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Compare the UK’s cheapest online brokers

Last updated on 22 July 2018.

Behold! An at-a-glance cost comparison of the UK’s main online brokers and investment platforms. These services enable you to buy, manage, and sell your funds, shares, investment trusts and ETFs at a cheap price. All these services are online and execution-only.

The Good for column shows what we think is the best deal by price, relative to account type and portfolio mix.1

This table is edited by fallible human beings. Do your own research. We fix mistakes as soon as possible but we cannot be held liable or accountable for any errors. Please add updates or erratas in the comments below.

Like other price comparison websites, we may be paid a bonus if you sign-up via a link. This does not affect what you pay.

Hate maths? Let our comparison tool do the sums for you.

Flat fee brokers / platforms

Company Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing: Funds Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee2 Good for
Interactive Investor3    £90 £22.50 worth of free trades every quarter £10* £10* £1 £0 if account open less than a year. £10 per holding otherwise.  Min £30/Max £250
Shares ISA
Trading  –
SIPP + £120 + £120 in drawdown + £90 Fund portfolios over £84K, mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £68K4
ShareDeal Active Telephone dealing only for funds £9.50 £9.50 £12 per holding + £60 account closure
Shares ISA £60 £18 cash withdrawal
Trading £18 cash withdrawal
SIPP £118.80 No fee for first year. + £180 in drawdown
Halifax Share Dealing £12.50 £12.50 £2
Shares ISA £12.50 £25 per holding. £125 max Alternative to Lloyds, Selftrade
Trading £25 per holding. £125 max Alternative to Lloyds, Share Centre, Selftrade
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50K. £180 if SIPP more than £50K + £180 in drawdown5 £60 per transfer. Max £300 £25 per holding (£215 max) +£90
iWeb £25 one-off account opening charge Does not apply to SIPP £5 £5 Large portfolios and infrequent traders, check vs ii, Lloyds, Share Centre, and Halifax
Shares ISA £25 per holding. £125 max
Trading £25 per holding. £125 max
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50K. £180 if SIPP more than £50K + £180 in drawdown6 £60 per transfer. Max £300 £25 per holding (£215 max) +£90
Lloyds Bank Share Dealing £40 Only one £40 charge if you hold ISA and trading account £1.50 £11* £1.50 £25 per holding. £125 max
Shares ISA Fund portfolios over £26K7, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios8
Trading Fund portfolios over £26K9, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios10
SIPP n/a
The Share Centre 1%. £7.50 min* 1%. £7.50 min* 0.5%. Min £1 £25 per holding Large trading accounts
Shares ISA £57.60
Trading £21.60 Alternative to Lloyds, Selftrade
SIPP £172.80 + £234 in drawdown £90 if in drawdown  +£120 if in drawdown
Alliance Trust Savings 4 free trades p.a. £9.99* £9.99* £1.50
Shares ISA £120 £120
Trading £120 £72
SIPP £252 £342 in drawdown 1% of value capped at £18011

Note: Charges may actually be due per month, quarter, six monthly or annually. We’ve chosen to show annual cost of service. All prices include VAT. *A frequent trader rate or bonus is also available.

