Best UK online stock brokers

 
Last UpdatedMar 092014

The table below compares the dealing charges and other fees of around 40 UK online stock brokers to help you find the cheapest stock brokers for trading UK shares only. If you are looking for UK online stock brokers to trade international markets instead, try the UK international stock brokers list and the UK international stock brokers comparison table.

Currently, the cheapest UK online stock brokers for one-off trades are SVS Securities and X-O, at £5.75 and £5.95 per trade respectively, with no admin or inactivity fees for either regular share dealing accounts or ISAs. iWeb Share Dealing is even cheaper at £5 per trade, but charges a £25 one-off account opening fee. Other brokers may be cheaper if you plan to trade relatively frequently.

All firms in the table are regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Comparing stock brokers is difficult because they charge fees in different ways. For stock brokers that charge variable fees (such as a percentage-of-trade-size commission), the fixed minimum charge is listed. For details of what each column means and supplementary comments on some brokers, see the notes under the table.

 
Normal rate
Trader rate
Reinvest
dividend
Regular
investor
Account
fees
ISA
(yearly)
SIPP
(yearly)
 
AJ Bell Youinvest£9.95£4.95n/a£1.5No feeNo fee£20 / £60 / £100Visit site
Details
Alliance Trust
Savings
£12.50n/a£5£1.5£18.75/qtr
admin fee
£75£186Visit site
Details
Barclays
Stockbrokers
£11.95£8.95
£5.95
1% min £1
max £7.5
n/a£14.4/qtr
inactivity fee
£36£186Visit site
Details
Beaufort
Sharedealing
£8n/an/an/aNo feeNo feen/aVisit site
Bestinvest£7.50n/an/an/aUp to 0.4%/yrUp to 0.4%Up to 0.3%Visit site
Charles Stanley Direct£10n/an/an/a0.25%/yr min £20 max £1500.25% min £20 max £150£120Visit site
Details
Clubfinance
Frequent Trader
£2.50£1
£0.5
n/an/a0.24%
min £100
0.24%
min £100
n/aVisit site
Computershare
 
£20n/a£1.5£1.5No fee£30n/aVisit site
Equiniti
Shareview
£12.50n/a0.5% min £1.750.5% min £1.75No fee0.5% min £24 max £90n/aVisit site
Fidelity Share Network£9n/an/an/a£5.1/mth
admin fee
£61.2n/aVisit site
First Direct
Shares
£11£9n/an/aNo feeNo feen/aVisit site
FXCM
Stocktrading
£12.5 or
£25
n/an/an/a£25/mth
inactivity fee
n/aFees varyVisit site
Guardian
Stockbrokers
0.1-0.35%
min £20-50
n/an/an/a£25/qtr
inactivity fee
£42Fees varyVisit site
Halifax
Share Dealing
£12.50n/a2% max £12.50£2No fee£12.5£90 / £180Visit site
Details
Hargreaves
Lansdown
£11.95£8.95
£5.95
1% min £10
max £50
£1.5No fee0.45%
max £45
0.45%
max £200
Visit site
Details
HSBC
InvestDirect
£12.95£7.95n/an/aNo feeNo feen/aVisit site
Details
iDealing£9.90n/an/an/a£5/qtr
admin fee
£20Fees varyVisit site
Details
Interactive
Brokers
£6n/an/an/a$10/mth
min fees
n/aFees varyVisit site
Details
Interactive
Investor
£10£51%
max £10
£1.5£20/qtr inc
two trades
£80£144Visit site
Details
iWeb
Share Dealing
£5n/a2%
max £5
n/aNo feeNo fee£90 / £180Visit site
Details
Lloyds Bank
Share Dealing
£15£11.502%
max £15
£2£16/half yr
admin fee
0.5% min £30 max £144n/aVisit site
Motley Fool
Share Dealing
£10n/a2%
max £10
£2No fee£30£90 / £180Visit site
Details
Natwest
Stockbrokers
£13.95£12£1.5£1.5£12/qtr
inactivity fee
£0 / £30n/aVisit site
Details
RBS
Sharedealing
£13.95£12£1.5£1.5£12/qtr
inactivity fee
£0 / £30n/aVisit site
Details
Red Hot
Share Dealing
£12.50n/a0.5%
min £1
0.5%
min £1
£3/qtr£24n/aVisit site
Saga
Share Direct
£11.50£9.751% min £1
max £7.5
n/aNo feeNo feen/aVisit site
Santander
Sharedealing
£15n/an/a

n/a£12/qtr
inactivity fee
£48n/aVisit site
Saxo Capital Markets0.1-0.35%
min £20-50
n/an/an/a£25/qtr
inactivity fee
£35Fees varyVisit site
Details
Selftrade£12.50£6£1.5£1.5£10.5/qtr
inactivity fee
£0 / £42£114Visit site
Details
Share Centre1%
min £7.50
£7.50.5%0.5%
min £1
£1.8/mth
admin fee
£57.6£172.8Visit site
Details
ShareDeal
Active
£9.5n/an/an/aNo fee£60Fees varyVisit site
SharePrice£9 mobile
£10 online
n/an/an/an/a£30n/aVisit site
Stocktrade0.4%
min £14.5
0.2%
min £14.5
n/an/a£14.4/qtr
admin fee
0.5% min £36 max £144Fees varyVisit site
Details
Sucden
Financial
0.1-0.35%
min £20-50
n/an/an/a£100/qtr
min fees
n/aFees varyVisit site
SVS Securities
 
