Halifax offers competitive pricing for reoccurring and infrequent traders, sound charting, and proper research. That said, Halifax provides no dedicated mobile application and, overall, trails industry leaders.
Top Takeaways for 2020
After spending over 100 hours testing nine online stock brokers for UK share dealing, here are our top findings on Halifax Share Dealing:
- Halifax has the same share dealing product as its parent company, Lloyds Bank. Research, charting, and news on both platforms are exactly the same because both brokers use the same third-party providers.
- Infrequent traders will benefit from Halifax's $0 annual custody fee and discounted pricing for reoccurring investments. That said, at £12.50 per trade, costs for frequent traders add up quick.
- While Halifax research matches industry standards, it trails industry leaders such as Hargreaves Lansdown and Barclays.
- Halifax does not currently offer a mobile app. To trade from a mobile device, traders must use the Halifax website, which is not the same as a dedicated app experience.
- Halifax has an average education section, delivering only a select number of bite-size educational pieces.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Commissions & Fees
The Halifax Share Dealing service has a flat fee structure of £12.50 per trade and ranked in the lower half of our commissions and fees rankings. That said, if the trader participates in a regular investment plan (from as little as £20 per month), dealing charges come down to just £2.00 per trade.
Unlike most of its competitors, Halifax Share Dealing applies no quarterly or annual administration charges for a standard (taxable) trading account. That said, Stocks and Shares ISAs have a flat £12.50 per year admin charge, and SIPP accounts have a quarterly fee of £22.50 (SIPP value of less than £50,000) or £45 (SIPP value of £50,000 or more).
Finally, in addition to reduced commission rates for recurring investments, Halifax offers trades at a special discounted price of £3.95 per trade for two hours only during one day each month.
When calculating annual share dealing costs, trading frequency and account balance are the two most important factors to consider. Assuming a £30,000 portfolio in traditional, taxable share dealing account, here are four scenarios of how much Halifax would cost depending on trade frequency:
- 1 deal per month, 12 trades = £150 (£12.50 per trade + £0 in annual custody fees)
- 3 deals per month, 36 trades = £450 (£12.50 per trade + £0 in annual custody fees)
- 10 deals per month, 120 trades = £1500 (£12.50 per trade + £0 in annual custody fees)
- 20 deals per month, 240 trades = £3000 (£12.50 per trade + £0 in annual custody fees)
|Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month||£12.50|
|Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month||£12.50|
|Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month||£12.50|
|Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000*||0%|
|Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K*||0%|
|Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m*||0%|
|Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over*||0%|
|ETFs - Fee||£12.50|
|Investment Trusts - Fee||£12.50|
|Telephone Dealing Fee*||£25.00|
Platforms & Tools
Less charting, the trading tools provided by Halifax Share Dealing are nothing to write home about. Unfortunately, Halifax does not offer a standalone platform or mobile app.
Charting: Charting with Halifax is a decent experience. The platform enables users to change the chart type (line, candlestick, OHLC charts) and to compare indices, sectors, and other stocks. Also, users have access to over 90 different technical indicators. Stock alerts are only offered for price, RNS, or volume changes, and set through the watchlist. Stock and index overlays are not available for charting.
Mobile Trading: Halifax does not currently offer a mobile application. To trade from a mobile device, traders must use the Halifax website, which is not the same as a dedicated app.
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||91|
|Charting - Drawing Tools||17|
|Charting - Notes||No|
|Charting - Display Corporate Events||Yes|
|Charting - Stock Overlays||No|
|Charting - Index Overlays||No|
Web Financial Group and Morningstar power the Halifax Share Dealing Research Centre. Although the research content is satisfactory, it is still average relative to the competition across the industry.
Halifax offers the following research tools:
- Shares Centre: The Halifax shares centre is nearly identical to Barclay's research centre, the only difference being the color scheme. The individual share quote page is a one-stop overview, with both one-day and six-month basic charts, fundamentals for the past five years, recent company announcements and news, director deals, current market data, and recent dividends.
- Funds Centre: The Funds Centre contains a prospectus for each fund. Key Investor Information Documents are available, as well as fund charges, objectives, performance history, and Morningstar ratings are available.
- Watchlist: The Halifax watchlist allows investors to add price, volume, and RNS alerts. Furthermore, it is easy to add any stock to a watchlist from the summary page or to deal directly in a share.
- Third-Party Content: The Investment Ideas section contains third-party (Morningstar) news articles and videos.
|Research - Shares||Yes|
|Research - CFDs||No|
|Research - Funds||Yes|
|Fund Research - Research Reports||No|
|Research - ETFs||Yes|
|Research - Bonds||Yes|
|Portfolio Allocation Breakdown||Yes|
Offering of Investments
Halifax allows investors to trade shares, international shares, ETFs, investment trusts, and over 2,000 funds. SIPP and ISA accounts are also available in addition to share dealing accounts.
Six different international exchanges are available for Halifax customers to trade on, including the NYSE, NASDAQ, NYSE Amex, XETRA, MTA, and Euronext. Other brokers, such as Saxo Markets and IG offer upwards of twenty international exchanges.
|Bonds - Corporate||Yes|
|Bonds - Government (Gilts)||Yes|
Halifax Share Dealing provides a variety of educational content for its clients, but the articles do not go into any great depth. Overall, we were left unimpressed.
|Has Education - Share Trading||Yes|
|Has Education - Funds||Yes|
|Has Education - Retirement||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||No|
Halifax makes sense if you're making recurring investments each month, allowing you to take advantage of the £2 dealing commissions for recurring investments. Otherwise, paying £12.50 per trade with mediocre research and few trading tools is not worth it.
Halifax Share Dealing is a subsidiary of Halifax, a division of the Bank of Scotland plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the broader Lloyds Banking Group. Lloyds Banking Group is traded on both the London and New York Stock Exchanges and is one of the largest companies on the FTSE 100. Its ticker symbol is "LLOY."
Halifax is named after the town of Halifax in West Yorkshire, where it was founded in 1853 as a building society. Halifax Share Dealing was established when Halifax went public in 1997. It was the first in the UK to offer a regular investment plan through which customers could buy shares. Halifax Share Dealing is now based in Leeds and has over one million customers.
For the 2020 UK.StockBrokers.com Review we assessed, rated, and ranked nine UK share dealers. Each broker was graded on 46 different variables and, in total, over 12,000 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.
About the author: Steve Miley Steve Miley is Director of Research, Europe, for StockBrokers.com and heads the annual UK Share Dealing Broker Review. 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.
About the author: Blain Reinkensmeyer 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.