logo
3.5

Halifax Share Dealing: High dealing fees make this hard to recommend

Halifax makes available a range of options including shares, funds, ETFs, SPACs and investment trusts, which customers can invest in through a choice of investment ISA, general dealing account, or self-invested personal pension (SIPP).

Recommended in
info
The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
Avg. 5-year performance across all Halifax ready-made portfolios
info
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
Industry avg.

For investing: Capital at risk

Author Avatar

By Clare West

check Fact Checked

Visit Platform

Clare's view:

The Verdict

Average Success Rate

9.5%
The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
info5-year performance across all Halifax ready-made portfolios.
7.9%
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
infoIndustry average
For Halifax banking customers, this is an easy way to get an ISA set up. Investment options are already available to view in your banking app so it's a quick process to get started. The pricing could work in your favour and the range of investment choices on offer aren't bad. The ready-made portfolios have also outperformed the industry average over the past three years. All sounds good.

However, if you aren't an existing customer, looking for something very easy to set up, I'd say shop around. (And I'd say that even if you are an existing customer, to be honest.)

While the flat account fee of £36 per year could work out great value if you have a large portfolio - and I love the fact that that's waived altogether for 18-25 year olds - if you're planning on making international trades, you have to factor in a very high FX rate of 1.25%. Only interactive investor has a higher FX rate at 1.5% and that does at least taper down with trade size - Halifax's rate remains fixed at 1.25%. You'll also have to factor in extortionately high dealing fees of £9.50 per trade on UK trades. You can eradicate those dealing fees if you opt for the regular investing plan whereby you drip feed money into your investments monthly, but you'll still have to contend with those FX fees if you're buying international assets, and not everyone wants to lose the ability to invest spontaneously as markets and moods change. You'll need £500 to get started if you're not going down the regular investing route, too. That's a lot if you're a smaller-scale investor, just testing the water.

The range of assets on offer is good enough, but again, there are better platforms out there with a greater range of options and in-house SIPPs. If you want to set up your personal pension through Halifax, you're paying third party fees to access AJ Bell's SIPP. For a little bit of time spent shopping around (and we make it easy for you with our best Trading Platforms, Cash ISAs, Stocks and Shares ISAs, and SIPPs pages), you could probably find yourself a cheaper, better option.

Don't expect great customer service experiences, either. As with most high street banks, customer satisfaction levels are LOW.
arrow-down-orangeRead more
quote

Pros

  • Flat account fee of £36 per year could work out economical
  • Account fee is waived for 18-25 year olds
  • Large, well-known bank serving millions of customers
  • Around 8,000 investment options including UK, US and European stocks, funds, ETFs and investment trusts
  • Above average ready-made portfolio performance
  • Excellent research features
quote

Cons

  • Very high dealing fees if you're not a regular investor (£9.50 per trade)
  • Very high FX fees (1.25%)
  • SIPP is administered by third party so incurs extra fees
  • Very low customer satisfaction ratings
  • Verdict3.5
  • Ready-made Portfolio4.0
  • Fees3.5
  • Trading Platform4.0
  • Research4.5
  • Safety5.0
  • Education4.0
  • Customer Service1.0
  • Corporate Actions4.0
  • Portfolio View

Clare's view:

Who do I recommend it for?

Average Success Rate

9.5%
The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
info5-year performance across all Halifax ready-made portfolios.
7.9%
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
infoIndustry average
arrow-down-orangeRead more
quote

Pros

  • Flat account fee of £36 per year could work out economical
  • Account fee is waived for 18-25 year olds
  • Large, well-known bank serving millions of customers
  • Around 8,000 investment options including UK, US and European stocks, funds, ETFs and investment trusts
  • Above average ready-made portfolio performance
  • Excellent research features
quote

Cons

  • Very high dealing fees if you're not a regular investor (£9.50 per trade)
  • Very high FX fees (1.25%)
  • SIPP is administered by third party so incurs extra fees
  • Very low customer satisfaction ratings
  • arrowVerdict
    3.5
  • arrowReady-made Portfolio:
    4.0
  • arrow Fees:
    3.5
  • arrowTrading Platform:
    4.0
  • arrowResearch:
    4.5
  • arrowSafety:
    5.0
  • arrowEducation:
    4.0
  • arrowCustomer Service:
    1.0
  • arrowCorporate Actions
    4.0
  • arrowPortfolio View

update-icon

Updates

Who do I recommend Halifax Share Dealing for?


