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BrokerChooser score
4.6

Halifax review summary

UK stockbroker, part of Halifax (Bank of Scotland), owned by Lloyds Banking Group. Halifax has low fees, free deposits and withdrawals from your account, and a straightforward account opening process with the option to set up a UK tax-exempt ISA. It is a good choice for beginner investors. Halifax's product selection is weak. Customer support is very poor, taking very long to solve problems. There are no mobile or desktop trading platforms available.

BrokerChooser gave Halifax a 4.6/5 rating based on analyzing 500+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.

Halifax is a regulated broker, it is overseen by a top-tier financial regulator in the UK . Halifax is also covered by investor protection in selected jurisdictions. We at BrokerChooser always test brokers with real money, including the withdrawal process.

You can't open an account at Halifax if you live in United States. See the best alternative available in your country.

Halifax pros and cons

Pros Cons
Low fees Weak product selection
Good options for deposit/withdrawal Very poor customer service
Quick and easy account opening No mobile or desktop platforms

Halifax main highlights

🗺️ Country of regulation UK
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 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

Halifax review
Fees

4.5
Halifax has low fees for stocks/ETFs, including commission-free international trades. On the negative side, there is an annual account fee.
Pros Cons
Low stock and ETF fees / Free stock trading Annual account fee
No withdrawal fee
No inactivity fee
Halifax fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock Low Commission free, 1.25% of conversion fee for international trades
EURUSD - Not available
Mutual fund Low £9.50 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; here, we examine the fees of the Share Dealing Account. Let's start with the trading fees.

Halifax trading fees

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

It offers commission-free trading for international trades completed online.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Halifax generally has low stock and ETF fees compared with some similar brokers.

Halifax stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
  Halifax Fidelity International AJ Bell Youinvest
US stock $0.0 - $13.9
UK stock $10.7 $11.3 $13.9
German stock $0.0 - $13.9

Halifax offers commission-free trading for international trades and a flat fee of £9.50 per trade for domestic (UK) ones. 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 less competitive. For each transaction, Halifax charges the same £9.50 flat transaction fee as for stocks and ETFs. This doesn't compare that favorably to fund fees at close competitors. On top of this, you will also have to pay other costs charged by the fund managers rather than Halifax, such as a transaction fee and ongoing charges.

Halifax commission for a $2,000 fund purchase
  Halifax Fidelity International AJ Bell Youinvest
Mutual fund $10.7 $0.0 $2.1

Non-trading fees

Halifax has low non-trading fees.

There is no inactivity fee for the basic Share Dealing Account; this is great for beginners because this way they don't have to commit to investing or trading frequently in order to avoid inactivity charges. Halifax also charges no withdrawal fees or deposit fees.

On the downside, there's a £36 administration fee per year for the basic Share Dealing Account as well as for the tax-advantaged Stocks/Shares ISA account (you can hold both accounts at the same time for a single £36 charge). Halifax's tax-advantaged SIPP account also involves quarterly administration charges.

Halifax non-trading fees
  Halifax Fidelity International AJ Bell Youinvest
Account fee Yes No No
Inactivity fee No No No
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

Halifax review
Account opening

4.0
Opening an account at Halifax Share Dealing is very fast and takes place fully online. Still, we found the process less intuitive and less easy to navigate than at other brokers.
Pros Cons
Fast Not user-friendly
Fully digital Only for UK residents
No minimum deposit

Can you open an account?

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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 require no minimum deposit are great for beginners who may want to start trading with smaller amounts only.

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

2. Share Dealing Account - Tested Account

  • Freedom to build your own profile of stocks, ETFs and funds
  • £36 administration fee per year (single charge for all accounts)

3. ShareBuilder

  • Schedule a monthly investment plan to build a profile of stocks and ETFs
  • £36 administration fee per year (single charge for all accounts)

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 one 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 very intuitive, and the required formatting of information was sometimes confusing, with no clear explanations provided.

To open a Share Dealing account at Halifax:

  1. Open 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
Deposits and withdrawals at Halifax are free, but the latter can be slow. Also, Halifax only allows GBP funding, meaning you'll face a currency exchange fee when trading international products.
Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available Only one account base currency
Free withdrawal Slow withdrawal - over 3 days
No deposit fee Electronic wallets not accepted

Account base currencies

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

This means that if you trade international products, Halifax will charge you a currency conversion fee of 2.99% on your investment.

Base currencies at Halifax vs similar brokers
  Halifax Fidelity International AJ Bell Youinvest
Number of base currencies 1 1 1

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 acceppted, though. There is also a £100,000 limit on deposits by debit card.

Halifax deposit options
  Halifax Fidelity International AJ Bell Youinvest
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets No No No

A bank transfer can take several business days to go through, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant and also 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 for this purpose.

Halifax withdrawal fees and options
  Halifax Fidelity International AJ Bell Youinvest
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No 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 that are in your name.

How do you withdraw money from Halifax?

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

Halifax review
Web trading platform

2.8
Halifax offers a basic web trading platform that is easy to navigate, but it doesn't offer much extra functionality, relying on the public website for most research tools or information.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Clear fee report No dedicated research tools on platform
Two-step (safer) login
Halifax platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 2.8 stars Yes
Mobile - No
Desktop - No

Halifax offers a simple web platform for its users. It is available in English and includes access to trading UK and international instruments, funding and withdrawal functions, and a chance to view historical trading and fee reports.

