eToro: Buy Shares with 0% Commission

Your capital is at risk

The Best UK Stock Brokers in 2022

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There are hundreds of FCA-regulated UK stock brokers active in the online space that allow you to purchase and sell companies at the click of a button. The process rarely takes more than a few minutes.

In this guide, we explore some of the popular UK stock brokers to do this within 2022. We cover key factors like fees, dealing charges, tradable shares, customer support and regulation. For more detailed explanation, please scroll down.

£
Number of Trades
100per year
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5 Providers that match your filters
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Rating
0 or better
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0 or better
Fixed fees per trade
£0
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£0
Recommended Broker
254 New users today
Rating
Total Fees£ 0.18
What we like
Buy shares and ETFs with 0% commission
Social and copy trading network
Invest and trade crypto with low fees
Fixed fees per trade
0 £
Account Fees
0 £ per Month
Mobile App
10/10
Total Fees£ 0.18
68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Features
CFDsCopy PortfolioETFsFundsKryptoRobo AdvisorStocks
Payment methods
Credit CardNetellerSkrill
Account Information
Account from
$10
Deposit Fees
$0
ETFs
262
Inactivity Fees
$10/month after 12 months
Leverage
1:5
Margin trading
true
Min. Trade
$10
Stocks
2000+
Trade fees
Spreads
Withdrawal Fees
$5
Fees per trade
CFDs
0.09%
0%
Crypto
0.75%
DAX
0.01%
ETFs
0.09%
Stocks
0.09%
68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Rating
Total Fees£ 0.00
What we like
Useful demo account
Over 3000 CFDs to trade
Very competitive spreads
Fixed fees per trade
0 £
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0 £ per Month
Mobile App
8/10
Total Fees£ 0.00
75.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Features
CFDsKryptoStocks
Payment methods
Credit CardNetellerSkrillSofort
Account Information
Account from
£20
Deposit Fees
£0
Leverage
1:30
Margin trading
true
Stocks
2400
Trade fees
Spreads
Withdrawal Fees
£0
Fees per trade
CFDs
0.01 - 34 pips
Stocks
0.36 pips
75.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Rating
Total Fees£ 0.00
What we like
Regulated by CySEC
Wide range of account types
Tight spreads
Fixed fees per trade
0 £
Account Fees
0 £ per Month
Mobile App
8/10
Total Fees£ 0.00
69.80 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Features
CFDs
Payment methods
Credit CardSepa Transfer
Account Information
Account from
€500
Inactivity Fees
€10
Leverage
30:1
Margin trading
true
Min. Trade
0.01 lot
Fees per trade
CFDs
Variable spreads
69.80 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

UK Stock Brokers at a glance 

  • There are many different online stock brokers to choose from, so you need to carefully consider the pros and cons of each to find the right one for you.
  • The range of stocks, trading fees, platforms, trading tools, research resources, mobile experience and licensing are all important factors to consider.
  • You also need to decide whether you want to use a broker that offers real stock trading, or if you want to trade stock CFDs.

The Popular UK Stock Brokers in 2022

If you don’t have time to read our guide in full, here’s a list of some of the reputable stock brokers UK in 2022.

With hundreds of UK stock broker sites now active in the market, knowing which platform to sign up with has never been more challenging. For example, while some UK stock brokers might stand out for offering super-low fees, they might not give you access to international markets.

With this in mind, below you will find our selection for the popular stock brokers of 2022. All of our picks are legal and regulated brokers, allow you to easily fund your account with a UK payment method, and offer 24/7 customer support


1. eToro 

etoro-multidevice

68% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site

eToro is a popular UK stock broker, and a FCA-regulated platform in the UK. First and foremost, the stock broker allows you to invest in traditional stocks without paying any commission or share dealing charges. Instead, the only ‘fee’ that you pay is that of the spread. As long as you do not apply leverage or short-sell your chosen company, you will be entitled to company dividends as and when they are paid.

