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Best trading platforms and stock brokers

Find the best trading platforms and stock brokers for UK investors in the table below. Investment costs are all important, so we’ve placed the cheapest trading platforms and stock brokers at the top of our tables.

Flat fee investment platforms / stock brokers

Platform Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing: Funds Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee1 Good for
Halifax / Bank Of Scotland Share Dealing One £36 fee covers ISA and trading account. Applies from April 1 £9.50 £9.50 £2
Shares ISA £36
Trading £36
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50k. £180 if SIPP more than £50k + £180 p.a. Drawdown, £90 per UFPLS payment £60 per transfer. Max £300 Unrestricted fund portfolios above £102k2
iWeb £100 one-off account opening fee £5 £5 Large portfolios and infrequent traders, check vs ii, Lloyds and Halifax
Shares ISA
Trading The cheapest if you rarely trade
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50k. £180 if SIPP more than £50k + £180 p.a. drawdown, £90 per UFPLS payment £60 per transfer. Max £300 Unrestricted fund portfolios above £102k3
Lloyds Bank Share Dealing £40 One £40 fee covers ISA and trading account £1.50 £11* £1.50
Shares ISA Unrestricted fund portfolios over £26k4, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios5
Trading Unrestricted fund portfolios over £26k6, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios7
SIPP n/a
Interactive Investor8 £119.88 Investor Plan9 1 free trade per month10 £7.9911 £7.9912 Free Drawdown
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP + £120 £0 drawdown, £0 UFPLS SIPP fee waived for first 6 months
ShareDeal Active £9.50 £9.50 £12 per holding + £60 account transfer/closure
Flexible Shares ISA £60 £18 cash withdrawal
Trading As above
SIPP £118.80 + £180 p.a. drawdown, £120 per UFPLS payment  First year’s fee refunded
HSBC Invest Direct £42 Fee per account. No funds n/a £10.50*13 £15 per holding
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a

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. Other charges may be applicable that aren’t included in the table. N.B. Accounts held with Halifax / Bank Of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, and iWeb count as one for the purposes of the FSCS compensation scheme. 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.

Percentage fee investment platforms / stock brokers

Platform Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Funds
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee14 Good for
Vanguard Investor 0.15% up to £250k, 0% over £250k. Max £375. Tiered fee Investments restricted to Vanguard funds and ETFs £0 £0 for fixed daily times, £7.50 to trade at other times £0 Beats other % fee brokers in most cases, and flat-fee brokers up to values below, but restricted range
Flexible Shares ISA Fund portfolios up to £43k, mixed ETF/fund up to £55k, ETF portfolios up to £47k
Trading Fund portfolios up to £43k, mixed ETF/fund up to £55k, ETF portfolios up to £47k
SIPP £0 drawdown. Vanguard investments can be transferred in specie15 Fund portfolios up to £169k, mixed ETF/fund, ETF portfolios up to £66k
AJ Bell Youinvest 0.25% up to £250k of funds 0.1% £250k – £1m, 0.05% £1m – £2m, 0% over £2m. Tiered £1.50 £9.95* £1.50 £9.95 per holding
Shares ISA + 0.25% fee (max £42) on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds
Trading As above
SIPP + 0.25% fee (max £120) on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds £0 drawdown Unrestricted ETF and unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios
HSBC Global Investment Centre 0.25% on all investments Trackers restricted to HSBC index funds £0 Small fund portfolios, restricted range
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Close Brothers 0.25% up to £500k 0.2% £500k – £1m, 0.1% £1m – £1.5m, 0% over £1.5m. Tiered £0 £8.95 Small fund portfolios, restricted range
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP £0 drawdown, £60 per UFPLS payment
Fidelity 0.35% £7.5k – £249k, £45 if £0 – £7.5k or 0.35% with monthly savings 0.2% £250k – £1m, 0% over £1m. Fee not tiered below £1m £0 £10 £1.50 (Not charged on funds)
Shares ISA ETF / IT fee £45 cap
Trading ETF/IT fee waived
SIPP ETF / IT fee £45 cap £0 drawdown Restricted ETF portfolios over £66k
Charles Stanley Direct 0.35% up to £250k, 0.2% £250k – £500k, 0.15% £500k – £1m, 0.05% £1m – £2m, 0% over £2m. Tiered 0.35% on ETFs, shares, ITs and bonds. Min £24 / Max £240 £0 £11.50 £10 per holding
Flexible Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP + £120 No £120 fee if £30k+ held in all accounts. + £60 p.a. drawdown, £180 per UFPLS payment + £150
Strawberry Invest 0.3% up to £50k 0.2% £50k – £1m, 0% over 1m. Including cash. Min £24 £0 0.04%. Min £7.50 £1 per holding
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Santander Investment Hub 0.35% up to £50k 0.2% £50k – £500k, 0.1% over £500k. Tiered £0
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Bestinvest 0.4% up to £250k 0.2% £250k – £1m, 0% over £1m. Fee applies per separate account £0 £7.50
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP £120 + 0.3% up to £250k, 0.2% £250k – £1m, 0% over £1m + £120 p.a. drawdown if SIPP less than £100k after tax free cash
Hargreaves Lansdown 0.45% up to £250k on funds 0.25% £250k – £1m, 0.1% £1m – £2m, 0% over £2m. Tiered. Fee applies per separate account £0 £11.95* £1.50 (Not charged on funds)
Shares ISA + 0.45% fee (max £45) on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds LISA: same charges
Trading £0 for ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds
SIPP + 0.45% fee (max £200) on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds £0 drawdown
Aviva 0.4% up to £50k 0.35% £50k – £250k, 0.25% £250k – £500k, 0% over £500k. Tiered £0
Flexible Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP
Barclays Smart Investor 0.2% on funds. Min £48 / Max £1.5k 0.1% on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds. Min £48 / Max £1.5k £3 £6* £1
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP + £150 + £120 p.a. drawdown, £90 per UFPLS payment £90 per transfer. £450 max + £90

