Service and charges for this UK stockbroker have remained largely unaltered since its former parent company Boursorama sold the business to Equiniti in 2014. However, Equiniti’s pledge not to raise fees for at least a year expires in early 2015, so potential clients should be aware that changes could happen soon.

One confusing exception to this is currency conversion rates for international trades. In the past, trades with Selftrade in overseas stocks were placed via UK-based market makers, such as Winterflood Securities. With this kind of dealing arrangement, the market maker sets the exchange rate at which the foreign currency share price is converted to sterling and either retains all of the mark-up or shares some with the broker.

Under Selftrade’s old charging scheme, the mark-up on the currency was up to 1.25% and Selftrade received up to 65% of this back from the market maker in commission. That’s now been ditched and Selftrade’s charges no longer specify a fixed currency commission. Users have recently reported receiving varying mark-ups relative to wholesale rates, but generally these do not appear to be particularly competitive compared to firms such as Interactive Brokers, IG, Saxo Capital Markets, iDealing or AJ Bell Youinvest, where markets vary between almost nothing and 1%.

Overall, there’s little reason to consider Selftrade for buying international shares alone. It remains a reasonably well-rounded offering for UK share dealing, with a few potentially useful features such as commission-free purchases for funds, but is by no means the cheapest among UK discount 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 chargesNot clear - readers report varying rates
Hold cash in foreign currenciesNo
Currencies allowedGBP
Other details
Tax-advantaged accountsISA (covered by regular account inactivity fee), SIPP (administration fee of £99+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