Percentage fee brokers / platforms

Company Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Funds
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee12 Good for
Vanguard Investor 0.15% on first £250,000, 0% thereafter. Tiered charge. Max £375  Investments restricted to Vanguard funds and ETFs only £0 £0 twice per day, £7.50 to trade at other times £0 £0 Beats other % fee brokers in most cases and flat-fee brokers up to £46-£56K but restricted range
Shares ISA Fund portfolios up to £43K, mixed ETF/fund up to £56K, ETF portfolios up to £47K
Trading Fund portfolios up to £43K, mixed ETF/fund up to £56K, ETF portfolios up to £47K
SIPP n/a
Close Brothers 0.25% on all investments £0 £8.95 £0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP £90 in drawdown
Cavendish Online 0.25% on all investments 0.20% on whole balance if over £200K in all accounts combined £0 £10 £1.50
(ETFs only)
£0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA Fund portfolios below £26K
Trading Fund portfolios below £26K
SIPP Fund portfolios below £84K, mixed ETF/fund below £84K
Charles Stanley Direct 0.35% on first £250,000 of funds13 0.35% on shares, ETFs and ITs. Min £24 / Max £24014 £0 £11.50 £10 per holding (This fee starts 10/9/18. We’ll rethink our comparisons anon!)
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP + £120 No £120 charge if £30,000+ across all accounts. + £150
Selftrade 0.3% on first £50K of funds. 0.25% £50K – £250K. 0.15% over £250K. £1,000 max. Tiered + £12.50 (+ £4.99 per account) minus dealing fees/fund platform charges per quarter. Min £0 / Max £89.92 p.a. £0 buy, £10.99 sell £9.99* ETFs,£10.99* shares £1.50 ETF portfolios with unrestricted range
Shares ISA £15 per holding Unrestricted ETF portfolios15
Trading £4.99 quarterly account charge waived if you own ISA / SIPP £15 per holding Unrestricted ETF portfolios16
SIPP + £118.80 + £180 in drawdown £78 £90
Fidelity 0.35% on all assets worth £7500 – £250,00017 Assets under £7500 = £45 p.a. or 0.35% with monthly savings plan18 £0 £10 for ETFs / ITs £1.50
Shares ISA ETF and IT fees capped at £45
Trading ETF and IT fees waived
SIPP ETF and IT fees capped at £45 ETF portfolios – restricted range
AJ Bell Youinvest 0.25% on first £250,000 of funds19 0.25% on first £250K then 0.1% on next £750K etc £1.50 £9.95* £1.50 £25 per holding
Shares ISA + 0.25% charge (max £30) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds
Trading + 0.25% charge (max £30) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds
SIPP + 0.25% charge (max £100) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds. + £120 in drawdown + £90 Unrestricted ETF portfolios
Bestinvest Platform fee applies to all investments Tiered charge e.g. 0.4% on first £250K, 0.2% on next £750K etc £0 £7.50
Shares ISA 0.4% on first £250,00020 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
Trading 0.4% on first £250,00021 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
SIPP £100 p.a, plus 0.3% on first £250,00022. No drawdown fee 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million + £150 £25 a quarter SIPP fee coming October ’18.
Barclays Smart Investor 0.2% on funds (£48 min, £1500 max) 0.1% on ETFs, ITs, shares, bonds (£48 min, £1500 max) £3 £6* £1 £0
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP + £150 + £120 in drawdown £90 per transfer capped at £450 + £90
Hargreaves Lansdown 0.45% on first £250,000 of funds23 Tiered charge. You pay 0.45% on first £250K then 0.25% on next £750K etc £0 £11.95* £1.5024 £30 account closure + £25 per holding
Shares ISA + 0.45% charge (max £45) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds
Trading
SIPP + 0.45% (max £200) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds No drawdown fee
Aviva 0.4% on first £50,000 of funds25 Tiered charge. You pay 0.4% on first £50K then 0.35% on next £200K etc £0 £0
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP

Note: Charges may actually be due per month, quarter, six monthly or annually. We’ve chosen to show annual cost of service. All prices include VAT. *A frequent trader rate or bonus is also available.

Share dealing brokers

Company Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Funds
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee26 Good for
Degiro  – Degiro may lend out your shares. A custody account avoids this but charges €1 + 3% (max 10%) for dividend payouts27 n/a Commission free ETF selection. €2 + 0.02% for other ETFs. £1.75 + 0.004% for shares28 €10 per holding €10 per holding No trading costs on select ETF range,29 frequent traders
Shares ISA n/a
Trading
SIPP n/a
X-O.co.uk No funds n/a £5.95 £18 per holding
Shares ISA + £60 account closure
Trading
SIPP £118.80 No fee for first year. + £180 in drawdown + £60 Alternative to Interactive Investor
Interactive Brokers $10 inactivity fee per month. Reduced by value of trades30 $10,000 min to open account. $20 inactivity fee if equity balance below $2,00031 n/a £632 International shares / ETFs
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP Fees vary

Note: All prices include VAT.

Who is this online broker comparison table aimed at?

We have focussed on low cost platforms that suit DIY investors who want to build a diversified portfolio through index funds and ETFs. The Good for column is therefore biased towards passive investors.

Percentage fee brokers are much better for small investors whose assets are likely to remain below £25,000 (in an ISA) or £70,000 (in a SIPP) for some time to come. If you can only invest small amounts at a time then choose a broker who charges £0 for fund dealing. (Aim to pay no more than 0.5% of your contribution in dealing costs, at the very most).

Fixed fees take a disproportionate chunk out of the assets of small investors. This is why Charles Stanley, Close Bros or Cavendish Online are generally the best for small investors using ISAs and Cavendish Online is best for small investors using SIPPs.

Flat fee brokers are better for most investors who’ve accumulated over £25,000 (in an ISA) or £85,000 (in a SIPP) – percentage fees can siphon off eye-watering amounts if your broker doesn’t apply a cap. Sadly, the table is complicated because every broker is trying to carve out a niche for itself by offering something slightly different to its competitors.

That means there is no one size fits all solution. The Good for column in the table gives you an idea of each broker’s strengths.

Our calculations assume one purchase per month and four sales per year, and that you take advantage of lower priced regular investment schemes when available. Portfolios consist of funds or ETFs or a 50:50 mix.

ETFs vs fund portfolios – Below around £25,000 you’re probably better off with funds. There’s very little to separate Interactive Investor, Halifax, Lloyds, iWeb, YouInvest, Selftrade and Share Centre above that level if you’re a moderate trader using either product type. Ultimately, product OCFs, your trading frequency and picking the right tracker for the job will be more important.

Beginners starting in funds should look at Cavendish Online or Close Bros. 
Low traders – check iWeb and Halifax for ISAs.
Whichever broker you plump for, do check it carries the funds you require. There is considerable variation in range between platforms.

Where is my missing broker?

We haven’t included every last option in this version of our table but we have included the most competitive players in the market. Do let us know if you think we’ve missed anyone important.

More on costs and fees

The ‘Platform charge’ category is intended to capture the various types of service fee typically levied by platforms i.e. custody fee, platform charge, administration fee, inactivity fee and so on until the end of time / your tether.

Assume platform charges are levied per account unless otherwise indicated in the notes column or the footnotes.

Platforms levy various additional costs for extras such as telephone trading. Check a platform’s rates and charges schedule before committing.

These costs are on top of the suite of fees you will pay for investment products such as the Ongoing Charge Figure (OCF).

Take some time to calculate the likely cost of your portfolio when choosing the right broker.

SIPP charges on the table don’t include the various additional fees levied for services once you’re in drawdown.

Platforms run temporary offers and discounts from time-to-time. These are ignored as investing is for the long-term.

Understanding account names

Accounts names vary across the discount broker universe. However they typically conform to the following types:

  • Trading = taxable account i.e. not an ISA or a SIPP. Suitable investments typically include funds, shares,Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Investment Trusts (ITs), bonds and more.
  • Shares ISA = Stocks and Shares ISA. Tax sheltered. Suitable investments as above.
    • SIPP = Self-Invested Personal Pension. Tax sheltered. Suitable investments as above.

Why are there only links to some brokers?

Links to brokers are affiliate links, where we may be paid a fee if you go on to open an account with them. We do not choose to include brokers in our table based on whether such affiliate fees are on offer, nor does the existence of such an arrangement change the fees you pay – it is a marketing payment made by them as an incentive for websites to drive traffic to their site. We’d like more brokers to pay us when we introduce new customers – it helps us pay our way on Monevator! Including all brokers but only linking where an affiliate agreement is in place was the best compromise we could come up with.

What this table won’t tell you

Some of these brokers may not be regulated by the UK authorities. Please check directly with each broker, and read our guide to investor compensation schemes to understand why this matters.

We’ve not considered customer service and fringe benefits such as website user experience and research tools, which may be meaningful. Ask away here or at Money Saving Expert’s Savings & Investments board, the ex-Motley Foolers on the Lemon Fool board, or reddit for a broader opinion.

We haven’t accounted for exclusive, discounted funds. Most platforms stock much the same range but the bigger players in the market can negotiate slight fee discounts on certain funds. If you’re tempted by those ‘bargain’ offers then make very sure that your overall cost of investment isn’t more expensive once you load the platforms fees on top.

Please tell us about additions or corrections using the comment form below. Please supply a Web link to your data if possible in your comment to help us verify what should go into the table.

We’ll keep this table as up-to-date as possible, and conduct a sweeping review every three months.