£5.75n/an/an/aNo feeNo feen/aVisit site
TD Direct
Investing
£12.50£8.95
£5.95
£1.5£1.5£15/qtr
inactivity fee
£0 / £360.5% min £96 max £240Visit site
Details
Traders Own
 
£8n/an/an/aNo feeNo feen/aVisit site
X-O
 
£5.95n/an/an/aNo feeNo fee£114Visit site
Notes for the UK online stock brokers comparison table
  1. Fees include VAT at 20% where applicable.
  2. Quoted rates apply to UK online trades only – trading by telephone or in international stocks will often mean different charges. For international stock rates, see the UK international stock brokers table.
  3. Inactivity fees are waived if you trade a certain number of times (usually once per quarter). Admin fees are not waived. For TD Direct Investing accounts over £15,000 (or £10,000 in funds) and NatWest/RBS accounts over £15,000, there are no inactivity fees; TD Direct also waives the inactivity fee if you hold a linked ISA or SIPP (although there will be additional account fees for these). Lloyds Bank Share Dealing waives the regular account admin fee if you also hold an ISA (although there will be an additional account fee for this). The Charles Stanley Direct custody fee is waived if you trade six or more times every six months. The FXCM Stocktrading inactivity fee is waived if you trade three times per month.
  4. Interactive Brokers charges a minimum fee of US$10 per month – so if you pay US$5 of commissions, you will be charged an extra $5 to reach the minimum. Sucden Financial charges a minimum fee of £100 per quarter, offset against commissions in the same manner.
  5. Interactive Investor charges an account fee of £20 per quarter, which includes two real-time trades (or alternatively £20 of any kind of trades including regular investments).
  6. BestInvest charges a tier annual fee based on portfolio value. For dealing accounts and ISAs, charges are 0.4% for £0-250,000; 0.20% for £250,000-1,000,000; no further charge above £1,000,000. For SIPPs, charges are 0.3% for £0-250,000; 0.20% for £250,000-1,000,000; no further charge above £1,000,000.
  7. The Interactive Investor and Fidelity Share Network account fees, Selftrade inactivity fee, Clubfinance minimum fee and Charles Stanley Direct custody fee apply per individual not per account – so if you hold both a regular dealing account and an ISA, you will only be charged once. The Alliance Trust Savings, Bestinvest and iDealing fees are charged per account – so a regular dealing account and an ISA will mean two sets of fees.
  8. iWeb charges a one-off account opening fee of £25.
  9. Dividend reinvestment rates allow you to reinvest your dividends into shares of the same company that paid them at reduced commission, making it possible to reinvest small dividends without them being swallowed up by fees.
  10. Regular saver or monthly saver services (often known as sharebuilder or portfolio builder services) allow you to invest at a reduced fee by giving up control over when and at what price you buy. The stock broker pools all its regular saver trades and executes them on a fixed day each month. These are mostly used by investors who want to make small steady monthly investments into the market.
  11. Qualifying points for the frequent trader rates are: AJ Bell Youinvest – 10+ trades in previous month; Barclays Stockbrokers – £8.95 for 10-19 trades per month, £5.95 for 20+ trades per month; First Direct Shares – 10+ trades per quarter; Hargreaves Lansdown – £8.95 for 10-19 trades per month, £5.95 for 20+ trades per month; HSBC Sharedealing – 10+ trades per quarter; Interactive Investor – £10 for 10 trades per month, £5 for subsequent trades; Lloyds Bank Share Dealing – 13+ trades per quarter; NatWest Stockbrokers and RBS Share Dealing – minimum account size of £250,000 or have paid £1,500 in commissions per year; Saga Share Direct – 10+ trades per quarter; Selftrade 101+ trades per quarter; Stocktrade – after 50 trades (no time limit given); TD Direct Investing – £8.95 after 10+ trades in the previous three months, £5.95 after 20+ trades in the previous three months.
  12. Clubfinance charges £2.50 per trade, then rebates £1.5 per trade for accounts over £250,000 and £2 per trade for accounts £500,000. Total rebates capped at £4,000 per year.
  13. FXCM Stocktrading charges £12.50 for trades under £2,000 and £25 for trades above £2,000.
  14. The Share Centre offers two dealing packages with different rates: 1% (min £7.50) for the standard package or a flat £7.50 per trade with an additional £25 per quarter dealing option fee. The dealing option fee is in addition to the regular account admin fee.
  15. iDealing offers an admin fee-free option for standard accounts (not ISAs and SIPPs). Trades will be subject to an additional charge of £2/€3/$3.8 under this option.