In terms of markets, eToro lists more than 800 equities. This includes major companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, as well as US firms. As such, you’ll get to purchase shares in companies like Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft without the need to pay any fees. Heaps of other stock markets (17 in total) are covered at eToro – including but not limited to Australia, Canada, Sweden, and Germany. If you’re looking to dabble in other areas of the investment space, eToro also gives you access to funds and ETFs.

eToro also offers a copy trading feature. For those unaware, this allows you to copy the trades of seasoned investors, subsequently allowing you to earn a passive income. There are no additional fees to engage with copy trading.  In terms of getting started, it takes just minutes to open an account at eToro, and you may deposit funds on a fee-free basis via a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or UK bank account.

The minimum deposit stands at $200 – which is about £160. As all eToro balances are displayed in US dollars, your deposit will come with a small 0.5% conversion fee. This does, however, allow you to access both UK and international stocks with ease. You may deposit up to €2,000 (about £1,800) without needing to upload ID straight away, so users can purchase your chosen shares instantly.

Finally, eToro is a execution only broker, regulated by the FCA, meaning that your funds are safe at all times. In fact, you will benefit from the protections of the FSCS – which covers you up to the first £85,000 in the event the broker ceased to exist.

Commission 0%
Deposit fee Free
Withdrawal fee $5
Inactivity fee $10 per month after 12 months of no login activity
Account fee None
Minimum deposit $50
Stocks markets Access to 17 stock markets
Tradable assets CFDs, Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, real Stocks and ETFs, indices
Available Trading Platforms Web-based trading platform, mobile trading app

2. Capital.com

capital.com7

75.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider.

Capital.com is another UK investment platform that’s worth looking into. This broker offers trading on more than 3,000 stocks from the UK, US, and Europe. Users have the option to also trade dozens of ETFs, commodities, forex, and more.

All trading on Capital.com is 100% commission-free, which makes this broker very attractive for all types of stock traders. The broker does charge spreads on its share CFDs, but they’re among the lowest in the UK. All shares can be traded with leverage up to 5:1 and there’s no inactivity fee if you ever take a short break from trading.

Capital.com has its own, custom-built trading platform for the web and mobile devices. It includes dozens of technical studies to help you identify trading opportunities. The platform integrates with TradingView, so users can easily create your own studies and switch between several advanced chart types.

Capital.com actively helps users by offering share tips. The brokerage platform uses AI to find patterns in your trading and identify what factors are contributing to your wins and losses.

Capital.com is regulated by the UK FCA. The broker offers 24/7 customer support, which is very nice if you ever need help with your account. In addition, it takes just £20 to open a new account with Capital.com.

Commission 0%
Deposit fee Free
Withdrawal fee $0
Inactivity fee $0
Account fee None
Minimum deposit $20
Stock Markets Over 3,000 shares from the US, UK, and Europe
Tradable assets Stock CFDs, over 140 currency pairs, 84 cryptocurrencies, and dozens of commodities, ETFs, and stock indices.
Available Trading Platforms Mobile Apps, Web Platform, MetaTrader 4, TradingView

3. Alvexo

Alvexo Logo

76.57% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider.

Alvexo is a European CFD broker that offers trading on stocks, forex, commodities, and more. It’s a great option for UK traders because it offers competitive spreads, your choice of trading platform, and a wealth of extra tools to help you time the market.

Alvexo offers hundreds of shares and ETFs, mainly from the NASDAQ and NYSE markets in the US. All share CFD trades are commission-free and spreads are typically around 2-3% per share trade. Users have the chance to get discounted spreads if you have at least €10,000 in your trading account.

With Alvexo, you may choose between trading with the proprietary web trading platform or MetaTrader 4. Alvexo’s Web Trader is quite comprehensive, offering everything you need to analyze price movements and place trades. Alvexo also offers a mobile app for iOS and Android so users can trade on the go.

Alvexo also offers a premium service, called Alvexo Plus. This service provides traders with access to daily trading signals, market news, webinars, and an economic calendar. While Alvexo Plus requires a monthly subscription, it’s well worth it if you want to stay one step ahead of the market.

Alvexo is regulated by the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles. All users receive 1-on-1 support at least once per month. You need at least €500 to open a new account.