  • Current Halifax customers with a large portfolio who want to set up an ISA with the least amount of effort and keep all their financial accounts under one roof.
  • Investors happy to adopt a drip-feed strategy, who can benefit from the commission-free scheduled regular investment plan. You'd need to invest in UK shares however to avoid those crippling 1.25% FX fees on international shares.

This account could be a steal if you're a buy-and-hold investor with a very large portfolio. On a £20,000 portfolio, the annual flat £36 account fee works out at 0.18%.

I would caution against using Halifax, however, if you plan to trade regularly either on an ad hoc basis – those £9.50 per trade dealing fees on UK assets are astronomical – or you plan to buy and sell a lot of international assets – the 1.25% FX fees will eat into your returns.

Accounts


Halifax Share Dealing offers its customers access to a:

  • Share dealing account
  • Stocks and shares ISA
  • Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)
  • Cash ISA
  • Instant access savings account

A general investment account is best used once you've reached your annual tax-free allowance within an ISA. Taking that approach allows you to maximise your tax-free allowance on investment returns. Both Halifax ISAs are ‘flexible' ISAs, meaning if you make a withdrawal, you can pay that money back in to the same account before the end of the tax year and it won't be counted twice. That's helpful if you're wanting to save the maximum – currently £20,000 per year across all your ISAs.

Discover our best-rated investment ISAs

The Halifax SIPP is actually administered by AJ Bell. A few of the high street banks use AJ Bell for their SIPP and it's a very good product, but as it's a third party provider, you'll be subject to third party fees. If you like the funds on offer, then going directly through AJ Bell for the SIPP, might be the better option. You'll get a wider choice of stocks and other assets to invest in that way too.

Investment choices, if you decide to go with Halifax, stretch to around 7,000 options and include:

  • Starter fund suggestion: AJ Bell Balanced Fund
  • A choice of 2,500 other funds
  • A shortlist of 600 ETFs
  • Investment trusts
  • 4,700+ UK, US and European stocks
  • That's not a bad range, but it's not as extensive as the likes of interactive investor, Saxo Markets, or AJ Bell.

    While it's tempting to go for the easy option of account set-up if you're already a Halifax customer, I'd say it's well worth comparing what you can get with you other options. It's not as difficult as you might be imagining to open a new account with much faster onboarding processes the norm these days.

    We've made it easier than ever to find the options to suit your pocket and your goals.

    Try our ISA calculator and find your perfect ISA match.

    If it's a general trading account you want, we've got the best trading platforms in the UK.

    And we've got you covered for the best SIPPs too.

Fees


Dealing commission of £9.50 per online trade BUT if you set up a regular, monthly investment, you pay no dealing commission.

There are other benefits to setting up a regular dealing plan, too. Drip-feeding your portfolio means you may be better able to smooth out peaks and troughs in the market

Zero commission on international online trading

FX fees

FX (currency conversion) fees at Halifax are an enormous 1.25%. To get a sense of how this compares, take a look at this chart:

The verdict?

There is only one way to make Halifax a cheap option – and that's to invest through their regular investor plan. This eliminates those shockingly high £9.50 per trade dealing fees altogether.

user-img

John Choong

Senior Equity Analyst
quote

Awards


Ask the Insiders


Have a question about Barclays Smart Investor that we haven't covered? Ask it here and we will get back to you as soon as possible!