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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:
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
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
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
Shares ISA ETF and IT fees capped at £45 £10 £1.50 (Not charged on funds)
Trading ETF and IT fees waived £10 £1.50 (Not charged on funds)
SIPP ETF and IT fees capped at £45 0.1% (ETFs / ITs) 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
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
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

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 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
SIPP n/a
X-O.co.uk No funds n/a £5.95 £18 per holding
Shares ISA + £60 account closure
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
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 []
{ 2255 comments… add one }
  • 2101 David April 5, 2018, 8:25 am

    It’s worth noting an undocumented limitation the Halifax service has. Trades – or at least sales of funds from their S&S ISA – over a certain limit fail with a “service unavailable” message. More unhelpful is that they suggest you “try again later”, rather than just indicating it must be handled over the phone. There’s no indication of a limit and it looks just like a broken server. The limit might be £100k as sale of a lesser amount went OK.

    To their credit it was resolved quickly over the phone and their complaints team contacted me promptly. I think this reflects the no-frills nature of their website. It’s not a patch on H&L.

    Frustrating at the time but OK when you consider it’s £12.50 a year probably bearable.

  • 2102 Jeff Beranek April 7, 2018, 4:05 pm

    I’ve had a response to the question I put into AJ Bell Youinvest about whether or not I could hold US domiciled ETFs in my SIPP and if I could benefit from a 0% rate of withholding tax. This is what they said:

    “Unfortunately since 03 January it has been very difficult to purchase any US listed ETFs, but this is not because of tax reasons. Usually, any
    US income within a UK SIPP is paid gross (i.e. no tax), however new regulation came in on 03 January which means that any packaged
    product, such as an ETF, must have a Key Information Document in order to be traded in the UK.

    UK ETFs do have these documents, but most US ETFs don’t, because if they did, it may breach some US regulations about marketing and
    promoting, so it’s a bit of a catch 22as things stand.

    VTI is one of the ones that unfortunately cannot be traded at present, for the above reasons.”

    I’ve heard from a forum contributor that Hargreaves Lansdown have also removed at least some US domiciled funds from their platform for the same reason.

  • 2103 John. April 7, 2018, 4:24 pm

    That rhymes with my experience. I hold VNQ with HL and was told via secure message by them back in mid December that the new regulation requiring PRIIP’s to publish a KID was to come into force on 1st January 2018.

    I also hold VNQI with AJB in a SIPP.
    My plan was to move VNQ into the SIPP but that’s all been kicked into the long grass by this turn of events.

    I’m hoping against hope that by the time I’m ready to rebalance these holdings, that the regulatory requirements have been met. Stuck in limbo at the moment, can sell but don’t want to, can’t buy but will need to at some point.

    The whole thing is a mess and a bit of a kick in the teeth for me as I had only recently purchased these when the changes came in.

  • 2104 YoungFiGuy April 7, 2018, 6:13 pm

    I hope I’m not being facetious here, but I don’t understand why it should be possible to sell positions held in these funds when you can’t buy them. FCA rules on transactions don’t only just apply to purchasing investments, they also apply to selling. So why does it seem here that brokers are selecting to apply the “rules” when buying only. This is such a mess, and I can’t see how this helps the retail investors what so ever. I really hope you guys get a resolution quickly.

  • 2105 John. April 7, 2018, 6:26 pm

    This is the meat of the secure message I received from HL on 15th December 2017

    No action necessary – for your information only

    This means that from 1 January 2018 you will not be able to buy any more of this stock. As well as the dealing instructions you give us, the new regulation applies to automated trades we place on your behalf (such as dividend reinvestments, limit orders and regular savings instructions). Therefore, from the start of next year we must also turn off any automated trades we would otherwise have placed in this stock.

    Please remember, you can continue to hold the stocks you own, or sell them at any stage, however you will not be able to buy any more.

    I am sorry about this, but the regulation is very clear. We have no discretion in the matter and it affects all UK stockbrokers in the same way.

