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Compare the UK’s cheapest online brokers

Last updated on 2 February 2019.

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.

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
Shares ISA
Trading  –
SIPP + £120 + £120 p.a. drawdown 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 p.a. 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 p.a. drawdown £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 p.a. drawdown £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 £26K5, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios6
Trading Fund portfolios over £26K7, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios8
SIPP n/a
HSBC Invest Direct £42 Charge per account £10.50 (£39.95 for gilts) £15 per holding
Shares ISA
Trading  –
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 p.a. drawdown  + £125
Alliance Trust Savings 4 free trades p.a. £9.99* £9.99* £1.50
Shares ISA £120 £120
Trading £120 £72
SIPP £252 £342 p.a. drawdown 1% of value capped at £1809

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.

Percentage fee brokers / platforms

 

Company Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Funds
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee10 Good for
Vanguard Investor 0.15% on first £250,000, 0% thereafter. Tiered charge. Max £375 Investments restricted to Vanguard funds and ETFs only £0 £0 twice per day, £7.50 to trade at other times £0 £0 Beats other % fee brokers in most cases and flat-fee brokers up to £46-£56K but restricted range
Shares ISA Fund portfolios up to £43K, mixed ETF/fund up to £56K, ETF portfolios up to £47K
Trading Fund portfolios up to £43K, mixed ETF/fund up to £56K, ETF portfolios up to £47K
SIPP n/a
Close Brothers 0.25% on all investments £0 £8.95 £0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP £0 drawdown
Cavendish Online 0.25% on all investments 0.20% on whole balance if over £200K in all accounts combined £0 £10 £1.50
(Not charged on funds)
£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
HSBC Global Investment Centre 0.25% on all investments Trackers restricted to HSBC index funds only £0 £0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Charles Stanley Direct 0.35% on first £250,000 of funds11 0.35% on shares, ETFs and ITs. Min £24 / Max £24012 £0 £11.50 £10 per holding
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP + £120 No £120 charge if £30,000+ across all accounts. + £60 p.a. drawdown + £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 portfolios13
Trading £4.99 quarterly account charge waived if you own ISA / SIPP £15 per holding Unrestricted ETF portfolios14
SIPP + £118.80 + £180 p.a. drawdown £90
Fidelity 0.35% on all assets worth £7500 – £250,00015 Assets under £7500 = £45 p.a. or 0.35% with monthly savings plan16 £0 £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 drawdown 0.1% (ETFs / ITs) ETF portfolios – restricted range
AJ Bell Youinvest 0.25% on first £250,000 of funds17 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 p.a. 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 £250,00018 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
Trading 0.4% on first £250,00019 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
SIPP £100 p.a, plus 0.3% on first £250,00020. + £120 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million. £120 p.a. drawdown21 + £150
Barclays Smart Investor 0.2% on funds (£48 min, £1500 max) 0.1% on ETFs, ITs, shares, bonds (£48 min, £1500 max) £3 £6* £1 £0
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP + £150 + £120 p.a. 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* £1.50 (Not charged on funds) £30 account closure + £25 per holding
Shares ISA + 0.45% charge (max £45) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds
Trading
SIPP + 0.45% (max £200) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds £0 drawdown
Aviva 0.4% on first £50,000 of funds23 Tiered charge. You pay 0.4% on first £50K then 0.35% on next £200K etc £0 £0
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP £0 drawdown

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.

Share dealing brokers

 

Company Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Funds
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee24 Good for
Degiro  – Degiro may lend out your shares. A custody account avoids this but charges €1 + 3% (max 10%) for dividend payouts25 n/a Commission free ETF selection. €2 + 0.038% for other ETFs. £1.75 + 0.022% for shares26 €10 per holding €10 per holding No trading costs on select ETF range,27 frequent traders
Shares ISA n/a
Trading
SIPP n/a
X-O.co.uk No funds n/a £5.95 £18 per holding
Shares ISA + £60 account closure
Trading
SIPP £118.80 No fee for first year. + £180 in drawdown + £60 Alternative to Interactive Investor
Interactive Brokers $10 inactivity fee per month. Reduced by value of trades28 $10,000 min to open account. $20 inactivity fee if equity balance below $2,00029 n/a £630 International shares / ETFs
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP Fees vary

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

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. £43K vs Vanguard []
  6. £56K vs Vanguard []
  7. £43K vs Vanguard []
  8. £56K vs Vanguard []
  9. No charge for SIPP opened after 31 Mar 2017 if you’re over 55. []
  10. Out to another broker []
  11. 0.2% £250,001 – £500,000, 0.15% £500,001 – £1million, 0.05%£1million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. []
  12. Charge waived by 1 trade per month. []
  13. £46K vs Vanguard []
  14. £46K vs Vanguard []
  15. 0.2% £250,000 – £1 million. Charges not tiered. No fee for assets over £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. []
  16. ETF and IT fees capped at £45. []
  17. 0.1% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.05% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million []
  18. Charge applies to each account separately []
  19. Charge applies to each account separately []
  20. Charge applies to each account separately []
  21. £0 if SIPP worth £100K after tax free cash. []
  22. 0.25% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.1% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. Charge applies to each account separately []
  23. 0.35% £50,001 – £250,000, 0.25% £250,001 – £500,000, 0% over £500,000. []
  24. Out to another broker []
  25. No funds. []
  26. £5 max []
  27. Note, these are ETFs traded on European exchanges not LSE. []
  28. e.g. $10 fee – $6 trade = $4 actual fee that month. Waived on $100,000+ accounts. []
  29. Under 25s can open an account with $3,000 and the inactivity fee is $3. []
  30. up to £50,000 value. £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value over £50,000. Max £29 []
{ 2318 comments… add one }
  • 2301 Jo March 13, 2019, 9:24 pm

    I use Degiro for non ISA stocks as they are cheap and have a good choice of international stocks. I am considering an ISA with SAXO as they have access to a lot of international markets but are more expensive. Anyone had any experience with SAXO?

