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Barclays Review 2024

Written by
Adam N.
Fact checked by
Gyula L.
Updated
2d ago
Trusted by BrokerChooser
  • Regulated by the top-tier FCA in the UK
  • Founded in 1992
  • Investor protection is £85k
  • Retail investing business was not involved in any major scandal
683 people picked this broker at BrokerChooser in the last 6 months

Our take on Barclays

As a part of Barclays, a UK-based bank, Barclays Smart Investor has a solid background with a long history and multiple stock exchange listings, and it is regulated by top-tier authorities.

It has low fund and bond fees, and charges no inactivity or withdrawal fees. Its fundamental research tools, such as analysis and news, are high-quality. It is a good choice for beginner investors.

On the other hand, Barclays Smart Investor lacks popular products like options or CFDs. Unless you have a current account with Barclays, you can't access its mobile platform and manage your investments on the go. Customer service is very poor and takes quite long to solve any issues.

BrokerChooser gave Barclays a 4.0/5 rating based on analyzing 600+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.

BrokerChooser score
4.0 4.0 /5
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Pros
  • Low fund and bond fees
  • Solid company background
  • Great fundamental research
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Current bank account is needed for mobile platform
  • Poor customer support
“I recommend Barclays for long-term investors looking for a broker with low fees and solid background.”

Barclays summary

Snapshot of key data
🗺 Country of regulationUK
💰 US stock fee£6 per trade
💰 Inactivity fee chargedNo
💰 Withdrawal fee$0
💰 Minimum deposit$0
💵 Available base currenciesGBP
💵 Conversion fee of deposits in non-base currency1% mark-up for investments below £5,000
💳 Deposit with bank cardAvailable
🕖 Time to open an account>3 days
🎮 Demo account providedNo
🛍️ Products offeredStock, ETF, Fund, Bond
Fees
Account opening
Deposit and withdrawal
Desktop platform

For a more comprehensive, in-depth look at the broker's services and features, simply expand on the sections below.

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Fees

Score: 3.1/5
Barclays Smart Investor charges no withdrawal or inactivity fees, and trading fees for some asset types are low. However, there is a volume-based monthly "customer fee" for holding assets.
Pros
  • Low fund and bond fees
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No inactivity fee
Cons
  • Volume-based monthly "customer fee"
  • High conversion fee for non-UK stocks
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Account opening

Score: 3.8/5
Opening an account at Barclays Smart Investor is a fully digital process involving no minimum deposit, but account verification can take long, and only UK residents can open an account.
Pros
  • Fully digital
  • No minimum deposit
Cons
  • Slow
  • Account opening only for UK residents
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Deposit and withdrawal

Score: 3.8/5
Depositing and withdrawal are free of charge using a debit card or bank transfer, and is usually quite fast. However, you can't use electronic wallets, and we had difficulty linking some bank accounts.
Pros
  • Credit/Debit card available
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
Cons
  • Missing electronic wallets
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Web trading platform

Score: 3.5/5
Barclays Smart Investor has a user-friendly and well-designed web trading platform with good search and order functions. However, the platform is not customizable and two-step login is not available.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Read more

Mobile trading platform

Barclays Smart Investor has no dedicated mobile trading platform; there's only the Barclays mobile app. For this, though, you need a Barclays current account; because of this, we didn't review the app.
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Desktop trading platform

Barclays Smart Investor does not offer a desktop trading platform.
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Markets and products

Score: 2.5/5
Barclays Smart Investor offers stocks, ETFs, bonds and mutual funds. Unfortunately, the product portfolio covers only the UK market and the number of available products is far from robust.
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Research

Score: 4/5
Barclays Smart Investor provides good quantitative data, great analysis and high-quality news. However, charting tools are of poor quality.
Pros
  • Trading ideas
  • Data on asset fundamentals
  • Quality news flow
Cons
  • Limited interactive charting
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Customer service

Score: 0/5
Customer service at Barclays is very poor, ranging from slow to downright unresponsive.
Pros
None
Cons
  • Very slow phone support
  • Live chat was not working
  • No response to email
  • No 24/7 support
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Education

Score: 1.5/5
Barclays Smart Investor has limited educational tools. You can read some useful articles and watch general educational videos, but there are no demo accounts, platform tutorial videos or webinars.
Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Quality educational articles
Cons
  • No demo account
  • No trading platform tutorial videos
  • No webinars
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Safety

Barclays is regulated by the top-tier FCA and is a listed company with a banking background, providing a high level of safety for clients.
Pros
  • High level of investor protection
  • Banking background
  • All clients belong to a top-tier financial authority
Cons
None
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Bottom line

All in all, Barclays Smart Investor is a transparent and secure brokerage controlled by a financially stable global UK bank, and is regulated by the top-tier Financial Conduct Authority.
We rated Barclays Smart Investors favorably because of its affordable fees, the safety it provides for account holders, and its great fundamental research.
Some of its drawbacks include a limited product offering and the lack of a mobile trading platform, along with poor customer support.
If you are looking for a solid, safe and reasonably-priced online broker in the UK, you can go ahead and give Barclays Smart Investor a try.

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FAQ

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Author of this review

Adam Nasli

Financial Wizard | Trading • Safety • Market Analysis

I bring extensive financial expertise as one of BrokerChooser's earliest team members. Personally, I tested nearly all 100+ brokers on our site, opening real-money accounts, executing trades, assessing customer services, and providing firsthand assessment. My professional background includes roles in the banking sector and a degree from Central European University, where I teach finance. My passions lies in in-depth research of the financial industry, building trading algorithms, and managing long-term investments.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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