you do not a very high goal, Saxo will be very interesting because you can save a lot in fees each year.

Security

Draw

The security of your investments is crucial. Therefore, we must look at the security of Saxo vs Swissquote.

Both brokers are regulated in Switzerland, so they have to obey the same rules. This gives them the same level of safety (unless there is fraud involved, which we cannot really control).

Both brokers are quite profitable, large, and well established. It seems unlikely that any of them would bankrupt soon.

Overall, I think that Saxo and Swissquote have the same level of security.

Reputation

Draw

The reputation of a broker is also interesting to look at because it tells us how it works in practice for their users. We still need to be careful about this because most users are very subjective, and many reviews are very emotion-driven. So, we will see what users think of Saxo vs Swissquote.

Overall, I think both brokers have more or less the same reputation from what I heard from people directly. Most people are happy about them, but there are people who complain about them.

We can also look at their result on Trustpilot. This is not a perfect source of information, but it is the best we have. Swissquote gets a 3.6 rating out of 5 while Saxo gets a 3.7 rating.

When we look at the negative reviews, most of them (for both brokers) are about the customer service. This is generally (and unfortunately) quite common that large financial services cannot keep up with customer service.

When we look at the positive reviews, people mention that Swissquote is excellent at execution and trustworthy. With Saxo, people mostly mention the ease of use of the platform as well as good customer service.

Overall, the reputation of both brokers seems to be on the same level. They have very typical reviews compared to other brokers.

Summary – Saxo vs Swissquote

Draw

We can make a summary table of Saxo vs Swissquote:

Cheapest Swiss Broker
Best Swiss Broker
4.5
4.5
Extremely affordable
Affordable
  • Swiss-regulated broker
  • Low transaction fees
  • Low currency conversion fee
  • Good execution
  • Easy to use
  • Swiss broker
  • Access to US ETFs
  • Good execution
  • Easy to use
  • No access to US ETFs
  • Expensive currency conversion
  • Relatively expensive transaction fees

(Swiss residents using my link get 200 CHF in trading credits)

(Swiss residents using MKT_THEPOORSWISS code get 100 CHF in trading credits)

Cheapest Swiss Broker
4.5
Extremely affordable
  • Swiss-regulated broker
  • Low transaction fees
  • Low currency conversion fee
  • Good execution
  • Easy to use
  • No access to US ETFs

(Swiss residents using my link get 200 CHF in trading credits)

Best Swiss Broker
4.5
Affordable
  • Swiss broker
  • Access to US ETFs
  • Good execution
  • Easy to use
  • Expensive currency conversion
  • Relatively expensive transaction fees

(Swiss residents using MKT_THEPOORSWISS code get 100 CHF in trading credits)

We can draw a few conclusions for Saxo vs Swissquote:

  1. Swissquote provides you with access to US ETFs.
  2. Saxo has much cheaper currency conversions.
  3. Both are good brokers with good reputation.
  4. Saxo has cheaper transaction fees.
  5. Both brokers have good execution.

Conclusion

Both brokers have value for Swiss investors. Saxo offers significantly cheaper transactions and currency conversions. But Swissquote offers access to US ETFs.

For me, the choice between Saxo vs Swissquote boils down to a few points:

  • If you have a high target goal (above 250’000 CHF), use Swissquote to profit from US ETFs.
  • If you would rather not use US ETFs, use Saxo.
  • If you want a broker entirely from Switzerland, use Swissquote.
  • If you only plan to trade Swiss stocks or ETFs, use Saxo.

Personally, since my goal is high (for financial independence) I would use Swissquote, but Saxo is great if you are getting started or do not want to use US ETFs.

As usual, I should mention that I am using neither of these brokers. I believe that Interactive Brokers is the best broker available to Swiss investors. However, many people would rather not use a foreign broker. As a result, it is important for them to use the best available Swiss broker.

What about you? Do you prefer Saxo or Swissquote?

The best financial services for your money!

Download this e-book and optimize your finances and save money by using the best financial services available in Switzerland!

Download The FREE e-book
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.

Recommended reading

10 thoughts on “Saxo vs Swissquote 2024 – Which is the best Swiss broker?”

  1. Hi, thanks for the always insightful analysis.
    Regarding US ETFs, I noticed that with Swissquote if you try to buy it via mobile app, you get a warning message indicating that NACH funds can only be distributed in Switzerland to qualified investors – to transact you have to accept the Ts&Cs they outline. You don’t get that when trying to buy via the web application.
    Is it the same as you describe on your post?

    1. Hi Herbert

      Normally, you should get the same warning on the web application. But maybe you get the warning only once and then it goes away.
      I think it’s only because they are not allowed to advertise this product, but only execute orders on it and they have to be legally careful. I would not worry about it.

  2. Swissquote has also special offers with lower fees for special ETFs and bundle offers where you buy several future trades in one go. If you buy every month, I believe this would significantly reduce the transaction fees, especially if trades are on the larger size. Drawback is they expire after a year if not used. Overall full agreement though, their transaction fees are still very much on the high end compared to Interactive Brokers and now, it seems, also Saxo. Perhaps the competition will help. As always, many thanks for your insights and the great article.

    1. Hi Joerg,

      Thanks! These packages are interesting for active traders. As you said, they expire after 12 months. If you trade once a month only like I recommend, they are not that interesting unless you trade huge amount per month.
      I will mention these in my review of Swissquote, because they can be interesting.

      1. Hi Baptiste,

        The bundle is not just good for active traders (if good is allowed in this context) even though they are advertized this way. As you say, it can be worth it if one invests every month and if the amount is high enough. I have tried them also when I had to rebalance several positions but hated the expiry date pushing you to trade often or lose out. Generally, these fee systems seem to be designed in a way that every answer to a ‘What is better’ question necessarily starts with an ‘It depends on’. Thanks again for bringing some light into the jungle.

  3. You did not say anything about deposit costs, where SAXO is cheaper (120 CHF). Swissquote has 200 Chf until 1 Mio, and above 1 Mio there are supplementary costs of 0.03%. Maybe Swissquote will adapt their pricing features….

Leave a Reply

Your comment may not appear instantly since it has to go through moderation. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *