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Compare the UK’s cheapest online brokers

Fully updated on May 20 2017.

Behold! An at-a-glance cost comparison of the UK 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. Note that all these services are online and execution-only. They are not suitable for investors seeking financial advice.

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

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

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 Investor 3 £80 First £20 worth of trades free every quarter £10* £10* £1.50 £15 per holding. £0 for first 10 holdings if account open less than a year
Shares ISA Mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £32K4
Trading
SIPP + £96 + £204 drawdown £60 per transfer. Max £360 £120. £0 if account open less than a year Fund only over £70K, Mixed ETF/fund over £74K vs Fidelity5
Motley Fool Share Dealing £80 First £20 worth of trades free every quarter £10* £10* £1.50 £15 per holding. £0 for first 10 holdings if account open less than a year
Shares ISA  – Mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £32K6
Trading
SIPP + £96 + £204 drawdown £60 per transfer. Max £360 £120. £0 if account open less than a year Fund only over £70K, Mixed ETF/fund over £74K vs Fidelity7
Halifax Share Dealing £12.50 £12.50 £2 Infrequent traders
Shares ISA £12.50 £25 per holding. £125 max
Trading £25 per holding. £125 max Mixed ETF/fund portfolios above £42K vs Fidelity8
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50K. £180 if SIPP more than £50K + £180 drawdown9 £60 per transfer. Max £300 £25 per holding (£215 max) +£90 Infrequent traders with SIPPs under £50K
iWeb £25 one-off account opening charge Does not apply to SIPP £5 £5 £25 per holding. £125 max Large portfolios and infrequent traders, check vs ii, Lloyds and Halifax
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50K. £180 if SIPP more than £50K + £180 drawdown10 £60 per transfer. Max £300 + £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 £25K11
Trading Fund portfolios over £25K12
SIPP n/a
The Share Centre 1%. £7.50 min* 1%. £7.50 min* 0.5%. Min £1 Large trading accounts
Shares ISA £57.60 £25
Trading £21.60 £25
SIPP £172.80 + £234 drawdown £90 if in drawdown £25 per holding +£120 if in drawdown
Clubfinance Frequent Trader £15 inactivity fee per quarter. Waived by 3 trades per quarter 0.21% fee on debit card payments in, use BACs £4.95 £4.95 £15 per holding Frequent traders
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Alliance Trust Savings 4 free trades p.a. £9.99* £9.99* £1.50
Shares ISA £120 £120
Trading £120 £72
SIPP £252 £342 drawdown £180 capped at 1% of value13

