Top 5 UK Share Dealing Accounts for 2020

Find out the top UK share dealing accounts ranked by fees, platform, regulation and usability.
Kane Pepi
Author: Kane Pepi
Last Updated: 28 July 2020

Looking to buy and sell shares from the comfort of your home? If so, you’ll need to open a share dealing account with a regulated UK broker.

With that said, there are hundreds of providers active in the market, so knowing which broker to sign up with can be difficult.

In this guide we review the top 5 UK share dealing accounts for 2020 to help you make your choice. We will go through the best platforms to open an account with, and give you some handy tips on what you need to look out for prior to parting with your money.

Our Recommended UK Share Dealing Platform

Don’t have time to read our guide all of the way through? If so, you’ll find our top-rated share dealing account provider listed below. This platform is regulated by the UK’s FCA, so your funds remain safe at all times. Moreover, you’ll have access to thousands of stocks, and supported payment methods include debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and a local bank transfer.

eToro: Top UK Share Dealing Account

Our Rating

  • Free account
  • Social and copy share trading
  • Over 800 stocks to buy with no stamp duty
  • Social trading tools
75% of retail investor accounts lose capital when trading CFDs with this provider.

Best UK Share Dealing Accounts of 2020

In order to get our list of recommended share dealing accounts down to just five, we went through a long and thorough review process. We looked at key metrics such as regulations, commissions, fees, payment methods, and leverage. In doing so, we are confident that the stock brokers listed below are the best all-round share dealing service in the UK market.

Note: If you don’t have any experience of buying and selling shares, you might be more suited for a mutual fund ETF. This is where the fund manager will invest on your behalf, which is ideal if you don’t feel confident picking which companies to buy shares in.

1. eToro - Best overall UK share dealer

We place eToro at the top of our recommended list for good reason. First and foremost, the platform is ideal for beginners, as it takes just minutes to open an account and verify your identity. Moreover, the broker offers a Copy Trading feature that allows you to mirror the trades of other investors.

This means that you can invest in the stock markets without needing to have any experiencing of buying and selling equities by usign their CopyTrader system. Through this technology, you can choose the traders you want to copy and mirror their trades in real-time. Users can copy up to 100 traders at any given time, and build a varied share portfolio this way.

In order to get started with an eToro share dealing account you will need to deposit $200 - which amounts to around £160. You can do this with a UK debit/credit card, Paypal, Skrill, Neteller, or a local bank transfer. Once your account has been funded, you'll have access to thousands of stocks. Not only does this include the London Stock Exchange (LSE), but heaps of international markets. Through eToro, you can choose to invest in the stock by buying company shares outright (no leverage), or trading share CFDs with the option to apply leverage or engage in short-selling.

eToro currently offers 800 shares - including tech stocks, consumer goods, financial, heathcare, services and conglomerates stocks as well as indices. Some of the top traded stocks on eToro are Apple, Amazon, Nike and HP.

eToro does not charge any trading commissions when you buy or sell stocks. Instead, it's just the spread that you need to pay - which is the difference between the 'bid' and 'ask' price of your chosen stock.

Finally, eToro is a heavily regulated platform counting with over 10 million users worldwide, making it a very safe and secure choice.

Assets: Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, CFD, Forex, ETFs, Commodities

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Great educational material for both beginners and advanced traders

Fees: $5 Withdrawal Fee, $5 Inactivity Fee, No Account Fee, No Deposit Fee

Minimum deposit: $200 (£160)

MT4/MT5: No

Special Features: Copy trading and social trading site

Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC, MiFID

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Sofort, Rapid transfer, Skrill, Wire transfer, Neteller, WebMoney, UnionPay

Our rating

  • Social trading leader
  • Best mobile trading site
  • Paypal accepted
  • Limited technical analysis tools
  • Not well-suited for the more advanced investor
75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

2. Plus500 - 2,000 shares to trade

Plus500 has an excellent reputation in the UK share dealing space. The broker - which is listed on the London Stock Exchange itself, is regulated by a number of tier-one licensing bodies. On top of the UK's FCA, this also includes ASIC, CySEC, and MAS (Singapore). Crucially, Plus500 gives you access to thousands of shares listed on dozens of international stock markets such as USA, UK, Germany and more.

Plus500's share trading platform allows users to trade popular shares such as Google or Apple without stamp duty, saving 0.5% when compared to traditional UK share purchases. Their account also gives users access to high leverage and low share trading fees as well as stock trading tools such as Stop Loss limits and more. The minimum account required to get started is only £100.

