≡ Menu

Compare the UK’s cheapest online brokers

Last updated on 11 February 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 drawdown + £90 Alternative to ShareDeal Active
ShareDeal Active Telephone dealing only for funds £9.50 £9.50 £12 per holding + £60 account closure Large SIPP portfolios
Shares ISA £60 £18 cash withdrawal
Trading £18 cash withdrawal
SIPP £0 if SIPP is linked to dealing account. Otherwise £118.80. +£180 drawdown + £60 Fund portfolios over £60K and mixed ETF/Fund portfolios over £50K
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 drawdown4 £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 drawdown5 £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 £26K6, mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £36K7
Trading Fund portfolios over £26K8, mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £36K9
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 drawdown £90 if in drawdown  +£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
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 1% of value capped at £18010

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:
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee11 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-£56K but restricted range
Shares ISA Fund portfolios up to £43K, mixed ETF/fund up to £56K, ETF portfolios up to £39K
Trading Fund portfolios up to £43K, mixed ETF/fund up to £56K, ETF portfolios up to £39K
SIPP n/a
Close Brothers 0.25% on all investments £0 £8.95 £0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA
SIPP £90 drawdown
Cavendish Online 0.25% on all investments 0.20% on whole balance if over £200K in all accounts combined £0 £10 £1.50 £0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA Fund portfolios below £26K
Trading Fund portfolios below £26K
SIPP Fund portfolios below £60K, mixed ETF/fund below £50K
Charles Stanley Direct 0.25% on first £250,000 of funds12 0.25% on shares, ETFs and ITs. Min £24 / Max £24013 £0 £11.50 £10 per holding Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA
SIPP + £120 No £120 charge if £30,000+ across all accounts. £180 drawdown + £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 ETF portfolios over £22K14
Trading £15 per holding ETF portfolios over £22K15
SIPP + £118.80 + £180 drawdown £90
Fidelity 0.35% on all assets worth £7500 – £250,00016 £45 p.a. if assets worth under £7500, or 0.35% with monthly savings plan17 £0 £10 for ETFs / ITs £1.50
Shares ISA ETF and IT fees capped at £45
Trading ETF and IT fees do not apply
SIPP ETF and IT fees capped at £45
AJ Bell Youinvest 0.25% on first £250,000 of funds18 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 ETF portfolios below £15K
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 £250,00019 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
Trading 0.4% on first £250,00020 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
SIPP 0.3% on first £250,00021. No drawdown fee 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million + £150
Barclays Smart Investor 0.2% on funds (£48 min, £1500 max) 0.1% on ETFs, ITs, shares, bonds £3 £6* £1 £0
Shares ISA ETF portfolios below £22K, mixed ETF/fund portfolios below £36K
Trading ETF portfolios below £22K, mixed ETF/fund portfolios below £36K
SIPP + £150 + £120 drawdown £90 per transfer capped at £450 + £90
Hargreaves Lansdown 0.45% on first £250,000 of funds22 Tiered charge. You pay 0.45% on first £250K then 0.25% on next £750K etc £0 £11.95* £1.5023 £30 account closure + £25 per holding
Shares ISA + 0.45% charge (max £45) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds
SIPP + 0.45% (max £200) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds No drawdown fee
Aviva 0.4% on first £50,000 of funds24 Tiered charge. You pay 0.4% on first £50K then 0.35% on next £200K etc £0 £0
Shares ISA

