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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
Lloyds Bank Share Dealing £40 One £40 fee covers ISA and trading account £1.50 £11* £1.50
Shares ISA Unrestricted fund portfolios over £18k2, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £17k3
Trading Unrestricted fund portfolios over £18k4, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios over 17k5
SIPP n/a
Interactive Investor6 £119.88 Investor Plan7 1 free trade per month8 £7.999 £7.9910 £0 SIPP fee waived for first 6 months
Shares ISA
SIPP  £155.88 for SIPP only, or +£120 with other accounts £0 drawdown / UFPLS Unrestricted fund portfolios above £66k11, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £59k12
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
iWeb £100 one-off account opening fee £5 £5 Large unrestricted portfolios if you rarely trade. Check vs ii and Lloyds
Shares ISA £0
Trading £0
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
ShareDeal Active £9.50 £9.50 £12 per holding + £60 account transfer/closure
Flexible Shares ISA £60 £18 cash withdrawal
Trading £0 As above
SIPP £118.80 + £180 p.a. drawdown, £120 per UFPLS payment SIPP fee waived for first 12 months
HSBC Invest Direct £42 Fee per account. No funds n/a £10.50*13 £15 per holding
Shares ISA
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:
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 Restricted fund portfolios up to £43k, mixed ETF/fund up to £55k
Trading Restricted fund portfolios up to £43k, mixed ETF/fund up to £55k
SIPP £0 drawdown / UFPLS. Vanguard investments can be transferred in specie15 Restricted fund or mixed ETF/fund portfolios up to £125k, Restricted ETF portfolios up to £69k
AJ Bell Youinvest 0.25% up to £250k 0.1% £250k – £1m, 0.05% £1m – £2m, 0% over £2m. Tiered £1.50 £9.95* £1.50 £9.95 per holding
Shares ISA £42 fee cap on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds Unrestricted ETF portfolios, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios below 17k
Trading As above Unrestricted ETF portfolios, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios below 17k
SIPP £120 fee cap on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds £0 drawdown Unrestricted fund portfolios 24k – 66k,  unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios below £59k
Fidelity 0.35% £7.5k – £250k, £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 £45 fee cap on ETFs and ITs
Trading £0 on ETFs and ITs
SIPP £45 fee cap on ETFs and ITs £0 drawdown / UFPLS ETF portfolios over £69k, Unrestricted fund portfolios below 24k
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 if 1+ trade made per month £0 £11.50 £10 per holding
Flexible Shares ISA Unrestricted fund portfolios below £18k
Trading Unrestricted fund portfolios below £18k
SIPP + £120 No £120 fee if £30k+ held in all accounts. + £60 p.a. drawdown, £180 per UFPLS payment + £150
HSBC Global Investment Centre 0.25% on all investments Trackers restricted to HSBC index funds £0 n/a
Shares ISA
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
Shares ISA
SIPP + £180 £60 drawdown set up then £0 annually, £60 per UFPLS payment
Strawberry Invest 0.3% up to £50k 0.2% £50k – £1m, 0% over 1m. Min £24 £0 0.04%. Min £7.50 £1 per holding
Shares ISA
SIPP n/a
Santander Investment Hub 0.35% up to £50k 0.2% £50k – £500k, 0.1% over £500k. Tiered £0 n/a
Shares ISA
SIPP n/a
Bestinvest 0.4% up to £250k 0.2% £250k – 500k, 0.1% 500k –£1m, 0% over £1m. Tiered. Fee applies per separate account £0 £4.95
Shares ISA
SIPP Min £120 charge £0 drawdown / UFPLS
Hargreaves Lansdown 0.45% up to £250k 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 £45 fee cap on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds LISA: same charges
Trading £0 for ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds
SIPP £200 fee cap 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 n/a
Flexible Shares ISA
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
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.

Zero commission platforms and share dealing stock brokers

Platform Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee16 Good for
InvestEngine £0 ETFs only – restricted list n/a £0 for fixed daily times Zero commission ETFs
Shares ISA Restricted ETF portfolios
Trading Restricted ETF portfolios
SIPP n/a On the drawing board
Freetrade Smartphone app only. Restricted list of ETFs n/a £0 to trade during normal market hours Zero commission ETFs, frequent traders
Shares ISA £36
Trading £0 Restricted ETF portfolios
SIPP £119.88 No drawdown facility yet
Degiro Custody account fee €1 + 0.1% (max 10%) per dividend distribution, avoids Degiro lending your shares n/a Some zero commission ETFs.17 €2 for other ETFs. £2.25 for LSE shares18 €10 per holding €10 per holding Zero commission ETFs, frequent traders
Shares ISA n/a
Trading £0
SIPP n/a
X-O.co.uk n/a £5.95 £18 per holding
Shares ISA £0 + £60 account closure
Trading £0
SIPP £118.80 + £180 p.a. drawdown, £120 per UFPLS payment + £60 SIPP fee waived for first 12 months
IG £96 £24 waived quarterly by 3+ trades19 £0 £8*
Flexible Shares ISA
SIPP n/a
Interactive Brokers £7 per cash withdrawal after first per month Varies £4 + 0.1% fixed fee.20 International shares / ETFs
Shares ISA £0  £3 monthly inactivity fee, reduced by dealing fees21
Trading £0
SIPP Fees vary

Note: Zero commission brokers generally make money from spreads, foreign exchange fees and cross-selling of other services. Don’t think you’re getting something for nothing.

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 zero commission platforms 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.22 We judge this from a passive investor’s perspective.

Restricted portfolios means this broker offers a more limited choice of products in comparison to unrestricted platforms. Occasionally that means they only offer their own-branded funds – as in Vanguard’s case.

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.

If you pick a zero commission / share dealing broker then pay special attention to this. Some of these firms are based abroad. Double-check they’re eligible for the FSCS compensation scheme.

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. Or £43k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted fund choices []
  3. Or £55k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted  choices []
  4. Or £43k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted fund choices []
  5. Or £55k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted  choices []
  6. Also known as ii []
  7. £155.88 Pension Builder, £239.88 Super Investor []
  8. 2 free UK trades per month Super Investor, no free trades with Pension Builder []
  9. £3.99 Super Investor plan []
  10. £3.99 on Super Investors plan []
  11. Or £125k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted choices []
  12. Or £125k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted choices []
  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. £1.75 + £0.5 external handling fee []
  19. or by £15k+ assets in Smart Portfolio accounts. Quarterly dealing fees are deducted from custody fee []
  20. Also Tiered pricing []
  21. Inactivity fee reduced to £0 by £3+ in dealing fees a month []
  22. 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. []
{ 2731 comments… add one }
  • 2201 John. August 25, 2018, 11:30 am

    CSD are a high quality outfit, far more capable than most of dealing with anything but the most basic of tasks.

    I have an IT income portfolio held with CSD which could be held cheaper elsewhere but which I have no intention of moving.

  • 2202 stephen watson September 17, 2018, 4:22 pm

    I recently moved my SIPP to Fidelity (from AJBell) to benefit from their capped £45 annual etf fee. I do not recommend anyone trying the same. It has taken 4 months and has been dogged by poor and conflicting information from Fidelity. I have had to write numerous letters and make a few long phone calls. I think I am finally there but the customer services rep I spoke today said they would soon be introducing a new charge structure and described the £45 annual fee as a “loophole”. Their fee for funds is a percentage one so if the loophole is closed my Fidelity fees will probably rise 20 fold.

  • 2203 Stephen Watson September 18, 2018, 9:36 am

    Advice from someone with a Fidelity sipp with etfs please? (Linda?)

    I’ve just switched to Fidelity for my sipp and now have 1 etf and a small amount of cash. The switch has been a nightmare with lots of conflicting info from fidelity. Yesterday I was told that if I had ANY cash at all the whole amount is subject to a 0.2% charge and not just the cash element. Does anyone know if this is correct?
    What they have told me to do is to “switch” the small cash element into etf units. (I didn’t know this but you can buy fractions of a unit to take the cash to £0.0). The fees are calculated on the first of the month and then later in the month they sell a minute amount to cover the monthly fraction of the £45 annual fee. Additionally if you have dividends you need to switch them so your balance is always zero cash at the beginning of the month.
    It would be far simpler to leave a small amount of cash but as I say the latest advice I have from fidelity is not to as it triggers the 0.2% on the whole amount.
    Anyone with any direct knowledge please?

  • 2204 Jeff Beranek September 18, 2018, 11:36 am

    @Stephen Watson, regarding Fidelity SIPP charges. What Fidelity apparently have told you sounds wrong in many ways. I’m sorry, but I don’t have direct knowledge of the Fidelity SIPP, but it sounds wrong according to their own terms and conditions – which is what you’ve signed up for. The SIPP charging structure is about as clear as mud, and the cash element of a ETF-only portfolio is particularly difficult to understand how to deal with. Let’s just start with the o.2% fee you mention. Surely this would only be charged on any portfolio assets over £250,000? And in your case this would never kick in because any ETF asset fees are apparently capped at £45. As for a small cash balance causing the entire portfolio to be charged on a percentage fee basis just sounds crazy. As for buying or selling “fractional” ETF shares, I wasn’t aware that was even possible. Also, don’t forget that Fidelity charges a 0.1% fee on the purchase, sale or automatic dividend re-investment of any IT or ETF transaction (i.e. the £10 transaction fee is wrong in the Monevator table). As for how your small cash balance *should* be charged is not entirely clear from the terms, and it depends on whether or not you’ve set up a regular savings plan. Let’s assume you have set up a monthly plan (which would be sensible if you have a single ETF portfolio) and you have £100 in cash and £100,000 in ETFs. It would appear to me that charges due to the ETFs should cap out at £45, but you’ll still need to pay the equivalent of 0.35% a year on any non-ETF/IT balance (i.e. the £100 in cash). So you would always want to have a small cash balance to pay the fee, so that you are not forced to sell any ETF shares.

  • 2205 stephen watson September 18, 2018, 3:50 pm

    Hi Jeff
    Thanks for your comments. I agree with more or less everything but welcome to the confusing world of Fidelity, which is why I would like someone with actual experience to answer. Besides Fidelity giving you lots of conflicting information there are many odd things to my mind:
    Following their instructions yesterday I used my small amount of cash to buy fractions of a unit to bring my cash balance to £0. When I bought it I couldn’t buy it “live” – their website can’t do this, so you put in an order and they buy the next day at an average of that day’s price (bit like a fund?). Didn’t know you could do either of those options.
    If you read their terms it seems clear to me the £45 annual charge only applies to the etf and you would pay the % charge only on the cash. However the adviser was adamant that if there was any cash the whole amount would be charged. I’m sure this contravenes advertising rules but I’ve done what he suggests.
    It seems they are in the midst of renewing their website/platform and fee structure, so I’m just going to bear with it for now.

  • 2206 Linda September 18, 2018, 8:53 pm

    @Stephen Watson
    I will investigate & get back to you. Watch this space.