With that said, it is important to note that all investments at Plus500 are in the form of CFDs. This means that, unlike on eToro, through Plus500 users cannot buy the underlying asset - so you won't be entitled to dividends or voting rights. On the flip side, this allows you to short-sell a stock if you think that its value is likely to go down. Moreover, Plus500 permits leverage of up to 5:1 on stocks, meaning that you can invest more than you have in your account.

On top of multiple regulatory licenses and a highly extensive list of assets, Plus500 makes our list because of its low fee model. Not only does this include zero-commission stock trades and competitive spreads, but deposits and withdrawals are free - regardless of what payment method you opt for. This includes a debit or credit card, Paypal, and a bank transfer.

Assets: CFDs

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: No

Fees: £10 Inactivity Fee, 0 withdrawal fees

Minimum deposit: £100

MT4/MT5: No

Special Features: 2,000 trading instruments

Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC, MAS

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Bank transfer

our rating

  • Minimum deposit of $100
  • Over 2,000 trading instruments
  • Mobile app available
  • No education material
  • Not suitable for beginners
75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3. AVATrade - Best share dealing app

If you're the type of investor that likes the option of being able to buy and sell shares on the move, look no further than AVATrade. The regulated share dealing site offers a fully-fledged mobile trading app across Android and iOS. Not only is the app free to download, but its backed by leading trading software MetaTrader 4 (MT4). As such, you'll have access to heaps of technical indicators and advanced chat reading tools.

With that said, AVATrade is a specialist CFD broker, so you will not own the underlying asset when you make an investment. This shouldn't present an issue though, especially if you are looking to buy and sell shares ona shorter-term basis. When it comes to fees, the broker offers some of the lowest spreads in the space. In fact, if you're looking to invest in the S&P 500 - which is a stock index that tracks the 500 largest companies in the US, you'll pay a spread of just 0.5 pips.

Much like Plus500 - minimum deposits at AVATrade start low with $100 (which is about £80). You can get funds into your share dealing account via a debit/credit or bank transfer, although e-wallets are not supported. Finally, AVATrade is regulated in multiple jurisdictions - including Ireland, South Africa, Canada, and Japan. This ensures that your money is safe - and you are protected by top-tier regulators on several fronts.

Assets: CFDs

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: No fundamental news or trading ideas, but trading calculator provided

Fees: 0.9 pips on most major pairs, no withdrawal fee, monthly inactivity fee

Minimum deposit: $100 (£80)

MT4/MT5: Both

Special Features: Pricing alerts and notifications

Regulation: Licenses in Ireland, Japan, South Africa, British Virgin Islands

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Bank wire

Our rating

  • Spreads from just 0.9 pips
  • Multiple licenses
  • Both MT4 and MT5 supported
  • No research features
  • Does not offer 2FA login
  • Only 56 forex pairs supported

4. IG - Excellent pricing and research tools

If your main priority is to choose a broker with a long-standing reputation and research tools, we would suggest exploring the merits of IG share dealing. The UK-based broker was first launched in 1974 - so you'll benefit from more than 4 decades worth of share dealing experience. This is further supported by multiple regulatory licenses - including the UK's FCA, ASIC, and CySEC.

On top of a top-grade reputation, IG offers a huge library of stock CFDs. This includes key markets such as the LSE, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and NASDAQ. As a CFD provider, you'll be able to apply leverage of 5:1 on stocks, as well as short-sell. In order to open an account with IG, you'll need to meet a minimum deposit of £100. e-wallets aren't supported, but you can deposit funds with a debit/credit.

Take note, IG charges 1% on Visa deposits, and 0.5% on MasterCard. On the flip side, you will benefit from some of the most competitive trading fees in the share dealing space. For example, not only can you trade on a commission-free basis, but spreads are super-tight. Finally, it might also be worth buying and selling shares via the platform's spread betting facility, not least because you will not be required to pay tax on your profits.

Assets: CFDs

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: First-grade research department, fundamental news, technical analysis brokerage analysis

Fees: 0.6 pips on EUR/USD and AUD/USD, no commissions on FX trading, deposit fee of 1% (Visa) and 0.5% (MasterCard)

Minimum deposit: $300 (£250)

MT4/MT5: MT4

Special Features: Minute-by-minute analysis, technical research, spread betting

Regulation: MAS, FCA, BaFin, ASIC

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Bank wire

Our rating

  • Spreads from just 0.6 pips
  • Overseen by top-tier regulators
  • Instant account activation for Singapore citizens
  • 1% deposit fee on Visa cards
  • MT5 not supported
  • MT5 not supported

5. Libertex - Best account for beginners

If you're a complete newbie in the world of stocks and shares, you might be best to start with a user-friendly platform like Libertex. The process of opening an account is super-easy, and you can verify your identity by quickly uploading a copy of your passport or driver's license.

