Halifax Share Dealing Review 2024

9 min Read Published: 15 May 2024

Halifax reward current accountHalifax is a well-known high street bank that has been around since 1853 when it was first founded as a building society in the town of Halifax in Yorkshire. It is now a Lloyds Banking Group subsidiary which has more than 30 million customers around the world.

For investors looking for an established bank with more than 500 branches around the UK, Halifax offers plenty of different investing options including a Stocks & Shares ISA, Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and a Share Dealing accounts. In this independent review, we'll take a look at Halifax's Share Dealing service, including its key features, pros, cons as well as alternatives such as AJ Bell Dodl*, Interactive Investor* and Barclays Smart Investor.

What is Halifax Share Dealing?

The Halifax Share Dealing service is Halifax's online investment service which offers a range of investment products. It offers a share dealing account (similar to a general investment account), a Stocks & Shares ISA, a pension and an 18-25 investing account. With thousands of funds and hundreds of ETFs to invest in, as well as zero commission fees for regular investments, Halifax's Share Dealing service could work well for investors looking to invest through a high-street bank.

It is particularly well suited to long-term investors who are happy to make regular investments or even choose from some of the ready-made portfolios on offer. It's less well-suited to day traders as it doesn't have the advanced features you might see on platforms like Interactive Brokers, for example.

Halifax Share Dealing service: Key features

Here is an overview of the key things to remember about Halifax's Share Dealing service.

  • Access to a range of assets including shares, ETFs, and funds
  • Invest in Initial Public Offering (IPO) companies via SPACs
  • No commission fees for international online trades - just pay a 1.25% FX fee
  • No commission fees if you set up regular, monthly investments (min £20 per month)
  • Annual £36 fee is waived for ISAs and Share Dealing accounts for those investing via the 18-25 Investing Account
  • More than 2,500 funds to choose from with a Select List of 63 of the best funds on the market
  • More than 600 ETFs to choose from including an ETF Quicklist with 16 shortlisted options
  • Pick from three ready-made portfolios if you're a passive investor
  • Check your investments on the go with the movable banking app
  • UK-based online trades cost £9.50 each
  • £36 flat annual fee for the service (if you're over 25)
  • Access to a Stocks & Shares ISA
  • Access to an AJ Bell-managed Self Invested Personal Pension
  • Access to a Share Dealing account (which works similarly to a general investment account)

What products and services does Halifax Share Dealing service offer?

Halifax Share Dealing service offers a range of products and services and we explore some of them below.

Halifax Stocks & Shares ISA

Halifax's Stocks & Shares ISA allows you to invest up to £20,000 per year tax-free. The ISA allows you to invest in a range of assets such as UK and international shares, more than 2,500 funds, ETFs, and bonds and gilts. You can also trade regularly with the commission-free scheduled investment service.

Halifax SIPP

Halifax offers a Self-Invested Personal Pension via AJ Bell which administers the pension on Halifax's behalf. Much like a regular pension, a SIPP allows you to save for your retirement and get tax relief on your contributions.

If you're a more passive investor, the Start-up Fund from AJ Bell is designed to get you started on your retirement goals. This fund is designed for steady growth and for those who do not plan on accessing their pension for at least five years. You can, however, also build your own portfolio. Halifax has more than 600 ETFs to choose from as well as more than 2,500 funds. SIPPs aren't right for everyone but if you're interested in having one, you can find out more about how SIPPs work in our article.

Halifax Share Dealing Account

The Halifax Share Dealing account is essentially a general investment account (GIA). It works well if you've maxed out your tax-free ISA allowance for the year and want to keep investing as you can invest in the same types of assets with your share dealing account as you would with your ISA. You can hold both an ISA and a Share Dealing Account with Halifax for the same £36 admin fee, so it's not a case of choosing between the two.

Halifax 18-25 Investing Account

The Halifax 18-25 Investing Account is designed for people aged between 18 and 25. It essentially waives the Halifax annual admin fee of £36 to make it easier for younger investors to get started. Those aged under 25 can choose from a Stocks & Shares ISA or a share dealing account and benefit from free regular investing. Certain trades will still be charged at £9.50 per deal (more on this in the fees section below).