  • 2207 Linda September 18, 2018, 9:47 pm

    @Stephen Watson

    Logged into my account to check. As far as I can see there is no charge for keeping cash in your SIPP account. I have a note on my diary to remind me to check that there is £45 in the account each year. I looked at my transaction record for this financial year and up to 2nd Sept I have paid £17.15 in fees which is about right as there are 7 months to go. They also appear to pay me a small amount of interest on the cash, as an interest amount of between £0.01 & £0.10 is paid in every month a couple of days after the fee comes out, . Their fee page states that ETFS & Investment Trusts fees are capped at £45 and there are no fees on SIPPs for anything else as far as I can see. The website is a nightmare & when you phone up they don’t seem to kmow the answers to your questions. They have a dedicated Pensions team so make sure you speak to them when you phone & not the investment guys. Reinvesting your spare cash is a challenge & I have it all written down how to navigate the site to do this, after speaking to the pensions team.

  • 2208 Stephen Watson September 19, 2018, 9:27 am

    Thanks Linda – very useful. My preference like you would be to keep about £50 cash in my account on the assumption that doesn’t negate the max of £45 on the etf balance. What you say directly contradicts what I’ve been told by fidelity (if you have ANY cash you pay 0.2% on everything). I haven’t had my first fee bill yet and if it’s based on the £45 max it would be £3.75 and if on everything would be around £100 per month so its a bit risky to try! I must have spoken to every department in Fidelity so really am not sure who to trust there. This latest information supposedly came from the sipp department and is supposed to be definitive. They have even given (unasked for) me 3 small amounts of cash compensation for giving me wrong information during the switch. It seems completely shambolic to me. If you are sure I might try leaving some cash in one month and if it does trigger 0.2% on the whole amount just complain and point them towards their fees on the website.

  • 2209 Linda September 19, 2018, 10:49 am

    @Stephen Watson

    Just log in to your account, go to My Accounts/Transaction History & Reports/Transaction History & you should get a report for the last 30 days. On my report for this period there is one fee and one tiny interest payment. Remember when you phone to make sure you speak to the Pensions team, pretty sure you have been given info that only applies to investing.

  • 2210 Linda September 19, 2018, 10:29 pm

    @Stephen Watson
    It may help you to know that I have over £80 cash in my SIPP at the moment & there have been no extra fees. Their pensions helpline is 0800 358 7480.

  • 2211 Linda September 19, 2018, 10:58 pm

    @Stephen Watson
    I suspect that the differences between us may be the amount in our respective SIPPs. Do a google search for Fidelity SIPP Key Features Document. Pages 7 & 8 should clarify things. Also, I don’t have any ordinary funds in my SIPP, only an etf & an investment trust.

  • 2212 The Accumulator September 23, 2018, 2:55 pm

    @ Jeff – thank you for the Fidelity SIPP correction. We’ll get that changed.

  • 2213 ed September 29, 2018, 12:35 pm

    Hi random question iWeb are quoting a 0.5% transaction charge – is this common? Can i ask is this on top of the £5 fee for buying funds for iWeb? Or is this like an internal fund fee that the fund itself takes from profit? just wondering if i need to take it into account to pay it every year with cash on hand?

  • 2214 The Accumulator September 29, 2018, 5:32 pm

    Hi Ed, if you’re referring to 0.5% stamp duty on UK share purchases then this is a tax, totally standard, and on top of the £5 fee. Paid only on the value of a trade that involves purchasing UK shares.

  • 2215 The Accumulator September 29, 2018, 5:36 pm

    Does anyone have direct experience of Cavendish Online’s minimum contributions for buying funds? What is the minimum contribution? If you sign up to the monthly payment plan can you easily change your mind? For example, cancel your monthly contribution and invest in something else the following month? Or invest in nothing at all until you’ve got enough money to invest again?

  • 2216 Jeff Beranek September 29, 2018, 5:39 pm

    Actually, I think ed was referring to a 0.5% transaction charge at iWeb on funds, including ETFs, that is in addition to the £5 dealing charge and the on-going charge of the fund itself. This is not made very clear on the website until you look at their factsheet: https://www.iweb-sharedealing.co.uk/PDFs/CostsAndCharges.pdf

    I’ve got an ISA with iWeb but only deal listed shares, so there’s no on-going charges and no transaction fees (other than £5 dealing charge and stamp duty).

  • 2217 The Accumulator September 29, 2018, 5:48 pm

    Hi again – anyone use Close Brothers? Do they let you invest in index funds? The public-facing website is very quiet on the topic.

  • 2218 ed September 29, 2018, 5:51 pm

    @Jeff thank you yes i am seeking clarity on that issue – it looks like they charge a 0.5% fee on all funds/etfs held on their account? Can anyone else comment on experience with this? Hypothetically if I was to buy 50K of life strategy 100 – would i be paying £5 for the trade fee 0.5% stamp duty one off and then 0.5% ongoing yearly fee to iWeb? which would be £250/yr and quite high???

  • 2219 Jeff Beranek September 29, 2018, 5:58 pm

    @ed Take a look at the iWeb charges factsheet link and it shows you examples of buying funds or ETFs. You don’t pay 0.5% stamp duty on funds or ETFs, but it looks like iWeb charges you 0.5% to buy or sell them, in addition to the £5 per trade. Every year you also will pay the ongoing charge of the fund itself, but that will be deducted from the price of the fund/shares so you don’t need extra cash in your account to pay this.

  • 2220 Ivanopinion September 29, 2018, 6:02 pm

    There is no 0.5% “transaction charge” made by iWeb on funds. If you study the factsheet fully, the words they use are “Typical transaction cost” and I think it is clear they are referring to the cost of transactions carried out by the fund manager, which you bear indirectly as it comes out of the fund assets. You will incur this regardless of which platform you buy the fund through.

  • 2221 Robbo September 29, 2018, 6:05 pm

    I also noticed this 0.5% mentioned on the iWeb website when buying funds recently. Apparently it is not a new charge but is something they are now disclosing to customers. The amount depends on the fund and the 0.5% is just a typical amount. When I called them they said you need to ask the Fund Manager for the actual amount. From a quick search I think this is related to MiFID II which requires investment managers to disclose additional transaction costs that are charged to their funds, separately from the ongoing charges figure.

    Vanguard have produced a document which shows you these transaction charges here:


    As an example, on the Lifestrategy funds this is an additional 0.08% to 0.13% on top of the 0.22% ongoing charge.

    I don’t think this charge is unique to iWeb, it would be the same through any broker as it is charged within the fund? It’s just iWeb are now displaying it when place an order.

  • 2222 ed September 29, 2018, 6:06 pm

    @jeff thanks for that clarification i was worried it was a recurring cost from iWeb for holding funds. Still even a 0.5% add on charge for buying something like simple like VWRL or lifestrategy is a bit of a turn off if you want to invest a lump sum and forget about it….

  • 2223 tom September 29, 2018, 6:07 pm


    I’m not sure about the meaning of this 0.5% funds transaction charge listed in the pdf.

    I’ve got an iweb ISA with one fund. I’ve had it for 18m and done two transactions near to inception (sell all LGUKIA and buy LGBTIA with the entire proceeds). It’s got 40k+ and I don’t see transaction charges for ~£400. I’m not disputing the pdf however it doesn’t seem to be specific charge made by iWeb.

  • 2224 ed September 29, 2018, 6:10 pm

    @tom and @Robbo thank you kindly for your comments I was a bit worried i had switched to iWeb for cheaper saving and had missed the 0.5% fee in the small print. I might just ring and clarify that with iWeb directly just in case – or has anyone had any recent fund purchases without it added on please? sorry @tom but 18 months is a bit long?

  • 2225 Jeff Beranek September 29, 2018, 6:13 pm

    I think you all could be right, although the factsheet examples make it look like a separate charge… They describe the transation fee of 0.5% as “based on industry averge”. This seems very high to me, but perhaps they know something we don’t… Vanguard are about the only people so far to have released their transaction charges and they are a lot lower than this, but of course there are at the cheapest end of the market. I’m sure active funds will charge at least that much. I guess it’s a way of being up front about hidden charges, but being clear as mud about it.

  • 2226 The Accumulator September 29, 2018, 6:15 pm

    Hmm, now this is weird but as best I can see, iWeb aren’t charging you an extra 0.5% on fund trades. See this text under the ‘fund charges’ section of the pdf Jeff linked to:

    “If you invest in a fund, you will also pay Ongoing Charges and transaction costs to the fund manager each year for looking after the fund and buying and selling assets within the fund. This is taken from the value of the fund and the exact amount is listed in each fund’s documentation.”

    They seem to be letting you know that fund’s deduct transaction costs that don’t show up in the Ongoing Charges. This is true of all funds and not a cost of doing business at iWeb. If this is what iWeb mean by transaction costs then it’s an internal fund charge deducted directly from the fund’s returns. The 0.5% is also an estimate. Vanguard published a pdf of their transaction costs which were generally lower. 0.15% for a FTSE All-Share index fund, 0.08% – 0.13% for a LifeStrategy fund.

    iWeb are pretty unusual in even bringing this to their users’ attention.

    Ed – you directly pay 0.5% stamp duty on UK share purchases, not on fund or ETF purchases. So you’re not paying it on LifeStrategy purchases. Although, deep breath, Vanguard do when they buy UK shares – that cost would show up in the transaction costs.

  • 2227 Ivanopinion September 29, 2018, 6:15 pm

    Immediately before the 0.5% transaction cost, the factsheet says:
    “If you invest in a fund, you will also pay …transaction costs to the fund manager each year for … buying and selling assets within the fund. This is taken from the value of the fund and the exact amount is listed in each fund’s documentation.”

    I think this makes it clear. They are just saying that when the fund receives your cash they invest it and this means they incur transaction costs which are typically 0.5%, because if they buy UK equities or bonds stamp duty is 0.5%.

    The examples are confusing, because they do not clearly distinguish between the charges levied by iWeb as opposed to the fund.

  • 2228 PA September 29, 2018, 6:49 pm

    RE iWeb
    Under MiFid II I believe the KIID / KID documents should break out the costs in a clearer format although a number of fund/investment houses have not yet provided these. Not sure why iWeb as a platform would include it.
    Some KIID/KID I have seen have a specific entry for Transactions Costs which from the recent iWeb discussion sounds like the figure being discussed.

  • 2229 Charlie September 29, 2018, 8:56 pm

    Regarding 0.5% transaction charges, Halifax Share Dealing also show a similar message on their dealing page although it’s a little clearer than iWeb by the sounds of it:

    “Transaction cost : 0.5%
    We don’t have the exact transaction cost for this fund, so have used an industry average of 0.5%.”

    This refers to the ongoing charge associated with the fund. I’m not actually paying 0.5% OCF: I pay what’s listed on the Vanguard factsheet. Slightly odd that they call it a ‘transaction’ cost, but I do not see an extra 0.5% in broker fees. Like others before me I assume the reason this is displayed must be related to regulations, but I questions how useful it is to show ‘imaginary’ costs in place of actual costs.

  • 2230 Robbo September 29, 2018, 9:34 pm

    @ Charlie, for clarity the transaction cost is not the same as the ongoing charge, it is separate and an additional charge. Most fund documents don’t (yet) show the transaction cost so it not clear how much it is which is why iWeb show this ‘industry average’. But I also wonder how helpful this is as it just seems to cause more confusion.