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. Other charges may be applicable that aren’t included in the table. 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.

Share dealing platforms / stock brokers

Platform Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Funds
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee16 Good for
Degiro £0 Custody account fee €1 + 3% (max 10%) per dividend distribution, avoids Degiro lending your shares n/a Some commission-free ETFs.17 €2 + 0.03% for other ETFs. £1.75 + 0.014% for LSE shares18 €10 per holding €10 per holding Commission-free ETF range, frequent traders
Shares ISA n/a
Trading
SIPP n/a
Freetrade Smartphone app only. Restricted list of ETFs n/a £0 to trade during normal market hours Commission-free ETF range, frequent traders
Shares ISA £36
Trading
SIPP £119.88 No drawdown facility yet
X-O.co.uk No funds n/a £5.95 £18 per holding
Shares ISA + £60 account closure
Trading
SIPP £118.80 + £180 p.a. drawdown, £120 per UFPLS payment + £60 First year’s fee refunded
IG £96 £24 waived quarterly by 3+ trades a month in trading account19 £0 £8*
Flexible Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Interactive Brokers $10 inactivity fee per month. Reduced by value of dealing fees20 $20 inactivity fee per month if equity balance below $2k21 n/a £6*22 International shares / ETFs
Shares ISA n/a
Trading
SIPP Fees vary
Trading 212 £0 Restricted list of ETFs n/a £0 Commission-free ETF range, frequent traders
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a

Note: Commission-free brokers generally make money from spreads, foreign exchange fees and cross-selling of other services. 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. Other charges may be applicable that aren’t included in the table. 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.

Trading platforms, stock brokers and share dealing services are interchangeable names for websites or apps that enable you to trade and manage your portfolio of shares, funds, ETFs, and other investments online.

There is no single best investment platform for everybody. The stock broker market is competitive so players try to standout by offering different pricing models and market niches.

Price is critical because keeping your costs low is a crucial factor governing your long-term investment performance.

Therefore our investment platform table focuses heavily on the fees you’ll pay for the key investing services.

