Perhaps, but the transaction costs with traditional Irish stockbrokers are higher as you are no doubt aware. I understand Campbell O'Connor have a decent offering, but it is not as low on transactional costs as most online brokers.I agree and I've decided to open an account with them. They're based in Ireland with a "physical address", hold CREST accounts and the annual charge is only €50 per annum. That's less than two month of inactivity with FXCM.
If they turn out to be another annoying debacle, then I'll just sell up and buy prize bonds!
As background, and as a possible explanation as to why online brokers are starting to levy an inactivity fee, I think the following is relevant;
- It is possible that a 13-year bear market is taking its toll, and in particular the past two years where constant fear and increased volatility has seen volumes traded on stock markets drop significantly. Online brokers offer incredibly low trading costs but they need volume. Otherwise, they are out of business. The absence of volume may partially explain such moves.
- Traditional brokers rarely have a levy but they have substantially higher transactional charges.
My understand is also that TD Waterhouse has an annual admin fee but it is less than the one just introduced by FXCM. Sharewatch has no say in it, if that is where you signed up originally. Sharewatch is not an online broker but an intermediary. They switched their relationship to ODL Securities in 2010. ODL Securities was then taken over by the US-based, and Nasdaq listed online fx trader, FXCM. This American influence, in a downturn, might also shed some light on the introduction of an inactivity fee. Personally, I think the 13-year bear market is having the greater influence.
I do hope that helps, but it is just my understanding, and not fact.