Best UK Stock Brokers Compared & Reviewed

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With hundreds of online stockbrokers for UK investors to choose from it can be tricky to make the right choice.
The experts at GoodMoneyGuide.com have ranked reviewed the best stock brokers in the UK – all FCA regulated for your peace of mind.
In this expert guide you’ll be able to easily compare and find the best online stockbroker for you. We’ll talk you through fees, investment types, account charges and customer service.

Interactive Investor: Best fixed-fee stock brokerage account

Interactive Investor
4.2
Customer rating: 4.2/5 (792 reviews)
  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • Account types: GIA, ISA, SIPP, JISA
  • Account charge: £9.99 per month
  • Stockbroking fee: £3.99 – £5.99
Interactive Investor Stock Broker Review
Interactive Investor

Name: Interactive Investor Stock Brokerage

Description: Interactive Investor is a low-cost online stock broker offers investors access to over 40,000 shares in over 20 markets. The flat account fee helps keep costs down for large portfolios and you get one free trade per month for smaller accounts.
Capital at risk.

Summary

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • Account types: GIA, ISA, SIPP, JISA
  • Account charge: £9.99 per month
  • Stockbroking fee: £3.99 – £5.99

Fees: You get a free trade every month, then UK Shares and Funds, US Shares charged £7.99 or upgrade to a £19.99 “Super Investor” account 2 free monthly trades and deal for £3.99. Regular investing is free.


Special Offers:

  • One free trade per month – One buy or sell order is free every month, after that, the cost is between £3.99 and £5.99 depending on what plan you are on.
  • Free investing for your friends and family –  You can give up to five people a free investment account subscription with Interactive Investor’s Friends and Family plan. You pay a single extra fee of £5 a month, and their monthly cost is zero. Each member can invest up to £30,000 in an ISA or a general investing account with free regular investing and no account fees. However, they will still pay normal dealing commissions when they buy and sell investments.
  • Get £200 when you refer a friend to Interactive Investor – Recommend a friend or family member to ii and get a £200 reward. Your friend will get their first year’s service plan for free – saving £120. To qualify, your friend must transfer or fund their account with at least £10,000 in combined cash/investments. However, your friend will not receive the usually monthly free trade.

Pros

  • Invest in small and large-cap stocks
  • £1 minimum deposit makes it easy to get started
  • Fixed account fee that does not increase with your stock portfolio
  • Joint account options

Cons

  • Fixed fee expensive for very accounts below £1,000
  • No Lifetime ISA account
  • No Junior SIPP account
  • Pricing
    (4.5)
  • Market Access
    (4.5)
  • Online Platform
    (4.5)
  • Customer Service
    (4.5)
  • Research & Analysis
    (4.5)
Overall
4.5

AJ Bell: Best for low-cost stock broking

AJ Bell
4.2
Customer rating: 4.2/5 (844 reviews)
  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £500
  • Account types: GIA, ISA, SIPP, JISA, JISA, JSIPP
  • Account charge: 0.25%
  • Stockbroking fee: £3.50 – £5

Capital at risk

AJ Bell Stock Broker Review
AJ Bell

Name: AJ Bell Stock Brokerage

Description: AJ Bell has the cheapest account fee for all the stock brokers we feature. The dealing account is low cost and unlimited. where you can invest as much as you want, whenever you want.
Capital at risk.

Summary

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £500
  • Account types: GIA, ISA, SIPP, JISA, JISA, JSIPP
  • Account charge: 0.25%
  • Stockbroking fee: £3.50 – £5

Fees: Share account fees are capped at £3.50 a month. Dealing costs are £1.50 for funds and £5 for shares but drop to £3.50 where there were 10 or more online share deals in the previous month


Special Offers: 

  • Recommend a friend, and you’ll both get £100 gift vouchers – When you recommend a friend to AJ Bell Youinvest that invests more than £10,000 in a SIPP or ISA, you and your friend can get One4All gift vouchers worth £100.
  • Switch your share dealing account and receive up to £500 to cover exit fees – If you transfer your share dealing general investment account valued at more than £20,000 to AJ Bell they will help cover any exit fees charged by your current provider. They will cover £35 per investment moved and up to £100 for general exit fees, up to an overall maximum of £500 per person.
  • Free subscription to Shares Magazine worth £220
    Get a free subscription to Shares (worth over £220 per year) by maintaining a balance of £4,000 or more across your AJ Bell investing accounts.