Look and feel

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

However, the platform is not customizable and looks more like a simple online banking platform. We felt that in order to properly trade on this platform, we needed to open multiple tabs to access all relevant information, which clutters our desktop.

The platform has links to sections on Halifax's public website, including a stock screener, information on security, and access to news. Still, integrating all of this information into one easy-to-use platform would help simplify its use.

Halifax review - Web trading platform

Login and security

Halifax provides a safe two-step login. This two-step login requires answering an extra security question each time you sign in. Two-factor authentification using another device could 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 need. The search function is split into UK-based assets, international assets and funds. It would be even more helpful if users could search by industry, attributes or asset price. Halifax does in fact offer additional search options using screeners on its main webpage, but it would be nice to have this capability inside the trading platform.

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 using the Market order type, you can simply place a regular order with the listed price quote. To be able to use the other order types, you need to set up a TradePlan, which has even 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 a trading account.

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

Portfolio and fee reports

Halifax has clear portfolio and fee reports accessible on 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 provide full transparency and can potentially help you calculate your taxes.

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Halifax review
Mobile trading platform

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

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Halifax review
Desktop trading platform

Halifax doesn't provide a desktop trading platform.

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Halifax review
Markets and products

3.2
Halifax offers stocks and ETFs from multiple international exchanges, along with a good selection of funds, but other popular product categories such as forex, CFDs or cryptos are not available.
Halifax asset classes
  Halifax Fidelity International AJ Bell Youinvest
Stocks Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No No
Funds Yes Yes Yes
Bonds No No No
Options No No No
Futures No No No
CFDs No No No
Crypto No No Yes

Stocks and ETFsNote: Halifax also offers bonds, but only via phone. We did not include bonds in the list above because they are not available for trading on the online platform.

Halifax offers international stocks and ETFs by granting access to several global exchanges such as London, New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam or Brussels. However, this is still a limited selection compared with some close competitors.

Stocks and ETFs

Halifax stock and ETF selection
  Halifax Fidelity International AJ Bell Youinvest
Stock markets (#) 8 1 19
ETFs (#) 595 376 2,700

Funds

Halifax mutual fund selection
  Halifax Fidelity International AJ Bell Youinvest
Fund providers (#) 140 180 270 

Investment Trusts

Halifax also offers the chance 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. Halifax clients can choose from a selection of around 200 Investment Trusts offered by various providers.

Halifax review
Research

3.5
Halifax's research page has many useful tools, such as fundamental data and trading ideas. On the negative side, it's a bit difficult to locate and use some of these research tools.
Pros Cons
Trading ideas Research tools not integrated into web trading platform
Data on asset fundamentals

Halifax's research tools are located outside the trading platform, on the public website. To access the research page, you should follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Halifax Share Dealing main page
  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 with the Most Traded list, based on volume. We found these lists informative.

Halifax review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

Halifax offers some fundamental data for 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 all stocks and ETFs. You can access it by clicking 'Advanced Chart' and can use 87 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. There's also an 'Insights' section that has additional opinion and advice pieces. We found the news articles high quality and relevant.

Compare research pros and cons

Halifax review
Customer service

0.0
Halifax's customer support is very poor, taking very long - if at all available - to address problems or queries.
Pros Cons
None No 24/7 support
Very slow phone support
Live chat not always working
No response to email

Overall, customer service at Halifax is very poor. During our review, a simple change of client data (a new home address) took customer support almost 2 hours to register, and in the end we did not find our new address in the account.

Customer support is available only during working hours; we missed the 24/7 availability that is provided by many other brokers.

Halifax customer support options
Method Description
Live chat
  • Was not always immediately available during our test
Phone
  • Hold time was very long, almost 2 hours
  • Operator was unable to solve the problem
Email
  • Hard to access (had to ask the Live Chat agent for the email address)
  • Not responsive

Halifax review - Customer Service

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Halifax review
Education

3.5
Halifax offers tutorials on how to use the platform as well as how to invest, but there's no demo account allowing new users to try the platform before opening an account.
Pros Cons
Trading platform tutorial No demo account
Educational videos

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

  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars
  • Quality educational articles
  • Quizzes

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 Halifax's educational materials helpful and relevant, but we would still like to see a demo account for prospective clients.

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Halifax review
Safety

Halifax is regulated by the top-tier FCA and is part of the publicly-traded Lloyds Banking Group. This 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. This 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 a 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

Halifax Share Dealing is a reputable UK broker with low fees. There are 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. This broker could be the right option for long-term investors that only initiate trades occasionally.

In some respects, though, Halifax is lagging behind its competition. It has a weak product selection, as well as inefficient and unresponsive customer support. Halifax offers no mobile trading app or desktop trading platform.

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

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Halifax review
FAQ

We recommend Halifax for beginners and long-term investors.

Below you can find links to all aspects of Halifax in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our Halifax fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the Halifax minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your Halifax account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the Halifax account opening.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the Halifax customer service.

Legit or scam?

'Is Halifax legit' features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether Halifax is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is Halifax good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on Halifax?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on Halifax guide.

I want to trade options, are they available at Halifax?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on Halifax?

What is the minimum account balance at Halifax?

Check out the current account balance requirements at Halifax in our What is the minimum account balance at Halifax article.

Looking for commission and fees data for Halifax?

We collected them in Halifax commission and fees.

How do you withdraw money from Halifax?

We tested it and collected the options and costs in How to withdraw money on Halifax.

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

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