The best trading platform for you is likely to provide:

  • Low fees for the services you use most.
  • The shares, funds, ETFs and other investments you want. Platforms do not all carry the same range of products.
  • The right level of customer service for your needs – don’t expect the lowest cost platform to respond like lightning when you want them to handle complicated arrangements over the phone.
  • The right user experience – If you want a flashy website and app then you’ll be able to tell who provides that from their home page. A broker with a clunky website and dirt-cheap fees is unlikely to prioritise investing in cutting-edge tech.

Beginner investors – If you’re starting out with a relatively low level of knowledge and small monthly amounts to invest, then focus on the percentage-fee platforms table.

Anyone whose assets are likely to remain below £25,000 (ISA) or £100,000 (SIPP) for some time to come will typically be better off with a percentage-fee platform that charges £0 for fund dealing.

Flat fees take a disproportionate chunk out of small investors’ assets. That’s why Vanguard Investor tops the table for small investors.

Investors with larger portfolios – Look first at the flat-fee platform table if you’ve accumulated over £25,000 (ISA) or £100,000 (SIPP).

Percentage fees can siphon off eye-watering amounts from your wealth if your platform doesn’t cap them.

There are a few exceptions though if you stick to ETFs in a SIPP.

If frequent trading and exotic investments are your thing then you’ll likely find your perfect match in the share dealing platform table. At Monevator, we believe that most people will thrive with a passive investing strategy.

Not everyone agrees though, and some sophisticated or high net-worth investors may enjoy speculating in the riskier reaches of the market.

The Good for column shows some of the best deals available when judged by price, account type and portfolio mix.23 We judge this from a passive investor’s perspective.

More guidance:

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.

Check your trading platform is authorised by the FCA

If your broker is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) then you may be entitled to compensation using the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Check from here by using the FCA register.

Some trading platforms are owned by the same financial group. You do not diversify your risk by splitting assets across brands owned by the same group. Our investor compensation scheme guide (linked to above) explains how you can identify these brands.

Where is my missing trading platform?

We haven’t included every last option in 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.

Trading platform costs and fees

The platform charge category is intended to capture the various types of service fee typically levied by investment platforms e.g. 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.

A tiered charge means you’ll pay different amounts depending on the total value of your account(s). For example:

  • 0.25% on £0 – £250,000 (tier 1)
  • 0.1% on £250,001 – £500,000 (tier 2)

If your account was worth £250,500 then you’d only benefit from the lower charge on the £499 that fell into tier 2. £250,000 would still be charged the tier 1 rate of 0.25%.

Beware some brokers count joint and individual accounts separately when working out tiered charges on your assets.

Platforms levy various additional costs for extras such as telephone trading.

Check a platform’s full rates and charges schedule before committing.

This guide explains how to work out which platform is cheapest for your situation.

SIPP charges on the table don’t include all the various additional fees levied for services once you’re in drawdown. The drawdown figure we do include is the annual ongoing charge you’ll pay for flexi-access drawdown.

Platforms run temporary offers and discounts from time-to-time. Don’t let these sway your decision. Obviously they’re a lovely “How Do You Do?” if you were going to choose that broker anyway.

Platform charges are on top of the investment fees you’ll pay for holding funds, ETFs, and other products in your portfolio.

Understanding trading platform account names

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

  • Trading = a taxable account. Your investments are not tax-sheltered as they would be in a stocks and shares ISA or a SIPP. You will incur dividend income tax and capital gains tax on your investments if you exceed your allowances.
  • SIPP = Self-Invested Personal Pension. Tax sheltered.

Choosing investments at your trading platform

Why are there only links to some brokers?

Links to brokers and investment platforms 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 platforms 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

