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Best UK Share Dealing Accounts for 2020

Steve MileyBlain Reinkensmeyer

Our team spent over 100 hours assessing different share dealing accounts for buying shares online in the UK. In total, 46 individual variables were assessed to find the best online broker.

Want to buy shares of stocks like BP (BP), Unilever (ULVR), Tesla (TSLA), or Amazon (AMZN)? If so, you will need an online share dealing account.

Choosing the right share dealing account is a critical decision for any UK investor. Each UK broker charges different fees while offering various trading tools, investments, and research. We assessed the top twelve brokers currently available to invest online with to help UK traders find the right match for their needs.

While the markets are anything but certain, you can feel confident UK.StockBrokers.com has your back in 2020 to help you choose the best broker. Our team has collectively placed over 1,000 trades, while the StockBrokers.com brand has over a decade of experience in testing and reviewing online brokers globally.

Best Share Dealing Accounts

Here are the top share dealing accounts for buying shares online in the UK.

  • IG - Best Overall
  • Interactive Brokers - Best for Professionals, Best Research
  • Saxo Markets - Best Trading Platform
  • Hargreaves Lansdown - Best Offering of Investments
  • DEGIRO - Best for Low Costs
IG logo

Best Overall | Visit Site

Depending on trading frequency, IG can quickly become one of the cheapest share dealing options available, offering trades that range between £3 - £8 for UK markets, and £0 - £10 for U.S. markets. Our testing found that IG excels with its trading platform, which includes excellent charting, screening, and technical analysis features. This outstanding all-round experience makes IG our top overall broker in 2020. Read full review

Interactive Brokers logo

Best for Professionals, Best Research | Visit Site

Professional traders are brilliantly serviced with the trading tools, range of investments, and capabilities of Interactive Brokers. Meanwhile, less-experienced traders can still take advantage of the low commissions and excellent research through the web-based Client Portal platform. Read full review

Saxo Markets logo

Best Trading Platform

Saxo Markets offers UK residents an excellent share dealing experience by combining the brilliant SaxoTraderGO web platform with over 30,000 international products to trade across 36 global exchanges. The one downside of Saxo Markets is the pricing, which is substantially higher than most UK competitors. Read full review

Hargreaves Lansdown logo

Best Offering of Investments

Hargreaves Lansdown provides a thorough selection of investment options, high-quality research (some of which is in-house), alongside an easy to use mobile app. Conversely, pricing is expensive, and charting tools and educational resources, are just average. Read full review

DEGIRO logo

Best for Low Costs

DEGIRO offers cheap stock trading on a modest trading platform, charging only £1.75 + 0.014% per trade, with a maximum charge of £5.00. Fees for trading funds are more costly. Fees aside, DEGIRO does not offer ISA or SIPP accounts and lags competitors in fundamental research and education. Read full review

Final Rankings

Scored on 419 data points, here's our final rankings for 2020, sorted by Overall rank.



1. IG

Overall | Visit Site

Depending on trading frequency, IG can quickly become one of the cheapest share dealing options available, offering trades that range between £3 - £8 for UK markets, and £0 - £10 for U.S. markets. Our testing found that IG excels with its trading platform, which includes excellent charting, screening, and technical analysis features. This outstanding all-round experience makes IG our top overall broker in 2020. Read full review

Why Choose IG:

  • Platform + Mobile App. IG’s web platform and mobile app are easy to use and offer an array of unique content. IG’s new share dealing platform is quite an upgrade, providing clients with html5 charts, more technical indicators, drawing tools, and much-improved user experience.
  • Competitive Commissions. The commission per trade (shares + ETFs) is £8 if 0-2 trades are placed in the previous month. If three or more trades are made, the rate is only £3 per trade. IG offers free trades on U.S. shares and ETFs for traders that placed three or more trades in the previous month, making it an attractive option for traders seeking to deal U.S. stocks. The one downside to IG’s commissions is the quarterly £24 fee, which is reduced by any commissions paid throughout the quarter.
  • Broad range of tradeable assets. IG equips investors with access to over 9,000 shares and ETFs across 19 international exchanges. In addition to traditional share dealing accounts, SIPP and ISA accounts are also offered.
Feature IG
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £3 to £8
Stock Trades (US Shares) £0 to £10
Mobile App Yes
Demo Account Yes
ISA + SIPP Accounts Yes


