In a Financial Times article on the 24th of April 2023, BETTER FINANCE commented on the rise of self-directed investment and ETF savings plans in the EU. Neobrokers like Trade Republic, Scalable Capital, and Bux are driving the adoption of ETFs by European investors, offering lower costs, improved accessibility, and attracting new participants. BlackRock estimates 10 million new investors will use its ETFs in Europe in the next decade. However, in countries like France, these changes may lead to higher fees for retail investors. BETTER FINANCE found that unit-linked life insurance, providing exposure to various assets including ETFs, underperforms euro funds due to annual commissions and fees. These fees, undisclosed by the industry and regulators, hinder small investors from making accurate calculations. Regulators must ensure transparency from digital platforms on their revenue sources, including platform fees, trade spreads, and "payment for order flow."
More information on intermediation fees in France can be found here.