A recent surge in cryptocurrency trading has created a new type of investor. Something that can’t sleep, cannot eat, and has a checking account that’s empty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
FlowBank Review 2021 – Pros And Cons
Stash-the-cash is a trading-researching blog, and in this article, we are going to review a product called “FlowBank”. We are going to be reviewing this product because it is supposed to be a trading tool that will allow users to create reports and trade based on them. And, we are also going to be reviewing this product because it is a new product that seems to be doing well and could be worth looking at. So, we think that it’s worth reviewing.
(Disclosure: some of the links below may be affiliate links).
FlowBank is a new Swiss digital financial services provider that was publicly unveiled in late 2020. They don’t want to be just a bank, but a full-fledged brokerage firm. You can keep your money and your shares in one place.
FlowBank presents itself as an innovative digital banking platform that will make transactions in Switzerland more affordable. On paper, it sounds exciting. The investment functions are now ready, while the banking functions are not yet fully ready.
Let’s take a look at it in this in-depth review.
FlowBank was founded in 2020 by Charles-Henri Sabeth. They officially began their public service in November 2020. FlowBank is an officially recognised Swiss bank. This license is a good thing, because it means we have the protection of the Swiss banks. And interestingly, this is the first bank to be licensed since 2009. There are already 90 people working in Geneva.
FlowBank wants to make online banking and business easier and more accessible for everyone. They offer a multi-currency bank account and a securities account.
Their concept is to be seriously simple, seriously bankable and seriously Swiss. I don’t know exactly what that means, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
FlowBank offers 24-hour customer service five days a week. It is good to know that this service is based in Switzerland. I contacted customer service several times for information and they responded well.
Information about bank transactions with them has not yet been definitively clarified. Indeed, the proposal itself is not yet ready. Here’s what we can learn about banking functions. You can own multiple currencies and pay online with a virtual card. But bank fees are very unclear. My interpretation of the map is as follows:
- Transferring money to your account is free.
- Transferring money from an account is not free
- The cost of a transfer in CHF or EUR to Switzerland or Liechtenstein is CHF 2.
- A transfer abroad of Swiss francs costs at least 10 francs.
- Transferring euros to a foreign country costs at least 10 francs.
This is an expensive fee for thebank. If you can’t withdraw money from your account for free, it’s an unacceptable bank account. These commissions make the account only valid as a trading account, since you won’t want to withdraw money often.
You do not currently have a physical card. But a physical version is planned for the first quarter of 2021. The website also gives no details on how much the physical card will cost, or when it will be available. So we’ll have to wait and see on that part.
I spoke to the FlowBank team about this and they told me that they currently want to focus on trading this system. The information on the website about banking services is therefore not complete, nor are the rates. Therefore, future price changes for banking functions are to be expected.
However, the website contains a lot of information about their trading system. Therefore, I will focus on this aspect in this review.
As mentioned earlier, FlowBank offers many trading opportunities. You have two different products:
- FlowBank application
- FlowBank Pro
The FlowBank application is made for simple investors and beginners. It is only available on mobile devices. You can get an idea of the FlowBank app by watching their video:
Flow BankPro is designed for experienced investors. FlowBank Pro is available in several versions:
- Desktop application for Windows, Mac and Linux
- Mobile application for Android and iOS
- Web application
It’s great to be able to trade s from so many platforms with one application.
FlowBank Trading Application – FlowBank Pro
You can trade in many instruments:
- Equities, bonds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Options and futures
- Raw materials
- Contracts for Differences (CFD)
That’s a lot of instruments, but any good passive investor will disregard anything that isn’t a stock, bond or ETF. I do not recommend the use of CFDs in particular.
You can buy and sell shares with standard market, limit and loss orders for the underlying instruments. These orders are all we need to trade!
An interesting feature of is the ability to swap fractions ofunits. This is not possible with most Swiss brokers. This may be of interest to you if you want to buy shares in quality companies. However, this is not specific to ETFs.
The application has many additional features:
- Price Warnings
- Improved reporting
- Binding testers
- Monitoring of margins
Overall, FlowBank has more than enough opportunities to trade. They have applications for both retail and active investors. I like that they try to be easy to use for beginners.
For passive investors, investment costs are very high. So we have to look at their costs.
There are no maintenance costs for the account. However, there is an annual custody fee of 0.10%. This fee is payable quarterly (0.025% per quarter). At least CHF 10 per quarter (or at least CHF 40 per year). The maximum amount is CHF 50 per quarter (i.e. a maximum of CHF 200 per year).