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:
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee25 Good for
Degiro  – Degiro may lend out your shares. A custody account avoids this but charges €1 + 3% (max 10%) for dividend payouts26 n/a Commission free ETF selection. €2 + 0.02% for other ETFs. £1.75 + 0.004% for shares27 €10 per holding €10 per holding No trading costs on select ETF range,28 frequent traders
Shares ISA n/a
SIPP n/a
X-O.co.uk No funds n/a £5.95 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 dealing account. Otherwise £118.80. +£180 drawdown £60 ETF portfolios over £15K
Interactive Brokers $10 inactivity fee per month. Reduced by value of trades29 $10,000 min to open account. $20 inactivity fee if equity balance below $2,00030 n/a £631 International shares / ETFs
Shares ISA
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, 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. £300 if age 75+ []
  5. £300 if age 75+ []
  6. £43K vs Vanguard []
  7. £56K vs Vanguard []
  8. £43K vs Vanguard []
  9. £56K vs Vanguard []
  10. No charge for SIPP opened after 31 Mar 2017 if you’re over 55. []
  11. Out to another broker []
  12. 0.2% £250,001 – £500,000, 0.15% £500,001 – £1million, 0.05%£1million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. []
  13. Charge waived by 1 trade per month. []
  14. £39K vs Vanguard []
  15. £39K vs Vanguard []
  16. 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. []
  17. ETF and IT fees capped at £45. []
  18. 0.1% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.05% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million []
  19. Charge applies to each account separately []
  20. Charge applies to each account separately []
  21. Charge applies to each account separately []
  22. 0.25% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.1% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. Charge applies to each account separately []
  23. on FTSE 350 shares, some ETFs and ITs []
  24. 0.35% £50,001 – £250,000, 0.25% £250,001 – £500,000, 0% over £500,000. []
  25. Out to another broker []
  26. No funds. []
  27. £5 max []
  28. Note, these are ETFs traded on US and European exchanges not LSE. []
  29. e.g. $10 fee – $6 trade = $4 actual fee that month. Waived on $100,000+ accounts. []
  30. Under 25s can open an account with $3,000 and the inactivity fee is $3. []
  31. up to £50,000 value. £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value over £50,000. Max £29 []
{ 2153 comments… add one }
  • 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


    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!



  • 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

  • 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.

  • 1713 Bruno T July 27, 2017, 9:39 pm

    Hey B80, I’m in the exact same position, with those same options as approved brokers. Wonder if we’re working at the same bank…

    Barclays Stockbroking is an approved broker on my list so I was tempted to go with them. They’ve just come out with a new platform with the following fees: https://www.smartinvestor.barclays.co.uk/invest/accounts/investment-isa/fees.html

    So I was thinking of going with them and then transferring to Alliance once my pot is a little bigger.

    You should be able to find me on the internal directory in case you want to chat. Would be great to meet someone else who’s interested in all this.

    -Bruno T

  • 1714 B80 August 1, 2017, 2:30 pm

    Hi Bruno.

    Good find, are they part of Barclays Stockbrokers as I the approved list specifically says Barclays Stockbrokers. I’ve dropped compliance an email to see what they say.

    Looked up Bruno t on the directory… is the 2nd letter of your surname a?


  • 1715 Bruno T August 4, 2017, 12:46 pm

    B80, yeah that should be me.

    So I think Barclays Stockbroking is moving all their accounts onto this new platform later this month. So in theory they should both be accepted. Shoot me an email with what HR say, would be interested to know if they’ll accept it.

  • 1716 Todd August 4, 2017, 5:00 pm


    Really need to some help.

    Working abroad from august for two years and after I’ve maxed out my current account I want to invest in some sort of pension or stocks and shares account but I’m non-resident so I can’t open an ISA or contribute to my existing one and can’t open a Vanguard account.

    Can anyone suggest a good option for me to save some money away?

    Thanks in advance.

  • 1717 B80 August 4, 2017, 10:59 pm

    Hi Bruno, yes it is indeed you… didn’t want to disclose your full name in case you wanted to keep it private. Compliance have advised it is fine as like you say it’s stockbrokers new platform.

    I’m particularly interested in the vanguard ftse global all cap fund, but Barclays don’t offer it at present. I contacted Barclays and they advised they will look to add it soon and to call back next week.

    It’s a shame compliance have no plans to add the vanguard platform yet, as the US version is available to US staff.

  • 1718 Sharepsur August 6, 2017, 6:04 pm

    I’m currently working abroad. You’re correct you cannot make any contributions to ISA accounts during the period you are non-resident. Unfortunately DIY platforms are few and far between for expats. Instead you will find an array of ‘off-shore’ saving products (usually insurance linked), with horrendous charges all pushed by ‘IFA’s’ with zero regulation and even less morals (shouldn’t tar all with the same brush but the good ones are few and far between. I wont bore you all with my story, but suffice to say my advice is stay well clear!

