Summary

Recommended for beginners and long-term investors

Halifax Share Dealing ("Halifax") is a UK-based stockbroker regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It was founded in 1996 as a subsidiary of Halifax Bank and later became a division of Bank of Scotland. During the financial crisis of 2009, the Bank of Scotland was acquired by Lloyds Banking Group, thus Halifax now ultimately is a member of this group, while still operating as a division of Bank of Scotland. Lloyds is publicly traded and listed on the London Stock Exchange, which helps keep it and its affiliates accountable. 

Halifax only accepts UK residents as clients, but it does offer access to some international stock exchanges. We consider it a reputable broker because of its banking background, the parent company's transparent financial reporting and stock exchange listing, and its long track record. 

Overall Rating
4.0
Fees
2.2
Account opening
4.0
Deposit and withdrawal
3.8
Trading platform
2.1
Markets and products
3.0
Research
3.5
Customer service
3.0
Education
3.5

Halifax pros and cons

Halifax has low non-trading fees, free deposits and withdrawals from your account, and a quick and easy account opening process with the option to set up a UK tax-exempt ISA.

However, Halifax only offers one web-based platform for trading that has limited capabilities. Furthermore, it has high trading fees, so it is not ideal for those who want to execute more than a few trades per year.

Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees High stock trading fees
Good options for deposits and withdrawals Limited web-based platform
Quick and easy account opening No mobile or desktop platforms
Halifax main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation UK
💰 Trading fees class High
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with bank card Available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Not available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 1
🎮 Demo account provided No
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Fund, Investment Trusts

Author of this review

Nicole Conrad

Author of this review

Nicole is an intern content contributor for Brokerchooser. She comes to Brokerchooser with experience and certification in Accounting, and she currently is pursuing graduate studies in Economic Policy. Nicole writes broker reviews to provide transparency for customers: highlighting brokers’ exceptional services and holding them accountable for questionable practices.

Nicole Conrad

Broker Analyst

Nicole is an intern content contributor for Brokerchooser. She comes to Brokerchooser with experience and certification in Accounting, and she currently is pursuing graduate studies in Economic Policy. Nicole writes broker reviews to provide transparency for customers: highlighting brokers’ exceptional services and holding them accountable for questionable practices.

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

Halifax review
Fees

2.2
To know more about trading and non-trading fees, visit Halifax

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown
Halifax has high trading fees for stocks/ETFs and average mutual fund fees. On the other hand, it has low non-trading fees, which is a positive.
Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees High trading fees
No withdrawal fee High stock and ETF fees
No inactivity fee
Halifax fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock High £12.50 per trade, 1.25% of exchange rate for international trades
EURUSD - Not available
Mutual fund Average £12.50 per trade
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

How we ranked fees

We ranked Halifax's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

First, let's go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of Halifax for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing, the most important fees are commissions.

We also compared Halifax's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Hargreaves Lansdown and Interactive Investor. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Halifax alternatives.

Halifax offers a few different trading accounts, but we compare fees from the Share Dealing Account. Let's start with the trading fees.

Halifax trading fees

Halifax has high stock/ETF fees and average fund fees. 

This broker is not recommended for traders that aim to trade stocks or ETFs in the short-term. However, for long-term investors that will only buy or sell infrequently, Halifax could be a good option because of the low non-trading fees discussed below.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Halifax has generally high stock and ETF fees compared to its similar competitors.

Halifax stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
  Halifax Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor
US stock $15.0 $14.3 $9.6
UK stock $15.0 $14.3 $9.6
German stock $15.0 $14.3 $24.0

Halifax charges a flat fee of £12.50 per trade, which means that executing more trades per year will raise your total amount of fees. However, if you use the ShareBuilder service to set up a regular savings plan investing a minimum of £20 per month, then scheduled trades cost only £2 each.  

Fund fees

Halifax's fund trading fees are average. For each transaction, Halifax charges the same £12.50 flat transaction fee as for stocks and ETFs. This compares poorly to fund fees at similar competitors. On top of this, you will also have to pay other costs not charged by Halifax but the fund managers, such as a transaction fee and ongoing charges.

Halifax commission for a $2,000 fund purchase
  Halifax Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor
Mutual fund $15.0 $0.0 $9.6

Non-trading fees

Halifax has low non-trading fees.  This is great for beginners because they do not require the commitment level that other brokers do with inactivity charges.

There is no inactivity fee, no yearly account fee for the basic Share Dealing Account, and no withdrawal or deposit fees. If you open a tax-advantaged account, like ISA/SIPP account, there is an £12.5 yearly fee.

