Trade online with eToroFind Out More

68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Best Online Stock Brokers & Apps in the UK (2022)

All products and services featured are independently selected by WikiJob. When you register or purchase through links on this page, we may earn a commission.

68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

As bank interest rates have been at an historic low for over a decade, savers are increasingly turning their attention to the stock market in a bid to make the most of their money.

Thanks to Hollywood films such as Wall Street and The Wolf of Wall Street, there are many misconceptions about what the stock market is, and who can invest.

The stock market isn’t just for those with large sums of money. It is also accessible for anyone who wants to try and improve their savings. But how do you get started?

The first step is to find a UK stock broker. This is someone who can manage your investment on your behalf.

To find out more about how you can start to invest in stocks and shares, we’re taking a look at what stock brokers are, and how to find the right stock broker for you.

The 10 Best Online Stock Brokers & Apps in the UK

  1. Best for Learning from others: eToro
  2. Best for Short-term exposure to markets: Plus500
  3. Best for Customer service: Pepperstone
  4. Best for feature-stuffed mobile app: Vantage
  5. Best for trading accademy: XTB
  6. Best for Spread betting: City Index
  7. Best for retail broking: Degiro
  8. Best for Serious traders: CMC Markets
  9. Best for Millennials: Robinhood
  10. Best for Technical indicators: Markets.com

Now we’ve explained more about what stock brokers are and how to choose one, here is a quick overview of some of the best stock brokers in the UK.

This list provides you with a brief look at different platforms, giving you further insights to make informed decisions.

It’s important to remember that this list isn’t exhaustive and shouldn’t constitute financial advice. Before deciding to invest with any broker, make sure that you have undertaken further due diligence to check on their reliability, their success rate, their fees and their customer care.

1. eToro

Pros

  • Regulated by FCA, MiFID, ASIC
  • No withdrawal fee for US clients
  • 0% commission on stocks
  • Social and copy trading

Cons

  • Not available in every US state
  • More expensive than most of its competitors
  • No MetaTrader platforms

Best for: Learning from others
Commission: £0 (0% commission applies to stock investment)
Minimum deposit: £200
Withdrawal fees: £5
Tradable assets: Stocks and ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, CFD trading
Number of stocks: 3,000+

eToro is one of the most popular online stock brokers in the UK. Over the past 15 years, it has developed a strong reputation for beginners and experienced investors alike.

The site allows you to invest in stocks and shares from across the world, including the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

Users choose eToro due to its innovative CopyTrader™ feature. This allows you to see what experienced traders are doing in real-time.

It can automatically copy their trades within your portfolio. This is ideal for those who are new to trading or simply do not have the time to manage their portfolio.

Visit eToro

68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2. Plus500

Pros

  • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Over 2,500 significant financial instruments
  • Negative balance protection
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Not currently available to US clients
  • No API integrations
  • CFDs only
  • No social copy trading

Best for: Short-term exposure to markets
Minimum deposit: £100
Withdrawal fees: Up to five withdrawals per month for free. More than this incur a $10 fee
Tradable assets: CFDs
Number of stocks: 1,000+

Plus500 is suited for experienced investors wanting to invest solely in CFDs. It is designed for those who want short exposure to markets. You are not purchasing stock, instead, you are trading CFDs.

With more than 200,000 active customers, there are good reasons why so many people rate Plus500 so highly.

Customers can access technical reports, customizable charts and analysis tools. It provides a wealth of information to allow customers to make informed decisions. However, the complex nature of the trades mean that it’s not designed for beginners or inexperienced traders.

Visit Plus500

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

3. Pepperstone

Pros

  • Extensively regulated
  • No minimum deposit
  • Low fees and mostly free withdrawals
  • Good customer service

Cons

  • No investor protection for clients outside UK, EU and EEA
  • Withdrawal fee for clients outside EU and Australia
  • CFDs only

Best for: Customer service
Minimum deposit: £200
Withdrawal fees: £0
Tradable assets: Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Index CDFs
Available trading platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader

Pepperstone is a highly regarded stock broker that offers exceptional 24-hour customer service for users.