Commission 0%
Deposit fee Free
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fee €10 per month after 3 months
Account fee None
Minimum deposit €500
Stock Markets Hundreds of shares from the US and Europe
Tradable assets Stock CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies
Available Trading Platforms Mobile Apps, Web Platform, MetaTrader 4

4. Fineco Bank

Your capital is at risk

Italian financial institution Fineco Bank recently entered the UK stock broker scene. It allows you to purchase and sell shares in a super-competitive manner at just £2.95 per trade. This is also the case for ETFs. If you’re looking to add some international shares to your portfolio, Fineco Bank gives you access to heaps of foreign markets.

If you’re keen to invest in the financial markets but don’t know how to pick stocks, Fineco Bank offers automated portfolios.

All you need to do is select your preferred risk rating, and Fineco Bank will add assets to your portfolio based on your financial goals. Fineco Bank is also popular with UK investors as it allows you to get started with a small investment of £100. If you do feel comfortable investing on a DIY basis, Fineco Bank offers excellent research tools and ongoing market commentary.

When it comes to safety, Fineco Bank is heavily regulated. Your funds are protected by the FSCS and the broker holds that all-important FCA license

Commission Starting from £0 commission on FTSE100, US and EU Shares CFDs, market spread only and no additional markups. 
Deposit fee Free
Withdrawal fee $0
Inactivity fee None
Account fee None
Minimum deposit £0
Stocks markets Access to 13 stock markets
Tradable assets CFDs, Forex, Commodities, Stocks and ETFs, indices, mutual funds, bonds, options, futures,
Available Trading Platforms Web-based trading platform, mobile trading app, desktop trading platform

5. XTB 

xtb

Your capital is at risk.

XTB is a popular UK stock broker that offers trading on more than 2,100 shares and ETFs – all 100% commission-free. Even better, spreads at this broker start at just 0.015% for US-listed stocks, making it one of the cheapest options available for UK traders. XTB doesn’t require a minimum deposit to get started and the broker doesn’t charge deposit or withdrawal fees.

We’re big fans of XTB’s custom-built stock trading platform, xStation 5. It’s available for the web and mobile devices and it comes packed with research tools. You’ll find technical charts and dozens of studies to start, plus a market news feed that includes actionable trade ideas with annotated price charts. The platform also has a market sentiment gauge which allows users to easily see what other traders think about where a stock’s price is headed.

XTB’s platform also includes a stock and ETF screener, which can be really useful for traders. With this tool, users can easily scan the market for stocks that are taking off or that seem poised for a fall. Using the screener, it’s possible to create watchlists and narrow down your search to find better trading opportunities.

XTB is regulated by the UK FCA and CySEC and offers negative balance protection for all traders. In addition, the broker offers excellent customer support by phone, email, and live chat, available 24/5.

Commission 0.015% for stocks
Deposit fee Free
Withdrawal fee None for withdrawals over £100
Inactivity fee £10 per month after 12 months
Account fee None
Minimum deposit None
Stock Markets XTB provides access to 17 exchanges
Tradable assets CFDs, forex and cryptocurrencies, some EU-based clients can trade real stocks and ETFs
Trading Platforms xStation 5, MT4, mobile trading apps

6. Plus500

Plus500 is another UK CFD broker with a huge selection of stocks. The broker carries over 1,500 shares from around the globe, all of which trade with zero commissions. Users have the option to trade with 5:1 leverage on all shares.

Plus500 provides users with a proprietary software comes loaded with watchlists, a market news feed, and a very intuitive charting interface. You may also place advanced order types like stop losses to help control your risk when stock trading.

With Plus500’s alert feature, users can set basic price alerts on the web or on mobile devices, plus create more nuanced alerts that trigger when a stock gains a certain percentage in a day or surpasses a specific trading volume threshold. Investors can even set multiple alerts for the same stock as well.

The only downside to Plus500 is that the trading platform doesn’t have a ton of technical firepower for most advanced stock trading. The software cannot integrate with other tools like TradingView or MetaTrader, so you’re limited to the tools that Plus500 provides. This won’t be an issue for most traders, but it’s something that more experienced investors will want to be aware of.

Plus500 is regulated by the UK FCA. The platform offers 24/7 customer support by phone and email.  A new account can be registered with a £100 minimum deposit.