For in-depth customer feedback on individual platforms, ask away in our comments 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 investment 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 sure that your total cost of investment isn’t more expensive once you load the platform 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. Out to another broker []
  2. £169k vs Vanguard []
  3. £169k vs Vanguard []
  4. £43k vs Vanguard []
  5. £55k vs Vanguard []
  6. £43k vs Vanguard []
  7. £55k vs Vanguard []
  8. Also known as ii []
  9. £167.88 Funds Fan plan; £239.88 Super Investor plan []
  10. 2 free fund trades per month Funds Fan plan; 2 free UK trades per month Super Investor plan []
  11. £3.99 on Fund Fans or Super Investor plan []
  12. £3.99 on Super Investors plan []
  13. £39.95 for gilts []
  14. Out to another broker []
  15. Check though as Vanguard say there are some exceptions []
  16. Out to another broker []
  17. Commission-free ETFs trade on European exchanges not LSE. Other restrictions apply []
  18. £5 max []
  19. or by £15k+ assets in Smart Portfolio accounts. Quarterly dealing fees paid are deducted from custody fee []
  20. e.g. $10 inactivity fee – $6 dealing fee = $4 actual fee that month. Waived on $100k+ accounts []
  21. Reduced by value of dealing fees. Inactivity fee is $3 for under 25s and reduced by dealing fees []
  22. Up to £50k value. £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value over £50k. Max £29. Fixed pricing structure []
  23. 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 of the two. []
{ 2617 comments… add one }
  • 2601 Tim Hughes July 24, 2021, 1:49 am

    Looks like IB *have* scrapped inactivity fees. As well as the stuff on Reddit there is now:

    https://www.interactivebrokers.co.uk/en/index.php?f=38234

    Surprised they don’t make more of a song and dance about it.

  • 2602 xenobyte July 28, 2021, 8:20 pm

    @JC

    Can’t comment on x-o but I do have experince of Halifax Sharedealing. For bare bones, no-frills, buy-and-hold investing in funds such as Vanguard/iShares it works OK. Regular investing is low cost. Selecting funds for purchase is a bit quirky: their public Fund Centre page uses ISIN codes, but the internal fund selection doesn’t, so you have to do a bit searching through the list to find the right fund.
    For Support, there is no internal messaging service (like Vanguard/AJB), no contact email, and call centre waiting time is 30-50 minutes.
    I am currently transferring funds out from Halifax. So far its taken 6 months.
    Conclusion: OK for buy and hold, but if something goes wrong you are pretty much on your own.

  • 2603 Jeffrey Beranek July 28, 2021, 9:58 pm

    I don’t think you need to be worried about the different spreads across different platforms. It’s generally best to trade ETFs when the markets are open in the countries that the ETF covers. You shouldn’t have any problems with any of the large ETFs. It can be a bit worrying with some of the very small ETFs, e.g. specific country funds, or obscure thematic/fundamental funds, where it might go a few days with no trades occurring at all. However, even with these there is always a price available (check Google Finance or the London Stock Exchange page for the ETF ticker) so if the price you are offered at the time of purchase is “way off” then just cancel the order before it executes. I prefer to stick to “market price” orders, but check the price before you execute. I can’t remember, but I don’t think x-o even offered limit order types. Personally, if I plan to owe the share for decades I couldn’t care less about tiny fluctuations in the daily value of a simple contribution.

  • 2604 JC July 29, 2021, 2:04 pm

    @xenobyte, @Jeffrey Beranek – thank you both for taking the time to provide your detailed thoughts and conclusions.

  • 2605 Tony August 2, 2021, 10:15 pm

    Is anyone aware of a decent SIPP provider (besides HL) who accept salary sacrifice contributions paid in by an employer?

    I can only assume it makes life much harder on the admin side because virtually no one on the table accepts such contributions, unless i can pursuade HR to set up a direct debit to my pension…

    I was formally a fairly happy EQI customer who’s now been dumped into a crummy ‘pension trading account’ at II where I have the privellege of paying the same as a SIPP customer but without the free regular investing service and trustee fees on top.

    Unless anyone has a hidden gem of a SIPP I’m feeling like transferring what i’ve got to vanguard and crawling back to work’s noddy stakeholder scheme!

  • 2606 ahick August 14, 2021, 9:25 pm

    I thought this was noted previously but I don’t see it now…

    With Charles Stanley Direct, for Stocks and Shares (incl. Exchange Traded Funds & Commodities, Investment Trusts, Gilts & Bonds)

    “Clients who make one or more chargeable trade on any account within a calendar month will have all stock & shares platform charges waived across all accounts for that month. Joint accounts will not be aggregated with individual accounts for charging.”

    https://www.charles-stanley-direct.co.uk/SiteDocuments/GetSiteDocumentByType?DocumentType=RatesAndCharges

  • 2607 The Accumulator August 16, 2021, 12:07 pm

    @ ahick- thank you! That info used to be on there but must have got accidentally deleted in the last update. TI must have been drunk again. Cheers for letting us know.