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 fee14 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 £40-£50K but restricted range
Shares ISA Fund portfolios up to £42K, mixed ETF/fund up to £53K, ETF portfolios up to £30K
Trading Fund portfolios up to £42K, mixed ETF/fund up to £49K
SIPP n/a
Close Brothers 0.25% on all investments 0.25% on ETFs, ITs, bonds and shares £0 £8.95 £0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA Fund portfolios below £25K
Trading Fund portfolios below £25K
SIPP £90 if in drawdown Fund portfolios below £70K
Cavendish Online 0.25% on all investments 0.20% on whole balance if over £200K in all accounts combined £0 0.1% £0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA Fund portfolios below £25K, ETF only below £18K, mixed ETF/fund below £32K
Trading Fund portfolios below £25K, mixed ETF/fund portfolios below £7.5K
SIPP Fund portfolios below £70K, ETF only below £18K, Mixed ETF/fund below £36K
Charles Stanley Direct 0.25% on first £250,000 of funds15 0.25% on shares, ETFs and ITs. Min £24 / Max £24016 £0 £11.50 £10 per holding Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA Fund portfolios ISAs below £25K
Trading Fund portfolios below £25K
SIPP + £120 No £120 charge if £30,000+ of assets 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 inactivity fee per quarter. Waived by single trade per quarter or if any funds held £0 buy, £11.75 sell £9.99* ETFs,£11.75* shares £1.50 ETF portfolios with unrestricted range
Shares ISA £15 per holding
Trading £15 per holding
SIPP + £118.80 + £180 drawdown £90
TD Direct Investing 0.3% on first £250,000 of funds. Max £1500. Tiered charge17 Not charged on ETFs, ITs and shares £0 £12.50* £1.50 £0 ETF portfolios with unrestricted range
Shares ISA £36 £0 if ISA worth £5100+ or has a regular investing facility
Trading £48 £0 if one trade made per six months18
SIPP +0.6% (£88 min, £240 max) + £90 drawdown19 Charged on SIPP total including ETFs, ITs and shares
Fidelity 0.35% on all assets worth £7500 – £250,00020 Flat rate of £45 on assets worth less than £750021 £0 0.1% for ETFs / ITs £0 ETF portfolios22
Shares ISA ETF and IT fees capped at £45 ETF portfolios over £18K23
Trading ETF and IT fees do not apply ETF portfolios24, mixed ETF/fund between £7.5-42K
SIPP ETF and IT fees capped at £45 ETF portfolios25, mixed ETF/fund between £36-74K26
AJ Bell Youinvest27 0.25% on first £250,000 of funds28 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 drawdown + £90
Bestinvest Platform fee applies to all investments Tiered charge. e.g. you pay 0.4% on first £250K then 0.2% on next £750K etc £0 £7.50 £25 per holding
Shares ISA 0.4% on first £250,00029 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
Trading 0.4% on first £250,00030 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
SIPP 0.3% on first £250,00031. No drawdown fee 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million + £150
Trustnet Direct 0.25% on all investments Min £20. Max £200 £10* £10* £2
Shares ISA £15 per holding
Trading £15 per holding
SIPP + £96 + £204 if in drawdown £60 per transfer. Max £360 £120
rplan 0.35% Funds only £0 n/a £0
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Barclays Stockbrokers 0.35% on funds (£35 min, £1750 max) 0% on holdings over £500,000. Tiered charge £0 £11.95* £30 per holding
Shares ISA + £36 for holding ETFs, ITs, bonds and shares
Trading + £57.60 for holding ETFs, ITs, bonds and shares £0 if trade once per quarter
SIPP + £186 for holding ETFs, ITs, bonds and shares + £120 drawdown £90 per transfer capped at £450 + £90
Hargreaves Lansdown 0.45% on first £250,000 of funds32 Tiered charge. You pay 0.45% on first £250K then 0.25% on next £750K etc £0 £11.95* £1.5033 £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 funds34 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 fee35 Good for
Degiro  – Degiro may lend out your shares. A custody account avoids this but charges €1 + 3% (max 10%) for dividend payouts36 n/a Commission free ETF selection. €2 + 0.02% for other ETFs. £1.75 + 0.004% for shares37 €10 per holding €10 per holding No trading costs on select ETF range,38 frequent traders
Shares ISA n/a
Trading
SIPP n/a
X-O.co.uk No funds n/a £5.95 Large SIPP ETF portfolios with unrestricted range
Shares ISA £18 per holding +£60 account closure
Trading £18 per holding
SIPP £0 £0 if SIPP is linked to X-O dealing account. Otherwise £118.80. +£180 drawdown £60
Interactive Brokers $10 inactivity fee per month. Reduced by value of trades39 $10,000 min to open account. $20 inactivity fee if equity balance below $2,00040 n/a £641 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 Best Invest or 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 £70,000 (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, TD Direct, 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.