Halifax non-trading fees
  Halifax Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor
Account fee No No Yes
Inactivity fee No No No
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

Halifax review
Account opening

4.0
To experience the account opening process, visit Halifax

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown
Opening an account at Halifax Share Dealing is very fast and fully online. Nonetheless, we found the process less intuitive and less easy to maneuver compared to other brokers.
Pros Cons
Fast Not user-friendly
Fully digital Only for UK residents
No minimum deposit

Can you open an account?

Open account

Only UK residents can open an account at Halifax. 

What is the minimum deposit at Halifax?

The required Halifax minimum deposit is $0. Brokers that have no minimum deposit are great for beginners who may want to start trading with less money.

Account types

Halifax offers several account types, including a standard share-dealing account, an account for regular savings, as well as tax-friendly ISA and SIPP accounts. We tested the standard Share Dealing Account.

Halifax account types
Account Description

1. Stocks and Shares ISA

  • Up to £20,000 per year of no UK capital gains or income tax on income generated 
  • Freedom to build your own profile of stocks, ETFs and funds
  • Only one Stocks and Shares ISA is allowed per user according to UK law
  • £12.50 per year account fee

2. Share Dealing Account - Tested Account

  • Freedom to build your own profile of stocks, ETFs and funds
  • No account fee

3. ShareBuilder

  • Schedule a monthly investment plan to build a profile of stocks and ETFs
  • No account fee

4. Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)

  • Personal Retirement account that exempts you from capital gains tax and income tax
  • Freedom to build your own profile of stocks, ETFs and funds
  • Limitations on withdrawals outside of the regulated retirement age
  • Quarterly account charge of £22.5 (under £50k) or £45 (over £50k) 

How to open your account

The account opening process at Halifax is fast. Once we completed the steps, it took less than 1 day to get our account up and running. However, the user interface at Halifax makes the process more complicated than we expected. For example, we found the navigation through each section not intuitive and the required formatting of information confusing without explanations. 

To open a Share Dealing account at Halifax:

  1. Navigate to the Halifax website.
  2. Click the Investing tab in the top navigation bar.
  3. Click Start Investing, which will bring you to a page outlining the account options.
  4. Choose Share Dealing Account and Find Out More.
  5. Scroll Down to Apply for a Share Dealing Account and click Apply Now.
  6. Proceed through the required steps and present the required identification documents.
Halifax review - Account opening

Halifax review
Deposit and withdrawal

3.8
To find out more about the deposit and withdrawal process, visit Halifax

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown
Halifax Share Dealing offers free cash withdrawal through bank transfer and free debit card deposits up to £100,000. However, Halifax only allows GBP funds, which means that buying international products incurs a currency exchange fee.
Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available Only one account base currency
Free withdrawal Slow withdrawal - over 3 days
No deposit fee Electronic wallets not available

Account base currencies

At Halifax, only one base currency is available, which is GBP.

This means that if you trade in international products, Halifax will charge you a currency conversion fee of 1.25% on your investment.

Base currencies at Halifax vs similar brokers
  Halifax Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor
Number of base currencies 1 1 9

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank, most of which offer bank accounts in several currencies with favorable currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account usually only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Deposit fees and options

Halifax charges no deposit fees and you can add money to your account using a debit card, via direct debit from your bank account, or by cheque. No electronic wallets are available. There is also a £100,000 limit on deposits by debit card.

Halifax deposit options
  Halifax Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets No No No

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant and more convenient.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

Halifax review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Halifax withdrawal fees and options

Halifax charges no withdrawal fees. You can only withdraw funds to a bank account you have designated.

Halifax withdrawal fees and options
  Halifax Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No Yes No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from Halifax? We tested the bank transfer withdrawal and it took more than 3 business days

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from Halifax?

  1. Navigate to Halifax Share Dealing and sign in to your Halifax Share Dealing Account.
  2. Click Account Management in the sidebar list to open a drop-down list.
  3. Choose Fund & Withdraw if you want to either deposit to, or withdraw cash from your account. You can save your most-used bank account on this page to make deposits easily.

Compare to other brokers

Halifax review
Web trading platform

3.5
To try the web trading platform yourself, visit Halifax

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown
Halifax offers a basic web trading platform that is easy to navigate. However, it does not offer much functionality, with the user directed to the public website to access for example research tools and safety information.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Clear fee report No research capabilities in the portal
Two-step (safer) login
Halifax platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 3.5 stars Yes
Mobile - No
Desktop - No

Halifax offers one simple platform for its users. It is available in English and includes access to trading UK and international instruments, funding and withdrawal, and viewing historical reports.

