which bank is the cheapest?

Investing in European stocks via a PEA opened in your bank, how much is the cost, and which establishment is the most competitive? MoneyVox compared the rates of 120 banks to get the answer.

With more than 100 billion euros of investments in securities managed in equity savings plans (PEA) in 2022, investment on European stock exchanges represents numerous transactions each year. Every day, on Euronext, the leading stock exchange platform in the euro zone, nearly 7 billion euros are exchanged in transactions on the stock markets. Thus, more than 80% of French people place their orders on this stock market.

At a time when the CAC40 is going from record to record, MoneyVox wanted to compare how much does it cost to invest in the stock market on Euronext via a PEA opened in a bank (brokers and neo-brokers such as Bourse Direct, DEGIRO, etc. are therefore excluded). The rates of 120 French banks, traditional and online, from our database, were therefore scrutinized and a classification was established according to three different investor profiles. The PEA allows you to benefit from advantageous taxation after 5 years of holding, unlike the securities account, it was favored for the purchase of shares of European companies.

Our first typical profile is that of a stock marketer who realizes two transactions of 200 euros each month, and whose portfolio, made up of 9 lines of 1600 euros, is valued at 14,400 euros at the end of the year. The second performs 5 stock market orders per month, of 500 euros each. Its PEA includes 20 lines of 4,500 euros, for a total of 90,000 euros. Finally, the third profile, very active and wealthy, carries out 15 transactions of 1000 euros every month. The annual valuation of its portfolio climbs 540,000 euros, with 40 lines of 13,500 euros. The transaction fees, for carrying out stock market orders online, and the custody fees, i.e. the cost of maintaining the PEA, were therefore compared.

Cheaper online banks, Fortuneo stands out

As with current accounts, online banks are often less expensive than their traditional counterparts, because the dematerialization of their structures and procedures allows them to reduce their costs. In fact, most do not charge any custody fees or fixed fees for maintaining the account or plan, nor any annual subscription. Even though their offers remain just as comprehensive as in a traditional bankwith several envelopes available (securities account, PEA, PEA-PME, etc.), and wide ranges of funds: stocks, bonds, UCITS, SCPI, SCI, ETF, etc.

All profiles combined, one online bank stands out from the others: Fortuneo, from the Crdit Mutuel Arka group. The online bank carried out an overhaul of its stock market pricing at the start of March 2024, with competitive fees which make it the least expensive bank out of our three profiles. Thus, our first profile will not have to pay only 8.40 euros per yearalmost three times less than with the closest competitors, BoursoBank and the banks of the CM-CIC group (including Monabanq), and their annual 24 euros.

Same observation for our second trader, who will settle a annual note of 84 euros at Fortuneo, compared to 119.40 euros at BoursoBank, or 150 euros at CM-CIC establishments. The gap widens even further for our third investor, who will be charged 630 euros at Fortuneoand 900 euros at BoursoBank, CIC, Crdit Mutuel Alliance fédérale or even Monabanq.

BankProfile 1BankProfile 2BankProfile 3
4Credit Mutuel
Federal Alliance
24CM Alliance
150CM Alliance
6BP Auvergne
Rhne Alpes
42.81BP Auvergne
Rhne Alpes
220.50CE Brittany
Loire Country
7BP Val de France49.65BRED BP
242.80CE Rhne Alpes1046
8BP Alsace Lorraine
57.12BP Val de
9CA Guyana60Hello bank!285CA North of France1100
10CA Martinique60CE Ile-de-France286LCL1100
120BFCOI of
the meeting
359.28BP North1690BP North9740
Average 120 banks92.38Average425.70Average1538.53

In more detail, the establishments in the lead (Fortuneo, BoursoBank, CM-CIC, etc.) stand out because they do not charge any custody fees, only transaction fees. Therefore, even if the cost of stock market orders may be higher, the total bill is systematically less heavy than with invoicing for maintaining the PEA. For example, BoursoBank, Monabanq, and CIC charge 24 euros for orders in our first profile, compared to 16.80 euros at Caisse d’Epargne Bretagne Pays de Loire, or 23.04 euros at Crdit Agricole Franche-Comt. On the other hand, these two banks charge 86.76 euros and 90.90 euros respectively in custody fees, causing the note to jump. It is therefore essential to take into account all the operating costs of the PEA to properly compare establishments.

Transaction fees
BankProfile 1BankProfile 2BankProfile 3
2CE Brittany Country
from Loire
16.80CE Brittany Country
from Loire
105CE Brittany Country
from Loire
3Palatine Bank16.80Palatine Bank105Palatine Bank630
4BRED BP Guyana19.92Hello bank!105Hello bank!630
5CE Rhne Alpes20.16BoursoBank119.40BRED BP Guyana750.60
6BRED BP Mayotte21.12BRED BP Guyana125.40CE Rhne Alpes756
7BRED BP Martinique,
Guadeloupe, The
22.80CE Rhne Alpes126BRED BP Mayotte788.40
8CA Franche-Comt,
CA Brie Picardy
23.04BRED BP Mayotte131.40BRED BP
The Meeting
9CA Loire Haute-Loire,
CA Center France,
Bank Chalus
23.28BRED BP Martinique,
Guadeloupe, The
142.80CA Franche-Comt,
CA Brie Picardy
10Hello bank!, BoursoBank,
24CA Franche-Comt,
CA Brie Picardy
144CA Loire Haute-Loire873
120BFCOI of Reunion306BFCOI of Reunion765BFCOI of Reunion2295
Average 120 banks27.71Average156.35Average907.79
Custody rights
BankProfile 1BankProfile 2BankProfile 3
3CM-CIC, MonabanqFreeCM-CIC, MonabanqFreeCM-CIC, MonabanqFree
4BP Auvergne Rhne
18.81BP Auvergne Rhne
70.50BRED BP Martinique200
5BP Val de France25.65BRED BP Martinique100CA North of France200
6BP Alsace Lorraine
33.12BP Val de France115LCL200
7CA Guyana, CA
36CE le-de-France136CA Toulouse 31204
8CE Midi-Pyrnes41.76CCF (formerly HSBC)158CA La Runion220
9CCF (formerly HSBC)44.10Bank of Savoy158BP Auvergne Rhne
10BRED BP Martinique45LBP Guyana-Mayotte
169.80CA Anjou Maine250
120BP North275.40BP North1540BP North8840
Average 120 banks64.68Average269.35Average630.74

A widely used price cap

Since July 1, 2020, the fees relating to PEA and PEA-PME, with regard to their opening, their maintenance and the transactions carried out therein, are capped by law. Consequently, custody fees cannot exceed 0.40% annually of the value of the securities held. However, fees per line may be added, up to a maximum of 5 euros per line (for listed titles). Transaction fees are capped at 0.50% of the order amount, if they are carried out online.

Regarding transaction fees, more than 100 banks out of 120 apply the maximum, i.e. the cap rate. This represents 24 euros for our first profile, 150 euros for the second, and 900 euros for the third, well beyond the total prices, including custody fees, that Fortuneo offers. When it comes to custody fees, the trend is reversed, however, with more reasonable banks: only around twenty charge ceiling rates.


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