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Interactive Brokers UK Review

January 24, 2024

Your capital is at risk.

Interactive Brokers is a sophisticated trading platform aimed at confident investors but also offers great value and resources for newer investors. We believe it’s certainly worth exploring the platform to see if you could save money or access more investments compared to other brokers. You can open a demo account to explore the full platform before committing any money.

Interactive Brokers
4.5/5 Stars Overall
  • Minimum Deposit: £0.0
  • ISA: Yes
  • SIPP: Yes
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Lowest-Cost Online Broker.

(Your capital is at risk)

Interactive Brokers pros & cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • Low commission for stock trading.
  • No mutual fund fees.
  • Competitive fees for ready-made ‘smart’ portfolios.
  • Powerful trading tools for experienced investors.
  • Fantastic mobile app.

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • Educational content is U.S.-focused, not tailored to the U.K.
  • Can appear overwhelming to new investors.
  • Charges can be confusing.

Overall summary

Feature Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers
Overall Rating 4.5/5 Stars
Charges & Fees 4.5/5 Stars
Investment Choices 5/5 Stars
Mobile App 5/5 Stars
Website 5/5 Stars
Ease of Use 3.5/5 Stars
Education 3.5/5 Stars

Charges and fees

Interactive Brokers’ fees can be confusing but overall they are low – particularly if you are looking to buy funds. There are no custody charges. Other pricing is done from a combination of fixed and tiered pricing.

Shares and ETFs are priced at a fixed £3 per trade up to the value of £6,000. This means you’d pay a total of £36 annually to Interactive Brokers if making 12 trades a year, and for 120 trades a year you’d pay £360. For trades above £6,000, the cost is 0.05% of trade value. So buying £10,000 worth of shares would cost you £5.

The fee for investment trusts is £4.95. However, there are 19,000 mutual funds available with no transaction fee or custody charges. This is very unusual among all the brokers we tested. In fact, Interactive Brokers is the only platform to offer funds with no custody fees or dealing charges.

Bonds trading fees are 0.1% for the first €10,000 in trade value, falling to 0.025% on amounts above €10,000.

Interactive Brokers is currently offering £55 in commission credit for new customers who open a stocks and shares ISA before 31 January 2024, and put £1,500 in their account within 30 days.

Scenario pricing: 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 a traditional, taxable share dealing account, here are four scenarios of how much Interactive Brokers would cost based on trade frequency:

  • 5 trades per year = £15
  • 12 trades per year = £36
  • 36 trades per year = £108
  • 120 trades per year = £360
  • 3 fund trades per year = £0
Feature Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers
Minimum Deposit info £0.0
Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month info £3
Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month info £3
Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month info £3
Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000 info 0
Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K info 0
Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m info 0
Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over info 0
Bonds - Corporate - Fee info 0.1% (for <10,000 EUR) 0.025% (for >10,000 EUR)
Bonds - Government (Gilts) - Fee info 0.1% (for <10,000 EUR) 0.025% (for >10,000 EUR)
ETFs - Fee info £3
Investment Trusts - Fee info £4.95
Telephone Dealing Fee info USD 50
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query_stats What type of trader are you?

Our guides can help you choose the right broker for you and the way you trade: whether you consider yourself an investing beginner, a more experienced active trader, or a mobile-first trading enthusiast.

Mobile trading apps

Interactive Brokers offers an excellent mobile app. Everything you would want to know about a company stock or asset is there, including the next dividend date, analyst views and a chart showing recent historical performance. Further information can be found by selecting the ‘Trading Central’ tab, which takes you to extended research including target price and investor sentiment.

The ‘impact lens’ tab allows you to select values you support – such as ethical leadership and clean air – and see the impact score of your investments.

Another great feature is the ability to customise the homepage to make it more tailored to your interests. For example, you can change your default region and select whether you want your watch list and market indices displayed on the homepage.

A more basic app called IBKR GlobalTrader is also available for investors looking to trade small amounts, including fractional shares that we believe makes trading more accessible to all investors. It is a slimmed-down version of the main IBKR mobile app. You can make use of both apps – the same login details are carried over, along with your purchases and watch list.

Tap for a demo of Interactive Brokers' U.K. trading app.

Website

Interactive Brokers’ Trader Workstation is a desktop platform designed for seasoned, active traders who trade multiple products. Most everyday investors will not need this and will find enough through the general web platform.

Through the web portal, you have access to a huge amount of data, learning materials and investment options. The PortfolioAnalyst tab gives you detailed information about your historical investment performance, your top portfolio movers and your ESG score. It’s easy to buy or sell shares or investments. A mutual fund scanner allows you to search for mutual funds according to country, provider or type (such as equities or bonds).

Overall the web portal offers very useful material and options for any investor. I found it one of the most comprehensive of all the U.K. platforms I tested.

