Broker profile

HSBC UK InvestDirect Plus

While HSBC has done a reasonable job of bringing together its international banking operations to provide a more useful service for people who need accounts around the world, the same cannot be said for its stockbroking operations. The group offers services under the InvestDirect banner in a number of countries, but what’s on offer in each case differs wildly, with some being far more useful than others.

The UK offering is one of the least useful, in contrast to the extremely wide-ranging Canadian one (which is open only to Canadian residents). Not only does it offer just two markets – the UK and the US – it does so at relatively uncompetitive rates and with a striking lack of coordination.

The basic InvestDirect account, which only trades UK shares, can be linked to a current account, but the InvestDirect Plus account – which adds the ability to trade the US – requires a separate sterling cash account, which needs to funded for each trade (there’s no option to debit your current account directly). Investors can apparently also have euro and dollar denominated accounts to settle trades in those currencies.

Markets available
Online tradingUK, USA
Telephone tradingAs above
Dealing commissions and charges
Typical online£10.5/$29.95
Online detailsUK 1-8 deals per quarter £10.5; 9+ deals per quarter £7.95; Euro-denominated UK shares €29.95; US shares US$29.95
Typical telephone£29.95/$49.95
Telephone detailsUK £29.95; Euro-denominated UK shares €49.95; US shares US$49.95
Other fees and charges
Account fees and inactivity fees£10.5 per quarter
Custody charges for stocksNone
Dividend chargesNone
Corporate action chargesNone
Currency conversion chargesNone - non-GBP trades are converted to sterling at the mid-market rate
Hold cash in foreign currenciesYes
Currencies allowedEUR, GBP, USD
Other details
Tax-advantaged accountsISA
Other products and servicesGilts
Minimum account sizeNone
Company locationUK
Further information

Compare HSBC UK InvestDirect Plus with another broker