2. Interactive Brokers

Overall | Visit Site

Professional traders are brilliantly serviced with the trading tools, range of investments, and capabilities of Interactive Brokers. Meanwhile, less-experienced traders can still take advantage of the low commissions and excellent research through the web-based Client Portal platform. Read full review

Why Choose Interactive Brokers:

  • Excellent for professional traders. Trader Workstation (TWS), while not beginner-friendly, offers more trading tools and capabilities than any other broker. Day traders will appreciate the global access in over 135 market centers.
  • Competitive commissions. If you trade enough to avoid inactivity fees, Interactive Brokers quickly becomes one of the cheapest options available. All funds at Interactive Brokers are commission-free or start at just EUR 4.95 (or equivalent) with no custody fees.
  • Top of the line research. Interactive Brokers provides users with research reports and analyst ratings on stocks and Lipper Leader Ratings for more popular funds. Interactive Brokers is also the only broker to offer ESG ratings for stocks and funds.
Feature Interactive Brokers
Stock Trades (UK Shares) (trade value x .0005)
Stock Trades (US Shares) (trade value x .0005)
Mobile App Yes
Demo Account Yes
ISA + SIPP Accounts No


3. Saxo Markets

Overall

Saxo Markets offers UK residents an excellent share dealing experience by combining the brilliant SaxoTraderGO web platform with over 30,000 international products to trade across 36 global exchanges. The one downside of Saxo Markets is the pricing, which is substantially higher than most UK competitors. Read full review

Why Choose Saxo Markets:

  • Outstanding web platform SaxoTraderGO. This year, our favorite web platform, SaxoTraderGO, combines the best of both worlds: ease of use with excellent trading tools. The SaxoTraderGO Mobile app encompasses this ease of use by synchronizing watchlists and price alerts from the web platform.
  • Research, including in-house analyst commentary. Broker forecasts, technical analysis insights, and news updates are available for hundreds of stocks. Saxo Markets is one of the only brokers offering in-house commentary, providing quarterly market outlooks and daily news pieces.
  • Wide range of tradeable assets. The Saxo Markets share dealing offering enables trading of over 19,000 stocks alongside 3,000 ETFs across 36 global exchanges. CFD trading is also offered for over 9,000 products, including indices, stocks, and commodities. Saxo Markets also offers tax-advantaged ISA/SIPP accounts.
Feature Saxo Markets
Stock Trades (UK Shares) 0.10% per trade (£8 min)
Stock Trades (US Shares) $10
Mobile App Yes
Demo Account Yes
ISA + SIPP Accounts Yes


4. Hargreaves Lansdown

Overall

Hargreaves Lansdown provides a thorough selection of investment options, high-quality research (some of which is in-house), alongside an easy to use mobile app. Conversely, pricing is expensive, and charting tools and educational resources, are just average. Read full review

Why Choose Hargreaves Lansdown:

  • Broad offering of investments. As far as investment options go, Hargreaves Lansdown is a market-leader offering shares, over 3,000 funds, bonds, investment trusts, ISA/SIPP accounts, advisor services, pre-made portfolios, and in-house funds.
  • Stock + fund research. Hargreaves Lansdown lends commentary on dozens of stocks, summarizing a stock’s quarterly earnings report, responding to a big news piece, or offering sentiment on the future of the equity. For funds, Hargreaves has The Wealth Shortlist, highlighting the top funds amongst leading investment sectors.
Feature Hargreaves Lansdown
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £5.95 - £11.95
Stock Trades (US Shares) £5.95 - £11.95 (+ currency conversion fees)
Mobile App Yes
Demo Account No
ISA + SIPP Accounts Yes


5. DEGIRO

Overall

DEGIRO offers cheap stock trading on a modest trading platform, charging only £1.75 + 0.014% per trade, with a maximum charge of £5.00. Fees for trading funds are more costly. Fees aside, DEGIRO does not offer ISA or SIPP accounts and lags competitors in fundamental research and education. Read full review

Why Choose DEGIRO:

  • Cheap stock trades. The fee for trading individual shares in the UK is £1.75 + 0.014% per trade, with a maximum charge of £5.00. For US markets, the cost is €0.50 + USD 0.004 per share (but with no maximum). DEGIRO is the cheapest broker for stock traders, however, cheaper options are available for funds traders such as FinecoBank or Lloyds Bank.
Feature DEGIRO
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £1.75 + 0.014% (max £5)
Stock Trades (US Shares) €0.50 + USD 0.004 per share (no max)
Mobile App Yes
Demo Account No
ISA + SIPP Accounts No


