How to Buy HSBC Shares Online in the UK

Looking to buy HSBC shares in the quickest and most cost-effective way? If you’re based in the UK, there are lots of FCA regulated online stock brokers that allow you to do this with ease. Some platforms even offer commission-free investments, so it’s only the spread that you need to look out for.

In this article, we show you how to buy HSBC shares in the UK. On top of exploring the best UK brokers to buy HSBC stocks from, we also give you a handy step-by-step walkthrough.

Step 1: Find a UK Stock Broker

As HSBC is a global financial institution with locations across the globe, the company has two primary listings – the London Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. As such, you simply need to sign up with a UK broker that is regulated by the FCA. With hundreds to choose from, it is important to make considerations on dealing charges, annual fees, supported payment methods, and minimum account balances.

Within this in mind, below you will find our three top-rated UK stock brokers to buy HSBC shares from.

1. eToro – Buy HSBC Shares Commission-Free

eToro is an online broker that offers everything from stocks and shares, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. The trading platform has since attracted more than 12 million investors to its site, not least because it allows you to buy over 800 shares without paying any dealing charges. Instead, the only ‘fee’ that you will need to consider is that of the spread.

This makes eToro a highly cost-effective option when buying HSBC shares. The broker is also popular because it has tailored its trading platform to the newbie investor. This includes an account opening and deposit process that takes minutes. eToro supports lots of UK payment methods, including a debit/credit card, bank account, and e-wallets.

You will, however, need to pay a small 0.5% conversion fee when you make a deposit, as eToro facilitates all account balances in US dollars. On the flip side, this then gives you access to international shares at the click of a button. In terms of safety, eToro is regulated by the UK’s FCA, ASIC (Australia), and CySEC (Cyprus). This ensures that your account balance is ringfenced from the broker’s own working capital.

If you do decide to buy HSBC shares from eToro, the broker requires a minimum deposit of $200 – which is about £160. You can invest a minimum of $50 (£40) into HSBC, meaning that you can use the rest of your balance on other companies. It is also worth noting that eToro offers a CopyTrading feature that might be of interest if you are just starting out in the world of stocks of shares. This is because you can mirror the stock portfolio of seasoned traders, subsequently allowing you to invest passively.

Pros:

  • Super user-friendly online stock broker
  • Buy stocks without paying any commission or share dealing charges
  • 800+ stocks listed on UK and international markets
  • Deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or UK bank account
  • Ability to copy the trades of other users

Cons:

  • Not suitable for advanced traders that like to perform technical analysis

75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

 

2. Plus500 – Best Commission-Free Provider for Trading HSBC Stock CFDs 

An additional option that is worth considering is ‘trading’ HSBC share CFDs. This means that you will be targeting short-term stock price movements. Plus500 excels in this particular investment space, with more than 2,000 stock CFDs hosted at the platform. For those of you that haven’t come across CFDs before, they essentially allow you to speculate on the future price of an asset without you taking ownership.

This comes with a number of benefits, such as being able to trade HSBC share CFDs with leverage of up to 1:5 (and more on other asset classes). This means that a £500 balance would permit a maximum trade of £2,500. Plus500 also allows gives you the option of placing buy/sell positions on HSBC share CFDs, meaning you can speculate on stock price going up and down. If you do like the sound of trading HSBC stock CFDs, it takes just minutes to get started at Plus500.

You can deposit a minimum of £100 with a UK debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet. Best of all, Plus500 does not charge any trading commissions at all. This means that the only fee you will end up paying is the spread. Deposits and withdrawals are free too, which is great. In terms of safety, Plus500 is publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange. Plus500UK Ltd is authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909).

Pros:

  • Commission-free CFD platform – only pay the spread
  • Thousands of financial instruments across heaps of markets
  • Retail clients can trade stock CFDs with leverage of up to 1:5
  • You can short-sell a stock CFD if you think its value will go down
  • Takes just minutes to open an account and deposit funds

Cons:

  • CFDs only
  • More suitable for experienced traders

80.5% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site

3. IG – Trusted UK Share Dealing Platform With Competitive-Fees

IG is a Jack of All Trades in the online investment space, as it covers traditional shares and CFDs. This means that you will get the best of both worlds. That is to say, you can buy HSBC shares in the traditional sense, or trade them via stock CFDs. If you want to do the former, IG charges £8 per trade.