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. £53K vs Vanguard []
  5. ii provide the same service to Motley Fool []
  6. £53K vs Vanguard. Service provided by ii []
  7. Service provided by ii []
  8. £49K vs Vanguard []
  9. £300 if age 75+ []
  10. £300 if age 75+ []
  11. £42K vs Vanguard []
  12. £42K vs Vanguard []
  13. No charge for SIPP opened after 1 Feb 2017 if you’re over 55. []
  14. Out to another broker []
  15. 0.2% £250,001 – £500,000, 0.15% £500,001 – £1million, 0.05%£1million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. []
  16. Charge waived by 1 trade per month. []
  17. 0.2% on fund assets over £250,000 []
  18. Also £0 if account linked to ISA / SIPP, or portfolio worth £10K in funds or £15K overall. []
  19. 0.5% + VAT = 0.6% []
  20. 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 for all portfolio sizes. []
  21. ETF and IT fees capped at £45 for all portfolio sizes. []
  22. Check vs TD Direct, Selftrade, iWeb, Halifax, Youinvest and ii. Fidelity have a restricted range of ETFs in comparison to others. []
  23. Check vs TD Direct, iWeb, Halifax, Vanguard, Youinvest and ii. Fidelity have a restricted range of ETFs in comparison to others. []
  24. Check vs TD Direct, Selftrade, iWeb, Halifax, Youinvest and ii. Fidelity have a restricted range of ETFs in comparison to others. []
  25. Check vs X-O.co.uk. Fidelity have a restricted range of ETFs in comparison to others []
  26. Restricted range of ETFs so check vs Youinvest if portfolio worth less than £54K, otherwise XO.co.uk []
  27. Formerly Sippdeal []
  28. 0.1% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.05% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million []
  29. Charge applies to each account separately []
  30. Charge applies to each account separately []
  31. Charge applies to each account separately []
  32. 0.25% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.1% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. Charge applies to each account separately []
  33. on FTSE 350 shares and certain ITs []
  34. 0.35% £50,001 – £250,000, 0.25% £250,001 – £500,000, 0% over £500,000. []
  35. Out to another broker []
  36. No funds. []
  37. £5 max []
  38. Note, these are ETFs traded on US and European exchanges not LSE. []
  39. e.g. $10 fee – $6 trade = $4 actual fee that month. Waived on $100,000+ accounts. []
  40. Under 25s can open an account with $3,000 and the inactivity fee is $3. []
  41. up to £50,000 value. £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value over £50,000. Max £29 []
{ 1712 comments… add one and remember nothing here is personal advice }
  • 1701 DianaW June 28, 2017, 1:14 pm

    If I still used Hargreaves Lansdown, I’d be paying far more in fees than any potential tax liability!
    There are only a few hundred pounds’ worth of dividends involved, going by the brokers’ consolidated tax statement that I’ve just checked. Fortunately, my tax status is so modest that that shouldn’t make any difference to my tax liability – but I appreciate the timely reminder to declare the dividends. Just when I hoped that I need never do an income tax return again…!

  • 1702 L June 29, 2017, 8:47 am

    Looking for a little help from people with sharp eyes, the table is good, but I’m looking at several brokers with similar prices and trying to find the best choice for my circumstances.

    I’d like to transfer an employer stakeholder pension into a SIPP (approximately £32k). I’ve also got a £3k SIPP with Best Invest that I’d consider consolidating, but the fees for transferring look to be a deal breaker).

    Would Close Brothers be my best bet? I will be adding to the SIPP to supplement a new DB pension, but it will only be a few £k a year for the foreseeable future.

    Any thoughts appreciated!

  • 1703 Trevor June 30, 2017, 12:45 pm

    There seem to be numerous cutprice/zero commission stock brokers opening;
    Trading212 offers 10 free trades per month https://www.trading212.com/en/Free-Stock-Trading
    Freetrade is looking to open by the end of the year https://freetrade.io/
    DeGiro is looking to open DeZiro for free trading, but no date yet https://www.deziro.com/uk/
    DeGiro already offers free ETF trades on certain ETFs https://www.degiro.ie/data/pdf/ie/commission-free-etfs-list.pdf

    The US already has Robbinhood which is expanding to Aus http://blog.robinhood.com/news/2015/5/4/onward which seems to have a similar business model to DeZiro and Freetrade, but does not take UK clients at the moment.

    Hopefully all of these will help push prices down on all brokers http://monevator.com/investment-platforms-and-fund-managers-roughed-up-in-fca-final-report/

  • 1704 Investor from KZ July 2, 2017, 4:50 pm

    Does anyone have thoughts shout Cavendish asking to make a bank transfer of SIPP investment in your their account. I ffound it weird that they don’t withdraw the amount ftom the account themselves. I contacted Barclays where I hold current account and was advised not ti make a transfer because it becomes my responsibility if something goes wrong. Whilst if they withdraw from my account bank can help me. Is it a normal practice for Cavendish?

