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 trade with in 2022. We cover key factors like fees, dealing charges, tradable shares, customer support and regulation. For more detailed explanation, please scroll down.
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 popular stock brokers UK in 2022.
- Fineco Bank
- Hargreaves Lansdown
- Trading 212
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.
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.
|Inactivity fee||$10 per month after 12 months of no login activity|
|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|
79.17% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Capital.com is another investment platform available in the UK. 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 and 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. The platform integrates with TradingView, so users can create their 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 to help users with any queries and concerns. In addition, it takes just £20 to open a new account with Capital.com.
|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|
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. The platform offers competitive spreads, your choice of trading platform, and a wealth of various 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.
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.
|Inactivity fee||€10 per month after 3 months|
|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.
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 multiple 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.|
|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|
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. Furthermore, 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.
XTB’s custom-built stock trading platform – xStation 5, is also 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|
|Withdrawal fee||None for withdrawals over £100|
|Inactivity fee||£10 per month after 12 months|
|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|
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 an 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.
|Inactivity fee||$10 per month after 3 months of inactivity|
|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|
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|
|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.|
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.
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.
|Inactivity fee||$50 after 3 months of inactivity and a $100 administration fee after one year.|
|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
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. 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|
|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
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.
Trading 212 also 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|
|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|
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.
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%|
|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|
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." Once you invest using these portfolios, 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|
|Account fee||01-0.2% per month (£4 minimum)|
|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?
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.
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.
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|
|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|
|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.
- 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.
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
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.
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?
If 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.