Look and feel

The Halifax web trading platform is user-friendly. We found the navigation column at the right useful for exploring the platform's capabilities. 

However, the platform is not customizable and resembles the simple features of a banking platform. We feel that in order to trade on this platform we needed to open multiple tabs to access the right information, which clutters the desktop.

The platform includes links to its public website, including a stock screener, information on security, and access to news. However, integrating all of this information into an easy-to-use platform would help simplify its use.

Halifax review - Web trading platform

Login and security

Halifax provides a safer two-step login. This two-step login requires answering an extra security question each time you sign in. We would still like to see two-factor authentification with another device to make the platform even more secure.

Search functions

The search functions are OK. You can search for either the ticker or the name to find the asset you would like. The search function is split into UK-based assets, International assets, and Funds. It would be even more helpful if we could search by industry, attribute, or price through this platform. 

Halifax offers additional search options using screeners on its main Investing webpage, but we would love to have this capability here. 

Halifax review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop Loss
  • Target setting (Combination of Limit and Stop Loss)
  • Range (Using two Limit Orders)
  • Price Lock (an automatically adjusting Stop Loss)

To trade with the Market order type, you would place a regular order with the listed price quote. To trade with the other order types, you need to set up a TradePlan, which has more capabilities to customize your trade.

To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.

There is also one order time limit that you can use, which is a Day order.

Halifax review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set price alerts and notifications through a feature called Watchlist. This feature is only offered on the public website and requires you to register with an email and password separately from setting up an account. 

To access this feature, navigate to Halifax Investments, choose Research the market, and then Watchlist on the top right.

Portfolio and fee reports

Halifax has a clear portfolio and fee reports accessible in the Share Dealing Portal under Valuation & Statements. These include Dealing History, TradePlan History, Dividend History, Cash History, Income History, Admin Charges and Tax Certificates. These statements are great because they give you full transparency and potentially help with calculating taxes.

Open account

Halifax review
Mobile trading platform

Halifax doesn't offer a mobile trading platform. We think that a mobile trading platform is a big miss as users can't follow their positions on the go.

Open account

Halifax review
Desktop trading platform

Halifax doesn't offer a desktop trading platform.

Open account

Halifax review
Markets and products

3.0
To dig even deeper in markets and products, visit Halifax

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown
Halifax offers stocks and ETFs from multiple international exchanges, as well as a good selection of funds. However, you cannot trade with other products, such as forex, CFDs or cryptos, and there are also no options or futures.
Halifax asset classes
  Halifax Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes
Bond No Yes Yes
Options No No No
Futures No No No
CFD No No No
Crypto No No No

Note: Halifax offers bonds, but only via phone trading. We did not include them in the list above because they are not available in the online platform.

Stocks and ETFs

Halifax offers international stocks and ETFs via access to several markets, such as London, New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam and Brussels exchanges. However, this is still a limited selection compared to the offerings of competitors like Hargreaves Lansdown and Interactive Investor.

Halifax stock and ETF selection
  Halifax Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor
Stock markets (#) 9 21 17
ETFs (#) 580 1,400 1,500

Funds

Halifax offers nearly the same amount of mutual fund providers as competitors, with more than 2000 funds available.

Halifax mutual fund selection
  Halifax Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor
Fund providers (#) 140 160 150

Investment Trusts

Halifax also offers the possibility to invest in Investment Trusts, which are basically funds registered as public limited companies. These can invest in other companies and are traded on a stock exchange themselves. There is a selection of around 200 Investment Trusts offered by various providers that Halifax clients can choose from.

Halifax review
Research

3.5
To check the available research tools and assets, visit Halifax

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown
Although it is not located within the Halifax web trading platform, the research page has many useful tools, such as fundamental data and trading ideas. On the negative side, it's a bit cumbersome to find and use the research tools.
Pros Cons
Trading ideas Research tools not integrated into web trading platform
Data on asset fundamentals

To access the Research Page, you should follow the following steps:

  1. Navigate to Halifax Share Dealing. 
  2. Find Research the Market.
  3. From here, you can access the Share Centre, the Funds Centre, Markets News, Investment Ideas, and Watchlist (for setting price alerts).

Trading ideas

Halifax provides some trading ideas with the Risers and Fallers list based on daily price changes, and the Most Traded list based on volume. We found these lists informative.

Halifax review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

Halifax offers some fundamental data on each stock, ETF and fund. Most of the data is based on historical pricing and volume.