  • 2608 The Accumulator August 16, 2021, 12:17 pm

    @ Jeff Beranek – thank you for all your helpful, quality comments on this thread. It’s very much appreciated!

  • 2609 Shazspun August 24, 2021, 12:13 pm

    Hi. Ive been reading this blog for several years and as I am now nearing retiring early, (another 4 years at work), I ams looking to get my pensions sorted out. Currently I have an old RBS pension which is defined so carnet do anything with at the moment, but I also have a SIPP. The SIPP is with HL which isn’t the best but this is what my employer has our scheme within. They put all the funds into an under forming Blackrock account which I then transfer into various ETF and Index fund pots over the months, however this is now attracting larger fees (£446pa at the last count). I have set up a Vanguard SIPP which I pay into when I have spare cash. My question is – should I transfer part of my HL SIPP balance (if I can even do this) into the Vanguard SIPP on say a monthly basis to reduce the fees or shall I just leave it where it is for the time being rather than pay 2 separate fee structures. I guess there might be transfer costs with this.

  • 2610 Chris B August 26, 2021, 1:02 pm

    @Shazspun, with that fee you probably have somewhere in the region of £100k in your SIPP. In which case your cheapest option is to transfer to Fidelity and invest in ETFs only – the Fidelity annual platform fee will be a fixed £45. Vanguard’s annual % platform fee on £100k is £150. Which is not bad, but still more than Fidelity. IWeb could be another option to consider, the IWeb fee is a fixed £180 a year, and unlike Fidelity that includes investments held in funds. HL apparently do allow partial transfers out, so switching as much as you can now to ETFs on Fidelity would save you nearly £400 a year.

  • 2611 Shazspun August 26, 2021, 2:36 pm

    Many thanks Chris B. I didn’t look at Fidelity as Vanguard seems to be quoted by everyone as the easy platform. I suspect if I do partial transfers over from HL I will just have to factor in the transfer cost each time I do this so that it doesn’t outstrip any overall savings I’m trying to achieve by splitting it between SIPPS

  • 2612 Barney August 26, 2021, 3:27 pm

    It’s worth noting that Fidelity do not do partial transfers out, it’s all or nothing. Which may be a future obstacle.

  • 2613 Chris B August 27, 2021, 10:23 am
  • 2614 Tortoise August 27, 2021, 11:09 am

    @shazspun HL fees are capped at £200 if you invest in ETFs instead of funds. I would switch to a simple global tracker ETF like the Vanguard FTSE All World tracker for my equities component and not mess around with other brokers/platforms and funds.
    You will have an extra set of fees from Vanuard Investor or Fidelity if you go down the route of using them too, plus the headache of having a more complicated set up overall. Also, I have always found the most competent heldesk to be HL’s.
    Can you not get your employer to invest directly in the ETF you want, without the faff of investing in what the say and then have to re-invest in what you want?

  • 2615 Tony September 2, 2021, 2:04 pm

    @Chris B, wonderful, really appreciate the information, I’ll give Fidelity a look.

    @TA et al, thanks again for the site, hard work and mutual support!

  • 2616 The Accumulator September 14, 2021, 11:59 am

    @ Shazspun and Barney – I’m getting round Fidelity’s ‘no partial transfer’ tedium by transferring a portion of my holdings to AJ Bell who do partials. Then the balance is going to Fidelity as a full transfer.

  • 2617 MrTux September 18, 2021, 9:53 am

    hi all,

    it seems I am in the same boat as @Shazspun …. 2x forgotten work-pensions (tot ~40K) from previous employers with Aviva on a % base charge ….. I believe my best option is ETF only at Fidelity to reduce charges….

    Would you guys keep your SIPP with a different provider (e.g. Vanguard 0.15% charge) just for the sake of not consolidating everything in one provider??

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