Wondering what everyone’s current views are on their brokers, in particular those of you who use interactive investor (ii). I have accounts at EQi, which has emailed to say they will be transferred to ii during the summer.
The chap at ii said in the email: “We feel privileged to serve EQi customers and, as a matter of course, if, six months from migration, we find that you would have paid less under EQi’s charging model, we will refund the difference.”
… which prompts a double-check on costs. To keep things simple I will compare only ISA charges for a shares-only portfolio (i.e. no funds) and the standard online dealing commission.
EQi charges £17.49/qtr = £69.96/yr with £10.99 per trade.
ii charges £9.95/mo = £119.88/yr with the first monthly trade free then £7.99/trade.
I must admit I was surprised at the difference to the annual charge. I had the impression EQi was pricey and ii was the low-cost industry ‘challenger’. As someone who does not trade that often, I reckon I will be in line for a six-month ii refund (early estimate c£25).
Worth looking at other brokers as well.
Youinvest charges 0.25%/mo (max. £3.50) = £42/yr with £9.95/trade.
HL charges 0.45%/yr (max £45) = £45/yr with £11.95/trade
IG charges £24/qtr = £96/yr with £8/trade
X-O charges zero/yr with £5.95/trade
Two things here: i) ii has the highest annual ISA fee of these six brokers (even more than pricey HL), and; ii) X-O has no annual ISA fee (X-O is part of Jarvis Investment Management (JIM)).
But costs are one thing and service is another. HL has always justified its higher charges (especially for funds) with better customer service, but I understand its website crashed after the vaccine news and call-waiting times have increased. I should add Trustpilot is full of 1-star reviews for all six brokers.
Worst-case scenario is I migrate to ii and be £120/yr (plus c£1/trade) poorer than actively shifting to X-O. To be honest I just can’t imagine X-O’s cut-price platform being superior to that of HL, Youinvest etc. (Does anybody use X-O?) ii is close to the size of Youinvest in terms of customer numbers (350k+), so its platform ought to be reasonably competent.
For now I am minded to stay on to ride with ii and see what occurs. From memory I started these accounts with comdirect c20 years ago and have been transferred to Squaregain then to Selftrade and to other brokers in between that I have long since forgotten about… and I can’t recall the accounts being too damaged by outrageous fees and duff websites on the journey. My stock-picking saw to that!
Comments (good or bad) on brokers more than welcome!