    Please note that the new regulation does not come into effect until 1 January 2018, so you can trade as you always have until then. We are writing to you now to give you time to consider your options.

    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • 2106 Kraggash April 7, 2018, 8:30 pm

    @David – I have had this from time to time with iWeb. It was for sales in the 10s of k£ range. I think they blamed it on not being quite in sync with A J Bell trading platform. Sorted out quickly by phone, so no biggy, but I am not a frequent trader.

  • 2107 New Investor April 7, 2018, 9:42 pm

    Hi all,

    I would like to mention that iWeb have acted highly irresponsibly with regards to my account. To verify a new account they request an actual physical copy of my passport mailed to them – something I was highly reluctant to do, but I tried their alternative (which is to take it into a branch and have staff send a certified copy internally) and certified copies got lost in their internal post three times. So I gave up and mailed it in. They sent my passport back to me:

    a) using Recorded (not special) delivery, when I’d sent it in using special delivery
    b) in an envelope with a see-through window on it

    It’s not very surprising that my passport was stolen in the post then. I’ve filed a crime report, am in the process of replacing it, and will be filing as many complaints against iWeb as I can. As an FCA regulated company it seems pretty irresponsible to send UK passports around not using special delivery, and in envelopes with transparent windows.

    Anyway, I’m posting this as both a warning, and in the hopes that someone might point me to a good place to complain!

  • 2108 UXR April 7, 2018, 9:54 pm

    New Investor – sorry to hear that. I opened up my account with them on Thursday and they didn’t need any verifications. Wonder what prompted it for you? I’d never send in a passport myself – my non-UK broker was fine with verified copies.

  • 2109 Ric April 7, 2018, 10:55 pm

    New Investor –
    Three family members and I had no issues opening iWeb accounts with only the standard on-line verification (electoral role, credit reference agency ID checks, etc). However for anyone else in this situation the post office do a cheap documentation certification service and it worked well when dealing with family legal needs recently, leaving you able to post direct to head office and so bypassing the need to rely on a local bank branch: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/document-certification-service

  • 2110 martin April 9, 2018, 5:22 pm

    Hi, I’m an expat with DB transfer option from previous UK employer looking for company that offer SIPP to Irish resident.

  • 2111 Jeffrey Beranek April 9, 2018, 10:49 pm

    @martin: You would almost certainly need to take regulated financial advice for that, and must by law for any DB scheme worth more than £30,000. Not sure you can actually transfer a UK scheme to an Irish one. There are QROPS and QNUPS, but these are expensive, unnecessary and or risky. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just leave the scheme where it is until you retire and start a new DC scheme in Ireland.

  • 2112 martin April 10, 2018, 5:57 am

    Hi Geffrey, yes I have already had a consultation with a LEBC adviser and am awaiting their recommendations, although that said I would have liked to transferred straight into my company DC scheme here in Ireland but its managed by Irish Life who aren’t QROPS recognized (supprisingly). So am looking at transferring into UK based SIPP in the hope of seeing an increase between now and when I retire. Trouble is I haven’t found one (mainstream) SIPP operator who will allow non-UK residents to set them up. The only couple I have found would be some lesser known companies trading from places like Gibraltar one of which seemed to have a history of miss selling pension products. Thanks

  • 2113 theta April 17, 2018, 10:20 pm

    @Jeff and John,
    This is probably an issue with UK brokers then, because I have been able to buy US ETFs within my SIPP with Interactive Brokers (VTI and VNQ specifically, this month). And I hope this doesn’t sound like a promotion for IB, but even if AJBel/HL/etc did allow US ETFs, why would one prefer to trade there given the horrendous FX conversion fees they charge? With IB you convert FX at interbank rates with a flat $2 dealing charge.

  • 2114 Robbo April 18, 2018, 8:09 am

    Morning. I am currently invested in VWRL and VGOV within an ISA and just noticed dividends in my cash account. I didn’t realise these ETF’s were Income – does anyone know if there are there Accumulation versions of these please as I can’t seem to find them?