📑 Additional information on Plus500

Commission 0%
Deposit fee Free
Withdrawal fee $0
Inactivity fee $10 per month after 3 months of inactivity
Account fee None
Minimum deposit $100
Stock Markets 1,900 stock CFDs
Tradable assets Users can only trade CFDs with this broker, such as Forex, stock index CFDs, stock CFDs, ETF CFDs, commodities, and crypto CFDs
Available Trading Platforms Mobile App, Web Platform

7. Pepperstone

pepperstone

Your capital is at risk.

Pepperstone is a popular UK stock brokers for traders who want to use MetaTrader 4 or 5. These popular trading platforms offer unparalleled tools for technical analysis, including the ability to create custom technical studies. You may also backtest trading strategies against historical price data to see how they are likely to perform.

This broker also offers a few extra tools that are built specifically for MetaTrader. For example, there’s a correlation heatmap so investors will be able to see whether the stocks you’re invested in typically move at the same time. There’s also an alarm management tool that lets you create custom alerts based on price changes, trading volume, and more.

Pepperstone carries thousands of share CFDs from the US, UK, Europe, and Australia. The broker’s charges vary based on the market you’re trading - US shares trade commission-free, while UK shares carry a 0.10% commission. So, this broker can be slightly more expensive than some of its peers.

Pepperstone is regulated by the UK FCA and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The platform doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open an account, which is a major plus if you’re not ready to commit hundreds of pounds to trading just yet.

Commission 0% for US shares
Deposit fee Free
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fee None
Account fee None
Minimum deposit No minimum deposit
Stock Markets Pepperstone provides access to 250+ stock CFDs
Tradable assets Forex, and other CFD instruments including commodities, stock indices, stock CFDs, and crypto CFDs.
Trading Platforms MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader. Pepperstone has also partnered with various social trading platforms including Myfxbook, Mirror Trader, MetaTrader Signals, and DupliTrade.

8. AvaTrade

avatrade-logo

Your capital is at risk.

AvaTrade is a UK CFD broker that offers 0% commission trading on over 600 global stocks. The platform also carries dozens of exchange traded funds (ETFs), stock indices, commodities, and forex pairs for trading. Notably, AvaTrade also offers trading on forex options - but it doesn’t offer stock options at this time.

AvaTrade has a few different trading platforms you may use to trade stocks. Like Pepperstone, this broker gives all traders access to MetaTrader 4 and 5. If you’re willing to navigate the steep learning curve that these platforms present, they’re extremely powerful.

Alternatively, the AvaTrade web trading platform and AvaTradeGO platform are available on iOS and Android devices as well . You get watchlists, a market news feed, and dozens of technical studies. On mobile devices, users can access full-screen charts and enter orders with just a few taps.

AvaTrade also has its own social trading app for iOS and Android, called AvaSocial. Although this isn’t integrated into AvaTradeGO, it’s simple to switch back and forth between sharing ideas and setting up trades. AvaSocial also enables copy trading, so you have the ability to mimic the portfolios of more experienced stock traders in just a few taps.

AvaTrade is regulated by the UK FCA and Australia’s ASIC. The platform requires a $100 minimum deposit to open an account and you may pay by credit card, debit card, or bank transfer. AvaTrader offers 24/5 customer service.

Commission 0%
Deposit fee $100
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fee $50 after 3 months of inactivity and a $100 administration fee after one year.
Account fee None
Minimum deposit No minimum deposit
Stock Markets AvaTrade provides access to 620+ stock CFDs
Tradable assets Forex, CFD trading - index CFDs, stock CFDs, commodity CFDs, Bond CFDs, ETF CFDs.
Trading Platforms WebTrader, MT4 and MT5, AvaOptions, AvaTradeGo, AvaTrade also provides access to social trading via two third-party platforms including DupliTrade and ZuluTrade.

9. Hargreaves Lansdown

hargreaves-logo

Your capital is at risk.

 Hargreaves Lansdown allows you to open a Stocks and Shares ISA (Individual Savings Account) in the UK. The broker also offers Junior ISAs, SIPPs (self-invested personal pensions), and traditional brokerage accounts.