  • 2231 Nick September 29, 2018, 10:06 pm

    I’m considering transferring my ISA from CSD to iWeb due to fees. I have experience of both already (my ISA is with CSD; my wife’s is with iWeb). I have already paid money into the CSD ISA this year, so will need to transfer the whole amount to iWeb if I go through with this.
    What happens about adding funds while an “in specie” transfer is in progress? Can I add funds to the new iWeb ISA once I’ve requested the transfer to start, or do I have to wait until the transfer has completed?

  • 2232 The Accumulator September 30, 2018, 9:10 am

    Vanguard define transaction costs as:

    “the charges incurred within the fund for buying and selling the underlying investments. It includes dealing costs and taxes.”

    I guess the uneven response from the industry is because they’re still trying to work out what their disclosure obligations are under the MiFID II rules. For clarity’s sake, these aren’t new costs, they were always incurred but rarely acknowledged – the sort of thing you can detect in a fund’s tracking difference.

  • 2233 eagleuk October 1, 2018, 8:57 am

    Re: Cavendish@TA
    Cavendish ISA was my first account after reading this blog.My account has now good amount of money and it’s all due to monevator.I have moved it to iweb this year as fees was being deducted from the sale of investments.The cavendish account holders use the fidelity website .The only difference is the fees which is lower than fidelity for smaller amounts.The minimum amount was 50 gbp via monthly savings plan (regular investments).The platform allows to change the funds, sell investments,hold cash and change/cancel monthly payments easily every month .If you want to buy outside the monthly savings with cash then the minimum amount was i think 800 or 1000 gbp .The etf’s available are not the gbp one and either they were in usd or euro denomination.I believe this way they make the commission in exchange rate.
    I have recently opened fidelity sipp as well to transfer the bestinvest sipp( small amount) .The fidelity may contribute towards the bestinvest leaving fees.This offer is not available through cavendish .

  • 2234 PJ October 1, 2018, 2:12 pm

    Currently with CavendishOnline.
    @TA minimum single contributions are currently £25, and £50 for monthly contributions. This changed recently with a website update from essentially no minimum for single contributions. So it’s still a good starting platform for those with small amounts to save.
    Slightly off topic, but relevant to small savings amounts, Cavendish do not allow transfers in of JISAs, so unless you start a JISA with them, there is no possibility to move it to them, as JISAs can’t be cashed in until 18, when they auto convert to a full ISA anyway.

  • 2235 The Accumulator October 1, 2018, 7:08 pm

    Thank you PJ and eagleuk. Much obliged!

  • 2236 Fremantle October 8, 2018, 2:40 pm

    New £25 quarterly fee for Bestinvest SIPPs announced

  • 2237 Player1 October 15, 2018, 9:26 pm

    As i read all terms before i sign up to any service and glad i did as if you want dividend income paid into your bank account with X-O this is only paid out 4 times a year (after you ask by email)!! with HL its ok ish 12 times a year and with IWEB its within days of each and every dividend just something to bear in mind if and when you do want income

  • 2238 Kraggash October 16, 2018, 9:28 am

    @Player1 – Just to add to your list, Fidelity and YouInvest both pay out monthly.

  • 2239 Jonny October 16, 2018, 11:11 am

    Perhaps slightly off-topic, but what are people’s thoughts on Hargreaves Lansdown’s new Active Savings offering?

    I’m already a HL customer wanting a fixed rate savings account, and am wondering if there is any reason *not* to use this as a platform to open a fixed rate account (assuming the rate can’t be beaten elsewhere).

    My motivation: to avoid going through the process of YET ANOTHER application with an external organisation.

  • 2240 AC81 October 16, 2018, 12:17 pm

    Does anyone know of any brokers who allow a general trading account in the name of a limited company, whose main trading company is not investment related?


  • 2241 Player1 October 16, 2018, 10:22 pm

    @Jonny HL savings is a good idea they are adding instant access accounts soon and more banks maybe signing up

  • 2242 FIRE v London October 16, 2018, 11:37 pm

    @AC81 – I use Interactive Brokers (IB) for my limited company, whose main trading is (for the moment) not investment related. Their core business is professional traders (e.g. small hedge funds) so they can take a Ltd company in their stride. I find them to be excellent, once you get used to their ‘pro’ approach. I did a bit of digging and so far as I can see most of the other obvious players (Selftrade, AJ Bell, Hargreaves) won’t offer trading accounts for Ltds, but Interactive Investor do (https://www.ii.co.uk/useful-forms/account-opening/); I use them for a SIPP and they work well too, albeit with a more ‘retail’ feel (and fee structure/capability set) than IB.

  • 2243 Snowman October 22, 2018, 11:55 am

    Alliance Trust Savings has been purchased by Interactive Investor, so expect future changes to platform charges in the coming months if this goes ahead.


  • 2244 Vanguardfan October 22, 2018, 12:05 pm

    Oh poo. that is rubbish news. I have avoided II since several bad service mistakes a few years back. I’m also not comfortable with their expansion-by-takeover model for business growth.
    When they took over TDD, did they migrate the TDD customers onto II platform software and charging models? I’ll have to go back and look at all the old discussions about that on lemonfool…
    So the pool of flat fee brokers for funds narrows again…basically iWeb/Halifax now? And II on their mission to take over the world…

  • 2245 Ivanopinion October 22, 2018, 2:16 pm

    It is a worry, because they are getting close to being monopoly suppliers of fixed fee platform services. I suspect we will see fees jump higher.

    And it is getting harder to diversify holdings across different platforms, whilst avoiding the percentage fee brokers.

    On the other hand, I suspect scale is needed in order for these platforms to become profitable, so perhaps it would be better to have one big fixed fee platform that is profitable, rather than several that all go bust because they are too small.

  • 2246 Neverland October 23, 2018, 9:39 am

    It will be a cold day in hell before I keep any money with Interactive Investor

    Hands up who thinks their approach of buying a whole bunch of different execution only fund platforms and then integrating them onto a single system is going to result in anything other than misery for ATS customers?

    (Even before they jack the fees up…)

    I’m just going to pay the exit fees and get out

  • 2247 Ivanopinion October 23, 2018, 11:20 am

    I agree that ATS customers should be concerned that the II takeover could mean poorer service.

    I guess it depends on what JC Flowers’ business plan is. They are throwing a lot of money at II, and they presumably hope to get a good return on their investment. That won’t happen if II provide such poor service that many of the customers they are expensively buying (GBP345 per customer) decide to switch to other platforms. So, if they have any sense, they should be making sure that II make big improvements in their service levels.

    …Or perhaps they are just relying on inertia meaning they will keep most customers, regardless of poor service.

  • 2248 Neverland October 23, 2018, 1:18 pm


    Its pity you can’t do a text search to find out exactly how many hits you would get of posts from people just in this comment thread complaining about interactive investor trying to do a platform migration (e.g. TD Securities)

    I reckon there would be at least fifty and several times more than any other provider, which kind of tell its own story

    You forget that they will be getting at least GBP 150 from every customer that leaves in exit fees, so nearly half what they paid

  • 2249 MrOptimistic November 2, 2018, 8:31 pm

    @linda. Presumably someone answered your question regarding Fidelity. They charge 0.25% on cash in a sipp. I asked them this sometime ago. I switched away.

  • 2250 Stephen Watson November 3, 2018, 10:41 am

    Yes thanks Mr optimistic. Fidelity are pretty useless at answering sipp questions in my experience. I was told by them both that they do and they don’t. I have just paid my second month’s fees and it seems they don’t. They are in the process of changing a few things. They used to pay interest on cash but now they will not. I just have 1 etf in my sipp and currently pay max charges of £45 per annum. Assuming they don’t change this it seems an absolute bargain. I used to be with AJBell and paid the max of £100 per annum but with Fidelity there are no charges once you start withdrawing from your pension. Customer service is diabolical though…

  • 2251 Linda November 3, 2018, 9:45 pm

    @MrOptimistic Never been charged fees on the cash. Fidelity used to pay a small amount of interest on the cash but wrote to me a couple of weeks ago to say that they would no longer be paying interest on it. I keep just enough in my account to pay the fees so that they don’t have to sell any of my investments to pay them. Do a google search for ‘Fidelity SIPP Key Features Document’. Pages 7 & 8 should clarify things. Also, I don’t have any ordinary funds in my SIPP, only an etf & an investment trust.

  • 2252 SnowMan November 6, 2018, 1:27 pm

    Interactive Investor are scrapping exit fees with immediate effect


  • 2253 Ivanopinion November 6, 2018, 1:41 pm

    Wow, that’s a bold move from II. Let’s hope it is a sign that they intend to make sure their service is so good that no-one wants to leave them.

  • 2254 TahiPanasDua November 10, 2018, 6:01 am

    I asked previously why HSBC InvestDirect was not included in the Monevator broker recommendation chart and was told that it was uncompetitive but without details.
    It seems to me that their costs are reasonable for a bank (crucially they allow joint accounts) though I believe their in-house etfs have an opaque extra fee.
    Any comments?

  • 2255 Jeff Beranek November 10, 2018, 12:03 pm

    My dad has an HSBC InvestDirect+ account, including a sharedealing account and an ISA. The main for using HSBC was so that he could qualify for HSBC Premier current accounts in both the US and UK, (for transferring US pension pensions automatically to the UK). However, it is also a fairly good low cost platform for holding UK shares and gilts. The platform and interface is very basic, but costs are just £10.50 quarterly for the sharedealing account (nothing extra for the ISA) and £10.50 per trade. Quarterly charges are taken from the non-ISA cash account. Trades are executed well and dividends paid quickly. Gilts cost an insane £39.95 per trade, so only good for very long term buy & hold. You can trade US shares, but he doesn’t do that because he has a US trading account (Charles Schwab) for that. It says you can trade “most” UK exchange-traded funds, but no OEIC/unit trust funds. I’m pretty sure you cannot trade ETCs (e.g. iShares Physical Gold). Like I said, we’re only really there because of access to a Premier account, but actually I would say it is competitive with other platforms if you are only trading shares and possibly for ETFs (but I don’t have personal experience of this).

  • 2256 Tyro November 21, 2018, 2:03 pm

    Just to add to the HSBC discussion: I use First Direct Sharedealing (FD is a subsidiary of HSBC) as one of my ISA platforms. On it I hold one IT and half-a-dozen or so ETFs (mostly Vanguard). As JB above says, it costs £42 p.a. (a flat fee) and £10.50 per trade. Since I only buy a couple of times a year it suits me. The website is basic and not very informative or helpful but if you know what you want it does the trick. Re the in-house EFTs, I hold one, and the principal problem is finding out about distributions. I have spent ages googling for ex-dividend and payment dates, without success, and even went so far as to phone HSBC Asset Management – who, bizarrely, claimed they couldn’t supply any information about their ETFs as they didn’t deal with investments and didn’t know which HSBC outfit I should contact. I was so stunned by this news I allowed them to say goodbye and hang up, without quizzing them further.