  • 2302 Vanguardfan March 15, 2019, 12:18 am

    What happened to the interactive comparison tool? Did I miss something?

  • 2303 The Investor March 15, 2019, 8:54 am

    @Vanguardfan — Unfortunately the provider, Broker Compare, has ceased operating. We tried to find an ongoing solution but it wasn’t viable for us in the end.

  • 2304 Ph8l March 17, 2019, 7:37 pm

    So am I right In understanding that a say £500k account isa with HL which only has shares would be capped at £45 a year fees total? Plus dealing charges of course.

    If you held that as funds it gets expensive but shares are dirt cheap to hold?

  • 2305 Jeff Beranek March 17, 2019, 7:52 pm

    @Ph8l, correct, although if you want somehere really cheap for holding shares, iWeb costs nothing per year (£25 to open account) and only £5 to trade.

  • 2306 phil March 17, 2019, 8:18 pm

    thanks jeff

  • 2307 Mrs Susan Jamieson March 17, 2019, 8:36 pm

    @ Ph81 – yes, very cheap. I hold only shares and investment trusts, plus the odd etf and pay £45 pa on well over £1m-worth of holdings.

  • 2308 Paul March 23, 2019, 5:44 pm

    Interactive Investor list a SIPP fee of £120 plus a ‘Quarterly Payment’ of £22.50 which can be used as credit against trading fees. So in practice this seems to be an overall platform fee of £210. Or have I misunderstood?

  • 2309 Adam March 24, 2019, 12:44 am

    @Paul You’re correct, thats why the SIPP fee is listed as “+ £120”, its in addition to the top level price of £90 which applies to the entire platform. There is only one £90 fee if you hold more than one account with them.

  • 2310 Gally March 24, 2019, 12:56 am

    I hold some Vanguard accumulation funds in a trust account for my Grandchildren. There will be no distributions or withdrawals for many years and the account does not need HMRC registration. I am being charged £400 pa by my current provider. Does anybody know of a cheaper one. Thanks

  • 2311 Jeff Beranek March 24, 2019, 1:36 am

    @Gally, it may depend on the terms of the trust so you may need legal advice, but assuming you are the trustee you may be able to move the account to a lower cost share dealing platform. I know AJ Bell do bare trust accounts for children, so I’m sure others will also. https://www.youinvest.co.uk/investing-for-children/dealing-accounts-for-children

  • 2312 Vanguardfan March 24, 2019, 8:35 am

    @gally, if as Jeff suggests this is a simple bare trust account (not a JISA?), have a look at Alliance Trust Savings first steps account. If you want to hold funds, AJBell won’t be much cheaper (who is your current provider?) If you held only ETFs, then AJBell and Hargreaves Lansdown would be cost effective. What sort of amounts are we talking about?
    Is there any reason why you’ve not used JISA accounts? (Have you checked out the recent Monevator article on investing for children?)

  • 2313 Gally March 24, 2019, 5:33 pm

    It is a discretionary Trust. I want the trustees to control distributions under the terms of the trust to Grandchildren. Other forms of trust are not appropriate.

    My account is with ATS who argue when increasing fees that there is more work to do. I would agree for an active and registered trust. This one is dormant and will be so for some time. I could switch from funds to ETF’s but the fixed costs I am looking to reduce are the account fees. There is about 80k in the account now considerably more on death. The trust is intended to help with my grandchildren’s life’s events, education, marriage, house children etc. after my death. So I am looking to reduce account fees and maintenance costs over many years.

  • 2314 vanguardfan March 24, 2019, 5:54 pm

    @gally thanks for the further info. I’ve never looked into providers re discretionary trusts, only bare trust accounts. I suspect not many do so and the charges will be less competitive. From the table above, a percentage based broker would charge between £200 (AJBell, 0.25%) and £360 (Hargreaves Lansdown, 0.45%) per year for an ordinary dealing account holding £80,000 in funds. I don’t know whether they would charge extra for a discretionary trust account or even if they would offer that service – logic would suggest there might be additional work involved which could justify higher charges. My hunch is that Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the more likely to do so, but the cost saving is not huge (and there will be fees to transfer out). Have you approached any other providers?
    btw I’m wondering why you don’t need to register the trust – is there no tax return needed? (I don’t know how discretionary trusts operate but I do know that the reinvested distributions in accumulation units are potentially taxable like dividend, if held in a taxable account).

  • 2315 Passive Pete March 24, 2019, 6:08 pm

    I’ve managed the investments of two discretionary trusts through Sharedeal / Jarvis for many years without incurring any ongoing fees, paying only the normal trading fees. All investments are in ETF’s as these can be traded on line through the usual platform. I understand that you need to telephone them to make investments in funds. Both trusts are registered with HMRC and pay tax twice each year, with tax returns submitted ever year.

  • 2316 Gally March 24, 2019, 6:11 pm

    unlike in the US where tax is charged on input to the trust and income received into the trust, in the UK tax is paid by the recipient when the trust makes distribution. Up until the time when this takes place there is no tax to pay, no registration required and no paperwork. There is a 6% tax on the trust gains every 10 years. My motive was to save IHT and to maintain control of trust distributions under the terms of trust deed.

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