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The largest stock broker by number of clients

While writing the update on Boom Securities being taken over by Monex, I found a Monex press release that adds some more background to my earlier posts about the estimated stock broker market share in various countries (US, UK, Singapore):

In Japan, Monex, Inc. is an online brokerage firm with a client base of 1.2 million. There are only 8 online brokerage firms around the world that have a client base of over 1 million: TDAmeritrade, Charles Schwab, E*TRADE, and Fidelity in the United States, Cortal Consors in Europe, and SBI Securities, Rakuten Securities, and Monex, Inc. in Japan.

It’s no surprise to see the four US heavyweights on that list (in fact, I think there’s an omission – according to Reuters, Scottrade has 2.5 million accounts) and given the size of the Japanese market, the major players there must also have a significant user base. I’m a little surprised to realise that Cortal Consors has so many clients.

Going through the data quickly, the reported client numbers seem to be the following:

 Number of accounts
Fidelity18m
Charles Schwab6.8m
TD Ameritrade5.5m
E*Trade2.8m
Scottrade2.2m
SBI Securities2.2m
Rakuten Securities1.2m
Monex Group1.2m
Cortal Consors1.1m

The numbers are not entirely consistent. Fidelity’s include mutual fund-only accounts, which must overstate its share of the stock brokerage market. Most firms report the number of accounts, but some – eg Cortal Consors – report the number of clients (one client can have more than one account). And there’s a difference between an account and an active account. But this probably gives a rough idea of the size of the biggest retail brokerages around the world.

Sources: Fidelity, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, E*Trade, Scottrade, Cortal Consors [PDF], SBI Securities, Rakuten Securities [PDF]

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