Hargreaves Lansdown has cut the cost of its JISA (Junior ISA) and LISA (Lifetime ISA) accounts. This is good news as Hargreaves Lansdown is generally acknowledged to be not only the largest provider of direct-to-consumer investment services but also the most expensive.
HL Removes Junior ISA Fees
The Junior ISA is aimed at those under the age of 18 and is designed to encourage long-term saving on behalf of children and teenagers. Those goals have received a boost with Hargreaves Lansdown removing its fees on the Junior ISA.
Junior ISAs, which are often managed by parents, grandparents or guardians, on behalf of a young person, will now be able to trade or invest in funds and ETFs, UK and overseas shares, gilts and other bonds, free of charge.
If those deals are transacted online or as part of a regular savings plan via direct debit.
Charges will still apply if orders are placed over the phone with the Hargreaves Lansdown’s dealing team, or via the firm’s postal dealing service.
Hargreaves will also waive charges associated with account opening or closing, transfers of stock or cash, and the production of quarterly statements.
Though the firm will retain some credit interest to cover its administrative expenses.
UK and Irish Stamp Duty charges and the UK PTM levy will still apply to qualifying equity trades, as will purchase and financial taxes on certain French, Spanish and Italian securities.
HL LISA Fees Reduced
Hargreaves Lansdown’s Lifetime ISA also benefits from free account opening.
In terms of administrative fees for the lifetime ISA, Hargreaves Lansdown operates a scaled charging system with a fee of 0.25% on the first £1.0 million of investments, if that money is held in funds
Those charges fall to 0.1%, for fund holdings worth between £1.0 and £2.0 million and fall to zero for investments that are larger than £2.0 million.
However, if the investor only holds UK and overseas equities, investment trusts, ETFs, VCTs or Gilts and other bonds, in their Lifetime ISA, then fees are charged at 0.25% capped at a maximum of £45.0 per annum.
Hargreaves Lansdown keeps reducing fees to remain competative
Hargreaves Lansdown’s biggest rival is AJ Bell, who charge 0.25% on the value of shares held in a Junior ISA, though that fee is capped at £2.50 per month.
AJ Bell also has a custody fee of 0.25% per annum and a variable fee schedule for trading.
Regular online investments attract a charge of £1.50, as do dividend reinvestments and trades in unit trusts.
Online trades in equities, investment trusts, ETFs, Gilts and bonds are charged at £9.95 per trade.
Though that can fall to just £4.95 if the account traded 10 times or more in the prior month.
Telephone orders at AJ Bell are charged at £29.95 per trade.
AJ Bell’s Lifetime ISA charges 0.25% of the value of shares held in the account, capped at a maximum of £3.50 per month.
Once again custody charges of 0.25% also apply.
Though if an investor is holding more than £250,000 in funds, within their AJ Bell Lifetime ISA, then the custody charge falls to 0.10%.
And if they hold £500,000 or more in fund investments there are no custody charges levied.
Over the long term, fees can negatively affect the performance of an investment portfolio. So for Junior ISA holders and those that manage the accounts, a no-fee solution is a very positive step.
And one that will hopefully encourage parents, grandparents and guardians to invest on their charges’ behalf, and to choose Hargreaves Lansdown as they do so.
Which, is no doubt what the no-fee offer is designed to encourage.