This is reduced to an industry-leading £3 per trade if you place three or more buy/sell orders in the previous month. At the other end of the spectrum, HSBC shares can be traded on a commission-free basis when utilizing CFDs. You will also have the option of applying leverage, as well as short-selling.

In terms of the broker’s reputation, IG was launched way back in 1974. It has since amassed more than 174,000 client accounts, and it holds licenses with the FCA and ASIC – among others.

IG is also worth considering if you want access to top-notch research materials. This includes heaps of handy guides and ‘how-to’ explainers, alongside technical and fundamental analysis tools. Outside of its main share dealing and CFD divisions, IG also offers a spread betting platform. This will allow you to trade HSBC stocks without paying any capital gains tax on your profits.

Pros:

  • Trusted UK broker with a long-standing reputation
  • Good value share dealing services
  • Leverage and short-selling also available
  • Spread betting and CFD products
  • Access to UK and international markets
  • Great research department

Cons:

  • Minimum deposit of £250
  • US stocks have a $15 minimum commission

 

Step 2: Open an Account and Deposit Funds

So now that you have a selection of UK stock brokers to choose from, you will now need to open an account. This is a minimum requirement with all FCA regulated brokers that allow you to buy shares online. In the step-by-step walkthrough we give below, we show you the process with our top-rated share dealing platform eToro. With that said, you are more than welcome to go with a broker of your choosing – as the steps remain largely the same!

 

To get the process started, visit the eToro homepage and click on the ‘OPEN ACCOUNT’ button.

You will now be asked to enter some basic information, such as your:

  • Full Name
  • Home Address
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

eToro will also need to ask you some questions about your prior trading experience. This is to ensure you have a good understanding of the risks of investing money into the financial markets.  Don’t worry, you won’t be denied an account for answering the questions incorrectly – it’s just to ensure the broker remains fully compliant with the FCA!

Next, you will then need to upload some verification documents. Once again, this is the case with all FCA regulated stock brokers.

This will include your:

  • Passport or Driver’s License
  • Recent Utility Bill or Bank Account Statement

If you don’t have the above documents to hand, eToro will still allow you to make a deposit, albeit, this will be capped at €2,000 (£1,800-ish).

Either way, supported payment methods at eToro includes the following:

  • Debit Cards
  • Credit Cards
  • Paypal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • UK Bank Transfer

Don’t forget, you will need to meet a minimum deposit amount of $200, which about £160.

Step 3: Buy HSBC Shares

Now that you have funded your online brokerage account, you are ready to buy HSBC shares. To complete the process with eToro, enter ‘HSBC’ into the search box at the top of the page, and click on the corresponding result. Then, click on the blue ‘TRADE’ button. 

You will then be presented with an order box. Although this might appear somewhat intimidating at first glance, the process is actually very straight forward. Firstly, enter the amount of HSBC shares that you wish to buy. You need to enter the figure in USD, as this is what eToro denominates user accounts in.

After that, you simply need to click on the ‘OPEN TRADE’ button, and your investment should be reflected in your eToro account within a matter of seconds! To clarify, as and when HSBC distributes dividends, eToro will pay the funds into your cash balance.

Overview of HSBC Shares

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is a UK-based financial institution that has a presence in most corners of the world. With more than $2.5 trillion worth of assets under management, HSBC is one of the largest banks globally. As a result, you can easily purchase its shares at the click of a button. HSBC actually has a dual listing across two stock exchanges.

This includes the London Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This means that forms part of both the FTSE 100 and Hang Seng indexes. In terms of the company’s stock market performance, this has been somewhat up and down over the past two decades.

For example, the bank enjoyed an extremely bullish period in the years between 1995 and 2001 – where its stocks hit an all-time high of just over 1,000p. HSBC was hit particularly hard by the financial crisis of 2008, where its share lost close to 50% in the space of 12 months.