6. FinecoBank

Overall

FinecoBank is a great share dealing option for price-conscious traders who don’t require an advanced trading platform, educational materials, or research reports. Fineco charges only £2.95 for UK shares and ETFs, $3.95 for US stocks and ETFs, and €3.95 for European stocks and ETFs. Read full review

Feature FinecoBank
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £2.95
Stock Trades (US Shares) $3.95
Mobile App Yes
Demo Account No
ISA + SIPP Accounts No


7. Interactive Investor

Overall

Interactive Investor is a good choice for investors who desire research reports and in-house recommendations for funds. Costs struggle to remain competitive for fund traders and active share dealers. Read full review

Feature Interactive Investor
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £3.99 (Super Investor Plan) to £7.99 (Investor Plan)
Stock Trades (US Shares) £4.99 (Super Investor Plan) to £7.99 (Investor Plan)
Mobile App Yes
Demo Account Yes
ISA + SIPP Accounts Yes


8. Barclays

Overall

Barclays Smart Investor offers average share dealing commissions (£6 per trade) alongside a good selection of research tools and education. However, there is no dedicated mobile app for share dealing, and the trading tools offered are just average. Read full review

Feature Barclays
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £6
Stock Trades (US Shares) N/A
Mobile App No
Demo Account No
ISA + SIPP Accounts Yes


9. AJ Bell Youinvest

Overall

AJ Bell Youinvest offers a mediocre trading platform and decent research tools, including in-house articles and videos. Ultimately, AJ Bell struggles to deliver value in the UK market against brokers that offer a better platform at a lower price point. Read full review

Feature AJ Bell Youinvest
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £9.95 - £4.95
Stock Trades (US Shares) £9.95 - £4.95
Mobile App Yes
Demo Account No
ISA + SIPP Accounts Yes


10. Lloyds Bank

Overall

Lloyds Bank can deliver value to the passive fund trader, who places a few fund trades each year and requires little research. Outside of this customer mold, Lloyds quickly becomes expensive (stock trades cost £8 - £11) and can’t provide the same trading tools or research as top UK brokers. Read full review

Feature Lloyds Bank
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £8 - £11
Stock Trades (US Shares) £8 - £11
Mobile App No
Demo Account No
ISA + SIPP Accounts Yes


11. eToro

Overall

eToro is great for traders seeking zero-commission stock and ETF trades, an efficient platform, and access to copy trading. That said, there are hidden fees, education is sub-par, and eToro doesn't offer the same range of investments as traditional brokers. Read full review

Feature eToro
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £0 (Other Fees Apply)
Stock Trades (US Shares) £0 (Other Fees Apply)
Mobile App Yes
Demo Account Yes
ISA + SIPP Accounts No


12. Halifax

Overall

Halifax offers competitive pricing for passive fund traders but quickly becomes expensive for those who trade stocks at least once a month. Halifax provides no dedicated mobile application and, overall, is average compared to industry leaders. Read full review

Feature Halifax
Stock Trades (UK Shares) £12.50
Stock Trades (US Shares) £12.50
Mobile App No
Demo Account No
ISA + SIPP Accounts Yes

How do you choose a share dealing broker?

When selecting a stockbroker, it's essential to consider commissions and fees, research, the trading platform, investment offerings, and mobile trading capabilities. Compare Share Dealing Brokers.

What is a share?

A share is a small portion of a company. When you purchase a share, you are investing in that company. Corporations sell shares to investors to raise money to advance their business. When you buy a share, you want the share price to rise so that you make a profit when you sell it.

What stockbroker offers the lowest fees?

The cheapest share dealing account for you will depend on whether you are a frequent trader or casual investor, and whether you have a small or large portfolio. DEGIRO is cheaper for traders who only make a few stock trades, while FinecoBank is less expensive for funds trading while still offering cheap stock trades.

Which stock trading site is best for beginners?

Hargreaves Lansdown is a good choice for beginners, offering an easy to use platform and mobile app, a fair amount of educational content, and a lot of in-house research for stocks and funds. Keep in mind Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the most expensive share dealing options.

What is the best UK trading app?

Saxo Markets, Interactive Brokers, and IG both have excellent share-dealing mobile apps that are loaded with trading tools. Meanwhile, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a comprehensive, easy to use mobile app that is great for every day share investors. Compare brokers.

What share dealer offers the best trading platform?