Pros

  • Lots of investment options
  • Low stockbroker account fees capped at £3.50 a month for shares
  • Lots of account types

Cons

High phone stockbroking charges

  • Pricing
    (5)
  • Market Access
    (4.5)
  • Online Platform
    (4)
  • Customer Service
    (4)
  • Research & Analysis
    (4)
Overall
4.3

Bestinvest: Good stockbroker for investment advice and low costs

Bestinvest
4.2
Customer rating: 4.2/5 (72 reviews)
  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • Account types: GIA, ISA, SIPP, JISA, JSIPP
  • Account charge: 0.4%
  • Stockbroking fee: £4.95

Capital at risk

Bestinvest Stock Broker Review
Bestinvest

Name: BestInvest Stockbrokerage

Description: Bestinvest has combined low-cost online investing and share dealing with personalised expert advice to help clients choose the right investments for their portfolio. A good choice for large long-term investors.
Capital at risk.

Visit Bestinvest

Summary

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • Account types: GIA, ISA, SIPP, JISA, JSIPP
  • Account charge: 0.4%
  • Stockbroking fee: £4.95

Fees: Stockbroking dealing commissions are £4.95 per online share trade, fund dealing is free. For holding shares and other investments, the account fee is 0.4% up to £250k. Except for ready-made portfolios where there is a 0.2% account fee which reduces to 0.1% above £500,000.

Pros

  • Expert advice from professionals
  • Low minimum deposit of £1
  • Stockbroking fees from 0.4%

Cons

  • No bond investing
  • Pricing
    (4.5)
  • Market Access
    (4)
  • Online Platform
    (3.5)
  • Customer Service
    (4.5)
  • Research & Analysis
    (4.5)
Overall
4.2

Hargreaves Lansdown: Good stock broker for service and added value

Hargreaves Lansdown
3.7
Customer rating: 3.7/5 (1,304 reviews)
  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • Account types: GIA, ISA, SIPP, JISA, JISA, JSIPP
  • Account charge: £0
  • Stockbroking fee: £5.95

🏆Award Winner🏆

Capital at risk

Hargreaves Lansdown Stock Broker Review
Hargreaves Lansdown

Name: Hargreaves Lansdown Stock Brokerage

Description: Hargreaves Lansdown is ranked as our best online stock broker in the UK. It won the 2022 and 2021 Good Money Guide award for best full-service stock broker because of it’s capped account fees, market range and research.
Capital at risk

Summary

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • Account types: GIA, ISA, SIPP, JISA, JISA, JSIPP
  • Account charge: £0
  • Stockbroking fee: £5.95

Fees: There is no account charge for holding shares. Funds are charged at 0.45% for the first £250,000. There is no charge for buying funds, but shares are charged at £11.95 per deal or £5.95 if you do over 20 deals per month.

Pros

  • Thousands of UK and international shares, bonds & funds
  • £1 minimum deposit
  • No account fee for shares in a GIA
  • An established and listed company on the LSE.

Cons

  • High execution charges if you don’t deal very often
  • Pricing
    (4.5)
  • Market Access
    (5)
  • Online Platform
    (4.5)
  • Customer Service
    (4.5)
  • Research & Analysis
    (4.5)
Overall
4.6

❓Methodology: Our experts hand-picked the best stock brokers based on:

  • Over 17,000 votes in the prestigious Good Money Guide annual awards
  • Our own experiences testing the stock brokerage accounts with real money
  • An in-depth comparison of the features that make them stand out compared to alternative stockbrokers
  • Good Money Guide’s exclusive interviews with the stock broker CEOs and senior management

What Is A Stock Broker?

A stock broker is a firm that buys and sells shares for clients and then holds the shares in investment accounts on behalf of the clients.

Shares are investments that represent ownership in companies. They are traded on stock exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Stockbrokers essentially act as an intermediary between investors and the world’s stock exchanges.

Without a stock broker, you have very limited options when it comes to buying and selling shares.

Pros & Cons Of Using A Stockbroker

Here is a round-up of the advantages and disadvantages of using a stock broker.

Pros

  • Flexible: Stock brokers offer a personal service for high-net-worth investors
  • Customer service: Stock brokers focus more on customer services than mass audiences
  • IPO access: Stockbrokers can usually participate in IPOs and new issues for you

Cons

  • Expensive: Due to their added value they can often be more expensive than investing apps
  • Low tech: Some stock brokers apps are not as sophisticated as trading platforms
  • Risk: As with all investments, you can get back less than you started with if the market goes down.

Compare The Top UK Stock Broker Accounts

In our comparison of UK stock brokers, we compare providers based on how much the account costs and what commission they charge for buying and selling shares. You can also compare the different types of accounts each stockbroker offers.