    TD International are one option to look at. Then there is also Saxo. I dont know much about either of them so cant recommend one-way or the other. What I would suggest however is to consider just keeping a normal trading account with your current platform. Yes this will of course subject to tax, but if you are only taking a two year posting and are drip feeding each month, you may find any dividends earned in that account will be less than the allowance anyway. You can always transfer to your SIPP or ISA when you return and are entitled to make ISA contributions (depending on if you make maximum contributions usually or not). That may mean CGT but if you are a long-term buy and hold investor you probably find you won’t be using you £11,000(?) CGT allowance each year anyway.

    Im going to check Saxo and TD International out over coming months as I’ll soon be at a stage where I’ll need to cap my standard trading account.

    Good luck

  • 1719 Todd August 9, 2017, 3:46 pm


    Thanks but I am unable to open an account with Vanguard UK as I am technically non-resident in the U.K. Not sure which account to open up which is why I’m looking at an offshore one.

  • 1720 Ruby August 9, 2017, 7:36 pm

    Am I missing something here?

    x-o.co.uk charges no annual platform fee – surely that has to be a huge bonus for most investors (plus there is no entry fee).

    Why would anyone bother with the flat fee or percentage fee brokers?
    I appreciate it’s not possible to hold funds with x-o.co.uk – personally that doesn’t bother me (or maybe I just don’t fully understand the relative pros of index funds over ETFs…)

    I’ve read Lars Kroijer’s ‘Investing Demystified’ and am trying my hardest to implement a ‘rational portfolio’.
    As far as I can tell, this can be implemented completely using ETFs.
    The infrequent trading of this passive approach means the lack of free trades with x-o.co.uk doesn’t concern me too much.

    I’ve got an ISA, SIPP and trading account to transfer, currently held with Hargreaves Lansdown (oh dear!)

    I think I will go with x-o.co.uk (providing they have the ETFs I want) unless I really am missing something here.

  • 1721 Passive Pete August 10, 2017, 7:25 pm

    I don’t think you are missing anything at all Ruby, the lack of funds is the only downside. I’ve been using Jarvis, the parent of X-O, for years without a hitch, more recently branded ShareDeal Active. I have a trading account, SIPP and ISA there and I’ve managed to find ETFs that suit a ‘fix and forget’ style of investing which for me is based on Tim Hale’s book. The service from Jarvis has been excellent. I usually deal on line, but have telephoned on occasion and written requests to transfer from my trading to ISA account have all gone to plan.
    I also maintain a trading account with HL to spread my investments between platforms, but only to buy ETFs.

  • 1722 Ruby August 14, 2017, 5:24 pm

    Thanks Passive Pete,

    I had a little interaction with x-o.co.uk, it made me laugh, but hasn’t really put me off them.

    I sent a quick two line email:
    “I am thinking of joining x-o (transferring my ISA, SIPP and trading account).
    I would like to know the full list of ETFs that you offer – where can I get this information?”

    They responded:
    “Thank you for your email.
    We are an execution only broker and do not offer the service you have requested.
    All clients are advised to research the stock they wish to invest in. You can buy and sell shares in most companies that are listed in the UK. This includes dealing in equities, bonds, warrants, ETFs, investment trusts, shares listed on the IRS (International Retail Service) and CDIs of US stocks.
    Please note that you cannot deal in foreign shares that are listed on overseas markets. If you wish to invest in a CDI of a US stock you will need to complete a Form W-8BEN before you can trade.”