One thing to note about Hargreaves Lansdown is that it’s much more focused on long-term investing than stock trading. The broker’s platform gives you some market analysis tools, including a news feed and individual stock reports. However, you won’t find many technical analysis tools and the charting interface is quite limited in scope.

Hargreaves Lansdown is a popular UK stock broker for investors who want to purchase and sell ETFs as opposed to individual stocks. The broker has a selection of over 3,000 funds to choose from, which no other British stockbroker on our list can match. You get access to a fund finder and other ETF picks from Hargreaves Lansdown’s analysts to help you navigate this huge selection.

This brokerage charges a 0.45% annual fee based on the value of stocks and ETFs you hold inside your ISA. In addition, the brokerage charges a share dealing fee that starts at £11.95 per trade. If you place 20 or more trades per month, the share dealing fee drops to £5.95 per trade.

Hargreaves Lansdown is a publicly traded company in the FTSE 100 and is regulated by the UK FCA. As one of the UK’s largest brokers, this company is considered highly trustworthy. A new ISA account can be opened with a £100 deposit or by setting up recurring contributions of £25 per month.

Commission The fees for stock trading are volume-tiered. The more you trade in the previous month the less commission you pay. 0-9 trades = £11.95 per trade, while 20+ trades made in the previous month incurs a lower commission per trade of £5.95
Deposit fee $0
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fee None
Account fee None
Minimum deposit $0
Stock Markets Hargreaves Lansdown provides access to 21 stock markets and 2,500 ETFs.
Tradable assets Stocks, ETFs, Funds, Bonds
Trading Platforms Hargreaves Lansdown native web and mobile trading platforms, as well as IG’s trading platform for CFD and spread betting accounts.

10. Trading 212

trading212

Your capital is at risk.

Trading 212 is a popular UK stock brokers for long-term investors. What makes this platform unique is it’s automated investing feature. You may set up a portfolio with however many stocks you want. Each month - or on whatever schedule you want - Trading 212 will transfer funds from your bank account and reinvest them in the stocks in your portfolio.

What’s even better is that Trading 212 allows you to have different portfolios for different goals. So, users may have a conservative portfolio for retirement investing and a more aggressive portfolio for generating income. You get to decide how much money goes into each portfolio every month.

Users may purchase and sell stocks on Trading 212 with no commissions. The platform also doesn’t charge an account fee, so it’s essentially free to use. The only catch is that there’s a 0.7% deposit fee if you deposit more than £2,000 at once using a credit card or debit card.

Trading 212 also has a CFD trading platform, which similarly offers commission-free stock and ETF trading. You may trade with leverage up to 5:1 and all accounts come with negative balance protection so you may never lose more than you’ve deposited into your account.

Trading 212 is regulated by the UK FCA. All accounts are insured for up to £85,000 under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Commission Commission-free stocks and ETFs
Deposit fee $0
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fees None
Account fee None
Minimum deposit $1 for CFD accounts and $10 for Invest or ISA accounts
Stock Markets Trading 212 provides access to 7 stock markets and 200 ETFs.
Tradable assets CFDs, forex, real Stocks and ETFs, 
Trading Platforms AutoInvest, Trading 212 proprietary web trading platform, mobile trading app 

11. Degiro

degiro

Investing involves risk of loss.

If you're looking to diversify your portfolio by investing in companies from several countries, it might be worth exploring the merits of Degiro. This trading platform offers thousands of equities from heaps of stock exchanges.

Along with major markets like the UK, US, and Japan - you'll also have access to less liquid exchanges. You will be purchasing the stocks in the traditional sense, meaning that you will be entitled to dividends if and when they are paid.

Degiro is also well-known for offering a super-low fee structure on its stocks. This works out at just £1.75 +0.014% when buying UK shares - at a maximum of £5 per trade. If its US stocks you're after, this works out at just €0.50 + $0.004 per share.

The platform allows you to purchase and sell a selection of 200 ETFs for free, although bear in mind that there are conditions that apply to these. After that, the standard ETF works out at €2 + 0.03% per trade - which again is competitive.

