wave of its successful foray into fractional shares, Polish-based brokerage XTB
is setting its sights on a new frontier: passive investments based on global
exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Initially tested in Romania with promising
results, the service will debut in Portugal and Slovakia today (Monday). Omar
Arnaout, the CEO of the publicly-listed fintech, has revealed plans to roll out
the offering to additional European markets later in the year.
XTB Introduces ‘Investment
Plans’, Recurring Payments in Line
implementing fractional shares in European markets this spring, which were
warmly received by retail investors, XTB has presented another product
innovation called ‘Investment Plans’. Finance Magnates reported a few
months ago that XTB is preparing to launch savings products in 2023, reaching a
wider audience than contracts for difference (CFD), with which the broker was originally
information we exclusively received, it appears that the new offer is launching
this month. Just a few hours after the publication of this article, it will
officially be presented in Slovakia and Portugal. The choice of these countries
is not accidental.
As Arnaout digs
deeper into his company’s internal data, in Romania, three out of five XTB
clients invested their funds in ETFs during 2022. In Slovakia, the popularity
of these funds is also growing, and a year ago, every third retail investor
used them. As for Portugal, only 19% of clients were interested in ETFs in 2021;
now it is almost 50%.
rationale behind choosing the initial countries is simple – we selected those
markets where XTB clients invest in ETFs most frequently. Overall, we plan to
offer Investment Plans on all our European markets and our technology team is
working hard to make it happen this year,” Arnaout commented exclusively for
As the CEO
admits, the new product is an opportunity to reach a new group of potential
clients. Moreover, XTB wants to develop its functionality and add the option of
recurring payments later this year.
to this enhancement, investors will be able to automate their payments. This
will make the product even more intuitive, hassle-free, and suitable for
long-term capital allocation,” XTB’s CEO added.
high momentum in acquiring new clients and retaining existing ones, XTB is
constantly looking for new solutions. In the first half of 2023, the company
managed to acquire a record number of 167,000 clients, 65.5% more than the
previous year. The total base of active clients has grown to almost 210,000.
What’s Inside XTB’s ETF
with as little as EUR 15, XTB clients can create up to 10 distinct portfolios,
each containing a maximum of nine exchange-traded funds. The platform currently
offers a selection of over 300 ETFs. Investment Plans simplify the
decision-making process by offering tailored suggestions. These suggestions are
based on various factors such as the type of ETF, its asset composition,
geographical focus, Morningstar ratings, and the plan’s performance history
over the past five years. The full list of available instruments can be found on the broker’s Romanian website.
XTB app, investors have the freedom to specify the exact amount they wish to
invest. The system then automatically allocates these funds based on the
investor’s individual risk tolerance and chosen investment timeframe.
Additionally, these Investment Plans are designed to be flexible; they can be
opened or closed at any given moment, allowing investors to actively manage and
re-allocate their funds as their financial goals evolve.
Plans are suited to cater to the needs of investors looking for ways to invest
their funds but they don’t want to spend too much time doing so. As this
passive product streamlines the process of building an investment
portfolio,” Arnaout explained.
Romania as XTB’s Testing
introduced fractional shares to its offering in the first part of this year, it
started with the Romanian market. It was later introduced to the Czech
Republic, Portugal, and Slovakia, and finally to Poland, Spain, and other
countries. The company’s spokesperson confirmed to Finance Magnates that
Investment Plans were also initially implemented in the Romanian market, making
it a testing ground for fintech solutions before implementing them in more
like a natural move in the case of passive investing based on ETFs. Internal
XTB data shows that of all clients in Europe, ETFs are most popular in Romania.
XTB’s Romanian-language site promoting its Investment Plans offering. Automatically translated into English by Google Translate. Source: XTB
the broker does not disclose what percentage of its revenue comes from
individual countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), only providing
aggregate results focusing on Poland. According to the latest report,
operational revenue in the CEE region (including Romania) exceeded PLN 505
million. Excluding Poland, the revenue in the CEE was PLN 173 million, which is
almost the same as in the entire Western Europe (PLN 191 million).
asked Arnaout if he is not afraid that ETFs in Europe are still a fledgling
product, especially compared to the United States. He believes they may
dominate the market within a few years and repeat the history of fractional
shares. These initially also gained popularity in the United States and then
spread to the rest of the world.
rise in popularity of ETFs in Europe is only a matter of time. Of course, the
US market sets the trends for financial markets worldwide. This was the case,
for instance, with fractional shares, which first appeared there and then
conquered the whole world,” Arnaout concluded.