Stock BrokerBrokerage Account FeeStock Dealing FeeMin DepositGMG RatingMore Info
Hargreaves Lansdown Stock BrokingShares: £0
Funds: 0.45%
£5.95£1
(4.6)
Visit Broker
Capital at risk
Interactive Investor Stock BrokingFrom £4.99 a month£3.99 – £5.99£1
(4.5)
Visit Broker
Capital at risk
AJ Bell Stock Broking0.25%
(capped at £3.50 pm)
£3.50 – £5£500
(4.3)
Visit Broker
Capital at risk
Interactive Brokers Stock Broking£0£1 (or 0.05%)£1
(4.4)
Visit Broker
Capital at risk
IG Stock Broking£24 per quarter£3-£8£250
(4.3)
Visit Broker
Capital at risk
Saxo Stock Broking€10 per month
or 0.12%
0.10% (min. GBP 8)£1
(4.3)
Visit Broker
Capital at risk
Bestinvest Stock Broking0.2% to 0.4%£4.95£1
(4.2)
Visit Broker
Capital at risk
Dodl Stock Broking0.15%£0£1
(3.8)
Visit Broker
Capital at risk

Our Pick For Smaller Broker Accounts

We rate AJ Bell as the cheapest stock broker for low-value investments as they offer some of the cheapest commission and account fees across all UK stock brokerage accounts we compare. On the downside, AJ Bell  doesn’t offer as many investment options as Hargreaves Lansdown.

If you are only investing a small amount of money, it’s important to find a stock broker that has low fees and charges.

Best UK Stockbroker Investing Apps

Hargreaves Lansdown offers a high-quality investing app that enables you to:

  • Buy and sell thousands of investments including domestic and international shares, bonds, ETFs and investment trusts, and over 3,000 funds
  • Manage your investments and view your transaction history
  • Top up and withdraw cash on the go
  • Login with fingerprint or Face ID
  • Access fund and share factsheets
  • Create watchlists
  • Track market movements
  • Access research from Hargreaves Lansdown’s investment experts
  • Set stop and limit orders

On the downside, Hargreaves Lansdown’s fees and charges are higher than those offered by some other providers. In recent years, stock trading apps have become very popular. These apps allow you to monitor your portfolio and make trades on the go via devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Best Choice Of Market Access

Our broker matrix shows that Interactive Brokers offers the widest range of markets to invest in.

The range of shares offered by each broker. This is particularly important if you plan to invest in international shares. Some brokers only offer access to a limited range of international markets. For instance Best Invest has only just started offering US stocks at the moment, whereas AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown and Interactive Investor have done so for some time.

What Account Types Do Stockbrokers Offer?

Established brokers like Hargreaves Lansdown offer access to a range of different accounts, including general investment accounts, Stocks & Shares ISAs, Lifetime ISAs, and Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) accounts. Others, like eToro, only offer general and online share dealing. Tax-efficient accounts such as ISAs and SIPPs can help you minimise your tax liabilities.

Account TypesHargreaves LansdownAJ Bell YouinvestInteractive InvestorInteractive BrokersIG SaxoBestinvest
GIA✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
ISA✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
SIPP✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Pension✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Junior ISA✔️✔️✔️✔️
Junior SIPP✔️✔️✔️✔️
Lifetime ISA✔️✔️

Best Choice For Research & Analysis

Interactive Investor is slowly overtaking Hargreaves Lansdown as the best broker for research and analysis. They have been focussing a lot on fund interviews and providing relevant commentary on stocks people want to buy recently.

The investment tools and research provided by each stock broker. Hargreaves Lansdown for example offer a range of features that can help you make better investment decisions such as stock screeners, fundamental data sets, and charts. Other more basic investment apps like Freetrade, just offer basic trading services.

UK’s Best Stock Broker For Beginners

We rank Hargreaves Lansdown as the best stock broker for beginners. Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the larges stock brokers in the UK and provides excellent easy-to-digest analysis, news and data screeners for new investors to get a better understanding of the market.  Hargreaves Lansdown won the 2021 Good Money Guide award for Best Full-Service Stock Broker.

Some reasons that Hargreaves Lansdown is well suited to beginners are:

  • Buying and selling shares through its platform is straightforward.
  • The platform provides access to plenty of educational resources.
  • Customer service is excellent.
  • The website and app are reliable and easy to use.

On the downside, Hargreaves Lansdown’s fees are higher than those of some UK online stockbroker.

Those that are new to investing need a broker that offers basic educational resources, good customer support, and low fees.