It takes 24-48 hours to get your Degiro account set up in the vast majority of cases. This broker is licensed by AFM in the Netherlands.

Commission The trading fee is typically calculated as a flat fee and a percentage of the traded volume. US and Canadian markets are charged based on the total shares traded. For example, trading stocks listed on the LSE incur a commission of £1.75 & 0.014%
Deposit fee $0
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fee None
Account fee None
Minimum deposit None
Stock Markets DEGIRO provides access to 30 stock markets and 5,000+ ETFs.
Tradable assets Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, futures, cryptocurrencies
Trading Platforms Web trading platform, mobile trading app

12. Barclays 

Barclays Logo

Investing involves risk of loss.

Barclays is one of the biggest investment firms in the UK, and now individual investors can access many of the same tools and investment opportunities as the bank's pro traders. At Barclays, you have two ways to invest. You may invest in ready-made portfolios designed by experts, or users may go their own way and choose their own stock and fund investments.

Barclays offers 5 ready-made portfolios that range from "Defensive" to "Adventurous." The nice thing about these portfolios is that once you invest, Barclays takes care of keeping your portfolio balanced and on track over time. Fees are based on the amount you have invested, but you may expect a ready-made portfolio to cost around £7.75 per month in fees.

If you want to invest on your own, users can also use Barclay's Smart Investor platform. This allows you to open an investment account, ISA, or SIPP with no minimum deposit. You'll pay a commission of £3 for ETF trades or £6 for stock trades, plus an account fee of 0.1-0.2% per month (£4 minimum). Barclays offers funds and shares from the US, UK, and Europe.

Barclays is regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority. If you have questions about what type of account is right for you, you may get in touch by phone or live chat.

Commission £3 for ETF trades or £6 for stock trades
Deposit fee None
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fee None
Account fee 01-0.2% per month (£4 minimum)
Minimum deposit None
Stock Markets US, UK, and European markets
Tradable assets Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, investment trusts
Trading Platforms Web trading platform, mobile trading app

What is an Online Stock Broker?

If you want to purchase and sell shares, you will need to use an online stock broker. The most reputable UK stock brokers give you the ability to invest in hundreds of UK and international stocks from the comfort of your home.

As and when you find a stock that you like the look of, you simply need to determine how many shares you wish to purchase, and the funds will be taken from your share dealing balance.

Then, you will retain full ownership of the stock until you decide to sell. Most of all, any dividends that your chosen company pays will be added to your brokerage account.

This allows you to re-invest the dividends into other companies, or withdraw the money out to your bank account. Crucially, there is no longer a need to speak with a trading platform over the phone - as everything is facilitated online.

How Do the Popular Online Stock Brokers UK Work?

The actual investment process couldn't be easier at an online stock broker. First and foremost, you will be required to open an account with your chosen broker. This is to ensure that the platform complies with the FCA. This rarely takes more than a few minutes, and simply requires some personal information - such as your full name, home address, date of birth, and contact details.

Search for stocks to buy in the UK

After that, you will then be instructed to upload a couple of verification documents. This is to ensure that you are who you say you are. Once your account has been verified, users have the option to then deposit some funds. Most of the reputable UK stock brokers allow you to fund your account with a UK debit/credit card or bank account. You will also have the option of depositing funds with an e-wallet like Paypal.

As soon as your UK stock broker account has been funded, users can then proceed to invest. Unless you are using a mutual fund you will need to choose your own companies. Once you know which stocks you want to purchase, you'll need to choose how many shares you want. Notably,  you are no longer required to purchase 'whole shares', so you may invest as little as you want as long as this meets the UK stock broker's minimum trade size.


UK Stock Broker Fees: What you Need to Know

When it comes to fees, UK stock brokers are in the business of making money. As such, you will always need to pay a fee of some sort. The exact pricing model will vary from broker-to-broker, and the one you opt for should be depending on how often you plan to trade.

For example, if you're simply looking to purchase shares and hold on to them for a number of years, you may want to look into eToro - as the platform does not charge any commissions. If you're looking to trade stocks on a shorter-term basis, then Plus500 is another potential option.

