How does Stock/ETFs/Bonds works in case of account closure?

I want to open a trader account at Degiro/InteractiveBrokers but I’m always afraid one of these institutions will someday close my account.
Let’s say I have a bunch of stocks/ETFs stored in one of these accounts, my account gets closed and they ask me to transfer my assets to another bank/broker. How does this work exactly? With money it’s easy, you have EUR or USD you can just transfer EUR or USD to a bank accepting these currencies by giving your IBAN/ACH number.

But in the case of a Broker, how does it work, how the transfer is supposed to be done? And in the case if I don’t have a Broker to fall back on, will they give me paper stocks or something?
This is really a mystery to me. Thanks for your help.

You don’t have to be afraid, if you link a bank account there is no problem. If you have any doubts you can contact support from these companies. These are very well noted!

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I’m sorry to hijack this thread…

DeGiro has started to do a sweep and asking customers to supply more identification, as part of being bought out by flatex AG a few months ago.

I was nomading in Germany (as a US citizen) and was able to open an account (connected to my N26), very happy with it, and a few months ago, seeing that my mailing address is still German, they asked for Steuernummer (the German SSN - which I stupidly didn’t bother to get). Then I presented my second passport (from a 3rd world country) along with that country’s tax ID, all was good for a month, and then an ultimatum saying “We don’t serve your country! Please close your account by year end!”. And obviously they don’t serve US citizens.

So now I’m hunting for a EU-base brokerage firm. Heard Dukascopy (and possibly Interactive Brokers) won’t “serve my kind” (taking a reference out of Star Wars’ Mos Eisley Cantina scene). I already have Schwab (for my USD investment) so looking for a firm that carry European ETFs in EUR). Thanks for any ideas you may have!


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IB should probably deal with you but you’re going to have to present the right “picture” so to speak. What’s wrong with schwab?

They’ll liquidate your positions for you and give you the cash. If you haven’t got an account to transfer the proceeds to they’ll send you a paper check at last address of record. That’s baked into the system.

If they’re positions you really want to hold onto long term, you could just plan to transfer them into electronic book-entry format at DTCC as well - the modern equivalent of the old paper stock certificate. Then you don’t need the brokerage account at all. I haven’t done it myself but it’s common enough and it’s not a huge deal.

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Thanks @jb4422, there was nothing wrong with Schwab, just like to be able to do something with my Euros parked offshore. I like my Schwab just fine for my USD.

And what kind of “picture” are we talking about here… showing up with six figures or something?

Yes, I am familiar with the account closure process, I carry mainly (European) ETFs and would love to transfer them elsewhere; just need a good company to transfer them to. @tkrunning I think you wrote about brokerage before (The Ultimate Retirement Savings Guide for Expats & Nomads | Nomad Gate) if you have further tips?

provide a US address and bank account and use a US VPN to log in. Give them a really simple picture and don’t cause them any issues of any sort. There’s another thread here about difficulties dealing with IB if you’re moving around. Given my long experience with IB and in the industry, I completely get it. They like so many others simply don’t want to deal with complicated life situations and they’re terrible at it anyway. Esp if you aren’t bringing multi 6 figures. The average person is just not their target demographic.

OP was asking about the closure process.

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