  1. Our calculations assume one purchase per month and four sales per year, and that you take advantage of lower priced regular investment schemes when available. Portfolios consist of funds or ETFs or a 50:50 mix. []
  2. Out to another broker []
  3. Also known as ii []
  4. £84K vs Cavendish []
  5. £300 if age 75+ []
  6. £300 if age 75+ []
  7. £43K vs Vanguard []
  8. £56K vs Vanguard []
  9. £43K vs Vanguard []
  10. £56K vs Vanguard []
  11. No charge for SIPP opened after 31 Mar 2017 if you’re over 55. []
  12. Out to another broker []
  13. 0.2% £250,001 – £500,000, 0.15% £500,001 – £1million, 0.05%£1million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. []
  14. Charge waived by 1 trade per month. []
  15. £46K vs Vanguard []
  16. £46K vs Vanguard []
  17. 0.2% £250,000 – £1 million. Charges not tiered. Charge capped at £1 million. Treat multiple accounts as one, e.g. 0.2% applies to all assets once £250K barrier crossed. ETF and IT fees capped at £45. []
  18. ETF and IT fees capped at £45. []
  19. 0.1% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.05% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million []
  20. Charge applies to each account separately []
  21. Charge applies to each account separately []
  22. Charge applies to each account separately []
  23. 0.25% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.1% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. Charge applies to each account separately []
  24. on FTSE 350 shares, some ETFs and ITs []
  25. 0.35% £50,001 – £250,000, 0.25% £250,001 – £500,000, 0% over £500,000. []
  26. Out to another broker []
  27. No funds. []
  28. £5 max []
  29. Note, these are ETFs traded on European exchanges not LSE. []
  30. e.g. $10 fee – $6 trade = $4 actual fee that month. Waived on $100,000+ accounts. []
  31. Under 25s can open an account with $3,000 and the inactivity fee is $3. []
  32. up to £50,000 value. £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value over £50,000. Max £29 []
{ 2209 comments… add one }
  • 2201 John. August 25, 2018, 11:30 am

    CSD are a high quality outfit, far more capable than most of dealing with anything but the most basic of tasks.

    I have an IT income portfolio held with CSD which could be held cheaper elsewhere but which I have no intention of moving.

  • 2202 stephen watson September 17, 2018, 4:22 pm

    I recently moved my SIPP to Fidelity (from AJBell) to benefit from their capped £45 annual etf fee. I do not recommend anyone trying the same. It has taken 4 months and has been dogged by poor and conflicting information from Fidelity. I have had to write numerous letters and make a few long phone calls. I think I am finally there but the customer services rep I spoke today said they would soon be introducing a new charge structure and described the £45 annual fee as a “loophole”. Their fee for funds is a percentage one so if the loophole is closed my Fidelity fees will probably rise 20 fold.

  • 2203 Stephen Watson September 18, 2018, 9:36 am

    Advice from someone with a Fidelity sipp with etfs please? (Linda?)

    I’ve just switched to Fidelity for my sipp and now have 1 etf and a small amount of cash. The switch has been a nightmare with lots of conflicting info from fidelity. Yesterday I was told that if I had ANY cash at all the whole amount is subject to a 0.2% charge and not just the cash element. Does anyone know if this is correct?
    What they have told me to do is to “switch” the small cash element into etf units. (I didn’t know this but you can buy fractions of a unit to take the cash to £0.0). The fees are calculated on the first of the month and then later in the month they sell a minute amount to cover the monthly fraction of the £45 annual fee. Additionally if you have dividends you need to switch them so your balance is always zero cash at the beginning of the month.
    It would be far simpler to leave a small amount of cash but as I say the latest advice I have from fidelity is not to as it triggers the 0.2% on the whole amount.
    Anyone with any direct knowledge please?