In other cases, Nutmeg is suitable if you are looking to invest in pre-made portfolios, as you will only need to pay an annual fee of 0.45%. Popular UK stock brokers like IG do things slightly differently - as you will be charged a flat fee. This means constant regardless of how large your order is, so this option is suitable if you are thinking about trading bigger volumes.

To give you an idea of what you are likely going to pay in 2022 - check out the comparison table below.

Stock Brokers Charge Per Trade Deposit / WIthdrawal Fees Inactivity Fee
eToro Free £5 per withdrawal £10 per month after 12 months
Capital.com Free None None
Alvexo Free None €10 per month after 3 months
Plus500 Free None £10 per month after 3 months
XTB Free None £10 per month after 12 months
Pepperstone Free for US stocks None None
AvaTrade Free None £50 per quarter after 3 months
Hargreaves Lansdown £5.95 – £11.95 None None
Trading 212 None None None
Fineco Bank £2.95 per UK stock trade None None
Degiro £1.75 + 0.014%, max £5 None None
Barclays £3 for ETF trades or £6 for stock trades None None

Currency Conversion Fee

Most UK stock brokers will charge a 'currency conversion' fee. In the vast majority of cases, this is charged when you attempt to access international shares. In other words, if you're from the UK and investing in pounds, but you want to purchase shares listed in the US, the respective stocks will be priced in dollars. As such, the broker will charge you a currency conversion fee, which is multiplied against the value of your order.

For example:

  • You want to purchase £10,000 worth of Disney shares - which are listed on the New York Stock Exchange in US dollars
  • Irrespective of Disney's share price, you will pay a 0.5% fee on the amount you invest
  • On an investment of £10,000, the fee amounts to £50

There is often an exception to the above, insofar that brokers like eToro will charge you its 0.5% currency conversion fee when you make a deposit. So, if you deposit £1,000, you will pay a conversion fee of £5. The reason for this is that eToro gives you access to over 17 stock exchanges. As such, it denominates all account balances in US dollars, which then gets you unfettered access to both UK and international markets.


Share Dealing vs Stock CFD Trading

It is important that you are able to make the distinction between a traditional 'share dealing' platform with that of a 'stock trading' site - as the two asset classes are somewhat different

Share Dealing

When looking at the popular share dealing platforms, these are online brokers that allow you to invest in companies in the traditional sense. For example, if you purchase 10 shares in BP, you actually own the underlying stock. As and when BP distributes dividends, you as a stockholder will be entitled to your share. Owning a stock via a UK stock broker also gives you the right to annual general meetings and other important company events.

Stock CFD Trading

Stock trading in the form of CFDs (contracts-for-differences) enables you to speculate on the future value of your chosen company without taking ownership. This will suit those of you that are looking to make gains in the short term. For example, you will have the capacity to apply leverage on your trades by up to 5:1 on stocks.

Users can also short-sell companies - meaning that there is a potential to make gain if the value of the stock declines. Stock CFD trading is also conducive for trading with ultra-small pricing movements, as fees and commissions are typically wafer-thin. On the flip side, you will not be entitled to dividends when trading stock CFDs, as you don't own the asset.

UK Stocks and Shares ISAs

If your chosen UK stock broker gives you access to an ISA, this will be highly beneficial for you. This is because stocks and shares ISAs allow you to invest up to £20,000 per year - all of which will be exempt from capital gains tax.

If you don't utilize your ISA allowance, you will need to pay tax on any gains that you make when you sell a stock. If you already have an ISA elsewhere, some UK stock brokers allow you to transfer your stocks over without paying a fee.

Is My Money Safe at a UK Stock Broker?

The Financial Conduct Authority is the UK's regulatorIf you're just getting started in the world of online investments and have little to no trading experience, you might be wondering whether or not your money is safe. In a nutshell, all UK brokers must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that platforms must comply with a range of regulations that have been installed to keep your money safe.

For example, UK stock brokers must keep client funds in segregated bank accounts, meaning that they can't use the money for their working capital. As your money is ringfenced, it should be safe even if the broker collapsed. An even more stringent safeguard is that of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Most UK brokers are covered by the scheme, meaning that the first £85,000 is protected in the event the broker ceased to exist. With that being said, the FSCS protection won't cover unsuccessful trades. Instead, it is there to protect client money from a broker collapse.