    I’m still none the wiser how one can find out which ETFs they offer before actually signing up with them. I appreciate they are an execution only broker and offer a no frills service and must keep costs to a minimum, but I thought I might get a more helpful response – I wasn’t asking them to be my financial advisor. 🙂

  • 1723 Passice Pete August 14, 2017, 10:15 pm

    Hi Ruby
    That’s unfortunate, it looks like a stock answer that has been provided by a robot. I guess that’s how costs are minimised.
    If X-O have the same system as Jarvis then you might be able to open an account and use the Fantasy Portfolio facility to see whether all of your intended ETF’s are available on the platform before committing any cash. It’s your SIPP and ISA that is costing you more to hold with HL, so even if there are one or two ETF’s missing you might still hold these in your trading account with HL.
    I’ve just checked my trading history for Jarvis and I’ve traded the following: VUSA.L, VWRL.L, VMID.L, VUKE.L, VHYL.L, VERX.L, VEVE.L, VFEM.L, IGLO.L, IEAG.A, ISXF.L, ISF.L, IS15.L, IGLS.L, XGIG.L and SGLN.L – just to give you an indication of what’s available.

  • 1724 Dan August 14, 2017, 10:28 pm

    I have my SIPP with X-O and haven’t experienced any issues with their service. In terms of ETFs, I would be surprised if they didn’t offer every ETF listed on the LSE. You’re probably aware but their answer was lifted from FAQ 12 – shame they couldn’t answer your actual question!
    You could open a normal dealing account with no obligation just to check whether you can trade in the ETFs you want, you’d have to go through the usual KYC and AML checks though. If you list your tickers I can check for you, if you like?
    And no, I can’t believe how cheap they are! I first used them to first convert then sell paper share certificates, which was a fraction of the price of the nominee service.

  • 1725 Eagleuk August 14, 2017, 11:29 pm

    I am also with xo sipp since last year.They take couple of days to credit the amount in sipp.The most of London listed etfs are available and their Lse etf range is more wider than iweb. The foreign shares are available but trading on foreign exchange is not live unlike hl.Overall ,they are excellent for a passive investor and London based trading.

  • 1726 Ruby August 17, 2017, 11:55 am

    Thanks all, I’ve set up a trading account with x-o.co.uk so I can check things out 🙂

  • 1727 Trevor August 28, 2017, 3:28 pm

    Here’s some easy reading tables for a quick overview comparison of the bigger ISA providers http://www.telegraph.co.uk/investing/isas/tables-the-cheapest-and-most-expensive-places-to-buy-an-isa/ and SIPP providers http://www.telegraph.co.uk/investing/sipps/in-tables-the-cheapest-sipp-firms–whether-youre-investing-5000/

    They are a bit out of date as I couldn’t find a more recent version. It’s both interesting and scary to see how much some of the prices have changed since these were published!

  • 1728 Liam August 30, 2017, 9:22 pm

    Hi all,

    I have what I imagine is quite a basic question. How do you pay the platform and OCR fees? I’m still in the research stage and new to investing, and from reading the above I would want a percentage fee broker. I’m thinking Cavendish Online due to being similar to Charles Stanley which the S&S portfolio uses but without the exit fee. However I don’t really understand how the buying side works. If I put money in monthly does it go into an account with the broker, and I can then distribute the money into my funds from there, in which case the broker takes their fee from that account? Or do they sell some of your units to cover the costs?

    Thanks in advance

  • 1729 Chas August 31, 2017, 1:12 pm

    All these tables and comments are focussed on price and/or funds which can be traded. Is there a site which focusses on the facilities such as Watch Lists, Virtual Funds, Portfolio reporting facilties, etc?


  • 1730 premierfella August 31, 2017, 2:55 pm

    Typically your money credits a cash account with the platform/broker and fund transactions are made via that.
    Platform fees will usually be taken from your cash balance with the platform – fund units would only be sold if you didn’t have sufficient cash to cover them when they fall due (and there is often some penalty charge involved if that happens).
    The OCF relates to the fund itself – direct fund charges are accounted for in the fund pricing, which is why they are often seen as a “hidden” cost (so OCF is not something to worry about in terms of the cash balance at the platform).

  • 1731 Kraggash August 31, 2017, 5:17 pm

    Fidelity/Cavendish sell some of your largest holding to pay for platform charges. There is no penalty for this, it is their normal way of operating. They take the platform fee monthly, from each type of account (funds, ISA, SIPP…) which results in lots of small transactions. That annoyed me a lot.