Regular Investment Plan

Zero commission regular investing is on offer with Halifax for those investors who set up a regular investment plan. Once you sign up for the Share Dealing service, you can select your chosen account (from the ones above) and head to the "Regular Investments" section to create a subscription plan. You can then choose how much you want to invest, how often, and when. Then, you'll be prompted to select your investments.

One-off trades of UK shares and funds can set you back £9.50 per trade, so the regular investment plan is a great way to save on fees, while building savings habits and benefiting from pound cost averaging.

What can you invest in with Halifax's Share Dealing service?

Halifax's Share Dealing account allows you to invest in a range of different assets including:

  • UK and international shares - You can trade UK and international shares with access to markets based in New York, Paris, and Frankfurt among others.
  • Funds - There are more than 2,500 funds to choose from, including the Select List of Funds which contains a shortlist of 63 of the best funds on the market right now to help you get started.
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) - There are more than 600 ETFs to choose from, including an ETF Quicklist with 16 shortlisted ETFs selected by iShares by BlackRock in partnership with Halifax.
  • Bonds and Gilts - You can invest in a range of bonds and gilts such as domestic, US, emerging market and corporate bonds.
  • Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) - This is an asset you can't trade with all investment platforms and is therefore a bit of a Halifax USP; it allows you to invest in companies formed to raise funds through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).

Halifax also offers three ready-made portfolios to choose from. We cover these in more detail below.

Halifax Ready Made Portfolios

Halifax's Ready Made Portfolios work well if you're a passive investor looking for diversified funds based on your risk level. You can choose from a lower risk, medium risk, or medium to high risk option with ongoing charges ranging from between 0.23% to 0.25%.

The table below sums up the funds' past performance from when they were first launched back in 2019.

Halifax Ready Made Portfolio performance

Cautious Balanced Progressive
31/12/2022 – 31/12/2023
8.6%
9.9%
11.0%
31/12/2021 – 31/12/2022
-12.3%
-8.9%
-7.0%
31/12/2020 – 31/12/2021
3.5%
8.2%
12.5%
31/12/2019 – 31/12/2020
4.0%
2.3%
1.9%

It costs £3 a month to invest in one of the ready-made portfolios and transactional costs range from 0.08% to 0.14%.

Halifax Share Dealing fees

The table below sums up the costs you can expect to pay with a Halifax Share Dealing account. Bear in mind that if you invest in a fund, additional fund charges will apply and these will be paid directly to the fund manager.

Description  Fee 
Annual fee for the Share Dealing service (includes ISA and Share Dealing account) £36
Monthly fee for each ready-made portfolio £3
Scheduled regular investment fee FREE
Commission fee for online trades within the UK in real-time £9.50 per trade
Commission fee for fund trades £9.50 per trade
Commission fee for international online trades 1.25% foreign exchange rate (no commission fee)
Commission fee for trading by phone £25 per trade

If you opt for regular investing where you set up a monthly investment, for example, you won't have to pay any commission fees and you can benefit from pound cost averaging.

Halifax frequently runs Reduced Dealing Commission days. On those days, you can trade UK shares between 12.15 PM to 2.15 PM for £3.50 per online trade rather than the usual £9.50. The next offer date is June 26, 2024.

How to open a Halifax Share Dealing account

Opening a Halifax Share Dealing account is fairly straightforward. You're likely to be eligible as long as you're at least 18 years old and a UK resident. You also can't be a US citizen or taxpayer.

In order to apply, you'll need to fill out an online form and provide information including:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your home addresses over the last three years
  • Your bank account details, including debit card details

You may need to provide additional information to verify your identity in line with regulatory requirements. However, the form itself is fairly straightforward and shouldn't take more than a few minutes to complete.

Halifax Share Dealing customer reviews

Halifax's Share Dealing service doesn't have its own Trustpilot page, but Halifax is ranked 1.5 out of 5.0 on the review site based on around 4,400 reviews. This low score is not unusual for high street banks which tend to have poor scores in general.