Fast forward to mid-2020 and the bank is hovering around the 400p-mark. To add salt to the wound, HSBC recently announced that it would be suspending dividend payments. Although the bank has noted that it plans to review this after its full-year results, it remains to be seen when stockholders will once again be in receipt of dividends..

Reasons to Buy HSBC Shares

HSBC hasn’t been in the best of shapes in recent years. Not only has its operating margin been under constant strain, but it was at the forefront of a multi-billion money laundering scandal that went as far as an SEC committee hearing. Add in the fact that HSBC recently suspended all dividend payments, and it does make it somewhat difficult to make a case for the financial institution.

Nevertheless, below we have listed some of the reasons why you might consider buying HSBC shares today.

Investment Bank Division Continues to Thrive

Although the retail and commercial side of the business has been struggling as of late, HSBC is seeing excellent results in its investment bank division. The good news for shareholders is that the bank makes its money fee (as opposed to the financing interest). When you factor in the turbulent market conditions that COV-19 has presented, this is hugely beneficial for HSBC – at least in its investment banking department.

COV-19 Dip Could Recover

Looking at the wider picture, it is true that HSBC is now worth just a fraction of its prior all-time peaks. Although it might never regain its former glory on the London Stock Exchange, it is more than reasonable to suggest that it can recover its COV-19 related dips. Taking a closer look at the charts, HSBC shares were priced at just under 600p in January 2020.

At the turn of June, this went as low at 380p – subsequently resulting in a dip of 36%. If we were to flip the figures around, a return to 600p would result in gains of 57%. This represents a significant upside for a bank that – like the rest of the financial institution space, could not predict just how serious of the pandemic would be.

The Verdict

It is somewhat challenging to make a strong case for HSBC. While we appreciate that the financial institution was hit hard by the financial crisis of 2008 – much of the UK retail banking space has since recovered. However, HSBC’s stock market woes date all of the way back to 2001 – which is when its shares last hit an all-time high. While few from within the industry would make a case for HSBC returning to 1,000p+ territory, a more realistic target is that of getting back to pre-COV-19 levels.

If it can, investors are potentially looking at an upside of 57%. On the flip side, there is no knowing when HSBC will resume its long-standing history of paying dividends, so this is something that must also be considered. Nevertheless, if you feel that HSBC shares can currently be purchased on the cheap, we would suggest exploring one of the UK stock brokers that we have discussed on this page.

FAQs

Is HSBC a good investment?

HSBC shares have been struggling for a long time. In fact, the company last hit a stock market peak n 2001. With that said, the financial institution is still one of the largest banks in the world, with more than $2.5 trillion worth of assets under management. As such, some wuld argue that at current prices - HSBC shares could be a viable investment.

What stock exchange is HSBC listed on?

HSBC is actually a dual-listed company that is hosted on the London Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This ensures that the bank retains its dominance of the Asian banking sphere.

Does HSBC pay dividends?

HSBC had a long-standing track record of rewarding shareholders with regular dividends. That was until the coronavirus pandemic came to fruition, as HSBC management recently announced it would be suspending dividends until further notice.

What does HSBC stand for?

Although the bank is UK-based, HSBC actually stands for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

Is it possible to short-sell HSBC shares?

Yes, but you will need to use an online broker that gives you access to UK stock CFDs. The likes of eToro, Plus500, and IG all offer HSBC stock that you can short-sell with leverage of upto 5x.

Last Updated on

Kane Pepi

About Kane Pepi

Kane Pepi is a British researcher and writer that specializes in finance, financial crime, and blockchain technology. Now based in Malta, Kane writes for a number of platforms in the online domain. In particular, Kane is skilled at explaining complex financial subjects in a user-friendly manner. Academically, Kane holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, a Master’s Degree in Financial Crime, and he is currently engaged in a Doctorate Degree researching the money laundering threats of the blockchain economy. Kane is also behind peer-reviewed publications - which includes an in-depth study into the relationship between money laundering and UK bookmakers. You will also find Kane’s material at websites such as MoneyCheck, the Motley Fool, InsideBitcoins, Blockonomi, Learnbonds, Finder, the Malta Association of Compliance Officers, and the International Compliance Association.

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