You can also deposit and withdraw funds with a range of everyday payment methods. Most importantly, the actually investment process is tailored to those without experience, so you can buy and sell shares with ease. With that being said, Libertex lists less than 70 stock CFDs on its site, so choice is extremely limited.

Moreover, this makes it difficult to diverisfy in an effective way. Libertex is also suited to newbie traders because of its extensive educational department. This includes a good number of blogs, step-by-step guides, and real-time market data. In terms of licensing, the online broker is regulated by CySEC in Cyprus - so your funds remain safe at all times. Finally, you get started with a Libertext trading account with a deposit of just $10 (about £8).

Assets: CFDs

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Lots of blogs and handy step-by-step guides for newbie traders

Fees: Tight spreads, commissions based on the asset you are buying/selling, overnight financing fees

Minimum Deposit: £8

MT4/MT5: Both

Regulation: CySEC

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Bank wire

Our Rating

  • Great educational blogs
  • Multiple payment methods supported
  • Low fees
  • Less than 70 shares listed
  • Not suited for advanced traders

What is a Share Dealing Account?

In a nutshell, a share dealing account is an interface or platform where you will be able to buy and sell stocks. Share dealing accounts are offered by regulated online stock brokers, allowing users to invest at the click of a button from their home.

You can easily open an account via your desktop or mobile device from the comfort of your own home. The first step to opening an account is to find a suitable broker. You will then be able to deposit funds with a range of payment methods. This typically includes a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or a UK bank transfer.

Once your share dealing account has been funded, you will then have access to thousands of stocks. This includes the London Stock Exchange and AIM for those of you wishing to invest in the UK markets.

Note: With hundreds of UK share dealing accounts now offering services to retail traders, it’s important that you only use a broker that is regulated. Ideally, this should be with the UK’s FCA – alongside a number of international regulators like ASIC, MAS, and CySEC.

Alternatively, the best trading platforms also offer access to the international stock markets. This includes the likes of the NYSE, NASDAQ, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Platforms like eToro also offer support for less liquid stock markets – such as those based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, and Australia. It is important to note that unless you are looking to use a mutual fund ETF, you will be required to choose your own investments.

This is because share dealing platforms do not have the legal remit to offer financial advice. As such, you are best advised to diversify as much as you can. You can do this by holding a portfolio that contains dozens of shares from multiple industries and markets.

How to Choose a UK share dealer?

With so many share dealers to choose from in the UK, knowing which platform to sign up with can be challenging. For example, while some brokers stand-out for offering super low fees and commissions, they might only list a small number of shares. Similarly, while a platform might support your favourite payment method, it might fall short in the reputation department.

As such, we have listed 10 of the most important metrics that you need to look out for when choosing a UK share dealing platform.

  • UK license

Without a doubt, the minimum requirement when choosing a share dealing account should be the broker’s regulatory standing. As we noted earlier, we prefer online platforms that are regulated by the UK’s FCA.

Other notable licensing bodies include CySEC and ASIC. Crucially, this will ensure that your funds remain safe at all times – not least because the broker will be required to segregate your funds from its own.

  • Supported Stocks and Shares

If you’re looking to invest in stocks, you’ll want to ensure that the broker in question offers a highly extensive list of shares to choose from.  At a minimum, this should include hundreds of equities across the London Stock Exchange.

Moreover, it should also list shares from non-UK markets – such as those based in the US, Canada, and Japan. This will give you the best chance possible of building a highly diversified portfolio of stocks. 

  • Payment Methods

In order to make money in the stocks and shares space, you will need to invest your own money. As such, have a think about the type of payment method that you wish to deposit funds with. The easiest way of doing this in the UK is to use a debit or credit card.

The funds will be credited to your share dealing account instantly, so you can start trading straight away. Alternatively, most UK brokers also support a local bank transfer. A good share dealing broker such as eToro will also typically support e-wallets like Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller.

  • Trading Fees and Commissions

All UK share dealing account providers charge a fee of some sort – otherwise they wouldn’t be in business. This starts at the very offset, as some online brokers charge deposit fees.

When it comes to buying and selling shares, brokers like eToro allow you to do this on a commission-free basis – so it’s only the spread that you need to pay. However, this isn’t the case with all platforms, so be sure to check this prior to opening an account.

  • Leverage and Short-Selling

If you’re looking to buy and sell UK shares as a day trader – meaning that you will rarely hold on to a stock for more than a few hours, you’ll want to choose a broker that offers advanced trading options. For example, you can apply leverage of up to 5:1 on stocks at eToro, Plus500, and IG – meaning you can trade with more than you have in your account.