This is hugely beneficial for investors wishing to take advantage of time differences across 14 different stock markets from around the world.

The online broker has an effective user interface that is regarded as advanced yet easy to use and understand.

This is an effective option for new investors and experienced traders alike.

Visit Pepperstone

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74.7% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

4. Vantage

Pros

  • Regulated by FCA and ASIC
  • Low forex fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • No withdrawal or deposit fee
  • Good MetaTrader add-ons
  • Social trading

Cons

  • Not available to US clients
  • High CFD fees
  • No investor protection

Vantage was founded in 2008 to be a transparent forex broker and has grown to include 44 forex pairs and 290 CFDs (including cryptocurrency, shares, commodities and indices). As a broker, Vantage is well-regarded and considered safe thanks to regulation by ASIC and the FCA.

Vantage offers access to the markets through the popular MT4 and MT5 platforms, and a feature-stuffed mobile app.

There are three account types:

  • Standard STP: Perfect for novices, this is a no-commission account that works across all trading instruments, with a minimum spread of 1.4 pips. The minimum deposit is $200.

  • Raw ECN: Designed for more experienced traders, this account charges commission at $3 per lot per side but the spreads start at 0.0 pips. The minimum deposit is $500.

  • Pro ECN: This is for professional, high-volume traders, and offers commission at $2 per lot per side, with spreads from 0.0 pips. The minimum deposit is $20,000.

Vantage is seen as a good, reliable broker that offers social and copy trading – without being prohibitively expensive in terms of non-trading costs or commission.

Through Vantage, you can access 15 stock markets including the FTSE and DAX. Offering leverage of up to 200:1 on indices and the option to trade via scalping and hedging as well as with Expert Advisors.

Vantage offers 16 stock index CFDs and 210 stock CFDs to trade, both with deep liquidity and truly transparent pricing. The OneZero MT4 bridge used by Vantage means that traders can get the fastest execution speeds possible.

Visit Vantage

Trading Forex and CFDs involves significant risk of losing of your invested capital and is not suitable for all investors. 64.86% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should not invest more than you can afford to lose and should ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Before trading, please take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

5. XTB

Pros

  • Regulated by the FCA
  • Low forex fees
  • Fast withdrawal and deposit with no fee
  • Live chat customer service

Cons

  • No US clients
  • Limited product portfolio
  • High fees for stock CFDs

Recommended for: XTB’s trading academy

XTB was founded in 2002 and has an excellent reputation for customer service.

XTB supports the trading of over 2100 instruments including Forex, Indices, Commodities, ETFs and more.

It has 48 forex currency pairs available to trade through two account types:

  • Standard – Offering market average spreads
  • Pro – Offering much tighter spreads but with added commission

XTB supports the full MT4 suite, and its proprietary platform, xStation 5, offers a user-friendly, intuitive solution that works well on desktop, web and mobile.

You’ll need a minimum deposit of £250 to start trading and you’ll find that several educational resources are available, including XTB’s trading academy.

Visit XTB

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

6. City Index

Pros

  • Regulated by FCA
  • Low forex fees
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Good trading and research tools
  • Social and copy trading

Cons

  • No customer service during weekends
  • Inactivity fee
  • High commission for shares CFD trading

Best for: Spread betting
Minimum deposit: £100
Withdrawal fees: £0
Tradable assets: Shares, FX, Commodities & Options
Available trading platforms: MT4, AT Pro

City Index has built its reputation on spread betting. This is where you can trade on rising and falling price movements rather than purchasing stock.

This is a popular choice for those looking for tax-free investments as you are investing in movements rather than assets.

As spread betting is about movements, this is ideal for those looking to maximize short-term profits rather than investing in long-term opportunities.

City Index has an interactive dashboard that allows you to view different markets at a glance. With multiple charts and 65 technical indicators, this is more suited to experienced investors who know what they are doing.

Visit City Index

7. Degiro

Pros

  • Regulated by BaFin and FCA
  • No minimum deposit
  • Low trading fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No deposit fee
  • Web platform and mobile app are user-friendly

Cons

  • No credit or debit card deposits
  • Lacking educational resources
  • No demo account
  • No forex, CFDs or crypto
  • No customer support on weekends and no live chat

Degiro is Europe’s leading investment platform, and it started as a wholesale broker, giving low rates and exclusive opportunities to professional clients.