    Again, with Cavendish/Fidelity, normally you buy the funds you want directly via a debit card. You don’t normally put cash into the account and then buy. I guess you could do the same thing by buying into their cash fund, and then swapping from cash fund to stocks/shares fund when you wanted to, but it is an unneeded step.

    With platforms such as iWeb, you have to put cash into the account first, and then use the cash to buy whatever.

  • 1732 premierfella September 4, 2017, 1:43 pm

    Thanks @Kraggash. That is some crazy way of working at Fidelity – I know monthly fees are probably a drop in the ocean for many of their clients but that must surely drive those who manage their portfolio based on % weights nuts! I wasn’t aware that any platform did that, but if Fidelity do it I guess there may be others.

  • 1733 Pete September 4, 2017, 2:53 pm

    @Liam & premiumfella

    Yea Cavendish/Fidelity are a bit of a pain on the SIPP front as well. They’re not well set up for monthly contributions for my needs. I make one SIPP contribution a year, when I have all my final accounts in and have a £ figure that maximizes tax efficiency. It goes to cash in the SIPP account. But Cavendish only allow a regular monthly fund purchase via a new contribution from a bank account, not directly from cash sitting on the account. So I have to set up a monthly alarm on my laptop to remind myself to login via cavendish and make a manual request for a cash to investment fund switch. It’s rather a faff. I think it would be possible to automate if I was investing directly with Fidelity, but the Fidelity site directs me back to Cavendish and their layer isn’t so well set up for automation. This situation probably applies to non SIPP accounts as well I think. I’m considering switching away from them for this reason, once I have worked up enough of a head of steam of irritation about it. No transfer costs to leave of course, which was one reason I joined them initially.

  • 1734 Kraggash September 4, 2017, 4:19 pm

    Yes, it is not so much the amount: I like to keep a close track of my holdings ‘offline’ (using MS Money), and with fund + ISA account for both self and wife, that was 96 (48 x 2 as each transaction is a sell, then pay fidelity) extra transactions per year to track. Each non- ISA transaction gave rise to a capital gain/loss.,,,,

  • 1735 Liam September 5, 2017, 12:56 pm

    @Pete @Kraggash @Premierfella

    Thanks for the quick answers, I appreciate that. I’ve gone ahead and got it all set up now, as Kraggash said they took the payment direct from my debit card, there is the option of cash but as mentioned it seemed just a little more work, especially if they don’t charge a penalty. I’ve only got an ISA, with a handful of funds within, so am I correct in understanding that the one with the most money will be sold down the cover the fee once a month? And from what Kraggash said above it will show as two transactions? Fortunately I don’t have another 3 accounts to monitor as well!


  • 1736 Kraggash September 5, 2017, 1:21 pm

    @ Liam

    No, Fidelity will show it as one transaction, a ‘sell’ of some of your largest fund.

    However, my records have to show it as a ‘sell’ (money into cash) and then a ‘debit’ (pay cash fee to Fidelity)

  • 1737 Liam September 5, 2017, 2:04 pm


    I see, thank you very much for your help!

  • 1738 Liam September 8, 2017, 9:41 am

    A question for anyone who is using or has used cavendish / fidelity.

    I set up my funds within my ISA using cavendish online, although my account is with fidelity, when I want to add to my funds do I do it using the dealing & new accounts option on fidelity website, or go back to cavendish online, because I believe they charge different platform fees?


  • 1739 Investor from KZ September 8, 2017, 9:56 am

    @Liam go to Cavendish Online

  • 1740 Kraggash September 8, 2017, 12:17 pm

    I do not think it matters, as your account will be marked as going through an intermediary, but for clarity probably best to go through Cavendish. Note, once you go through Cavendish portal, a cookie is added to your browser, so if you try to go to the Fidelity site, you are redirected to thje Cavendish ‘skinned’ version.

