What Is A Depot?

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Trading stocks, buying bonds or fund units – that is only possible with a securities account. Especially now in times of low interest rates, the stock market is a sensible alternative to traditional asset accumulation. To get into stock trading, you have to open your own account beforehand. Here you can find out everything you need to know about the securities account.

What is a securities account?

A securities account is practically an account for securities. Shares, bonds, ETFs, shares in investment funds, etc. can be managed, bought and sold via the depot. Thus, the securities account is a prerequisite for trading in securities.

A securities account is comparable to a current account. While the current account gives you the opportunity to participate in payment transactions, you can trade securities with a securities account. Your custody account is also the place where you centrally manage all of your securities. Depots are predominantly digital today. This also applies to trading in securities, which is carried out over the Internet at trading venues around the world.

If you want to buy shares or other securities, place your buy or sell order through your securities account. The custodian bank executes this order for you as a broker via a clearing account. It buys or sells securities on your behalf via the trading systems of the respective stock exchanges. If you buy securities, the amount required will be debited from your reference account, a current account or a clearing account. If you sell securities, the proceeds are paid to a reference account.

Settlement account vs. current account

A current account is your prerequisite for participating in cashless payment transactions. For this you use the giro card (debit card), among other things. The clearing account, on the other hand, is only used for securities trading. Payment from a clearing account can only be made to a specified reference account.

Where can I open a depot?

… that the term “depot” comes from French and means “warehouse”? In the past, the “depository” for securities was actually a real small warehouse in a bank. The securities were kept safe there. Today, securities accounts are predominantly digital and, in addition to the administration of securities, also offer the possibility of participating in securities trading. You can open a securities account today at any bank that offers such a product for its customers. In the case of branch banks, the custody account is usually opened on site in a bank branch.

The advantage of online securities trading is that you have access to your securities account at any time, regardless of where you are, and that you can trade shares and other securities around the world during business hours.

Another advantage of the online custody account: Due to the lower administrative effort, direct banks like us can offer you the custody account at very favorable conditions. In the first three years, for example, you do not pay us any fees for keeping a custody account.

Which securities can I trade with a securities account?

With a securities account you have the opportunity to buy and sell not only shares, but also other securities. These include bonds, shares in investment funds, ETFs, options and futures.

The portfolio can be individually tailored to your investment objective by selecting the respective asset classes and securities.


  • Order: An order (also called a trade) is an order to buy or sell securities. The broker who is responsible for your securities account receives this order. Depending on whether the order concerns domestic or foreign securities, the term domestic or foreign order is used. Fees are due for each order, depending on the portfolio model.
  • Order fee: If you place an order with your securities account , a fee will be charged. The commission consists of a basic fee and a fee that depends on the stock exchange.
  • Broker: A broker accepts orders from customers to buy or sell securities on the stock exchange. For private customers, the broker is usually the custodian bank.
  • Sales charge: It is one-time fee that is payable when purchasing investment fund shares. And the fee is just based on the amount of the redemption price and serves to cover the distribution costs of the fund.
  • Limit: With a limit, share buyers can specify a price at which the share should be sold or bought.

What are the custody account costs?

There are fees associated with the sale and purchase of securities. On the one hand, so-called deposit fees are possible. These are comparable to charges for a current account. The custodian bank thus covers part of the administrative costs.

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