AJ Bell Youinvest was a pioneer in low-cost online SIPPs before expanding to offer regular trading accounts and ISAs. The firm offers an extensive range of funds and bonds in addition to UK and international shares.
The online international dealing service covers foreign stocks that can be held through CREST, the UK’s settlement system and securities depository, which essentially means major North American and European stocks. Some non-CREST markets are also available for telephone dealing, including some of the major Asian markets. There is a minimum trade size of £10,000 for Asian markets, but no minimum size for phone orders in other markets.
International trades are done through market makers rather than directly on the overseas exchange – the same method used by Hargreaves Lansdown, which is probably its closest direct peer.
Trading commissions are relatively low, but FX charges are up to 1%. This remains lower than some rivals, but investors who will be trading in and out of foreign-currency positions frequently may prefer brokers that offer the ability to hold foreign currency balances to minimise currency conversions. Like Hargreaves Lansdown, a Youinvest SIPP will automatically receive US dividends with zero withholding tax deducted and Canadian dividends at a reduced tax rate (not all discount brokers are set up to do this).
Overall, Youinvest is one of the better UK brokers for international dealing, especially for long-term investment in foreign shares within an ISA or a small SIPP (with larger SIPPs, it may be worth paying higher fees for a provider that lets you hold foreign currencies). Feedback on customer service is good.