Now, it is one of the largest retail stockbrokers in Europe and it has its own banking licence – which is not all that common in brokers. Degiro is regulated by both BaFin and the FCA.

Opening an account with Degiro is a simple, fast process that can be completed online – you just need ID and a bank account.

There is no minimum deposit for any account type with Degiro. There are five different account types that you can choose from, including Custody, Active and Day Trader. Each account has different features, functions and services, so you need to choose the one that best suits your trading style.

There are no account or inactivity fees, but you can only deposit using your bank account – not with credit or debit cards. You may only open an account in your home currency, so you cannot have a separate account in a different currency.

Trading on Degiro is simple and straightforward, whether you are using the web trader or the mobile app. Both are well-designed and easy to use, so they are suitable for the new trader, but they lack customisation and some tools that an advanced trader would want to see.

One of the best features, especially for a new trader, is that you can see the total cost of your trade, including fees, before you execute it.

You can trade several instruments using Degiro, including:

  • 31 Stock Markets
  • 5,400 ETFs
  • 63 Bond providers
  • 649 Bonds
  • 12 options markets
  • 14 futures markets

You cannot trade forex, crypto, or CFDs with Degiro, and there is a monthly cost to trade US derivatives (options and futures).

New traders won’t find reams of education, and the lack of a demo account can be a problem. However, the ‘knowledge’ tab does have a good selection of educational material, from a 10-lesson Investors Academy to platform tutorials and articles about basic strategies and products.

Visit Degiro

8. CMC Markets

Pros

  • No minimum deposit
  • Wide range of trading instruments
  • Low forex fees
  • High level of regulation, both UK and globally
  • Extensive range of trading tools
  • Mobile app for trading on the go

Cons

  • High CFD fees on shares and ETFs
  • Can only trade with CFDs or spread betting
  • Does not lead to ownership of trading assets

Best for: Serious traders
Tradable assets: Shares, EFTS, Rates and Bonds, Indices, Commodities, FX and Cryptocurrencies
Available trading platforms: MT4

Describing itself as the platform of choice for ‘serious traders’, CMC Markets provides a wealth of insights into investments.

There are lots of downloadable guides for learning how to trade CFDs, forex trading and spread betting, which means that users can learn how to effectively maximize their investments.

With access to 9,300 markets and 115 technical indicators, investors can choose which options suit them. They can also benefit from exceptional customer services; the broker was named “'Best Telephone Customer Service' and 'Best Email Customer Service'.

Visit CMC Markets

69% of Retail CFD or Spread Betting Accounts Lose Money.

Top 11 Stock Brokers in the UK
Top 11 Stock Brokers in the UK

9. Robinhood

Pros

  • No commission fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • No minimum deposit
  • User-friendly interface
  • Trade fractional shares
  • Straightforward, simple option for beginners

Cons

  • Lacks educational and research resources
  • Only available to US clients
  • Unlikely to suit advanced traders
  • Limited product offerings
  • 24/7 customer support only via email and callback request

Best for: Millennials

This app is a favorite among millennials wanting to practice trading with small budgets. It is free to use with no commission fees.

Features include:

  • Real-time market data
  • Various investment options
  • Zero balance requirement to open an account
  • Instant access to deposited cash

While it does make trading accessible, the app lacks research and educational resources.

It is a straightforward app with limited portfolio analysis and customer service, but it does meet a trader's basic needs.

Visit Robinhood

10. Markets.com

Pros

  • Regulated by CySEC, FCA, ASIC, FSC, FSCA
  • Free deposit and withdrawal
  • Quick withdrawal
  • Fully digital account opening

Cons

  • Does not accept US clients
  • Average product portfolio
  • High spread fee

Best for: Technical indicators
Minimum deposit: £250
Withdrawal fees: £0
Tradable assets: Forex, Commodities, Stocks and Shares, Energies and Futures
Available trading platforms: MT4, MT5, Marketsx, Marketsi

Markets.com offers access to more than 100 technical indicators, ensuring that users can have real-time data to inform their investment decisions.