  • 2204 Jeff Beranek September 18, 2018, 11:36 am

    @Stephen Watson, regarding Fidelity SIPP charges. What Fidelity apparently have told you sounds wrong in many ways. I’m sorry, but I don’t have direct knowledge of the Fidelity SIPP, but it sounds wrong according to their own terms and conditions – which is what you’ve signed up for. The SIPP charging structure is about as clear as mud, and the cash element of a ETF-only portfolio is particularly difficult to understand how to deal with. Let’s just start with the o.2% fee you mention. Surely this would only be charged on any portfolio assets over £250,000? And in your case this would never kick in because any ETF asset fees are apparently capped at £45. As for a small cash balance causing the entire portfolio to be charged on a percentage fee basis just sounds crazy. As for buying or selling “fractional” ETF shares, I wasn’t aware that was even possible. Also, don’t forget that Fidelity charges a 0.1% fee on the purchase, sale or automatic dividend re-investment of any IT or ETF transaction (i.e. the £10 transaction fee is wrong in the Monevator table). As for how your small cash balance *should* be charged is not entirely clear from the terms, and it depends on whether or not you’ve set up a regular savings plan. Let’s assume you have set up a monthly plan (which would be sensible if you have a single ETF portfolio) and you have £100 in cash and £100,000 in ETFs. It would appear to me that charges due to the ETFs should cap out at £45, but you’ll still need to pay the equivalent of 0.35% a year on any non-ETF/IT balance (i.e. the £100 in cash). So you would always want to have a small cash balance to pay the fee, so that you are not forced to sell any ETF shares.

  • 2205 stephen watson September 18, 2018, 3:50 pm

    Hi Jeff
    Thanks for your comments. I agree with more or less everything but welcome to the confusing world of Fidelity, which is why I would like someone with actual experience to answer. Besides Fidelity giving you lots of conflicting information there are many odd things to my mind:
    Following their instructions yesterday I used my small amount of cash to buy fractions of a unit to bring my cash balance to £0. When I bought it I couldn’t buy it “live” – their website can’t do this, so you put in an order and they buy the next day at an average of that day’s price (bit like a fund?). Didn’t know you could do either of those options.
    If you read their terms it seems clear to me the £45 annual charge only applies to the etf and you would pay the % charge only on the cash. However the adviser was adamant that if there was any cash the whole amount would be charged. I’m sure this contravenes advertising rules but I’ve done what he suggests.
    It seems they are in the midst of renewing their website/platform and fee structure, so I’m just going to bear with it for now.

  • 2206 Linda September 18, 2018, 8:53 pm

    @Stephen Watson
    I will investigate & get back to you. Watch this space.

  • 2207 Linda September 18, 2018, 9:47 pm

    @Stephen Watson

    Logged into my account to check. As far as I can see there is no charge for keeping cash in your SIPP account. I have a note on my diary to remind me to check that there is £45 in the account each year. I looked at my transaction record for this financial year and up to 2nd Sept I have paid £17.15 in fees which is about right as there are 7 months to go. They also appear to pay me a small amount of interest on the cash, as an interest amount of between £0.01 & £0.10 is paid in every month a couple of days after the fee comes out, . Their fee page states that ETFS & Investment Trusts fees are capped at £45 and there are no fees on SIPPs for anything else as far as I can see. The website is a nightmare & when you phone up they don’t seem to kmow the answers to your questions. They have a dedicated Pensions team so make sure you speak to them when you phone & not the investment guys. Reinvesting your spare cash is a challenge & I have it all written down how to navigate the site to do this, after speaking to the pensions team.

  • 2208 Stephen Watson September 19, 2018, 9:27 am

    Thanks Linda – very useful. My preference like you would be to keep about £50 cash in my account on the assumption that doesn’t negate the max of £45 on the etf balance. What you say directly contradicts what I’ve been told by fidelity (if you have ANY cash you pay 0.2% on everything). I haven’t had my first fee bill yet and if it’s based on the £45 max it would be £3.75 and if on everything would be around £100 per month so its a bit risky to try! I must have spoken to every department in Fidelity so really am not sure who to trust there. This latest information supposedly came from the sipp department and is supposed to be definitive. They have even given (unasked for) me 3 small amounts of cash compensation for giving me wrong information during the switch. It seems completely shambolic to me. If you are sure I might try leaving some cash in one month and if it does trigger 0.2% on the whole amount just complain and point them towards their fees on the website.

  • 2209 Linda September 19, 2018, 10:49 am

    @Stephen Watson

    Just log in to your account, go to My Accounts/Transaction History & Reports/Transaction History & you should get a report for the last 30 days. On my report for this period there is one fee and one tiny interest payment. Remember when you phone to make sure you speak to the Pensions team, pretty sure you have been given info that only applies to investing.

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