    Would I have to pay tax on the dividends from an Income ETF inside an ISA as the dividends are now effectively outside of it?

  • 2115 ivanopinion April 18, 2018, 8:31 am

    Few ETFs are accumulation.

    On all the platforms I use, you need to choose whether divs are reinvested or paid out of the ISA. I imagine that if you look at the settings you can opt to have the divs stay in the ISA and either be automatically reinvested or accumulate as cash, which you invest as you wish.

    The divs are not taxable, whether they stay in the ISA or not.

  • 2116 Vanguardfan April 18, 2018, 8:32 am

    @robbo. No, you won’t ever have to pay tax on any income arising from investments held in an ISA. However, are you sure that the dividends have been paid away outside of the tax wrapper? What broker are you using? I would normally expect the default setting in an ISA account to retain the dividends as cash in the account rather than pay them out of the ISA. In any case, you should be able to set up the income settings so that the dividends either sit in cash within the ISA until you take some action (eg make a further purchase with them) or you may be able to set up automatic reinvestment into the same security (but check the charges for doing this as may not make sense for small amounts).

    Most ETFs are distributing rather than accumulating, although I think iShares do a range of accumulating ETFs. I don’t think Vanguard do, but double check that. This is why I use accumulating funds in my ISA, so I don’t have to bother with reinvesting small amounts of cash through the year. But if you’re making monthly purchases anyway you may be able to add the dividends to those, depending on your broker.

  • 2117 Jeffrey Beranek April 18, 2018, 8:47 am

    An ISA sharedealing account is usually (always?) accompanied by an associated cash account which is also within the ISA wrapper (but usually pays little or no interest). This is where dividends are usually paid into and also any new ISA annual contributions. If you also have a non-ISA trading account then that will usually have its own associated cash account. Be careful when transferring cash from the non-ISA cash account to the ISA cash account because that will count towards your annual ISA contribution limit.

  • 2118 Charlie April 18, 2018, 9:21 am

    From the iShares range of accumulating ETFs, 90% SWDA + 10% EMIM is a reasonable approximation of VWRL.

  • 2119 Robbo April 18, 2018, 11:51 am

    Sorry my mistake you’re all absolutely right, just checked again and the cash is still in a cash account within the ISA wrapper. My broker is IG and I don’t believe they offer automatic dividend re-investment. I am looking to transfer from IG to X-O.co.uk but I don’t believe they offer dividend re-investment either. I’ll probably have to let it build up and then manually re-invest it once or twice a year.

    The reason I am using ETF’s is that I already have 50k in the equivalent accumulation funds via iWeb but I have been trying to diversify brokers when reaching the FSCS protection limit. There are limited options for flat fee brokers though.

    Am I just worrying too much or does anyone else do this broker diversification too?

  • 2120 Jeff Beranek April 18, 2018, 4:14 pm
  • 2121 ivanopinion April 18, 2018, 5:07 pm

    I was interested in the last sentence of what they say about withholding tax:
    “UK investors are automatically hit by a 30% withholding tax on dividends and interest paid by US-domiciled ETFs. You can cut this tax to 15% if you periodically complete a W8-BEN form for your broker. You can even offset that 15% against the rest of your UK dividend income tax bill.”

    The last sentence is a bit loosely worded. The words “the rest of” suggests that they mean you could offset it against the UK tax on other dividends, which would be handy for someone who is only paying 7.5% UK tax on the divs and has other divs on which they would otherwise pay 7.5%. You would use half the 15% WHT to eliminate the 7.5% UK tax on the same dividend and then use the other half to shelter an equivalent sized dividend from UK tax.

    But I don’t think that is right. You can only claim the lower of the foreign tax and the UK tax on the same income. They must just mean that you can offset the 15% against your UK dividend income tax bill on the same dividend. So if you are a higher rate payer, you pay 25-15=10% extra tax in the UK and the US tax is not an incremental cost. If you are a basic rate payer, there’s no extra tax to pay in the UK, so only half of the US WHT is an incremental cost.