Halifax review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

Halifax provides OK charting tools on its fundamental data page for each stock or ETF. You can access it by clicking Advanced Chart and can use 82 technical indicators for charting.

Halifax review - Research - Charting

News feed

Halifax provides news updates from Morningstar. These include Headline News, Market News, Company News, Economic News and Regulatory News Service. There is also an Insights section that has more opinion and advice pieces. We found the news articles high-quality and relevant.

Compare research pros and cons

Halifax review
Customer service

3.0
To find customer service contact information details, visit Halifax

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown
Halifax Share Dealing has a helpful web chat and phone line open limited hours during the workweek, but there is no functioning email support.
Pros Cons
Phone support No 24/7 support
Live chat No response to email
Relevant answers

You can contact Halifax via:

Halifax customer support options
Method Description
Live chat
  • Average speed
  • Relevant and comprehensive responses
Phone
  • Hold time was relatively short
  • Phone operator was pleasant and helpful
Email
  • Hard to access (had to ask the Live Chat agent for the email address)
  • Not responsive

We missed the 24/7 availability that is provided by many other brokers.

Overall, we were able to get our questions answered, but it was less accessible than we would have liked.

Halifax review - Customer Service

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Halifax review
Education

3.5
To check the available education material and assets, visit Halifax

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown
Halifax offers tutorials on how to use the platform as well as how to invest. Unfortunately, there is no demo account that would allow new users to try the platform before committing to opening the account.
Pros Cons
Trading platform tutorial No demo account
Educational videos

Halifax provides educational information in 5 mediums to cater to a variety of customers:

  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars
  • Quality educational articles
  • Learn your skill level quizzes

You can access this educational material in 3 ways. 

We found that educational materials can be hard to find on Halifax's website because they are located in three separate places. Therefore, we laid them out for you below.

Halifax educational tools
Navigation Description

Halifax Share Dealing -> Help and Guidance -> I already invest with Halifax

This page has a link to an introductory video on how to use Halifax Share Dealing as well as links to common topics like "Transferring to us from another broker" or "Managing your ISA".

Halifax Share Dealing -> Understanding Investing 

This site has information for beginner investors and those who want a refresher on basic investment principles.

Halifax Share Dealing -> Research the Market -> Investment Ideas

There are texts and videos provided by Morningstar for more advanced investors that want more information about where to invest and why. 

We found the educational materials helpful and relevant, but we would still like a demo account for prospective clients. 

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Halifax review
Safety

To find out more about safety and regulation, visit Halifax

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown
Halifax is regulated by the top-tier FCA and is part of the publicly traded Lloyds Banking Group, which discloses financial information regularly. This transparency and background provides a good level of safety for Halifax customers.
Pros Cons
High level of investor protection None
Banking background
All clients belong to a top-tier financial authority

Is Halifax regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Halifax Share Dealing is based in the UK and was founded in 1996, but its banking roots trace back to the 19th century.

Is Halifax safe?

To be certain if a brokerage is safe, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

In the event that Halifax is unable to pay its debts, clients are eligible to be covered by the FCA up to £85,000 per account. The provided amount is higher than most other international investor protection schemes.

Halifax investor protection
Country of clients Protection amount Regulator Legal entity
All clients £85,000 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Halifax Share Dealing Limited

Background

Halifax Share Dealing was established in 1996 and merged with the Bank of Scotland in 2001, which was subsequently bought during the financial crisis in 2009 by Lloyds Banking Group. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Halifax has a banking license and as such, it is subject to tougher regulations than brokers. Halifax's ultimate parent company, Lloyd's Banking Group, is listed on the stock exchange, which is a big plus for safety as it needs to release financial statements regularly and transparently.

Overall, having a banking license, being listed on a stock exchange, publishing financial statements, and being regulated by a top-tier authority are all great signs for Halifax's safety.

Find your safe broker

Halifax review
Bottom line

Visit Halifax if you are looking for further details and information

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Hargreaves Lansdown

Halifax Share Dealing is a reputable UK broker with low non-trading fees and access to international markets. This broker could be the right option for long-term investors that only initiate trades occasionally.

However, we believe that Halifax has not caught up with the competition. The web-based platform resembles a simple banking platform, with zero research capabilities on the platform itself. We also do not recommend Halifax for traders who would like low costs per trade. Still, Halifax does provide access to news articles, screeners and charting tools on its main webpage, but we would like to see better web-platform integration.

As your account will be ready within a few days and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try Halifax.

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