Best Stock Trading Platforms in the UK

Best Stock Trading Platforms in the UK

Explore our guide to discover why savvy investors choose the best stock trading platform in the UK for secure and diversified investments.

Capital is at risk. 80-90% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Summary: Investing in UK stocks is secure and efficient, bolstered by strict oversight from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). UK investors can fund their accounts using GBP through various payment methods including the Faster Payments Service, bank transfers, and card payments. This provides seamless access to a wide range of investment options, such as stocks and ETFs.

Our team has thoroughly assessed the brokerage industry in the United Kingdom. We have pinpointed the top five stock trading platforms known for their reliability and ease of use, which meet the varied requirements of equity investors:

  1. eToro - Top Choice for Stock Trading in the UK
  2. Trading 212 - Leading Alternative Broker in the UK
  3. Freetrade - Premier Platform for ISAs
  4. AJ Bell - Optimal for Institutional Investors
  5. Hargreaves Lansdown - Strong Option for ISAs
Content Guide
Best Stock Platform for the UK
5.0 out of 5.0 by Datawallet.
eToro is the best stock trading platform for the UK due to its wide range of assets, low fees, FCA regulation, innovative social trading features, and user-friendly GBP deposit options.
GBP Deposit Methods
Bank Transfer, Faster Payments, Debit Card, Credit Card and more.
Supported Assets
3,000 Stocks, ETFs, Commodities and more.
Licensing and Regulation
Licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

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Best Stock Brokers in the UK

To pinpoint the leading stock and ETF trading apps favored by UK investors, we adopted a rigorous, detailed method. Our analysis focuses on each platform’s strengths and limitations, emphasising compliance with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules, diversity in stock and ETF options, user satisfaction, ease of GBP deposits, and trading cost efficiency. From this in-depth evaluation, we present a streamlined overview of the top five trading platforms in the UK, tailored to suit a range of investor needs and preferences.

1. eToro

eToro stands as the top stock trading platform in the UK, offering access to over 4,500 different stocks, ETFs, commodities, and more. It is trusted by over 30 million investors and holds a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), ensuring its reliability and adherence to strict regulatory standards. The platform maintains a local presence with an office in London, specifically catering to the needs of UK investors.

The platform features unique social trading tools, such as Copy Trading and a Virtual Account, which allows users to test strategies using £100K in virtual funds. eToro is known for its competitive pricing structure, with no trading fees and only a 1% spread. Its user-friendly options for depositing GBP make it an attractive choice for various investors.

  • Fees: No trading fees, 1% spread.
  • Assets: Over 4,500 stocks, ETFs, commodities, and currencies.
  • Regulation: Licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • GBP Deposit Methods: Includes Faster Payments, Bank Transfers, Debit and Credit Cards, PayPal.

2. Trading212

Trading 212 stands out as a premier alternative for stock trading in the UK, providing a dynamic and accessible platform that caters to both experienced and novice investors. It features an expansive selection of more than 12,000 global stocks, ETFs, and fractional shares, making it an excellent choice for those looking to diversify their portfolios. Trading 212 is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and it securely manages over £3 billion in client assets and cash, serving more than 2 million users.

This platform is renowned for its zero-fee trading policy, competitive spreads, and user-friendly interface. Trading 212 also offers a practice account with £50K in virtual funds, enabling users to hone their investment strategies without financial risk. Additionally, it provides a unique opportunity to earn 5.2% interest on uninvested GBP cash held in your account, with interest paid daily and the freedom to withdraw at any time.

  • Fees: No trading fees; spreads typically range from 1-1.5%.
  • Assets: Diverse selection of 12,000+ global stocks, ETFs, and fractional shares.
  • Regulation: Fully licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • GBP Deposit Methods: Includes Faster Payments, Bank Transfers, Debit and Credit Cards, and Google Pay.
 Trading212 UK

3. Freetrade

Freetrade stands out as the premier choice for Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), offering a wide array of UK and US stocks, ETFs, and Investment Trusts. As a platform regulated by the FCA, Freetrade provides a secure and dependable investing environment. Its user-friendly mobile app is specifically designed to streamline the investment process, making it particularly appealing to beginners.

One of the highlights of Freetrade is its commission-free trading policy, which also features competitively priced ISA accounts and the flexibility of fractional share trading. Moreover, Freetrade incentivises its users with a distinctive referral program, awarding a free share—valued up to £200—for each successful referral.