  • 2122 The Accumulator April 18, 2018, 6:00 pm

    @ Theta – the issue with US domiciled ETFs is EU wide. Interesting that Interactive Brokers haven’t stopped you trading. I see they’re a US company but the UK arm is regulated by the FCA. So you’d think they’d be hit by the same regs as everyone else. Are you trading through interactivebrokers.co.uk? Does it say anything about where they’re based? If you’re trading through a US broker then presumably they wouldn’t need to apply the PRIIPs rules – but then it says the UK branch is FCA regulated. Perplexing.

  • 2123 theta April 18, 2018, 10:25 pm

    Interesting article, thanks.

    @the accumulator
    Yes, via interactivebrokers.co.uk (although even if I go via interactivebrokers.com there’s no difference, the interface is the same globally, the regional differentiation are determined by the account/login).
    I think the answer may be in that I am classified as sophisticated investor, and therefore benefit from the exception that is mentioned in the article that Jeff posted.

  • 2124 The Accumulator April 19, 2018, 5:32 pm

    Sophisticated Investor! Congratulations! That would explain it. Would you be able to let us know how the IB Sophisticated Investor application process works?

  • 2125 theta April 19, 2018, 5:51 pm

    It’s actually less impressive than it sounds.
    I think these are the criteria:

    I didn’t specifically apply for it, other than filling the account application questionnaire.

  • 2126 JohnS May 4, 2018, 2:16 pm

    Just lodged a complaint with Fidelity about their SIPP.
    Charges for ETF and IT fees stated capped at £45.

    Problem is they don’t actually do ETF’s in their SIPP.
    Their investment finder requires you to use their ‘use more filters’ option and then to click SIPP in the ‘product eligibility’ box to find it comes up with Zero funds for ETF’s. Discussions with Fidelity staff confirm their SIPP does not do ETF’s (despite terms and conditions featuring them (page 5 of T&C’s)). As a consequence, they are offering me alternatives which don’t qualify for the £45 cap.

    Particularly unimpressed. Unfortunately FCA don’t accept consumer complains but I believe this is a serious error. Beware investors.

  • 2127 Sipper May 4, 2018, 4:23 pm

    I have a Fidelity SIPP exclusively invested in ETFs to take advantage of the charging structure mentioned. They don’t offer every ETF under the sun, but they do have a reasonable selection of big trackers, including the low charging iShares accumulation ones. I think this is about as low as you can go on combined platform and fund charges.

    Try looking at https://www.fidelity.co.uk/pension/fidelity-sipp and following the “what can a SIPP invest in” link.

  • 2128 JohnS May 4, 2018, 4:57 pm

    Thanks Sipper but that takes me back to the Investment finder.

    However, an acutely embarrassed Fidelity man called just now to apologise for a) poor/wrong information I have been given and b) the web site investment finder is faulty.

    So investigations now under way as to how they got all this wrong (even had letter from big boss saying 8 of 15 funds were not available and that was wrong). Turns out only 4 were not available but you can’t get the funds available on the web site so they are manually sending them by email.
    So you are correct on the service charges so hopefully they will resolve things soon. It has been such a pigs breakfast of errors so far!

  • 2129 Sipper May 4, 2018, 5:24 pm

    Great that this is sorted out.
    When I go to investment finder, one option is ETFs. Click that and you get a search form with various criteria. Just click search without populating any box and you get more than 100 ETFs.

    This direct link may work to get the ETF list up straight away.

    Fidelity are not perfect (who is?). I’ve had to deal with a few members of staff who have given nonsensical answers to queries because they simply haven’t understood the basic point under discussion, but once escalated above them my experience is that you can get to somebody intelligent. Since I just want to buy and forget some big trackers, I’m OK with this standard of service because I shouldn’t have to speak to them very often.

    I had an ISA with them a few years ago (now with iweb) , and was happy with the service then.

    I also like their offer to reimburse transfer fees, which gives me a way to get out of AJBell after they did the dirty on us.

  • 2130 Susan Jamieson May 4, 2018, 10:27 pm

    @johns – that’s exactly why we left them 18 months ago and went to hl. Much better platform and capped charges.