This is a hugely successful platform that doesn’t charge any commission or fees. Instead, it makes its income through spreads.

Thanks to the wealth of data available, this is a platform designed for experienced traders.

The Investment Strategy Builder tool is an effective resource to help you choose how to invest and you can use the innovation to inform your long-term and short-term investment portfolios.

Visit Markets.com

What Is a Stock Broker?

A stock broker is someone who buys stocks and shares on behalf of someone else. This may be on behalf of a commercial organization or a person.

The stock broker looks after the investment portfolio. They will work as an intermediary between the stock exchange and the investor.

Stock brokers can work in different ways:

  • Some will take full management of the investment and make decisions on behalf of their client (known as a discretionary way of working).

  • Others will work in an advisory capacity where they will advise and offer suggestions but only act when given authorization by their client.

  • The final option is those who are execution-only. This is when stock brokers only make the investments that they are directed to. They will not offer any advice or support.

68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What Are the Different Types of Stock Brokers?

The UK stock market has grown enormously in recent years. If you are keen to start investing your money, then you must first understand the different types of stock brokerages:

Full-Service Brokers

These offer everything you need so that you do not need to worry about managing your wealth portfolio.

Your broker will make recommendations and offer advice and guidance. They’ll manage investments on your behalf and will provide you with comprehensive reports giving details of your portfolio performance.

Discount Brokers

These will be more affordable than full-service brokers. They will only act upon a client’s orders – so whilst they will manage the actual buying/selling of stocks, they will not provide any advice or support.

It’s more affordable but more time-consuming for investors who will need to stay up to date with their investments.

Online Stock Brokers

These can be used by new investors as well as experienced investors. You’ll have the opportunity to manage your wealth portfolio and you can make new investments at the click of a button.

How Do Stock Brokers Make Money?

Typically, a stock broker will take a small commission, or they will charge specific fees for managing your investment.

Are UK Stock Brokers Regulated?

If you are providing money to a stock broker to act on your behalf, you must have confidence that they are fully regulated and trustworthy.

In the UK, there are stringent checks which are used to confirm the viability of stock brokers. This means that the London Stock Exchange is one of the strongest in the world. Investors can have confidence that they are fully protected from fraud and/or financial mismanagement.

Reputable UK stock brokers should be a member of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Not only does this provide peace of mind for investors that the broker is following operational guidelines, but it also provides insurance. UK retail clients can receive compensation up to £85,000.

Before appointing any stock broker, you should check to see that they are listed within the Financial Services Register.

Key Considerations Before You Choose a UK Stock Broker

When it comes to finding a UK stock broker, there are many different things that you should consider.

It’s important to remember that each stock broker will work differently. You need to consider whether you are looking for a stock broker who can manage your investment on your behalf or whether you want to remain in control.

Listening to References but Keeping an Open Mind

An easy way to find a UK stock broker is to find references and recommendations from other investors.

Listen to what they have to say but remember to keep an open mind. Different investors will have different needs – so what works well for one person, may not work for another.

This is particularly true if you are new to the stock market but are seeking advice from an experienced investor.

Is Your UK Stock Broker Regulated?

As previously mentioned, make sure you check on the Financial Services Register to see if your chosen broker is regulated.

Your broker should have details of professional memberships available on their website.

What Are the Trading Fees?

Stock brokers will make their money via commissions and trading fees. It may seem simple to choose the UK stock broker with the lowest possible trading fees, but that could cost you far more money in the long run.

Fees may differ depending on whether you are a casual trader, a beginner or an experienced investor.

It’s worthwhile comparing fees to your budget – this will help you to identify the right brokerage for your investment needs.

You may also need to consider whether you are charged a flat-fee or a percentage fee. Some brokers will charge for each transaction (deposit and withdrawals) which can become pricey. You may even be charged fees for inactivity on your account.

Before signing up with any brokerage, make sure that you are aware of the terms and conditions.

What Tradable Assets or Other Markets Are Offered?