  • 2257 Jeffrey Beranek November 21, 2018, 2:28 pm

    Info on HSBC ETFs can be found here: https://www.etf.hsbc.com/etf/uk/retail

  • 2258 Tyro November 22, 2018, 1:28 pm

    @ Jeff Beranek

    Thanks for the link – I can’t remember whether or not this was one I looked at before. I’ve just had a quick shufti, and unless I’m missing something obvious (always possible) there is not a schedule or calendar of forthcoming dividends on that site either. The individual factsheets tell you the last ex-dividend date and the annual distribution, but its the prospective ex-dividend and payment dates and amount that I want. Come on HSBC, pull your finger out!

  • 2259 Jeff Beranek November 22, 2018, 1:56 pm

    @Tyro regarding detailed info on HSBC ETFs. Yes, I agree that a dividend schedule appears to be missing, but to be honest there are a lot of other ETF providers that are also lacking in this regard. I keep a spreadsheet of my investments which records the last dividend paid and the projected date of the next one (annual, bi-annual, quarterly) so that I can keep an eye out for them. It you are starting a new investment you can start with th It’s usually only off by a few days or so. The ex-div dates are irrelevant due to the natural price effect on that date. Unfortunately I don’t think dividend aggregator sites like DividendMax do not cover ETFs. However, you can search for your ETF on hl.co.uk to see when the last divi was paid and how often they are typically paid. This will not cover special dividends, but these pretty never occur for ETFs.

  • 2260 The Accumulator November 23, 2018, 7:11 pm

    I googled HSBC FTSE 100 ETF dividends and got a schedule of payments here:

  • 2261 Jeff Beranek November 23, 2018, 7:50 pm

    That’s brilliant! I use JustETF all the time but didn’t realise they provided dividend schedules (by the month, not the actual dates). Thanks.

  • 2262 Tyro November 24, 2018, 2:09 pm

    @ The Accumulator, @Jeff Beranek

    …. except that it looks as though that site is reporting historic, rather than prospective, dividends too.

  • 2263 Ric November 24, 2018, 4:54 pm

    When accessing ETF providers’ sites, to get all the basic information you need for selecting and tracking your ETF investments I find you need to pretend to be a professional. I guess they assume private investors are just too plain dumb to understand complex terms such as “dividend”. Clearly they’ve never met anyone who visits this site.
    For HSBC the link is here: http://www.etf.hsbc.com/etf/uk/professional
    Select your ETF then click the “Dividend information” tab to see the most recently declared dividend and and previous. Most of the other ETF providers give more historical information, but again only if you click to confirm that you are a professional.
    P.S. If their lawyers come asking, you did not hear this from me!

  • 2264 Tyro November 26, 2018, 4:03 pm

    Thanks Ric but it’s not the most recent and previous – i.e. historic – dividends I’m interested in (they’re available from a number of places). What I want is a schedule showing the forthcoming dividends. Vanguard puts out a schedule early-ish each year showing all the dividends to be paid on their ETFs for the rest of that year, and I can’t see why the other ETF providers don’t do the same. (Admittedly Vanguard don’t get my wholehearted approval because the schedule, which if memory serves they call a calendar, is not out as early in the New Year as one would expect, and also it is always difficult to find on their website. But it will, eventually, be there and be found.) Equities show the next dividend due, once it’s been declared, and even if HSBC did this that would be better than the current desert of information. As it stands, I have to infer from the fact that an HSBC ETF dividend was paid in a certain month last year that it will be paid in the same month this year, and then if it fails to arrive as expected, I have no way of knowing whether it was in fact due. Why should I have to be phoning a broker to ask whether they’ve neglected to pay a due dividend – or not?

  • 2265 Tyro November 26, 2018, 4:07 pm

    @Ric – ah – have just noticed you wrote ‘most recently declared dividend’ (I misread it as ‘most recent dividend’ ….) yes, that would be useful, thanks, though still not as useful as the schedule I am hankering for. Incidentally I’ve just remembered that iShares puts out a schedule as well as Vanguard. I repeat, pull your finger out, HSBC!

  • 2266 Ric November 26, 2018, 5:56 pm

    @Tyro, I agree totally. I find the lack of easy to access information one of the frustrating things with EFT investing. I did find a reference to intended future payment dates in section 13 of the “Notes to the Financial Statements” which can be found on page 458 of this document https://www.etf.hsbc.com/etf/attachments/uk/etf_june_interim_2018.pdf, that I found in the document section of their “professional” web site.

    The “easy access” of this information reminds me of the first episode of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when Arthur Dent is complaining about the plans to demolish his house being on public display in an unlit cellar with no stairs, in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Leopard”.

    And the information is still close to useless for your needs:
    “Dividends will ordinarily be paid twice annually in January/February and July/August. For the HSBC MSCI WORLD UCITS ETF, HSBC MSCI EM LATIN AMERICA UCITS ETF, HSBC FTSE 250 UCITS ETF, HSBC FTSE EPRA/NAREIT DEVELOPED UCITS ETF, HSBC MSCI EMERGING MARKETS UCITS ETF, HSBC ECONOMIC SCALE WORLDWIDE EQUITY UCITS ETF and HSBC MULTI FACTOR WORLDWIDE EQUITY UCITS ETF dividends will be paid quarterly in January/February, April/May, July/August and October/November.”

    I suspect this is as good as we’ll get.

  • 2267 PJ December 20, 2018, 8:17 pm

    In view of the recent insolvency situation at Beaufort, and the ongoing risk with any future broker insolvency, and the provisions of Rule 135 of the Special Administration Rules – does anybody know which Brokers/Platforms are willing to offer Sponsored Membership of Crest

  • 2268 Jeff Beranek December 20, 2018, 10:51 pm

    The fact you can’t hold a personal CREST account within an ISA or SIPP, for me, negates all the other advantages of having the shares held directly in your own name. I think Killik & Co and Redmayne Bentley offer them.

  • 2269 Adam December 21, 2018, 2:56 am

    Interactive Investor removed their exit fees last month https://media-prod.ii.co.uk/s3fs-public/pdfs/rates_and_charges_uk.pdf

  • 2270 PJ December 21, 2018, 1:34 pm

    Thanks Jeff,
    As I understand it, that is the correct situation with ISAs.
    However with SIPPs, apparently Crest personal membership is permissible if the SIPP provider permits it, or if the SIPP member is a co-trustee with the SIPP provider – in which case shares may be registered in the name of both trustees, under a personal Crest membership.

  • 2271 Jeff Beranek December 21, 2018, 1:59 pm

    Regarding personal Crest membership within a SIPP, yes, that’s my understanding also. However, I’m not aware of any “low-cost” SIPP providers that offer co-trustee status. I imagine this is only likely to be available through a “full SIPP”, such as one that allows you to hold commercial property with the SIPP. I know Sharesoc and others are fighting for personal Crest membership and better shareholder rights, but I don’t this changing any time soon. The low-cost providers don’t what the extra admin costs and the high-end providers are happy to charge an arm and leg for the “priviledge”.

  • 2272 Bill Horton January 11, 2019, 3:03 pm

    Bestinvest: Table states ‘No Drawdown Fee’.

    There is a £100/£90 [£100k pot after TFLS] initial calculation fee, plus an annual £1oo fee for income payments for pots <£100k. [+ VAT]
    These are in addition to the annual £100 SIPP administration fee and %age charges.

    Source: http://www.bestinvest.co.uk/media/1602/keyfacts-non-advised.pdf

  • 2273 Stephen January 25, 2019, 3:24 pm


    Have you seen the new broker, Freetrade? £0 trading (if executed end of day) otherwise dealing charge of £1; no platform/subscription fees (if you don’t mind not having an ISA).

    They are new and so still adding functionality but they cover UK stocks and recently started adding US stocks.

    Yes I am biased as i have been using them since September 2018 – but i just buy ETF’s monthly using their £0 end of day trade and so far so excellent.

  • 2274 The Accumulator February 2, 2019, 6:44 pm

    Table updated inc HSBC Invest Direct (ETFs etc – flat fee) and HSBC Global Investment Centre (funds – percentage fee). Weird division thing they’ve got going on. Thank you everyone for recent comments – I’ve been wrapped up in Monevator the book of late so thank you for tip-offs.

    @ Stephen – will investigate Freetrade. Looks like an exciting development and they have an ISA now. How are you finding the restricted range of ETFs?

  • 2275 Stephen February 3, 2019, 1:27 am

    Their range of ETF is certainly growing but for me as a new starter I decided to stick with just 3, FTSE100, UK Dividend and MSCI World, all iShares. I just want to add to them monthly and didn’t want to worry about cherry picking.

    I picked an awesome time to start, September 2018 just as markets started going down, at worst I think I was about 11% down but now I am about 2% down overall. I just keep pumping the money in regardless and because they have £0 fees all my cash is invested.

    I know I sound like an advert but that is because I always wanted a broker that I could justify slipping in £20 when I had some spare change and not see it eaten by fees, now I can and so I am an advocate.

  • 2276 Stephen February 3, 2019, 1:29 am

    Their range of ETF is certainly growing but for me as a new starter I decided to stick with just 3, FTSE100, UK Dividend and MSCI World, all iShares. I just want to add to them monthly and don’t want to worry about cherry picking.

    I picked an awesome time to start, September 2018 just as markets started going down, at worst I think I was about 11% down but now I am about 2% down overall. I just keep pumping the money in regardless and because they have £0 fees all my cash is invested.

    I know I sound like an advert but that is because I always wanted a broker that I could justify slipping in £20 when I had some spare change and not see it eaten by fees, now I can with Freetrade and so I am an advocate.

  • 2277 rodcorp February 5, 2019, 12:47 pm

    @stephen @the accumulator
    I’m also a big fan of Freetrade (and for disclosure: small investor in). End of day trades are free. ISA has just been added and I think will be charged at £3/month from April. No mutual funds I think but stocks and ETFs, so would qualify as “restricted range” in Monevator’s table – but they have a decent selection for passive fans: IWDG, VWRL etc. They’re now adding US stocks. The app is mobile only, which may freak some people out, but it is *much* easy to use than some of the cheap platforms Monevator-fans are using.

    When they add SIPP and ISA transfers, I will probably move things from iWeb and Interactive Investor.

  • 2278 Ric February 5, 2019, 1:30 pm

    Re Freetrade
    I followed the story last year about Beaufort Securities being taken into administration story with some interest. If you remember at the time it looked as if some investors would not get all their money back, even although funds were in a ring-fenced client account (see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43301342).
    I hope and trust Freetrade’s business model, charging structure and compliance are sustainable, but to be sure I’d suggest those using this platform keep below the £50K FSCS compensation limit (see https://www.fscs.org.uk/what-we-cover/).