  • Fees: Minimum fee of £2 with spreads at 1%.
  • Assets: Extensive range of over 6,000 UK and US stocks, ETFs, and Investment Trusts.
  • Regulation: Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • GBP Deposit Methods: Includes Faster Payments, Bank Transfers, and Apple Pay.
Freetrade UK

4. AJ Bell

AJ Bell is a top choice for institutional investors, offering a comprehensive suite of investment options including Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), and general investing accounts. Regulated by the FCA, AJ Bell is known for its extensive research tools, expert financial analyses, and award-winning customer service.

While AJ Bell's fees may be higher than some competitors, the platform justifies this with a broad range of investment choices, advanced charting capabilities, and specialised support designed for institutional investors. This combination positions AJ Bell as a highly desirable platform for those seeking a sophisticated investment experience.

  • Fees: Tiered trading fees starting at £1.50 per transaction and 1% spreads.
  • Assets: Extensive collection of over 1,000 assets including stocks, ETFs, investment trusts, bonds, and funds.
  • Regulation: Accredited and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • GBP Deposit Methods: Includes Faster Payments, Bank Transfers, and Debit Cards.
AJ Bell

5. Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown stands out as a prominent choice for Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), showcasing an extensive selection of stocks, ETFs, Investment Trusts, and funds. Strictly adhering to FCA guidelines, it offers a secure and trustworthy investment environment. Recognised for its deep research capabilities, expert financial insights, and exceptional customer support, the platform justifies its premium pricing.

As the top investment platform for private investors in the UK, Hargreaves Lansdown manages over £123 billion for more than 1.7 million clients. Celebrated for its diverse financial offerings and a commitment to customers, it won the "Best For Customer Service 2022" award from Boring Money Best Buys, confirming its dedication to excellent investor support.

  • Fees: Trading fees start at £11.95 per transaction with 1% spreads.
  • Assets: Extensive range includes Stocks, ETFs, Investment Trusts, Bonds, and Funds.
  • Regulation: Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • GBP Deposit Methods: Includes Faster Payments, Bank Transfers, Debit Cards, and Cheques.

How are Stock Brokers Regulated in UK?

In the UK, stock brokers are meticulously regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The FCA plays a pivotal role in consumer protection, maintaining market integrity, and promoting fair competition within financial services. The PRA, a division of the Bank of England, is responsible for overseeing the financial stability and risk management of financial institutions, including banks and major investment firms.

The stock trading platforms we recommend comply with the rigorous standards set by the FCA and, where necessary, the PRA. This compliance ensures they uphold the highest levels of financial conduct and investor protection, which is essential in the UK’s tight regulatory landscape. Such thorough regulation provides a secure and dependable trading environment, bolstering investor confidence and the overall vitality of the UK financial markets.

How to Trade Stocks and Shares in the UK

Embarking on stock trading in the UK can be both rewarding and straightforward with the right approach. Here is a concise guide, ideal for beginners or those looking to enhance their trading skills in the UK's stock markets:

  1. Understand the Basics: Start by getting to grips with the fundamental concepts of investing and risk management, relevant particularly to the UK's financial markets.
  2. Define Your Objectives: Set clear investment goals. Whether you're aiming for long-term growth, dividend income, or capital appreciation, knowing your targets is crucial for shaping your investment strategy.
  3. Select the Appropriate Broker: Choose a UK-based trading platform that aligns with your needs. Key considerations should include transaction fees, the range of available assets, and the user experience.
  4. Account Registration: Register on your chosen platform, which usually involves creating an account and undergoing identity verification in compliance with FCA regulations.
  5. Fund Your Account: Deposit funds into your trading account. Most UK platforms support GBP deposits through various methods like bank transfers and card payments.
  6. Conduct Research and Analysis: Leverage the tools provided by your trading platform to research and analyse stocks that fit your investment goals and strategy.
  7. Begin Trading: Initiate your trades using either market or limit orders based on your strategy. Regularly monitor your investments to adapt to changing market conditions.

Following these steps and staying informed about market trends will equip you to develop and implement effective stock trading strategies.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the UK’s stock trading landscape is robust and diverse, offering investors a solid foundation with reliable platforms that conform to stringent FCA regulations. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned investor, platforms like eToro, Trading 212, and Hargreaves Lansdown provide a variety of options to match your investment style and goals. Stock trading in the UK is made accessible and efficient through diverse funding methods and a commitment to investor protection and support, fostering a trustworthy environment for managing and growing your investment portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got More Questions? We've Got Answers:
A Guide to Commonly Asked FAQs.

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