Around 12% of reviewers gave Halifax a 5-star rating. Customers were pleased with the excellent service by the Fraud team which reassured them and helped them resolve issues with payments. Others found the support during a visit to a Halifax branch particularly helpful.

However, 82% of customers gave the bank 1 star and complained about the difficulty they had getting in touch with customer services over the phone, while others complained about the technical issues they faced when they tried to open an account with the bank.

Halifax Share Dealing alternatives

If you're not sure Halifax's Share Dealing service is right for you, there are plenty of alternatives out there. We take a look at three good alternative options below.

AJ Bell Dodl

AJ Bell Dodl* is a low-cost, app-only investment platform designed by AJ Bell. Its low annual fees of just 0.15% in addition to zero commission fees when buying and selling assets are its unique point. Halifax, on the other hand, charges £9.50 per UK share trade. It also charges a £36 annual fee for maintaining the account. Like Halifax, AJ Bell Dodl also offers a general investment account (GIA), along with options like Stocks and Shares ISAs and pensions.

AJ Bell Dodl offers six passive funds with an annual charge of 0.31%; they cost more than Halifax's three ready-made funds but there is more choice available. AJ Bell Dodl only offers 35 funds in total, far fewer than the 2,500 offered by Halifax. However, for more passive investors with straightforward needs, the low fees coupled with the streamlined investment options could be attractive.

You can read more about AJ Bell Dodl in our independent review.

Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor* offers a flat fee structure. Investors with portfolios under £50,000 pay £4.99 per month to invest with the platform, which works out at £60 per year, slightly more than Halifax. UK share trades are significantly cheaper however, charged at just £3.99 compared to Halifax's £9.50. US share trades are charged at £3.99 as well, and other international trades cost £9.99.

Interactive Investor also boasts the widest choice of investments on the market with more than 40,000 investment options around the world. There are well over 3,000 funds to choose from, providing more choice than what you would get with Halifax.

You can read more about Interactive Investor in our independent review.

Barclays Smart Investor

Barclays Smart Investor offers a similar experience to Halifax's Share Dealing account and as it is a major high street bank, investors should expect a similar customer experience. Its annual fee is set at 0.25% for investments up to £200,000 with a fee of 0.05% for investments above £200,000. Depending on the size of your portfolio, this could work out cheaper than Halifax. Typically, flat fee structures favour larger portfolios, while percentage fee structures tend to work out cheaper for smaller portfolios.

You can read more about Barclays Smart Investor in our independent review.

What are the pros and cons of Halifax's Share Dealing service?

Below, we sum up some of the pros and cons of using Halifax's Share Dealing service.

Pros

  • High street bank with physical branches all over the country
  • No international commission fees (just an FX fee)
  • No annual fee for investors aged between 18 to 25 years old (i.e. £36 annual fee is waived)
  • No commission fees for regular investment plans
  • Three ready-made portfolios to choose from for passive investors

Cons

  • UK-based commission fees are on the high end compared to competitors
  • Website can be harder to navigate than competitors
  • Less fund and ETF choice than some competitors
  • Poor Trustpilot reviews (1.4 out of 5.0) although this is not unusual for high street banks

Should you invest with Halifax?

Halifax's Share Dealing service is a good option if you're looking to invest with an established high-street bank. For investors interested in setting up regular investments, there is the added bonus of commission-free trading which makes this a particularly lucrative proposition.

UK-based non-regular trades are charged at £9.50 per trade, but this is partly offset by the relatively low flat annual admin fee of £36, which could be particularly attractive to those with a larger portfolio. The annual fee of £36 entitles investors to a share dealing account (the equivalent of a general investment account), as well as an ISA.

That being said, there are cheaper alternatives on the market that offer a similar service. AJ Bell Dodl*, for instance, only charges a 0.15% annual fee plus FX fees on US shares are lower (0.75% at most). Interactive Investor*'s flat fee is slightly higher, but share trades are generally cheaper. And, if you're looking for a high-street bank to invest with, Barclays Smart Investor offers a similar proposition.

 

 

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