  16. Saxo Capital Markets, Sucden Financial and Guardian Shares charge 0.2% (min £20) for trades on the London Stock Exchange’s SETS order book (ie stocks of larger companies) and 0.35% (min £50) for trades on the LSE’s SEAQ quote-driven system (ie smaller companies).
  17. ISA and SIPP fees may be charged monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. In the table, all are quoted on an equivalent annual basis. While most providers operate on a flat fee or percentage basis, a few have tiered fees depending on the account size, which is difficult to summarise in the table. The specific tiers are:
    ISAs: NatWest Stockbrokers and RBS Share Dealing – £30 for accounts smaller than £15,000 (waived if you trade four times per year) and no fee above, TD Direct Investing – £36 for accounts smaller than £5,100 and no fee above.
    SIPPs: AJ Bell Youinvest – £5 per quarter for accounts under £10,000, £15 per quarter for accounts between £10,000 and £20,000, and £25 per quarter above; Halifax Share Dealing/iWeb Share Dealing/Motley Fool Share Dealing – £90 for accounts under £50,000 and £180 above. Where the table says “fees vary”, this indicates that you have a choice of SIPP administrators who will each charge different fees.
  18. Only stocks that are members of the FTSE350 are eligible for the SVS Securities ISA.
  19. Dividend handling charges are not common among UK stockbrokers, but some brokers will charge these or other fees. Beaufort Sharedealing and Traders Own charge 10% of each dividend or cash corporate action, with a minimum of 25p and a maximum of £1.
  20. Most UK online stock brokers have no minimum deposit to open an account. Exceptions include: Interactive Brokers, which require US$10,000 or sterling equivalent; Saxo Capital Markets, which requires £5,000 for a regular account and £50,000 for an ISA; Sucden Financial, which requires £5,000; and FXCM Stocktrading, which requires £20,000.
  21. The Motley Fool share dealing services is a white label service from Halifax Share Dealing, with different levels of fees. iWeb Share Dealing and Lloyds Bank Share Dealing belong to the same group as Halifax (Lloyds Banking Group) and are the same underlying service with different levels of fees. iWeb is almost invariably the cheapest of all four.
  22. Computershare, NatWest Stockbrokers and RBS Sharedealing are white label services provided by TD Direct Investing, with different fees.
  23. Saga Share Direct is a white label service provided by Barclays Stockbrokers. Like most Saga products, it’s only available to the over 50s.
  24. Guardian Shares is an introducing broker to Saxo Capital Markets.
  25. Sucden Financial’s SMART online platform is a white label of Saxo Trader.
  26. Fidelity Share Network is a white label service provided by Charles Stanley.
  27. ShareDeal Active and X-O are both operated by Jarvis Investment Management, but offer different services and fees.
  28. HSBC InvestDirect and First Direct Sharedealing are both part of the HSBC group, but offer different services and fees. Both require a current account with the relevant bank.
  29. SharePrice is another brand owned by Interactive Investor, with different levels of fees.
  30. Traders Own is a white label service provided by Simply Stockbroking.
  31. Red Hot Share Dealing is a white label provided by Share Centre.
  32. HB Markets Online and Simply Stockbroking merged to become Beaufort Sharedealing in April 2013.
  33. Charles Stanley Direct was formerly known as Fastrade – it relaunched in early 2013 with a new brand and different fees.
  34. TD Direct Investing was formerly known as TD Waterhouse – it rebranded in November 2011, but the service is unchanged.
  35. AJ Bell Youinvest was formerly known as Sippdeal – it rebranded in November 2013.
  36. Most UK online stock brokers will not accept non-resident retail investors due to UK money laundering regulations, although it’s always worth checking with the firm in question. Those that have been reported to accept non-residents at least some of the time include TD Direct Investing (both through its overseas resident account and its Luxembourg subsidiary Internaxx), Charles Stanley, Stocktrade/Brewin Dolphin, Saga Share Direct, Sucden Financial and SVS Securities, while Interactive Brokers and Saxo Bank (the parent firm of Saxo Capital Markets) will accept clients of most nationalities, but possibly not through their UK offices. See this update on UK stock brokers for non residents.
Information in the UK online stock brokers comparison table comes from the stock brokers’ websites and leaflets, conversations with stock broker staff members and feedback from investors who use the services. While I try to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, I cannot guarantee that. You should always check current terms and conditions before opening an account. If you identify any errors or omissions, please notify me using the contact form.