Summary

Recommended for beginners and buy-and-hold investors looking for great customer service and easy-to-use trading platforms

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the biggest UK-based stockbrokers. It was founded in 1981 and is regulated by the top-tier Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In addition, it is a listed company and a constituent of the FTSE 100, a stock index of the biggest listed companies in the UK.

Hargreaves Lansdown is considered safe because it has a long track record, is regulated by a top-tier authority, and is listed on a stock exchange.

Overall Rating
4.4
Fees
2.8
Account opening
4.3
Deposit and withdrawal
3.8
Trading platform
3.8
Markets and products
3.0
Research
3.8
Customer service
4.0
Education
4.0

Hargreaves Lansdown pros and cons

Hargreaves Lansdown's web and mobile trading platforms are well-designed and user-friendly. Its educational tools are also well-structured and high-quality. Customer service is also great.

Trading fees are high for stocks and ETFs. The account opening for clients outside the UK is not fully digital and you can open accounts only in GBP.

Pros Cons
Easy-to-use trading platforms High fees for stocks and ETFs
High-quality educational tools Offline account opening for clients outside the UK
Great customer service Only GBP base currency
Hargreaves Lansdown main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation UK
💰 Trading fees class Average
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with credit/debit card Available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Not available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 1
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Fund, Bond, Portfolio+ Venture Capital Trust

Author of this review

Gergely Korpos

Author of this review

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

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

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Fees

2.8
Hargreaves Lansdown has high trading fees for stocks and ETFs. On the plus side, the fund and bond trading fees are low and there is no inactivity fee.
Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees High stock and ETF fees
No withdrawal fee Currency conversion fee
Low fees for funds and bonds
Hargreaves Lansdown fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock High 0-9 trades: £11.95 per trade; 10-19 trades: £8.95 per trade, 20+ trades: £5.95 per trade
EURUSD - Not available
Mutual fund Low £0 - £250k 0.45% of trade value per year, £250k - £1m 0.25% of trade value per year, £1m - £2m 0.10% of trade value per year, £2m+ it's free
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

How we ranked fees

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

To start off, let's go over some lingo 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 Hargreaves Lansdown for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing, commissions are the most important fees.

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

To have a clear overview of Hargreaves Lansdown, let's start with the trading fees.

Hargreaves Lansdown trading fees

Hargreaves Lansdown trading fees are average overall. Broken down by product category, stock and ETF fees are high and fund and bond fees are low. 

Stock fees and ETF fees

Hargreaves Lansdown has generally high stock and ETF commissions. As we can see below, Hargeaves Lansdown's fees are significantly higher than at Degiro and Saxo Bank. 

Hargreaves Lansdown stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
US stock $14.3 $0.6 $10.0
UK stock $14.3 $2.4 $9.6
German stock $14.3 $5.4 $11.0

The fees for stocks are volume-based. The more you trade in the previous month, the lower commission you pay, as shown in the table below:

Hargreaves Lansdown stock fees
Trades in previous month Commission per trade
0-9 trades £11.95
10-19 trades £8.95
20+ trades £5.95

Fund fees

Hargreaves Lansdown fund fees are low, especially if you want to buy and sell relatively frequently, because Hargreaves Lansdown doesn't charge a commission for opening and closing mutual fund positions.

Hargreaves Lansdown commission for a $2,000 fund purchase
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
Mutual fund $0.0 $10.3 $0.0

Nevertheless, Hargreaves Lansdown charges a fee for holding the fund. This fee is volume-based. 

Hargreaves Lansdown annual fund fees
Value of funds held Annual fee
£0 - £250,000 0.45%
£250,000 - £1 million 0.25%
£1 million - £2 million 0.10%
£2 million+ Free

If your volume of your asset holdings is more than in the first tier, you will be charged the rate for the first level up to the set range, and the rate for the second tier for the amount above it, and so on, for the other tiers as well. Holding volume is checked at the end of the month and the proportional part of the annual fee is charged monthly. 

Bond fees

Hargreaves Lansdown has generally low bond fees. Fees are much lower than at Saxo Bank, but still a little higher than at Degiro.

Hargreaves Lansdown commission of a $10,000 government bond trade
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
EU government bond $14.3 $10.5 $88.0

The fees are different for online and phone trades. We calculated the fees for online trading. These fees are the same as stock fees. Roughly half of the bonds can be traded only over the phone, which has quite a high fee: 1% of the trade value, with a £20 minimum and £50 maximum.