  • 1705 Jeffrey Beranek July 2, 2017, 5:49 pm

    With regards to bank transfers into Cavendish (and other) SIPPs to make contributions, I think that’s perfectly acceptable. I actually prefer it that way because you have more control over the amount and timing. Note that with many SIPPs there will be a delay between when they receive your payment and when you get your tax reclaim from HMRC. This is because the platform makes a claim on your behalf on each payment, and it takes time for HMRC to respond. Again, perfectly normal for low cost SIPPs.

  • 1706 B80 July 9, 2017, 11:47 am

    I’m new to the game of DIY investments so apologies if this has already been clarified.

    Due to the organization I work for many of the brokers are off limits. I’ve ruled out HL due their costs being higher, this leaves with me with Self Trade on the % front and Alliance Trust on the fixed fee.

    As I already have a SelfTrade account (holds some Barclays stock I acquired as part of a share save scheme from years ago) I’m leaning towards remaining with them for now, until my investments are over 50k.

    I’m yet to decide on whether to go down the LS route or a more DIY portfolio holding several funds. If I was to go with a LS product and drip feed monthly what kind of fees would I be paying monthly with Self Trade? 0.3 percent of the total invested per year up to 50k. Dealing funds – 0 – Is dealing funds counted as me investing whatever amount per month into the LS? How about the ‘Regular Investing’ fee of 1.50 – is this the fee I’ pay each month for money invested into LS? If I wasn’t to go down the LS route and choose several funds to drip feed into each month, would I have to pay 1.50 for each fund I add money to?

  • 1707 Alex July 19, 2017, 10:44 am

    Hey B80,

    Chances are, most of the brokers are not off limits.

    I have a feeling that you mean that you work in financial services and are required to have the broker copy all contract notes to your employer?

    Almost all brokers offer this service (apart from anything else, if they didn’t their own employees wouldn’t be able to use their services), but most will only do it if you call customer services and ask; they don’t advertise it on their website. When you call, do check if they charge extra fees for this. Some do it free, some do it for a fixed fee per year and some do it by adding a charge onto each trade.

  • 1708 Linda July 19, 2017, 1:19 pm

    @A Different Richard
    Is tax payable on dividends on Acc funds within an ISA?

  • 1709 A Different Richard July 19, 2017, 1:29 pm

    @Linda

    No – there’s no tax on dividends on funds (Inc or Acc) or individual shares held within an ISA (or a SIPP). You only need to declare dividends if you hold them outwith a tax wrapper (i.e. in a normal trading account). Even if held outwith a SIPP/ISA you will still get the Dividend Allowance.

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers

    Richard

  • 1710 Paul Davies July 21, 2017, 10:40 am

    We have retired and we are trying to ‘increase our income’.
    We are fully invested in ISAS.
    From an Inland Revenue perspective – are dividends, from shares, unit trusts, OEICs, EFT’s treated in the same way.
    For tax return purposes – which date is used – i.e the date the dividend declared, the date it is paid or the date it reaches your account.
    Thank you in anticipation
    Paul

  • 1711 Jeff Beranek July 21, 2017, 10:57 am

    The HMRC don’t care what dividends you receive within an ISA wrapper, they are all tax free and you don’t need report them. This is one of the great benefits of an ISA – less paperwork! Although, I still keep a record of all my dividends…. Note that if you’ve received a dividend outside an ISA wrapper (e.g. standard broker nominee account) then it’s the date as shown on your account statement that counts. Occasionally a dividend arrives a little late, but may be back-dated to the date it was supposed to have been paid, so it should usually be the same as the official “paid date”.

  • 1712 B80 July 22, 2017, 5:03 pm

    Hi Alex, I will check but I’m aware of colleagues that were ‘forced by the compliance team to move their investments from the Halifax platform when they joined recently. I work for a large American investment bank, the list of permitted brokers is circulated to us quarterly.

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