As well as trading stocks and shares, many brokers (particularly online brokers) may offer opportunities to trade other assets such as foreign exchange currencies (Forex).

If you are considering diversifying your investment portfolio, you may be interested in working with a stock broker with experience in other markets.

What Trading Platforms Are Available?

A trading platform is a specific software that allows individual investors and stock brokers to make trades.

Some UK stock brokers may offer easy access to their trade platforms. This is typically in exchange for having full management of the investment.

Trading platforms can vary hugely. Some may have intuitive and easy-to-understand dashboards that allow investors to see how their investment is performing. Others may be complex, real-time charts and news feeds that are designed specifically for stock brokers to monitor the market.

Investors may wish to think about what features they need before deciding on a particular trading platform. For example, do they need the information to help with immediate decision making or are they looking for a platform that could make predictions and strategies for future investments?

The fees charged for trading platforms will also vary. You can expect to pay lower fees for trading platforms with reduced features.

68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What Is the Minimum Amount of Money I Need to Invest in Stocks and Shares?

Stock brokers and online trading platforms will have different minimum requirements for investments. Some may be as little as £10, whilst other interactive brokers may require a minimum deposit of £100+.

Pay attention to the terms and details to establish how much you should invest.

Customer Care

It’s important to remember that if you are investing your money into a UK stock broker, you need to feel confident that they are supporting you and looking after you as best they can.

Look at customer reviews/testimonials to find out what people are saying.

If you are using an online stock broker, then try sites such as Feefo or TrustPilot to see if there are any advantages/disadvantages. You should be looking to work with a UK stock broker that offers consistent levels of customer care.

If you are trading online, is the dashboard easy to understand? Is it suitable for beginners or do you need extensive experience? Is there a helpline number to call if you need support?

If you’re working with a UK stock broker, what advice and guidance are they giving you? Do you feel that you are receiving a high level of customer care and satisfaction?

Remember that if you are choosing to invest money with a UK stock broker, you are paying for a service. Don’t be afraid to expect high levels of client care and attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

UK traders can choose from a number of different UK stock broker platforms, each with its own pros and cons.

When choosing a stock broker, it is important to carry out plenty of research. You should aim to find out your preferred stock broker’s reliability, success rates, fees and customer care before making a decision.

eToro is a popular online UK stock broker with an excellent reputation for both novice and experienced investors.

There are several considerations to make when choosing a stock broker.

As a minimum, you should find out whether your preferred stock broker is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), how much you can expect to pay in trading fees, which markets you will be able to trade on, which trading platform you will need to use, customer care provision and whether there is a minimum investment required to open an account.

You might also consider references or recommendations from other traders – just bear in mind that their needs may be different to yours. Aim to choose the stock broker that best meets your specific needs and trading style.

The eToro provide UK stock traders with access to more than 3,000 stocks.

Yes, it is possible to be a stock broker in the UK. You will need to have a strong knowledge of the financial markets and the practical skills needed to analyze financial portfolios and assets.

Whilst formal qualifications are not essential, training in areas like accounting, business or economics are useful.

You could also study for a qualification from an online academy such as Coursera. If you want to practice as a stock broker in the UK, you will need to apply for a licence to be accredited by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is much to consider when choosing which UK stock broker to use. Different online stock brokers have their own strengths and weaknesses, and what suits one person may not suit another.

We like the ‘eToro’ platform. There are enough features on eToro to attract seasoned investors, whilst not being too alarming for beginners. This means that you can use the information to inform your knowledge and start trading effectively.

The innovative CopyTrader™ feature is particularly beneficial to allow newcomers to ‘practice’ investing by seeing what others are doing.

Before you make a final decision on your chosen UK stock broker, we recommend that you spend time working your way through the list and making the most of the free demos.

Most stock brokers will allow you access to its platforms and databases and will provide you with ‘virtual’ funding. This means that you can practice your investments, and see which interfaces work well for you without using your personal money.

As you become attuned to using different stock brokers you may start to establish which is best for your ability, interest and knowledge.

WikiJob does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.

68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.


Read This Next

You might also be interested in these other WikiJob articles:

Or explore the Trading / Forex sections.