    As an aside, I was a long term direct Fidelity customer, and latterly went through Cavendish to reduce ongoing costs. For some reason, when I access the Fidelity site, I can choose if I wanted to use the ‘direct’ or ‘via intermediary’ version. The former is a much updated site, and allows you to easily see e.g. capital gains realised so far in the current tax year and other good stuff which does not appear on the Cavendish/indirect site.

    While I am at it…. when I moved to Cavendish, the call centre response was downgraded a bit. Did not worry me, as I seldom used it. However, I have noticed that now, if you send a secure message to Fidelity, you get a call back from an Indian call centre. If you are not vailable, they leave a number to call, plus a six digit extension number, plus a six digit issue code…. If you ignore it, they send the secure messaging response….

  • 1741 Liam September 8, 2017, 12:42 pm

    @Investor from KZ & @Kraggash

    Thank you both for the help, and very good advice re any problems with Cavendish. Like you I hope to seldom use call centre, however good to know you can get a secure message response rather than a potentially difficult phone call!

  • 1742 Adrian September 9, 2017, 12:17 pm

    I’m trying to find which platforms charge the least for UFPLS. It’s easy to find the cheapest annual platform fee but what we really need to know is charges when you start taking your pension.

  • 1743 Liam September 9, 2017, 3:03 pm

    Another question about Cavendish if I may @Kraggash (or anyone else).

    I spent some of this morning on morningstar portfolio manager as I received an email from fidelity confirming my fund purchases today. I entered the number of shares and share price they were bought at along with charges etc and all funds are within £1 plus or minus of the intended amounts, however the total amount bought in the end came to 46p less than was debited from my card when I purchased them. Does this 46p disappear to cavendish / fidelity or is it mine still somewhere? (I realise 46p isn’t a lot, however if you purchase funds 4 times a year for 30 years or whatever I’d rather have it than not!)


  • 1744 Kraggash September 9, 2017, 4:19 pm

    In the past I have noticed a discrepancy in the immediate transaction details when the deal has just been done. I noticed that the details later (eg in the document they post on line, which follows a few days after the transaction) was correct. If I remember correctly, it was down to a difference in the number of significant digits after the decimal point provided for the fund price.

  • 1745 Liam September 9, 2017, 9:55 pm


    Thanks, unfortunately that was the document they emailed me about, which has the price per unit to 4 decimal places, which still comes in 46p under the amount I paid. Perhaps I’ll be using the customer services quicker than planned!

  • 1746 Kraggash September 10, 2017, 9:54 am

    I would be interested to know their answer!

  • 1747 PA September 10, 2017, 11:36 am

    @Adrian – This would be useful in a table but quite tricky to keep accurate.

    You have platform costs varied by funds/shares (ETF/IT) and % v fixed cost models matched against drawdown costs. Some websites don’t even mention UFPLS by name so you need to contact them for clarity plus you also need to know their service accuracy for payments & tax issues.
    Example: HL in drawdown phase have net charges similar to most other providers as their drawdown is free whilst others charge

  • 1748 UXR September 10, 2017, 5:27 pm

    Any clarity on the II and TD Direct merger and how it affects their pricing/platform/products yet?

    I’m just at a stage with my ISA where it would be more beneficial to transfer my funds from CSD to a fixed fee platform and am eyeing either Halifax SD, II or TD Direct…

  • 1749 Dogg September 10, 2017, 7:01 pm

    One big minus with iweb is that they charge a whopping 1.5% fee for both buying and selling foreign shares. Also the range of markets and etfs they support is quite low. Still, a good option for buying funds and UK stocks.

  • 1750 Liam September 12, 2017, 8:46 pm


    I have a reply (via secure message after ignoring 3 phonecalls and voicemails from an Indian call centre!).

    Basically I was doing the calculation the wrong way round. I was multiplying shares held (to 2 decimal places) and share price (to 4 decimal places) when actually I should have done transaction value divided by share price (to 4 decimal places). I assumed as they gave shares owned to 2 decimal places that was finite if you like, when actually shares held is the number that runs to many many decimal points. I hope that makes sense, I’ve written this out a couple of times to try to find the best way to explain!

Leave a Comment