  • 2131 JohnS May 5, 2018, 2:18 am

    The Investment finder without drilling down the filters to a SIPP does indeed generate 118 ETF funds which I had originally used as the ‘list’. However, email this afternoon from the Fidelity complaint man included a spreadsheet featuring only ~80 which I can cope with. So the website does need work to give the correct avaialble funds for SIPPs.

    Still waiting on the answer to a charges question. I read somewhere that if your funds generate income (typically dividends) then that cash element negates the £45 cap? So far have had various answers from Fidelity so waiting for clarification on that one. Some say the charges are £45 for funds and 0.2% for cash element, others say 0.2% for the lot!

  • 2132 Linda May 5, 2018, 12:39 pm

    I have a Fidelity SIPP & have eventually found my feet after a few calls to their pensions hotline. Any dividends/income from your investments in your sipp, just sit there as cash. You can re-invest them using the Switch facility. There is no charge for this & it doesn’t effect your £45 limit. There is just a 0.1% fee. I pay cash into the account and then switch it to the funds I have chosen. You can also hold Investment Trusts in your SIPP under the same rules. It really is a great place for a SIPP providing you stick to ETFs & Investment Trusts.

  • 2133 Linda May 5, 2018, 12:42 pm

    BTW always keep some cash in your account as they take fees monthly & if there is no cash, they will sell some units.

  • 2134 eagleuk May 6, 2018, 10:56 pm

    I have seen a comment on another forum that Small Self Administered Scheme(SSAS) is better than a sipp for the self employed.One can take certain percentage of cash out and invest in the property or other approved investments . The rental profits can be deposited back into this pension account without paying tax.Does anyone know the brokers who are offering SSAS .

  • 2135 Jeffrey Beranek May 7, 2018, 12:16 am

    For SSAS you might be interested in this article: https://www.ftadviser.com/sipp/2018/01/04/best-sipps-and-ssas-named/

    It appears that AJ Bell Platinum also offer a SSAS.

  • 2136 Snowman May 25, 2018, 10:32 am

    Selftrade price change from 1st July 2018, details here


  • 2137 stephen watson May 26, 2018, 4:03 pm

    I have seen the discussion below regarding holding an etf in a Fidelity Sipp with a maximum platform charge of £45. As others have stated the website seems to be wrong – when you search for etfs, putting Sipp into the filter, it comes up with none. I rang them and even after explaining some people posting do have an etf in a Sipp with them they say it’s not possible. Someone mentioned an email address to write to at Fidelity where they will manually send you the etfs – if someone knows this please could let me know who to write to please? (I want to transfer a VWRL etf, currently held at AJ Bell to Fidelity to reduce charges.)

  • 2138 Linda May 26, 2018, 5:52 pm

    @stephen watson

    After logging in, go to Investing/Investment Finder/ETFs
    Ignore – Search or Filter
    Scroll down to find the list of 118 ETFs

  • 2139 Kraggash May 26, 2018, 6:07 pm

    Is it worth changing to save £55 per year?

    On a related subject: how do Fidelity take their service fees etc when you have an ETF/IT portfolio? I previously held funds with them, which they sold some of to pay fees. This would not work when you hold ETF/ITs though, as they charge for selling in these cases. AJ Bell are willing to wait for income from the holdings, and take it from there when it arrives..


  • 2140 JohnS May 26, 2018, 6:10 pm

    Hi Stephen

    The website is wrong, lots of the Fidelity people I also spoke to were wrong. I did lodge a complaint and they responded very quickly and confirmed the web site is wrong for ETF’s in a SIPP. They did send me a spreadsheet list instead which does feature about 85 ETF’s (the 118 is the web page number for general investment purposes – SIPPS have less (not sure why but they must have reasons)). I got the spreadsheet form the guy who responded to the complaint so maybe worth just emailing a complaint. Lower level staff just didn’t know what was going on.