With that said, if you’re a professional trader, you’ll be able to get much higher limits. Furthermore, the aforementioned brokers also permit short-selling – which allows you to make gains seen when the markets are down.

  • Customer Support

There might come a time where you need assistance on your share dealing account, so be sure to choose a broker that offers a top-grade customer service department. This should include live chat, telephone support, and email.

A presence on social media is also notable. Don’t forget, most share dealing providers only offer support on a 24/5 basis, as this mirrors standard trading hours across the global stock markets.

  • Educational Material

If you’re a newbie investor, you’ll want to choose a share dealing platform that offers heaps of educational material. This should include the likes of step-by-step guides, video explainers, and user-friendly blogs.

It’s also good if the broker offers live webinars. This allows you to ask questions to the host in real-time and thus – help you improve your knowledge of the stocks and shares space.

  • Automated Trading Features

Regardless of how long the broker has been trading, they cannot give you financial advice. In other words, you will be 100% responsible for the stocks that you decide to invest in. With that said, the likes of eToro offer a Copy Trading feature that allows you to mirror the stock trades of other investors.

You get to review the investor’s historical trading results to ensure they have a good track record in buying and selling shares. Alternatively, you might want to consider a stock market ETF. This allows you to invest in hundreds of companies via a single trade, which is not only perfect for those without knowledge of stocks, but for diversification purposes, too.

  • Stock Ownership or CFDs

You also need to have a think about whether you want to own your chosen stocks outright, or opt for CFDs. Regarding the former, this will entitle you to stock dividends if the company in question pays them. And the latter – this is ideal if you want the option of going short on stocks, or applying leverage.

Moreover, CFD are usually much cheaper to invest in than traditional shares, so this should also factor into the equation. If you want the flexibility of investing in both asset classes, this is something offered by eToro.

  • Withdrawal Times

Often overlooked by newbie traders, it’s crucial that you explore the withdrawal policy of your chosen share dealing provider. This is because there might come a time where you need to liquidate your shares for cash, and withdraw the money as soon as possible.

As such, we prefer brokers that process withdrawals within 1-2 days. As a side tip, you should proceed to verify your investment account by uploading your ID as soon as possible, as this will prevent delays when it comes to making your first withdrawal request.

Conclusion

The UK share dealing space has never been as competitive as it now is. There are hundreds of providers active in the arena, which is great for consumer choice but making a decision can prove difficult.

In a nutshell, when it comes to choosing a UK share dealer, to consider your personal circumstances and review the dealer’s regulatory status, commission structure, payment methods, shares, leverage options, and educational resources. Choose a platform that not only has low share trading fees, and but also a good offering of investments, where you will be able to invest in a large variety of asset classes and create a diversified portfolio. In the UK, we believe the best share dealer ticking all these boxes is eToro.

If choosing a UK share dealing broker for leveraged CFD trading, also keep in mind that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing your capital. Always set order limits and do not invest more than you can afford.

eToro: Top UK Share Dealing Account

Our Rating

  • Free account
  • Social and copy share trading
  • Over 800 stocks to buy with no stamp duty
  • Social trading tools
75% of retail investor accounts lose capital when trading CFDs with this provider.

FAQs

Is there a free share dealing account UK?

Share dealing account providers are in the business of making money - so there is no such thing as a 'free' account. With that said, a number of UK share dealers that we have listed on this page allow you to buy and sell shares without paying any trading commissions.

What is the cheapest UK share dealing account?

If your main priority is keeping your trading accounts to an absolute minimum, it might be worth opting for eToro or Plus500. Both brokers allow you to deposit funds for free, there are no commissions to pay on stock trades, and spreads are competitive.

What is the best share dealing account for non UK residents?

This depends on the country of residence that you hold. Nevertheless, the brokers listed on this page offer share dealing accounts to more than 100+ supported countries. Unless you are from a country that is listed on the US Sanction List, you should be fine.

What is the minimum amount I can deposit into a UK share dealing account?

Minimum deposits will vary from broker-to-broker. For example, while Libertex allows you to get started with just £8, IG requires £250.

Do UK share dealing accounts offer leverage?

All of the share dealing account providers that we have recommended allow you to trade CFD shares on leverage. Take note, UK and EU residents are bound by the restrictions imposed by EMSA - which limits leverage on stocks to 5:1.

Kane Pepi

Kane holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of publications in the online space.

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eToro: Buy and Sell Shares with 0% Commission

eToro: Buy and Sell Shares with 0% Commission

eToro: Buy and Sell Shares with 0% Commission

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75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with eToro.

eToro: Buy and Sell Shares with 0% Commission
Visit eToro

75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with eToro.

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