  • 2279 Jeff Beranek February 5, 2019, 1:47 pm

    I agree that you need to take the platform’s business model into account when choosing who to go with. Are they going to make money by encouraging people to trade frequently, or cross sell other services, currency fees, annual fees, total asset fees, or what? I think both the established players and the newcomers are going to struggle if people just stick to trading shares or ETFs infrequently, as there’s virutally no money in it for them. Beaufort was definitely a shock and a problem that has not gone away…

  • 2280 rodcorp February 5, 2019, 3:12 pm

    Freetrade charge a commission fee for instant trades (though not end-of-the-day trades), foreign exchange commission fees, and will add ISA mgmt fees and a “premium” service soon. I don’t see them adding fees based on AUM, nor options, margin accounts etc. And I don’t know enough about the stockbroking industry to comment on sustainability, but maybe one of their staff will come by and comment.

  • 2281 CroydonBabyBoomer February 5, 2019, 3:56 pm

    I have a Trust account holding investments for my Grandchildren with Alliance Trust Savings. There are no distributions or need to register with HMRC and therefore I suppose little work.

    However the fees are 3x a personal account. Are there cheaper places to have a trust account? HL suggest the fees are the same as a personal account.

  • 2282 weenie February 5, 2019, 4:00 pm

    Been waiting for Freetrade to feature on Monevator to see how/where it would fit in the broker tables!

    While I still haven’t actually got my mitts on it yet (Android app not due until March), it looks promising, with the range of stocks and ETFs available continuing to grow.

    Aside from no trading fee, another selling point is the ability to buy US stocks in small quantities and at some point, even fractional bits of US stocks.

    Here’s the price list for info: https://freetrade.io/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Pricing.pdf

  • 2283 The Investor February 5, 2019, 4:22 pm

    @all — We are watching developments at Freetrade, and my co-blogger @TA does have them on his radar. However the platform is very new, and innovative. We’re watching the space closely, and I hope to try the account for myself soon.

  • 2284 SBS February 5, 2019, 4:56 pm

    going back to the earlier discussion about where to find out about forthcoming ETF dividends … you can search for relevant RNS announcements, e.g. for vanguard ETFs, use this URL: https://www.investegate.co.uk/AdvancedSearch.aspx?qsArticleType=ann&qsSearchFor=S1&qsCategory=4&qsSpan=120&qsContains=vanguard+funds+plc

  • 2285 tony bage February 6, 2019, 1:55 am

    I am tempted to swear “OMG f*****h*ll”, has this site become a game of ‘guess who’? I, for one do indeed know which is also best for me, BUT why doesn’t this site simply put each into a league table? -there is only ONE winner ! (and that same winner would be 1st if you then created a premier league !) Maths is easy !

  • 2286 Jeff Beranek February 6, 2019, 7:00 pm

    If this table tells you anything, then there is no one platform that will be “the best” for everyone. They are targeting different clientele based on preferences regarding funds, ETFs, shares, trading frequency, customer service, foreign trading, exit fees, SIPP vs ISA charges, availablity of JISAs, Lifetime ISAs, Junior SIPP, eligibility of US citizens, app capability, reputation, drawdown fees, etc. Also, the market is in constant flux, the best platform a couple years ago may not still be the best. Is it worth switching? Possibly if you factor in the switch costs. It’s not just a matter of maths.

  • 2287 MrOptimistic February 6, 2019, 9:17 pm

    @Linda. Sorry just saw your post. I moved from a Fidelity SIPP for other reasons but I checked with them first. The 0.35% portfolio charge (SIPP) is on the total value including uninvested cash. I complained that this wasn’t quite up to their claims of transparency but….the key phrase is total portfolio value.

  • 2288 MrOptimistic February 6, 2019, 9:20 pm

    @Linda, sorry just noticed your post. Fidelity are not explicit about this, I had to ask. The 0.35% charge (SIPP) is on total portfolio value, including uninvested cash. I asked them about this.

  • 2289 Tom February 7, 2019, 2:58 am

    Are any SIPPs known with more than the £50k FSCS protection? I’m looking to move a fairly substantial aviva stakeholder pension to a new home (drawdown to start in 5-10yrs). Any thoughts?

  • 2290 Jeff Beranek February 7, 2019, 8:35 am

    Check out this article on the FSCS compensation limit on all investments: https://monevator.com/financial-services-compensation-scheme/

  • 2291 MrOptimistic February 8, 2019, 3:09 pm

    I believe Interactive Investors are taking o we Alliance Trust Savings so perhaps a note on this ( apologies if I missed it).
    What I have found, using Alliance, II, Halifax, HL and Fidelity, is the differences in what they offer by way of investment choices. Trouble is that this isn’t easy to judge as you can’t predict what you may want by way of a fund or ETF in the future. Alliance is a bit limited so I am hoping II broaden the range. HL seem the most expansive but are also expensive if you hold funds.

  • 2292 Mark February 13, 2019, 6:46 pm

    I’m thinking of transferring my S&S ISA to Vanguard as I only hold Lifestrategy funds in it anyway, and their annual platform % fee would save me a little each year from where its at now. Has anyone used them? Got any feedback on their customer service either good or bad?

    Thanks in advance.

  • 2293 Passive Pete February 14, 2019, 2:41 pm

    I’ve invested directly with Vanguard since 2015 and I transferred onto their online platform when it became available in 2017, and I have experienced excellent service without any errors. The online system has been available each time I needed it, the regular reports are issued on time and have been accurate and when I have telephoned them, they have been available without any lengthy wait. I’d rate them on a par with the service I receive from Hargreaves Lansdown.

  • 2294 John R February 19, 2019, 3:54 pm

    As iWeb offer Vanguard Lifestrategy funds in an ISA with no annual fee, are there any benefits of using the Vanguard Investor platform with 0.15% fee for a buy and hold investment?

  • 2295 Uxr February 19, 2019, 4:12 pm

    Iweb charges £5/transaction so depending on how often you buy, there’s a tradeoff.

    You can always use Vanguard ISA for purchases and then on a periodical basis, say yearly, transfer the holding to iWeb ISA. Easy to dona cost/benefit analysis.

  • 2296 Jeff Beranek February 19, 2019, 4:35 pm

    It is astonishing to me that iWeb does not charge a percentage fee to hold funds, just a small transaction charge. It seems a no-brainer to me if you can trade infrequently and buy and hold. Makes you wonder if the business model is sustainable or if all the other platforms are just ripping people off.

  • 2297 Markp February 20, 2019, 10:07 am

    A quick glance across the Atlantic strongly suggests it’s the latter (most other platforms ripping people off)

  • 2298 SpaceBadger99 February 27, 2019, 11:25 pm

    I’d be curious on your views about Trading212… they now provide zero commission Investments and ISA.
    Are they ‘disruptor’ or will we (those who took a punt) be charged fee’s/commission further down the road?

    They also offer a invitation scheme, that I would hope Monevator would be able to profit from, should it prove to be a viable company?

  • 2299 David March 12, 2019, 4:08 pm

    I’ve been read through a number of comparison reports on various sites and have yet to see any article mention SVS. I’ve been using them for a few years now and happy enough with their service (though admittedly I’ve no other experience to make a comparison). After what happened to Beaufort I’m worried that they’re not established enough and my assets might be at risk. Anyone have any views on them? Thanks

  • 2300 Aidan March 13, 2019, 12:57 pm

    @David I was using SVS Securities as a diversifier since 2012 but recently sold my last holding with them. I used to get sales calls from them as they make their money as an advisor service but I soon got myself off their phone list. They responded very promptly to requests for Consolidated Tax statements which for some reason they do not provide via their portal. I wouldn’t use them again because of the risks you mention of dealing with a largely unknown broker and I have other accounts elsewhere. Having said that, I had no problems at all with their service.

  • 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.

  • 2317 throwaway97531 March 30, 2019, 6:17 pm

    Hi, I would like to open my first S&S ISA before the new (2019/20) tax year to secure the balance of my ISA allowance for the current (2018/19) tax year. I’ve already contributed to a HTB ISA this tax year. I will look to transfer previous Cash ISAs to this new S&S ISA as well and contribute my ISA allowance for the coming tax year (minus what I will be contributing to the HTB ISA). All in all this will just be shy of £100k. Because of this sum I understand I should look to flat fee brokers. Excuse my ignorance but I assume the share dealing broker table do not provide ISAs. If I interpret the tables above correctly then iWeb would be be the cheapest broker for me. Is that correct?

  • 2318 MJCROSS March 30, 2019, 6:49 pm

    Depends a little on how you plan to hold your investments – with some brokers it’s more expensive to hold funds than it is to hold ETF’s although many popular index investments are available as either. Some brokers perceived as ‘expensive’ (e.g. Hargreaves) are actually very reasonable if you restrict yourself to ETFs because they have a price cap. You really, really have to look at the pricing models to see what is best for you

  • 2319 Dave April 2, 2019, 5:53 pm

    I’m pretty sure it is not “+0.25%” for a YouInvest SIPP, it is simply 0.25%.

    So if you have £40k or more of ETFs you pay £100, no more.

    You can check this by filling info in here: https://www.youinvest.co.uk/charges-and-rates

  • 2320 Martin Quinlan April 3, 2019, 5:58 pm

    If you are referring to the comparison table I suspect you might be misreading it.

    You will pay 0.25% on the first £250,000 of funds irrespective of whatever non-funds you hold (pretty sure the Youinvest calculator bears that out!).

    Yes, in your example you’d only pay the “non-funds” £100 maximum, but that is only because the first part of the equation (the 0.25% on first £250,000 of funds) = £0 (i.e. £0 funds + £100 non-funds).

  • 2321 David Ingram April 8, 2019, 2:01 pm

    I have a niggling worry about a broker going under so plan to build up ISAs in multiple companies with the intention of keeping each holding under £75k.
    If I put money into all of IWeb, Halifax and Lloyd’s am I wasting my time?
    I read somewhere that Halifax and Lloyd’s have separate banking licenses.

  • 2322 Jeff Beranek April 8, 2019, 2:26 pm

    They all share the same £85,000 FSCS compensation limit: https://www.lloydsbank.com/investments/help-and-guidance/how-safe-are-my-investments.asp

  • 2323 Neil Anderson April 8, 2019, 6:19 pm

    Interactive Investor have just announced that instead of £22.50 per quarter, they are bringing in three service plans depending on how often you trade. Costs are now between £9.99 per month and £19.99 per month plus trading fees. For full details see

  • 2324 Adam April 8, 2019, 9:22 pm

    Interactive Investor increasing their prices: https://www.ii.co.uk/our-charges-1june2019

  • 2325 Alex April 10, 2019, 2:07 pm

    Unfortunately Interactive Investor is changing their charging structure from June 2019, the lowest price option will be £9.99 per month and trading credit will only last 90 days. At least they don’t charge you to leave as it looks like that’s probably what I’ll be doing now.


  • 2326 CisforV April 10, 2019, 6:09 pm

    The Interactive Investor price rise will effectively be a £30/year increase for someone like myself. Not too bad.

    That will be the £9.99/month plan, using the “free” £7.99 trading credit to make a few 99p regular investments each month and maybe an out of schedule sale or purchase with the 90 day trading credit roll-over.

    All depends how you use the account. They have quite a lot of flexibility. Plus they take fees from cash or bank accounts rather than selling holdings or directly from ISA contributions which is good.