Portfolio+

Portfolio+ covers portfolios that are managed by Hargreaves Lansdown's fund managers. The fees for Portfolio+ include two kinds of fees:

The annual management fee varies over time, depending on the portfolios' performance. At the time of the review, the management fees ranged between 1.30% and 1.45%.

Non-trading fees

Hargreaves Lansdown has low non-trading fees. It doesn't charge inactivity fees or withdrawal fees. and there is no account fee for a standard Fund & Share account. 

Hargreaves Lansdown non-trading fees
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee No No Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

The annual account fees for SIPP and ISA accounts are 0.45% of the trade value. There is an annual fee cap, which means the yearly fees can't be more than that amount. The annual fee cap is £200 for SIPP accounts and £45 for an ISA account. 

If you trade assets denominated in currencies other than GBP, you also have to count with a currency conversion fee. This is charged as a percentage of the trade value, and is lower if you trade with higher amounts.

Hargreaves Lansdown currency conversion fees
Trade value Currency conversion charges (% of trade value)
First £5,000 1%
Next £5,000 0.75%
Next £10,000 0.50%
Over £20,000 0.25%

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Account opening

4.3
Hargreaves Lansdown's account opening process is quick and easy as long as you're in the UK and they manage to electronically verify you. If this fails or you live outside the UK, you have to send the photocopied documents by post.
Pros Cons
Fast Offline account opening for non-UK clients
No minimum deposit
Fully digital for UK clients

Can you open an account?

Open account

What is the minimum deposit at Hargreaves Lansdown?

The required Hargreaves Lansdown minimum deposit is $0. After you've opened and made your first deposit to your account, you need to have a minimum balance of £50. If you balance falls below this amount, your account will be closed and you will be charged £25+VAT as an account closure fee.

If you want to use the robo-advisory service called Portfolio+ or invest in Venture Capital Trusts, the minimum account balance is £1,000 and £3,000, respectively.

Account types

Hargreaves Lansdown account types
Account type Short description
Fund & Share Account - Tested Account Basic investment account
Stocks and Shares ISA ISA account to invest tax-free up to the yearly limit
Lifetime ISA Similar to a regular ISA but the government adds contributions and the limits are different
Self-Invested Personal Pension Tax-efficient pension investment account
Active Savings Account for cash savings
Junior Investment Account Basic investment account managed on behalf of a child
Junior Stocks and Shares ISA ISA account to invest tax-free on behalf of a child
Junior Self-Invested Personal Pension Tax-efficient pension investment account on behalf of a child
CFD and spread betting account Account provided by IG for forex, CFD and crypto trading

How to open your account

For UK residents, the account opening process is straightforward. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes. They only require the most basic information and that you top up your account with a minimum of £1 during the process for verification purposes. If they manage to electronically verify your details you won't even need to provide proof of ID or proof of address.

Things start to get complicated if their electronic verification fails, or if you're not a UK resident.

Why would your verification fail? This can happen for a number of reasons: for example, if you recently moved, or recently moved to the UK. For a definite answer, you will need to contact Hargreaves Lansdown.

If your verification fails or you're an EEA resident, then you will need to fill in their physical application form and post documents verifying your identity as well as your address. All in all, you would need to send the following:

  • filled-in application form
  • a copy of your: passport / driving license / firearms certificate or shotgun license / recent evidence of entitlement to a state or local authority funded benefit, tax credit, pension, educational or other grants
  • a copy of your: current council tax demand letter or statement (issued within the last three months) / current bank statement (postal issued, within the last three months) / utility bill (postal issued, within the last three months)
  • FOR UK ONLY: a cheque with the initial amount you wish to deposit in your account / direct debit instructions
Hargreaves Lansdown review - Account opening

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Deposit and withdrawal

3.8
Depositing and withdrawing money is easy and free with a debit card or fast bank transfers at Hargreaves Lansdown. Unfortunately, accounts are available only in GBP.
Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available Only one account base currency
Free withdrawal
No deposit fee

Account base currencies

At Hargreaves Lansdown, the only available base currency is GBP

Base currencies at Hargreaves Lansdown vs similar brokers
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
Number of base currencies 1 9 26

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 when funding your account is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Having a Hargreaves Lansdown GBP account means if you want to trade assets not denominated in GBP, you need to pay a currency conversion fee.

Deposit fees and options

Hargreaves Lansdown charges no deposit fees and you can transfer money via bank transfer and bank card.

