Charles Stanley is a long-established UK private client stockbroker with a good range of European and Asian markets for telephone dealing, including less common ones such as Poland, Korea and Indonesia.
These firms will not be the cheapest in terms of trading commission, but you may pay less in hidden costs such as foreign exchange conversion fees. Customer service will usually be better and the representatives you deal with will be more knowledgeable.
Due to higher minimum commissions, you need to be looking at a minimum trade size of several thousand pounds to be cost effective, but from that point up, Charles Stanley and its peers are worth considering – especially for less frequent investors. Alternatives include Killik & Co, Redmayne Bentley and Brewin Dolphin/Stocktrade.
In addition to a traditional telephone dealing account, the firm also offers online dealing through the Charles Stanley Direct brand (formerly known as Fastrade). This service does not offer any international dealing options.
|Online trading||UK (through Charles Stanley Direct)|
|Broker-assisted trading||Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany - Frankfurt, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan - Tokyo, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, UK International Order Book, USA|
|Online minimum||£10 (through Charles Stanley Direct)|
|Online details||UK £10|
|Broker-assisted details||Charles Stanley: first £10,000 1.85%, next £90,000 0.5%, balance 0.25% (UK min £25, international min £75), plus overseas securities charge of £20 for US, Canada and Europe or £50 for other overseas markets; Charles Stanley Direct: UK £20 or 0.25% (min £50) for specialist trades.|
|Standard account fees and inactivity fees||Charles Stanley: annual service charge of £150 plus VAT per year (additional £200 plus VAT for CREST personal membership); Charles Stanley Direct: 0.25%/year (min £20, max £150), waived if six or more trades every six months|
|Custody charges for stocks||£30 per holding per year for shares in overseas custody, £30 per holding per year for individual bonds|
|Dividend charges||None (except £4 for UK dividends not held in CREST or through Charles Stanley Direct)|
|Corporate action charges||None|
|Currency conversion charges||No explicit margins, exchange rates should be close to interbank rates|
|Hold cash in foreign currencies||Yes|
|Currencies allowed||Most major currencies|
|Tax-advantaged accounts||ISA (covered by standard account fee for Charles Stanley Direct, administration fee of £30+VAT per year for Charles Stanley), SIPP (administration fee of £100+VAT per year for Charles Stanley Direct, fees vary for Charles Stanley)|
|Other products and services||Bonds, CFDs, funds, options, spreadbetting|
|Minimum account size||None for UK, £5,000-10,000 for international dealing|
|Further information||Visit the Charles Stanley website|
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