  • 2327 DavidC April 12, 2019, 5:45 pm

    @David Graham
    Confusingly, IWeb Share Dealing, Halifax Share Dealing and Lloyds Bank Direct Investments (and Bank of Scotland Share Dealing) are all part of “Halifax Share Dealing Limited”, so all come under the same £85k (now, or soon) limit. Unlike retail banking, where Lloyds and HBOS (Halifax – Bank of Scotland) have separate banking licences. (And even after reading the T&Cs and websites, I’m not 100% sure whether the combined share-dealing operation comes under the overall Lloyds licence or the overall HBOS licence.) Worth reading this (but for £50k read £85k): https://monevator.com/investor-compensation-scheme/ (and take note of the Vanguard stuff).
    Personally, I don’t want all my eggs in _one_ basket, but I don’t feel the need for multiple £85k baskets. I’m more worried about website screw-ups making my funds temporarily inaccessible than a complete platform meltdown leaving me to fall back on FSCS compensation.

  • 2328 Eelis Vatanen April 12, 2019, 8:43 pm

    Damn you guys have a gazillion different brokers over there!
    I use Lynx, which is a more approachable flavor of Interactive Brokers. Cheapest one there is, for me at least.

  • 2329 Haphazard April 13, 2019, 10:57 am

    Does anyone have any experience of Alliance Trust Savings? They now appear to be on of the main competitors to iWeb/Halifax/Lloyds for fixed fee brokers. But there are certainly a few reports online suggesting there may be some problems.

  • 2330 DianaW April 13, 2019, 11:16 am

    No experience of ATS, personally. But weren’t they swallowed up by Interactive Investor last autumn?

    Which links to the previous comment: the UK only seems to have lots of different brokers. In practice, groups of them have become part of the same financial empires, so are no longer separate at all; sooner or later, the acquired broker’s pricing practices tend to be brought into line with the acquirer’s.

  • 2331 chris smallman April 14, 2019, 11:05 pm

    Is standard life self invest any good for isa savings ?

  • 2332 Paul April 15, 2019, 9:43 am

    I just checked the Standard Life self investor web site, and this page https://www.standardlifeselfinvestor.co.uk/invest/about-self-investor.page says “We’re no longer accepting new applications for Standard Life Self Investor. If you’d like to open an investment account you can do so with Standard Life.”

  • 2333 John M April 15, 2019, 10:24 am

    Just a heads-up, Interactive Investor are changing their fee structure from 1st June. The cheapest plan will now be £9.99 per month (up from £22.50/quarter).


  • 2334 Jeff Beranek April 15, 2019, 10:42 am

    I had a quick look at the Standard Life DIY ISA investment platform and charges are 0.35% of assets up to £200,000 and 0.20% on everything above. It only appears to allow investment in open-ended fund (OEICs/unit trusts), not ETFs or shares. It appears that Vanguard funds are available, including LifeStrategy. SIPP charges are way more complicated, but definitely do NOT look competitive to others on the broker comparison table. Besides, I think I’ll hold a lifetime grudge against Standard Life because they used to be one of my company pension providers, with opaque fees and mountains of useless paperwork in the post that told me nothing about what I actually wanted to know!!

  • 2335 Steve April 17, 2019, 10:55 am

    Interactive investor have put the charges up recently. And changed the pricing structure a little bit.

  • 2336 Michael Stefaniuk April 19, 2019, 10:22 pm

    Does anyone have any opinion on dealing with Trading 212 UK?

  • 2337 Player1 April 20, 2019, 5:58 pm

    never used Trading 212 seems more of a CFD Broker,i have used FreeTrade which is ok as well as HL and AJ BELL

  • 2338 Adam April 20, 2019, 6:10 pm

    Trading212 are primarily CFD but also do standard equities https://www.trading212.com/en/Free-Stock-Trading

  • 2339 Jeff Beranek April 21, 2019, 9:46 am

    Check out the FT article “Free trading apps — investment freedom or false economy?” which is linked to in the latest Monevator newsletter: https://bit.ly/2Usz7EY

  • 2340 Neverland April 23, 2019, 10:03 am


    Alliance Trust Savings has indeed been bought by Interactive Investor subject to regulatory clearance so within a year the whole platform will be subsumed within III. III doesn’t have a great reputation for customer service and is owned by a private equity fund who ex-MD committed fraud which went undetected for several years and was banned for life from working in finance: https://www.traverssmith.com/media/598484/record_fsa_fine_for_exceos_fraud.pdf

    Caveat emptor

  • 2341 Adam April 23, 2019, 11:15 am

    @Neverland Whilst an interesting fact, I don’t see how their PE fund’s management 7 years ago has anything to do with their operation today? PE companies don’t have access or control to that level of companies they own.

    In my limited experience of II’s support they’ve been fine. Although their platform does have irritating missing basic features – like being unable to send notification of dividends received and rounding on their export so its inconsistent with reality.

  • 2342 Steven-John April 23, 2019, 6:52 pm

    Hi, With Interactive Investor increasing their fees, is Interactive Brokers now a better choice? I recently became non-tax resident from UK and can’t pay into my ISA any more. I believe I can still open an interactive account. If you pay in every month, it will cost only $10 as apposed to £9.99


  • 2343 InvestorUK April 28, 2019, 12:54 pm

    Is there a reason you’ve missed Freetrade broker? They’re my first experience with buying individual stocks as other brokers were all cost prohibitive. They have fee-free trading, I haven’t paid any commission. I use Vanguard for index funds, but I don’t believe there is a better offer for individual funds.

    Freetrade pricing here: https://freetrade.io/pricing

  • 2344 The Accumulator April 28, 2019, 5:57 pm

    Table updated today with Freetrade and a few other changes. Did you mean Vanguard ETFs btw? Freetrade don’t offer funds. Anyway, my thanks to everyone posting updates to this thread. @ Jeff B and DavidC, really good point about the Lloyds Group hegemony. I’ve tried to make this point more explicit in a number of places as Halifax/BOS, Lloyds and iWeb are dominating the flat rate brokers table now. I’ve dropped Alliance Trust as it seems like a matter of time before they’re absorbed by Interactive Investor – thank you Neverland for pitching in on this. Interestingly, a flat rate broker no longer seems like a must-have for a large ETF portfolio in a SIPP now that Interactive Investor have jacked their prices up. I know a lot of people here have been happy to stay with Youinvest, Fidelity or HL thanks to their ETF caps for a while now.

  • 2345 InvestorUK April 28, 2019, 8:05 pm

    Yes, sorry I meant Vanguard funds.

  • 2346 Chimpo April 30, 2019, 1:29 pm

    I wonder if the other brokers will beef up their transfer offers to tempt away Interactive Investor customers.

  • 2347 Robert Matthews April 30, 2019, 1:38 pm

    Thanks for your sterling efforts on this, as ever. One thing you might want to either do (or, perhaps better for your sanity, get the readership to do) is review the useability of the above platforms. I suspect a lot of people stay with HL and its eye-watering costs because it has a fantastic interface, allowing all sorts of analysis and ease of trading (eg, saying what you want to sell AND what you want to buy with the proceeds in one go, rather than go through the rigmarole of selling, waiting for the dosh to appear in your cash account days later, then buying your new assets).
    On the other hand, the Charles Stanley Direct interface is utterly awful. Simply telling how well you’re doing is hard, because of the hopeless and largely unchangeable tabular presentation of quantities related to the asset. It demands that you sell in share units, but buy in cash amounts, and the portfolio analysis features are laughable. I’ve a legacy account with them with a few bob in which I rarely touch. But as soon as I can be arsed, I shall sell the lot and bung it to AJBell – which are really pretty good.

  • 2348 Osprey April 30, 2019, 4:51 pm

    @Robert Matthews: That is a fair comment, but difficult to compare between platforms.
    HL provide comparison tools, but (afaik) it is difficult to compare funds, ITs, ETFs etc on the same chart, and over longer than 5 years. So I use Trustnet. I don’t like Fidelity’s interface, but they do provide excellent reports on e.g. capital gains realised allowing for income on ACC funds, etc.

  • 2349 Frank May 1, 2019, 8:45 am

    Does anybody know of a reasonably priced broker or platform who will accept accounts for:
    1) Non UK resident SIPP trading account/trustee trading account (Isle of Man QROPS SIPP)
    2) Non UK resident company account (Isle of Man registered Investment company).
    Most if not all of the brokers on the Broker Comparison List are not willing to open such accounts.

    Many thanks

  • 2350 Sparschwein May 2, 2019, 12:53 am

    Nice work compiling all this info.
    The iWeb ISA seems really cheap, but they list “Foreign currency charges (international trades only) – 1.5% of exchange rate”‘
    So you can get international funds and shares but get fleeced through the fx rate?
    Has anyone looked into this with other ISA platforms?

    So far I’m using Vanguard’s ISA, no complaints but fund choice. All I really need is access to Vanguard US and keep the cost down.


  • 2351 Jeff Beranek May 2, 2019, 8:49 am

    @Sparschwein. iWeb is certainly not alone in having a high currency exchange fee. I wasn’t aware that you could buy US domiciled funds through Vanguard UK. https://www.vanguardinvestor.co.uk/need-help/answer/why-cant-i-invest-in-vanguards-us-domiciled-funds. Watch out for “non-reporting” international funds.

  • 2352 Sparschwein May 2, 2019, 11:05 am

    @Jeff – you’re right and I realise my post was unclear. Vanguard UK only have a limited selection of index funds and ETFs. Most domiciled in Ireland, a few in the UK, none in the US (as far as I’ve seen). US-based investors get much more choice. For those who are happy with Vanguard’s range of funds available in their ISA, I’d absolutely recommend it. I’m looking for more options to diversify, hence checking other ISA platforms.

    And thanks for pointing out the reporting status which could be a headache. I assumed (and may very well be wrong) that it’s a tax matter that wouldn’t apply for funds held in an ISA?

    I’m interested if others also have experience of currency exchange fees in their ISA (either overt charges or hidden ones through shoddy exchange rates). If iWeb siphon off 1.5% on each transaction, then that’s more than the dealing charge above a few hundred pounds investment.

  • 2353 Jeff Beranek May 2, 2019, 11:25 am

    The ISA wrapper should hopefully restrict you to reporting funds anyway, but worth checking if you are looking at obscure overseas funds. AJ Bell have recently lowered currency charges to 1.00% (!), same as Hargreaves, lower fees for (very) large orders. With HSBC InvestDirect Plus you can have a US Dollar cash account. I’m not sure what rate you get for moving cash in and out of it though. Also, I’m not sure what ETFs are open to you (no funds). Even Interactive Brokers I think costs 1% to deposit cash ($50 minimum). Personally I’ve still got issues within an ISA because I’m a dual US/UK citizen, but that’s a whole other story!

  • 2354 Sparschwein May 2, 2019, 11:48 pm

    Interesting – I’ve got an account with IB through a German intermediary, and the currency charges are only 0.4 basis points.
    Recently they pulled the plug on all non-European ETFs & ETCs for retail investors with obscure references to Bafin and Eu regulations, typical IB nonsense. So I was looking for an all-dancing new ISA to fill the gap, but without the currency charges.
    I’ll check HSBC, thanks. US investors have it better don’t they…

  • 2355 Adrian May 3, 2019, 2:58 pm

    My ISA this year is with Trading 212 – free share dealing and FSCS protection. The range of shares and ETFs is limited – particularly investment trusts – but there’s enough there to make it workable.