The user-friendliness of each broker’s platform. Ideally, you want a platform that is well laid out, easy to use, and can be accessed via an app so that you can monitor your account and place trades on the go. New investing apps are particularly good at making buying stocks easy and are much simpler and easier version of a stock brokers website.

Best UK Stockbroker For Advice & Guidance

We rate Bestinvest as the best stock broker for advice and they won “best added value investment platform” in our 2023 awards. Bestinvest is one of the only stock brokers that offer investment advice and guidance on what you should buy and sell.  

Bestinvest offers two different services that can help you pick you investments.

  • Initial guidance – this is free if you are thinking of becoming a Bestinvest client. One of their coaches will talk you through what type of investments might be appropriate for you
  • Investing for your goals, this costs £295 inc. VAT and Bestinvest will recommend a specific ready-made portfolio that may be suitable for your needs.  A good option if you don;t want to pick individual stocks, but need some advice on where to invest in diverse market-tracking portfolios.
  • Portfolio Health Check – costs £495 inc. VAT. Here Bestinvest will look at your portfolio and provide advice on what are good and bad investments. You can also discuss what other opportunities are in the market and other shares that may be worth buying for your portfolio.
Can stock brokers give you advice on what to buy and sell?

Generally, UK stock brokers cannot give advice and operate on an “execution only” or “self-directed basis” where you have to pick your own investments. There are three main types of service levels from stock brokers:

  • Execution only: Execution-only stock brokers only provide basic share dealing services and do not offer any investment advice.
  • Advisory: Advisory stock brokers provide share dealing services and also provide advice on what shares to buy and sell.
  • Discretionary: Discretionary stock brokers manage your money for you and make trades on your behalf.

Further reading: How to invest in stocks online.

I love being able to support and empower people to make their own decisions. I try to break each topic down along the way, to help you to understand what you need to do to achieve your goals and provide peace of mind that you’re making the right choices.

Best Stockbroker For Customer Service

Hargreaves Lansdown consistently scores highly in our annual survey for customer service. However, HL can be a bit more expensive than other brokers, so it is a case of “you get what you pay for”. If you value being able to speak to an expert quickly, it is worth it, but if you are confident investing online, there are other cheaper stockbrokers, such as Interactive Investor.

The customer service and support offered by each stock broker. Old school stock brokers like Hargreaves Lansdown and Interactive Investor have excellent phone support as opposed to cheaper online share dealing services that rely on chat, email and support tickets only. Service and support can be important, particularly if you are new to investing. You may need help placing a trade.

⚠️ FCA Regulation

All stock brokers that operate in the UK must be regulated by the FCA. The FCA is the Financial Conduct Authority and is responsible for ensuring that UK stockbrokers are properly capitalised, treat customers fairly and have sufficient compliance systems in place. Good Money Guide only features stock brokers that are regulated by the FCA, where your funds are protected by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme).

What Fees Do UK Stockbrokers Charge?

Every stock broker has a different fee structure. This needs to be considered carefully because fees and charges can have a big impact on your overall investment returns over time. Some fees and charges to consider include:

  • Trading commissions – a fee paid for each trade you make
  • Annual custody fee – a payment for the stockbroker to hold on to your investments
  • Entry fees
  • Exit fees

Some brokers offer fee calculators that allow you to compare fees, which can be useful when comparing platforms. The cheapest stockbroker is not necessarily the best option for you.

What Can You Invest In With A Stockbroker?

Before you start trading stocks, it’s a good idea to think about your financial goals and risk tolerance and develop an appropriate investment strategy. Some of the main investment strategies that are commonly pursued by stock market investors include:

  • Growth Investing: Growth investing involves investing in companies that are expected to grow faster than the market average. Growth stocks can offer high potential returns, however, they can also be quite volatile, which means that they can be riskier.
  • Value Investing: Value investing involves investing in companies that are trading at a discount to their true value. The idea is that if a stock is trading below its true value, it’s undervalued, and, therefore, may rise over time.
  • Sustainable Investing: Sustainable investing involves investing in companies that meet environment, social and governance (ESG) criteria. Sustainable investors often avoid stocks in sectors such as oil, tobacco, and defence.
  • Dividend & Income Investing: Dividend (income) investing involves investing in companies that pay regular dividends. Dividend investing is popular among retirees and those looking to generate passive income.
  • Small-cap investing: Small-cap investing involves investing in small companies. Smaller companies often produce higher returns than larger companies over time, however, their stocks are generally more volatile than those of larger companies.

These investment strategies are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible to combine a number of different strategies. Which strategy is best for you will depend on a number of factors, including your financial goals and risk tolerance.

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