While 0.10% seems like a lot, CHF 40 per year is not unreasonable for small portfolios. And at a maximum of CHF 200 per year, this would be very low, even for large portfolios. This is a good custody fee compared to Swiss brokers. So I don’t think this storage cost will be an issue for most users.
Please note that the custody fee does not apply to your bank deposits, but only to your business deposits (as long as they offer their banking services).
The commissions for stocks and ETFs are the same. For example, these fees are different for each scholarship:
- SIX (Switzerland): 0,10 % with a minimum of CHF 6,50
- Euronext (Europe): 0.15 with a minimum of € 6.50.
- NYSE (US) : 0.15% with a minimum of USD 6.50
The good thing is that the minimum rates are low! This minimum commitment means you can trade many ETFs with less than CHF 7!
FlowBank supports many other exchanges with similar awards. More information can be found on their pricing page.
For bonds, the commission is 0.20% with a minimum amount of CHF 50. This is not good. But most investors don’t buy bonds directly anyway. Instead, they use bond ETFs, which will be cheaper.
I won’t go into detail about the other tools, because I don’t recommend using them anyway. However, we are also interested in selling on the foreign exchange market.
Currencies are also relatively expensive, with conversion costs of 0.5%. If you want to buy ETFs in US dollars, you have to pay a conversion fee of 0.5% and then an additional fee. For a Swiss broker this is relatively cheap.
In general, I think these fees are pretty good. They are very profitable for small businesses because the minimum amounts involved are low. And the big deals should go smoothly with low interest rates.
We can take a look at FlowBank’s security.
Firstly, FlowBank is a bank licensed by FINMA and a member of esisuisse (the Swiss deposit guarantee scheme). This means that your money is protected up to CHF 100,000 in the event of bankruptcy.
As far as your shares are concerned, your investments should be disconnected from the basic FlowBank structure. Every broker makes such a separation. But I couldn’t find any reference to it, not even on the website. I’m sure they do, but it would be better to document it on their website.
FlowBank applications appear to be technically safe. To create an account, you need to upload some official documents to verify your identity.
I have not found any information about privacy violations or security breaches in FlowBank. But since they are very recent, it doesn’t matter much on the balance sheet.
Overall, FlowBank’s security seems to be satisfactory. I wish they would talk about it more on the website.
Benefits of FlowBank
FlowBank has a number of interesting advantages:
- Very low transaction costs
- Relatively low exchange costs
- It is an authorised bank, so your money is safe up to CHF 100,000.
- Reasonable storage costs for all portfolios
- Allow trading of negligible shares
- Easy to use
- You can trade on many platforms
- You have a demo account to test the system.
- A very responsive customer service
Vulnerabilities in FlowBank
FlowBank has a few drawbacks:
- They are very new on the market
- Currently, we don’t know enough about their bank offerings.
It is good to see new digital banks and new products to make the Swiss market more affordable. And I think it’s also useful to try to facilitate investment. Most Swiss do not invest and could benefit from a simple investment app.
As a trading account, FlowBank is really interesting. They have simple trading applications designed to make life easier for investors. They also have very low minimum stakes, so you can start trading without paying too many commissions. They also have very reasonable guardianship rates.
I have not yet compared FlowBank with other Swiss brokers, but I will do so soon. It seems to me that FlowBank is a very serious competitor to these other Swiss brokers. I think it’s good to see some movement on this.
If you want to invest with a Swiss broker, FlowBank can be an interesting choice. If you need more options, you can check out my articles on the best Swiss brokers. I will update it soon and include FlowBank.
In the future FlowBank will offer banking functions in addition to its investment functions, but for the time being it only offers investment functions. Once that is the case, I will review their bank features and compare them to other banks.
If you don’t mind using a foreign broker, I still recommend using Interactive Brokers, as I do.
If you’ve already tried FlowBank, I’d love to know what you think of it.
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Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Poor Swiss is the author of thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized he was caught up in lifestyle inflation. He decided to reduce his expenses and increase his income. This blog tells his story and his conclusions. In 2019, he set aside more than 50% of his income. His goal is to become financially independent. Here you can send a message to Mr. Send Bad Swiss.Flowbank is a new kind of bank account to help you manage your money better. As a Flowbank user, you can: – Leverage on the 100% money back guarantee. – Get the best interest rates. – Avoid fees. – Access your money anytime, from anywhere. – Get the best rewards.. Read more about charles-henri sabet and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Should I use swissquote?
Swissquote is a Swiss company and is not regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
How reliable is swissquote?
Swissquote is a reliable company.
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