  • 2356 londoninvestor May 4, 2019, 1:25 pm

    Re footnote 9, II’s “one free trade per month” on the basic plan is actually £7.99 of trading credits. So you could spend it one one standard trade, or alternatively on 8 regular investment trades…

  • 2357 IvanK. May 8, 2019, 8:53 am


    True, but each free trade expires after 90 days. Previously, ii’s £22.50 quarterly charges were valid as free commission up to a max £90, so 12 months. Under ii’s current price structure (which changes 1st June) one might have done nothing but hold for over 11 months, then still redeem all charges over subsequent weeks. Now in a protracted market downturn where investors & traders may wish to do little more than hold, it’ll cost ii’s less active clients significantly more.

    Occasionally, severe market downturns can last for well over a year. For holders only, that’ll cost almost £120 a year with ii’ new minimum charges. Just a few years like that & costs mount up. Compare that with Hargreaves Lansdown if holding a regular share account, or discount brokers like iWeb & X-O. Zero added charges.

    I see no justification for ii’s latest price hike. Their service is no better. No surprise if they see another exodus of less active clients with this ill-judged move.

  • 2358 rodcorp May 8, 2019, 9:05 am

    The fact that it’s not easy for many ii customers to work out whether they’ll be better or worse off could also be a factor. I believe clarity in pricing, low pricing, and ease of use are valued by younger retail investors. I’m waiting for Freetrade to add a Sipp wrapper, and then planning to transfer from ii.

  • 2359 IvanK. May 8, 2019, 10:39 am


    I agree. Unless one has surplus free cash to keep trading most months, for many ii customers the new tiered pricing structure needs careful consideration. Someone like me may trade a few times some months, but then do nothing but hold for well over 6 months other times. That’s happened a few times due to unfavourable economic macro-factors.

    To get a clear benefit from these changes one needs to trade at least twice monthly. That’d cost £17.98 from 1st June instead of £20 now, as ii will drop commission from £10 to £7.99. So: we pay £9.99 monthly charge, use one commission-free trade & pay £7.99 for another = £17.98. That’s fine, but only as long as one is active most months.

    I suspect that many ii customers are investors who only occasionally add to or reduce their positions. Many have investments of well under £50K. Under ii’s new price hikes they will be net losers. Over a few years they’ll be a significant 3-figure sum poorer, with no improvement in service. IMO, these changes are another own goal by ii.

  • 2360 PeteA May 8, 2019, 3:50 pm

    II new pricing structure will suit some but not others. I doubt many platforms will reduce their pricing structures as recent changes have,in general, been upwards.
    Never had issues with II and if you are in accumulating mode then buying via the regular investment at a cost of £0.99 is pretty decent and then use the credit to sell at some future point in time.
    Comes down to personal choice.

  • 2361 IvanK. May 8, 2019, 6:26 pm


    Indeed. Via ii’s site, one can change to a higher-priced plan suited to doing more trades at only £3.99 commission & then back to a lower-priced plan the next month if expecting a quieter period of much less trading. That flexibility seems very handy. So it’s by no means all bad.

  • 2362 Don May 28, 2019, 6:25 pm


    Any luck getting those US-domiciled ETFs? I’ve run into the same problem, not just with IB. I can’t buy those ETFs anymore nor add to the ones I’m already holding. Really annoying. I think I read somewhere that there was new regulation that essentially prevents European investors from buying US-domiciled ETFs.

    What’s been your experience?

  • 2363 Ph8l May 28, 2019, 8:22 pm

    I’m with ii and hl. Both I think are fairly good value. Especially if you have a mid sized account and moderate frequency trader. Ie 100k plus account and say 5 to 10 trades a month. On such things a good fill on an order can save you more than any trading fees!

  • 2364 SBS May 29, 2019, 3:17 am

    To be picky: shouldn’t HSBC Invest Direct be under “Share dealing brokers”, not “Flat fee brokers / platforms”, since they don’t do funds?

  • 2365 Sparschwein May 29, 2019, 10:16 pm

    I haven’t found a solution either, so far. Unlike IB, many UK brokers charge 1% – 1.5% fx fees which rules them out for US ETFs anyway.

  • 2366 Jeff Beranek May 29, 2019, 10:30 pm

    You can buy US domiciled ETFs if you open a brokerage account in the US. However, you would still have currency charges to get in and out of a USD account, you would still want to avoid non-reporting funds, you would have to file a US tax return (not easy) and you are likely to require a large amount of initial cash to open the account. I’m a dual US/UK citizen living in the UK and file a US tax return anyway, but I still prefer to use brokerages in the UK.

  • 2367 Don May 30, 2019, 11:14 am

    Thanks Jeff. I think you’re right and this is the only way for European investors to buy US domiciled ETFs. Something changed in the regulation between now and about a year ago.

  • 2368 Theta May 31, 2019, 10:08 am

    You won’t need to file a US tax return, only a (very simple) W-8BEN form once every two years. FX charges can be mostly mitigated by using services such as Revolut, transferwise, etc

  • 2369 Theta May 31, 2019, 10:16 am

    You won’t need to file a US tax return, only a (very simple) W-8BEN form once every two years. FX charges can be mostly mitigated by using services such as Revolut, transferwise, etc. Also, by using US ETFs you can save the 15% L1 withholding tax (reclaim it against UK tax)

  • 2370 Jeff Beranek May 31, 2019, 10:31 am

    @Theta – apologies, you are correct that you do not necessarily need to file a US tax return (just the W-8), although filling a return, depending on your situation, could actually reduce the US tax paid further. This is likely not going to be worth the hassle for most people. Also be aware of the USD60,000 estate tax threshold for non-resident aliens (i.e. non US citizen and UK resident) on US situated assets.

  • 2371 Genghis June 1, 2019, 7:53 am

    Relative newbie here but how easy is it to switch brokers whilst minimising time out of the market?

    My wife and I are currently buying a number of Vanguard funds and ETFs using Vanguard Investor. I like the no transaction charge approach.

    However, long term, the 0.15% platform fee will start to get expensive vs a fixed fee broker.

    Does anyone know which fixed-fee brokers allow in-specie (non-cash) transfers of Vanguard funds and ETFs?

    I’d then like to continue paying into Vanguard Investor on a monthly basis. Does anyone see any problems with this approach?

    Many thanks in advance.

  • 2372 uxr June 1, 2019, 9:19 am

    Genghis, no problem with this. I do the same:
    regular purchases on one platform then a yearly move out to iWeb to save on platform fees.

    With in specie you’re not out of market so no problems. Make sure the math works tho (produces savings even after exit fees) and call both providers that they are happy with such a move.

  • 2373 IvanK. June 1, 2019, 1:07 pm

    Genghis, How long depends on the efficiency of both brokers. If the one you’re leaving delays matters, then the one you’re transferring to can do little about it. So it can be anything from the general standard of about 2 to 3 weeks to over 4 months. That’s according to customer reviews for various brokers on sites like Trust Pilot.

  • 2374 Sparschwein June 1, 2019, 2:21 pm

    By the sounds of it, a US broker is a valid option for UK-based ETF investors then; or perhaps even the better option, due to the 15% withholding tax reclaim that Theta mentioned?
    Does anyone have experience with this, as a UK resident without any other ties to the US?

  • 2375 Jeff Beranek June 1, 2019, 3:06 pm

    @ Sparschwein : Only if you are happy to miss out on the 0% withholding tax on dividends of Irish domiciled US funds held in a SIPP, 0% capital gains tax, and no exposure to US estate tax. Is it really worth the very slightly lower fund expenses on the handful of HMRC reporting funds available in the US?

  • 2376 Theta June 1, 2019, 4:28 pm

    Regarding tax, I was referring to L1 tax leak, which the Irish funds suffer as well, and you can’t claim it back. In most cases it’s a wash but in case of US index trackers (and global ones that contain approx 50% US stocks), you are better off with a US fund. To illustrate:
    Holding of $1000
    Dividend of $20
    L1 tax: $3
    US fund pays investor a div of $17. Investor claims the $3 against div tax paid in their UK tax return.
    Irish fund pays the $3 tax internally and pays to end investor a div of $17 but with no credit to reclaim.
    This is a wash in case of funds that don’t have US stocks, or investors that don’t have any UK dividend tax liability to use the foreign tax credit against, in other cases, US funds are preferable (and even more so if you consider the lower TER they generally have).

    Regarding capital gains tax, how are Irish ones 0%? AFAIK it is the same as any, i.e. 20% for amounts beyond the annual personal allowance.

    Regarding US estate tax, I think the US-UK tax treaty helps. From what I’ve read, it may need a form to file but other than that there won’t be any US tax liability as all assets would be considered as part of the UK estate only.

    Disclaimer: I am not a tax advisor but have done extensive research for my own affairs and have periodically decided to have everything (outside ISA and SIPP) in US accounts with US funds (basically the vanguard ones, that are UK reporting compliant and have the cheapest or close to the cheapest TER).

  • 2377 SandPiper June 1, 2019, 4:52 pm

    I’m curious as to what platforms any dual UK/US citizens invest into. I have less then £20K I want to invest (to avoid filing PFIC for now) and so far I have been looking at Close Brothers as a possible option and taking some advice from the list here:

  • 2378 Jeff Beranek June 1, 2019, 6:00 pm

    @Theta, it is my understanding is that there is no capital gains tax within a SIPP (or ISA), whereas a US brokerage would be outside a SIPP or ISA. US shares sold and shares churn within funds in a US brokerage will be exposed to CGT in US and/or UK. It is also my understanding that US domiciled funds or shares in a US brokerage are assessed for estate tax in the US because they are regarded as US situs assets by the IRS. I’ll step back from this debate because it looks like you are unconvinced by my arguments.

  • 2379 Theta June 1, 2019, 6:45 pm

    Please don’t take the fact that I am unconvinced as unwillingness to be convinced. I do appreciate and in fact welcome any challenge on these matters because I could be wrong.
    I agree that within ISA there is no advantage for US ETFs, and in fact there are additional costs for FX conversion. And if someone doesn’t fully utilise their ISA allowance, it’s not worth investing outside an ISA with a US broker, they are better off topping up the ISA instead.
    Within a SIPP though, the previously mentioned 15% withholding saving applies in full (there isn’t even withholding in the first place of the setup is correct).
    On the other issues you mention, my understanding is that:
    A. the extensive usage of “heartbeats” as well as the favorable ETF creation-redemption mechanism manages to completely avoid US CGT within the fund for Vanguard US ETFs anyway.
    B. Shares churn within the fund has no UK tax implications for the end investor (assuming UK reporting fund, which most if not all vanguard funds are)
    C. They are indeed US situs assets, but if the deceased is UK domiciled for IHT purposes, then the executors can claim the US UK tax treaty and avoid US IHT altogether (at the cost of filling a form I guess).
    Again, please don’t step back from the debate as your input is very valuable. I insist not in order to “win” the debate, but to make sure that if there are any holes to my thought process, they are exposed.