Feature Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers
Web Platform info Yes
iPhone App info Yes
Android App info Yes
Stock Alerts info Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies info 96
Charting - Drawing Tools info 80
Charting - Notes info Yes
Charting - Display Corporate Events info Yes
Charting - Stock Overlays info Yes
Charting - Index Overlays info Yes

currency_pound Are you new to investing?

We thoroughly tested 17 top U.K. brokerages to find the best choices for beginner investors. Read more in our guide.

Investment choices

The IBKR GlobalTrader platform allows you to trade across 90 stock markets worldwide, including the Nasdaq, London Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Interactive Brokers is rare among U.K. investment platforms in offering access to Asia stock markets.

Through Interactive Brokers, you can invest in company shares, ETFs, funds, investment trusts and bonds. Options, futures, forex and CFDs are also available to traders seeking higher-risk.

You can invest from as little as $1 by buying fractional shares, which is a great entry point for new investors looking to invest small amounts of money. You make deposits in up to 23 different currencies, which is more than any other U.K. platform offers.

Feature Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers
Share Trading info Yes
CFD Trading info Yes
Funds info Yes
Research - ETFs info Yes
Bonds - Corporate info Yes
Bonds - Government (Gilts) info Yes
Investment Trusts info Yes
Spread Betting info No
Crypto Trading info No
Advisor Services info No

Education

Comprehensive platforms such as Interactive Brokers are initially difficult to navigate, I find. However, you can open a simulated trading account with up to $1,000,000 in virtual currency to learn about the platform before committing any actual money.

The educational materials currently available on the Interactive Brokers U.K. site are limited. Most educational material is U.S.-focused. However, we are pleased to hear that Interactive Brokers plans to launch a Europe-focused version of IBKR Campus at some point in the near future. This will offer free webinars, courses and commentaries targeted at investors across Europe.

Feature Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers
Education (Share Trading) info No
Education (Funds) info No
Education (Retirement) info Yes
Client Webinars info No
Client Webinars (Archived) info No

Final thoughts

We believe Interactive Brokers is a clear winner for professionals and frequent U.K. traders seeking an institutional-grade trading platform. It also offers low charges and extensive investment options worldwide. For newer investors, Interactive Brokers is more intimidating but the demo account offers a good way to learn more about the platform and investing in general.

About Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1977 by Thomas Peterffy and is headquartered in Connecticut in the U.S. It is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker ‘IBKR.’ Interactive Brokers says it has 2.56 million account holders across 200 countries.

Is my money safe with Interactive Brokers?

Yes, as Interactive Brokers is regulated by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) in the U.S. and the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in the U.K., meaning customers’ money is protected up to the value of £85,000 in the U.K.

Is Interactive Brokers good in the UK?

Interactive Brokers is a highly sophisticated trading platform. While aimed at more experienced investors, it is targeting a wider range of Britons through its low fees and smart portfolios, where managers will invest in a diversified mix of investments on your behalf.

Does Interactive Brokers charge fees?

Interactive Brokers does not charge custody fees but charges trading fees of £3 for stocks and ETFs, and £4.95 for investment trusts.

How much does Interactive Brokers charge in the U.K. for ISA?

It’s free to open and hold an ISA with Interactive Brokers, but you will pay trading charges for stocks, investment trusts and ETFs. Interactive Brokers is the only U.K. platform to offer funds with no custody fees or dealing charges.

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Methodology

For the UK.StockBrokers.com Annual Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 17 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker’s platforms and features were exhaustively tested by hand and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 25,000 words of research were produced.

We thoroughly tested and compared features of prime interest to everyday investors, including but not limited to:

  • Investment choices, such as whether the broker offers trading of shares, ETFs, funds, bonds, and CFDs; and offers SIPP and ISA accounts.
  • The broker’s charges and fees for investing.
  • Functionality and design of mobile apps and website platform, and a fluid experience moving between app and web.
  • Usability of tools such as charting and watch lists.
  • Market research, such as screening, news and analysis.
  • Educational resources including tutorials, online courses, videos, webinars and articles.

Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Our lead researcher and writer, Elizabeth Anderson, has more than a decade’s experience as a financial journalist and market researcher. Elizabeth’s expertise is backed by a team of veteran fellow traders, data auditors, editors and project managers who work to ensure that UK.StockBrokers.com reviews and guides are the most unbiased and complete in the industry. Read more about our team.

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About the Editorial Team

Elizabeth Anderson
Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson, lead writer and researcher, has been a financial journalist for more than a decade. In addition to her work with UK.StockBrokers.com, she has written extensively for major publications including BBC, The Times and Bloomberg. A keen investor herself, she is passionate about helping people understand finance and investing.

Blain Reinkensmeyer
Blain Reinkensmeyer

Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He heads research for all U.S.-based brokerages on StockBrokers.com and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online broker industry. Blain’s insights have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.

Steven Hatzakis
Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

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