  • 2141 stephen watson May 26, 2018, 6:10 pm

    Thanks Linda
    I had already done what you suggested and showed it to the Fidelity adviser online. If you click on any of the individual 118 ETFs that come up you will see that they are either only available in an ISA or normal account. So their website is misleading and on the phone I was told it was impossible to have an ETF in a SIPP. Sipper (who has posted) DOES though as do a few other people who have posted. Just wondering how to get around this problem – some people seem to have emailed someone in Fidelity to get it sorted and I’m wondering who?

  • 2142 JohnS May 26, 2018, 6:12 pm

    Hi Stephen

    The website is wrong, lots of the Fidelity people I also spoke to were wrong. I did lodge a complaint and they responded very quickly and confirmed the web site is wrong for ETF’s in a SIPP. They did send me a spreadsheet list instead which does feature about 85 ETF’s (the 118 is the web page number for general investment purposes – SIPPS have less (not sure why but they must have reasons)). I got the spreadsheet form the guy who responded to the complaint so maybe worth just emailing a complaint. Lower level staff just didn’t know what was going on.

  • 2143 stephen watson May 26, 2018, 6:15 pm

    “Is it worth changing to save £55 per year?”

    Yes because:
    Fidelity pay the transfer fees
    They have a cash back offer on at the moment on transfers
    and possibly most importantly they have no charges when you want to start withdrawing.

  • 2144 Linda May 26, 2018, 9:40 pm

    @stephen watson

    I have only bought ETF units twice & don’t remember having a problem, I am only investing once a year on April 6th until I am 75 so that I can benefit from the tax relief. I have always paid a cash sum into my account and then used the switch facility to buy the ETF units.
    I can’t remember exactly how it worked but I am waiting for tax relief cash to arrive for this year so when it does, I will make a note of how it works & put it on here. It was pretty straight forward when I knew how to do it.
    I do know that when I did it for the first time, I got stuck & phoned Fidelity. The first person I spoke to didn’t have a clue & left me hanging on for about 10 minutes. He had obviously had to ask someone else what to do, so they may be pension experts but they have no idea how their website works without asking their techs.

  • 2145 W Neil June 12, 2018, 8:53 pm

    Selftrade have changed their price structure. Fixed quarterly charges and no inactivity fees.

  • 2146 W Neil June 13, 2018, 1:36 pm

    Follow up to the new Selftrade pricing. Although they highlight the new fixed quarterly charges, the promotional information does not mention the platform fee of 0.3% on £50K of funds and 0.25% on £50K – £250K. According to their phone helpline this fee remains. That is also – cough – why it was not mentioned in the promotion about their new lower charges, “because it is not a new lower charge”. So Selftrade is still expensive for larger portfolios.

  • 2147 AnalysisParalysis June 17, 2018, 6:52 pm

    Clubfinance are no longer accepting new account registrations. After spending 10 minutes on their website looking for a sign-up page, I gave them a phone call and they told me they’re not open for new business at the moment – I think this is since they’ve been acquired by Wealth Club. @ The Accumulator, might be worth removing them from the table above (possibly after calling and checking my experience for yourself!)

  • 2148 Damian July 18, 2018, 4:46 pm

    So for someone with say a S&S ISA of £100,000, investing £1000 monthly, split between 8 index funds, one of the best brokers to pick would be ‘iWeb’, is that correct?

    I’m not sure because the comparison calculator doesn’t make it too clear for me. Does ‘trades’ include monthly investing? If I have monthly investment set up to split £1000 into 8 funds per month, would that be considered 8 ‘trades’? In my mind no, because it’s a monthly set up into existing funds but I’m not sure.

  • 2149 Robbo July 18, 2018, 4:51 pm

    @ Damian – iWeb don’t offer regular investing so yes you would pay 8 x £5 in trading fees per month to invest in 8 funds.

  • 2150 Damian July 18, 2018, 9:46 pm

    @Robbo ahh wow. Thanks for letting me know! Just noticed I didn’t see the blank entry for regular investing in the chart. Any idea which one might be the best one to look at for me?

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