  • 2380 Jeff Beranek June 1, 2019, 6:47 pm

    I’m dual US/UK. I know for certain you can hold a SIPP with AJ Bell and many others. ISAs are more difficult. Note that even if the platform allows you, you still need to avoid funds/ETFs not in a SIPP. But if you are happy to report all dividends (including any “qualified dividends”) and capital gains taxes manually to the IRS, then I know for a fact you can use iWeb and HSBC InvestDirect. I think you can use HL, iDealing and Halifax.

  • 2381 IvanOpinion June 1, 2019, 8:52 pm

    @Jeff @Theta
    I think Theta might be right about US estate tax. Under article 5(1) of the US UK estate tax treaty, the estate of a person who is solely UK domiciled and is not a US citizen is only taxable in the UK. There are exceptions for certain US situs assets, but not ETFs.

  • 2382 Jeff Beranek June 1, 2019, 9:04 pm

    @Theta – On point C, after futher research, my understanding is that US shares are US situs for US estate tax, but not for US gift tax . Yes, it appears you are right that you could avoid the lower non-resident alien US estate tax threshold by filing a US estate tax return, however you would then need to declare your worldwide assets as if you were a US domiciliary. This would only get complicated if your worldwide assets exceeded the full US estate tax threshold (currently $11million, but could drop back to $5.5million).
    On point B, it appears that 65 Vanguard ETFs and 1 Vanguard Index Fund are listed by the HMRC as both US domiciled and reporting. The Vanguard USA website lists 59 ETFs and 129 mutual funds. Unfortunately, there appears to be a mis-match between the two lists of ETFs. A quick look at etfdb.com shows that are at least 80 active Vanguard ETFs. So you would need to be very careful that the Vanguard fund offered by your US brokerage corresponds exactly with the CUSIP of a fund sanctioned by the HMRC. Also, every year you would need to check if there was any “excess of reportable income over distributions” to declare on any shares held (over the reporting periods that you held them). This requires referral to the horrible document “https://advisors.vanguard.com/iwe/pdf/TIDQAUK.pdf”. Blurgh. I’ve reached this stage in my research before and just gave up the will to live…

  • 2383 Don June 3, 2019, 12:10 pm

    Regarding your comment about the 15% withholding tax not charged in a SIPP you’re right in theory. But do you know for sure of any broker that currently lets you buy US-domiciled ETFs in a SIPP? I remember asking AJ Bell about this around a year ago and being told that, unfortunately for the time being, they weren’t able to offer ANY US-domiciled ETFs due to compliance issues. Something to do with KIIDs, if I remember correctly.

  • 2384 Jeff Beranek June 3, 2019, 12:39 pm

    Correct, no US domiciled funds in an SIPP and probably soon also not in any UK or European brokerage. It’s easy to get ETF-envy by looking at US options, but there are a very wide range of low cost funds available in the UK. I’m not going to lose sleep over a few basis points.

  • 2385 Theta June 3, 2019, 2:05 pm

    I do. I have been using Interactive Brokers for my SIPP and I can confirm that I have had no withholding tax on dividends paid.

  • 2386 Ivanopinion June 3, 2019, 3:30 pm

    US Estate Tax

    Just to flesh out my comment 2381, the relevant double tax agreement is on this website:

    Under that agreement, the basic rule on country taxing rights is:
    (1)(a) …if the decedent or transferor was domiciled in one of the Contracting States at the time of the death or transfer, property shall not be taxable in the other State…”

    Decedent is US legal jargon for deceased person. So, if the deceased was only UK domiciled at the time they died, the basic rule is that the US cannot impose estate duty, even on US situs assets.

    This rule does not apply if the deceased was, at the time of death, a US national. (Art 5(1)(b)) So, Jeff may not be protected from US estate tax, but most Brits will be.

    There are exceptions which mean that the US could still tax US real estate (eg, Florida holiday home) or US assets of a business the deceased carried on in the US. But investments in ETFs would not come under either exception.

    There are a few other exceptions to the general rule, relating to assets held in trust or where the tax in the country of domicile is not paid, but these would not seem relevant.

    Obviously, the only way to know for sure is to get advice from an expert, but it certainly looks like a UK citizen, domiciled in the UK, holding investments in US ETFs or shares would not normally be exposed to US estate tax.

  • 2387 Jeff Beranek June 3, 2019, 4:08 pm

    I have a copy of the 768 page book called “Guide to US/UK Private Wealth Tax Planning”, 2nd Ed, by Robert L Williams costing £100. Unfortunately, it’s almost as unreadable as the original set of tax treaties, but it does appear to confirm that a non-US person, UK domiciliary would not be subject to the reduced threshold for US estate tax, but it does state that they would need to file a US estate tax return (on death of course) on their entire worldwide wealth to benefit from this exclusion. As I said, this shouldn’t be a problem for most people, but just a warning.

  • 2388 Don June 3, 2019, 4:56 pm

    Thanks Theta. But have you been able to add to these US-domiciled ETFs over the last year? As I said, I’m holding a few myself but lately haven’t been able to add to them anymore.

  • 2389 Theta June 3, 2019, 5:35 pm

    Yes, I have.
    But it is true that following MiFiD 2 access to US ETFs was restricted, and I had to be classified as professional as opposed to retail client in order to maintain access. To get this classification you need to have 2 out of 3 requirements:
    1. Have done 10 or more trades in relevant products in the last year
    2. Have account size of >€500k.
    3. Work in the financial sector.
    This was the case last year anyway. The situation is very fluid so you may want to contact them to ask whether something has changed.

  • 2390 Theta June 3, 2019, 6:13 pm

    Requirement 1 above is actually 10 trades per quarter on average for the last year.
    And requirement 3 is to work or have worked in the past in the financial sector for at least a year.

  • 2391 Genghis June 6, 2019, 4:50 pm

    Another newbie question, apologies:
    I’m looking to tidy up my wife’s pensions and transfer into a SIPP. I’d like to “own the world” and keep costs as low as possible. Can someone advise on their own strategy of the cheapest way to “own the world” in a SIPP, taking into account account fees (perhaps using the fixed rate for ETF brokers?), trading fees (perhaps only a couple a year) and the relevant OCFs? Thanks in advance

  • 2392 stephen watson June 6, 2019, 5:42 pm

    I did this a few years ago for my sips and it slowly evolved into what I have now, which I am happy with. I own 100% the Vanguard etf VWRL. It’s a tracker which covers the whole of the developed world and includes the non developed world and it’s fee is 0.25%. If you just want the developed world VEVE is slightly cheaper. As I am adding to it each year I just add when I reinvest my dividends. If you are going to do neither you could pick an accumulator etf. Blackrock have one SWDA if my memory is correct.
    For the platform I currently use Fidelity which caps fees at £45 per year which is a bargain if you have a large holding. However customer service is awful. Before that I used AJBell which was good and I think was £200/year.
    The best book I found to help me is by Lars Kroijer

    By the way I’m not an expert and investing 100% of a SIPP in the stock market is considered to be very risky.

  • 2393 SBS June 8, 2019, 6:11 pm

    It depends on the size of the SIPP. For a relatively small SIPP, you’ll be better off avoiding all fixed charges (both annual charges and dealing charges), by going with either Cavendish Online or Close Brothers, both of whom charge 0.25% per year for the platform, and holding funds rather than ETFs (to avoid dealing charges).

    The cheapest global equities fund i know of is Fidelity Index World (Class P), which has an OCF of about 0.13%, making total costs 0.38% per year.

    However, that Fidelity fund doesn’t include emerging markets (which are currently around 10% of available world equities). If you prefer a fund that does include them, you could instead use HSBC FTSE All-World Index (Class C), which has an OCF of 0.19%, making total costs 0.44%.

    Alternatively, you could include emerging markets while keeping costs down a fraction by putting about 90% of your money in that Fidelity fund, and the other 10% in an emerging markets fund, such as Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund, which has an OCF of 0.27%, which would give you an average OCF (calculated as 90% of 0.13% + 10% of 0.27%) of about 0.14%, making total costs 0.39%. However, using 2 funds instead of 1 does add some complexity, so beware!

    Now, for a larger SIPP, you *may* be able to save money by using a fixed-price platform, or ETFs instead of funds. But first figure out your total costs for that approach (platform charges, fixed or percentage + dealing charges + OCFs), to see whether it really is cheaper than the percentage-fee-platform method (which, by the above calculations, might cost around 0.38% or 0.39% or 0.44% per year, depending how you do it).

  • 2394 Kraggash June 9, 2019, 8:03 am

    With respect to charges, Youinvest issue an annual statement of the totàl charges you are paying for each holding, and the total % charge overall for the portfolio. This is not for just Youinvest charges, but the fund and IT mangers’ charges as well.

    It is quite interesting, especially if you are trying to cap platform charges by using ITs instead of funds…….

  • 2395 Aidan Williams June 12, 2019, 6:01 pm

    @Kraggash Thanks for that, I ignored it (Youinvest Portfolio annual costs and charges statement) thinking it was just an annual valuation which seems to have disappeared this year. It certainly is a useful and interesting document which makes me wonder why they have produced it. Regulatory requirements?

    Apparently my investment returns where 0.6% more negative than they would overwise have been. :-/

  • 2396 Kraggash June 12, 2019, 6:18 pm

    Well, looking down my list, I find (if I am reading it correctly) that some of the highest total annual charges (that is platform plus fund/IT manager charges) were actually from Investment Trusts, rather than Funds.

    So maybe they are gently pointing out that, if you are moving to ITs to reduce your platform charges, you may not be actually saving money…

  • 2397 Daniel June 18, 2019, 11:03 am

    Hi I am looking to establish a passive investing strategy focusing on ETFs. I have a relatively large AuM (1m) and was looking for a broker that would allow investing in multiple currencies but that was also easy to use.

    Which one would you recommend?

    Thank you

  • 2398 Jeff Beranek June 18, 2019, 2:52 pm

    @Daniel – Investing in ETFs in other currencies will mean you need to be aware of the “HMRC reporting funds” issue, there is a good article on Monevator about this. You’ll want to avoid non-reporting funds and you will need to manually calculate any excess reportable income, because chances are you will not be able to hold the ETF in a SIPP or ISA in a foreign currency. Do you really need to trade in foreign currencies? Are you buying invidivual shares? Do you have lots of currency already held in other currencies? If so, chances are that the rates offered by the likes of TransferWise will be better than that offered by any banks or brokerages. There’s already been a debate on this forum of the pros/cons/warnings of opening a US brokerage account. By holding globally diversified ETFs will mean you are already exposed to many currencies, even though the fund may be listed in GBP (or USD). All the earnings and values of the constituent assets are already baked into the price and distributions.

  • 2399 David July 3, 2019, 12:29 pm

    Idealing.com should be included in your comparison. I find them reliable and very fair.

  • 2400 Gally July 4, 2019, 12:02 am

    Can we identify which if these platforms allow a discretionary trust account and at what cost.

    Ideally I would like a platform that also generates tax calculations for capital gains on disposals tax on notional income and hopefully distributions to beneficiaries.

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