Saxo Markets, Interactive Brokers, and IG offer the three best trading platforms for share dealing. SaxoTraderGo is feature-rich and appeals to both casual and active international traders. Interactive Brokers offers the most comprehensive platform for professionals. IG’s trading platform, like SaxoTraderGo, excels at charting.

What is an ISA?

An Individual Savings Account is a means of tax-free saving and investing. Currently, for the 2019/20 tax year, an individual can save up to a maximum of £20,000, which can be held in a stocks and shares ISA, a cash ISA, a Junior ISA, an innovative finance ISA, a Lifetime ISA, or in a “Mix and Match” combination of these.

What is a Junior ISA?

A Junior ISA is similar to the above ISAs but carries a limit of £4,368 (for 2019/2020). The annual allowance can be split between cash or stocks/shares or a combination of the two. A Junior ISA is opened in a child's name but is managed by an adult, although the child can take control of the account at age 16. The child can only withdraw funds at age 18, but 16-18-year-olds can open an adult cash ISA for £20,000 together with a Junior ISA the same year, thereby saving up to £24,368 a year tax-free.

What is a SIPP?

A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is a tax-efficient means of saving funds for retirement in the UK. SIPPs are government approved and empower individuals to make their own investment decisions. Unlike more traditional pension models, however, where the choice of investment is often restricted to a limited number of funds (mostly run by fund managers of finance companies), a SIPP offers more scope for broader investment because it provides personal choice.

What is a Junior SIPP?

A Junior SIPP is similar to the above, but the investment is made on behalf of a child. It is possible to save/invest up to £3,600 gross for each child in each tax year, for which the government will pay 20% in tax relief (up to a maximum of £720). This means the contract contribution would be only £2,880 in this case. Investments in a Junior SIPP cannot be accessed until the child is 55 years old.

What are Funds (Unit Trusts and OEICs)?

In the UK, Funds are also commonly referred to as Unit Trusts or even Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs).

A Unit Trust is a collection of funds, each of which comprises investments made by investors to participate in the ownership of various investment types. These would include shares (or stocks), government or corporate bonds, commodities, and different other money market instruments.

Different investment companies or money managers then trade or invest the funds in the Unit Trust pool, intending to achieve maximum capital appreciation and income. A primary attraction of Unit Trusts is that they allow smaller investors to have a diversified, professionally managed portfolio. An Open-Ended Investment Company (OEIC) is like a Unit Trust, but the fund is operated as a company and creates and cancels shares rather than units.

What is an Investment Trust?

Investment Trusts are like Funds or Unit Trusts in that they are pooled or collective investment vehicles. However, whereas Unit Trusts are open-ended, and new units are created as the fund grows with new investors, Investment Trusts differ in that there are a fixed number of shares in issue. Investment Trusts are quoted on the stock market as companies; for an investor to buy shares, another investor must sell.

Furthermore, Investment Trusts do not have to pay out all income as dividends but can choose to reinvest a portion. Investment Trusts can leverage or “gear” by borrowing to increase returns; a Unit Trust cannot do this.

What is an ETF (Exchange-Trade Fund)?

An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is an investment vehicle that usually tracks or follows an index or “average.” This could be a stock index, a commodity index, a bond index, or any other financial market index. An ETF is traded like a normal stock or share (unlike a Fund) and generally has high liquidity, intraday volatility, and generally lower fees than a Fund or Unit Trust.

The price of an ETF goes up and down with the level of the underlying assets, but is also subject to demand and supply for the ETF. Owners of ETFs do not own the underlying assets, although ETF holders do have rights on profits or dividends paid.

Methodology

For the 2020 UK.StockBrokers.com Review we assessed, rated, and ranked twelve UK share dealers. Each broker was graded on 46 different variables and, in total, over 14,000 words of research were produced. Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test and our team.

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Steve Miley

About the author: With 25 years of experience in institutional financial markets, Steve has won multiple Technical Analyst Magazine awards, including "Best Independent Fixed Income" and "Best FX Research." Alongside StockBrokers.com, Steve is the founder of The Market Chartist where he provides market research for institutional clients.

Blain Reinkensmeyer

About the author: As Head of Research at StockBrokers.com, Blain Reinkensmeyer has 18 years of trading experience with over 1,000 trades placed during that time. Referenced as a leading expert on the US online brokerage industry, Blain has been quoted in The New York Times, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.


All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/15/2020 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The UK.StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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