Selftrade stopped accepting new clients in early 2013. As of May 2014, the firm’s parent company plans to exit the UK market and transfer existing customers to Equiniti. It’s not yet clear whether the Selftrade brand will continue to exist after the transfer.

This UK stock broker offers a selection of North American and European stocks for online and telephone dealing. While the range of markets looks reasonable, the amount of stocks available in some is limited.

Trades are placed via UK-based market makers (mostly Winterflood Securities), meaning that you will usually pay a higher price than would be available when investing through a broker who buys shares directly in the relevant country. In particular, you will pay a hidden currency conversion commission because the market maker sets the exchange rate at which the foreign currency share price is converted to sterling.

The premium for this through Selftrade is up to 1.25% (Selftrade receives up to 65% of this back from Winterflood in commission), which looks better than the rates charged by TD Waterhouse. But at least with TD Waterhouse, you can hold foreign currency in the account and minimise conversions, while Selftrade obliges you to settle and hold everything in sterling. Meanwhile, firms such as iDealing and Sippdeal offer access through market makers at much lower currency mark-ups (typically 0.25%-0.5%) because they do not receive a share of commission

There’s little reason to consider this provider for buying international shares alone. It was one of the stronger services for UK-only share dealing, but even for this fees are now looking less competitive alongside the newer UK discount stock brokers.

Markets available
Online tradingBelgium, Canada, France, Germany - Frankfurt, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA
Telephone tradingAs above
Dealing commissions and charges
Typical online£6-12.5
Online details1-100 deals per quarter £12.50, 101+ deals per quarter £6
Typical telephone£17.5-40
Telephone detailsTrades under £2,500 £17.5, trades £2,500-100,000 £40
Other fees and charges
Account fees and inactivity feesQuarterly inactivity fee of £10.5 (£8.75+VAT)
Custody charges for stocksNone
Dividend chargesNone
Corporate action chargesNone
Currency conversion chargesUp to 1.25% FX commission embedded in the sterling price quoted: Trades up to £10,000 1.25%; £10,000-50,000 1%; £50,000+ 0.75%
Hold cash in foreign currenciesNo
Currencies allowedGBP
Other details
Tax-advantaged accountsISA (covered by regular account inactivity fee), SIPP (administration fee of £95+VAT per year)
Other products and servicesBonds, CFDs, spreadbetting
Minimum account sizeNone
Company locationUK
Further informationVisit the Selftrade website

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 Posted by at 12:47 am