Conclusion

This guide has provided a comprehensive breakdown on some of the most popular stock brokers available to use in the UK. Should you choose to begin trading with a broker in the UK, users should pick a FCA regulated brokers that provides low fees and multiple features & tools.

Frequently Asked Questions on Online Stock Brokers

How do share dealing platforms work?

Are UK stock brokers safe?

Are stock brokers covered by the FSCS?

Do UK share dealing sites give you access to international markets?

What is the minimum investment required at UK stock broker sites?

Who regulates stock brokers?

What percentage do stock brokers charge?

How much do stock brokers charge?

Kane Pepi author check sign Pro Investor

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, and the Malta Association of Compliance Officers.

Questions & Answers (12)
Have a question? Our panel of experts will answer your queries.Post your question
  1. Question

    What are the fees I need to consider when I choose an online stockbroker?

    Seba
    Reply
    1. Answer

      Well, Seba, online stockbrokers have different charging structures. When you are buying and selling shares via a traditional stockbroker that connects you to the exchange, you typically pay a fixed rate of around £3-$£8 per trade. Other brokers, such as eToro, do not charge a fixed commission but instead charge low trading fees and additional financing fees such as deposit and withdrawal fees, overnight fees, spreads, and monthly subscription fees.

      Alan Draper PRO INVESTOR
      Reply
  2. Question

    I am kind of new to this whole trading world, so I was wondering what is the most cost-effective way to start trading shares?

    94trader
    Reply
    1. Answer

      Thanks for your question, 94trader. Firstly, it is important to understand the methods of online trading. You can buy shares from any brokerage firm that allows you to open a traditional trading account and pay relatively high fees for the exchange and for the broker itself. Alternatively, you can buy and sell shares via the secondary market in the form of Contracts for Difference (CFDs). CFDs are the most common form of derivative trading and simply eliminate trading fees. Therefore, these contracts are considered to be the most cost-effective way to buy and sell shares online.

      Alan Draper PRO INVESTOR
      Reply
  3. Question

    Is it a good idea to trade ETFs instead of stocks?

    Tamara
    Reply
    1. Answer

      Hi Tamara. ETFs are certainly worth considering, particularly if you are making your first steps in the trading world. When you buy an ETF, you’re buying a whole collection of different stocks that represent a region, sector, and commodity. Unlike individual shares that let you invest in a certain company, when buying ETFs you can invest in a set of companies picked by analysts. For example, if you wish to invest in real estate you can simply buy real estate ETFs. ETFs also tend to have lower costs than other securities.

      Alan Draper PRO INVESTOR
      Reply
  4. Question

    Hello, I want to start trading shares with a small investment just to learn and see how it works for me. Which broker do you think is the best for me?

    Brad
    Reply
    1. Answer

      Thanks for getting in touch, Brad. If you want to start trading shares with a low minimum initial deposit, we highly recommend eToro. They require you to deposit a minimum of $200 (around £140), which is a reasonable amount to start trading if you are a beginner. You can also invest in stocks from just $50 on eToro.

      Alan Draper PRO INVESTOR
      Reply
  5. Question

    What is a spread betting account? Is it better than a CFD account?

    wondertrader
    Reply
    1. Answer

      Good question! Spread betting is another type of derivative asset in which the investors do not own the underlying asset but instead simply speculate on the price of the asset. It is very similar to CFDs with one key difference. Unlike CFDs, profits made on a spread betting are free from capital gains tax (CGT).

      Alan Draper PRO INVESTOR
      Reply
  6. Question

    Hi there, thanks for the guide. I was wondering, should I trade stock options? Are options safer than stocks?

    Dan
    Reply
    1. Answer

      Thanks for your question, Dan. Options tend to be a riskier investment than the underlying stock because of the high leverage and the expiry length of the option. If you decide to trade share options you have to be careful and get familiar with option trading strategies. It is also important to find a reliable platform that allows you to trade options, such as IG Markets or Degiro.

      Alan Draper PRO INVESTOR
      Reply

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