Hargreaves Lansdown deposit options
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes No Yes
Electronic wallets No Yes No

If you top-up with a debit card, the amount will be instantly visible in your account. The money transferred by bank transfer can take up to two business days.

You can only deposit money from a bank account that is in your name, and it has to be the one that is specified in your account settings with Hargreaves Lansdown.

Hargreaves Lansdown review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Hargreaves Lansdown withdrawal fees and options

Hargreaves Lansdown charges no withdrawal fees.

Hargreaves Lansdown withdrawal fees and options
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
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 Hargreaves Lansdown? We tested the bank transfer withdrawal and it took 2 business days.

How do you withdraw money from Hargreaves Lansdown? You can only withdraw funds to a nominated bank account in your name. Follow these steps:

  • Once logged in, hover over the 'My Account' button on the top right
  • Select your 'Fund&Share Account' from the options
  • On the next page, choose 'CASH'
  • On the right side of the page, select 'Withdraw money'
  • Enter the amount you wish to withdraw and follow the instructions on the screen

Compare to other brokers

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Web trading platform

3.7
Hargreaves Lansdown's web platform is great. It is user-friendly and easy to use. However, it lacks a two-step login and customizability.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good search function
Hargreaves Lansdown platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 3.7 stars Yes
Mobile 3.9 stars Yes
Desktop - No

You can use two trading platforms with Hargreaves Lansdown:

  • Hargreaves Lansdown's own platform — for all accounts except the CFD and spread betting accounts
  • IG's trading platform — for CFD and spread betting accounts

In this review, we tested HL's own trading platform. If you want to check IG's web trading platform, visit our IG review. In that review, we tested IG's most recent trading platform, which is very similar to those available at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Hargreaves Lansdown's web trading platform is available only in English.

Look and feel

Hargreaves Lansdown has a well-designed and easy-to-navigate trading platform. It cannot be customized.

Hargreaves Lansdown review - Web trading platform

Login and security

Hargreaves Lansdown provides only a one-step login. Hargreaves Lansdown gives you a Secure Number after registration. When you log in, you have to enter your password and the three randomly selected digits of your Secure Number specified by the system.

Search functions

The search functions work as you would expect. You can search by typing both a company's name or asset's ticker and during the search, a relevant list appears.

If you search for funds, you can also search by selecting the fund provider or the sector.

Hargreaves Lansdown review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types: Market, Limit, Stop loss, Stop trailing.

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

There are also order time limits you can use: Good 'til time (GTT), Fill or Kill (FOK)

Hargreaves Lansdown review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and notifications, but only for UK stocks. We missed the ability to set alerts for non-UK stocks.

The range of alerts is limited. You can set alerts only for price moves, dividend payouts and regulatory news announcements.

Portfolio and fee reports

Hargreaves Lansdown has clear portfolio and fee reports. These reports can be found in the 'My Account' section.

When you select an asset, you can check the costs it would incur over the next 5 years, for a £5,000 trade. It would better if you could modify this trading scenario manually.

Open account

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Mobile trading platform

3.9
The Hargreaves Lansdown mobile trading platform is great. It is user-friendly and well-designed. However, it lacks a two-step login and you cannot set alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function No price alerts
Touch/Face ID login

The mobile trading platform is the same as the web platform. It is well-designed and easy to navigate. You can log in using biometric authentication, which is a convenient feature. Unlike the web trading platform, you cannot set alerts and notifications on mobile.

Open account

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Desktop trading platform

Hargreaves Lansdown does not offer a desktop trading platform.

Open account

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Markets and products

3.0
Hargreaves Lansdown offers a lot of funds, and you can access an average number of stock markets. You can trade with forex, CFDs and cryptos via IG, another broker. There are no options or futures.
Hargreaves Lansdown asset classes
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes
Options No Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes
CFD No Yes Yes
Crypto No Yes Yes

Hargreaves Lansdown has a good product portfolio. You can invest and trade with stocks, ETFs, funds and bonds. Hargreaves Lansdown is really competitive in the number of funds it offers, while it is average in its stock market and ETF offering. Its bond selection also lags behind competitors.

There are forex, CFDs and cryptos for trading, but they are provided by IG, another broker on a different trading platform. 

Stocks and ETFs

Hargreaves Lansdown gives you access to European and some North American stock exchanges. You can also trade with penny stocks.

The stock and ETF offer is average. It lags behind DEGIRO and Saxo Bank, which have a really wide selection.

Hargreaves Lansdown stock and ETF selection
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
Stock markets (#) 21 30 36
ETFs (#) 1,400 5,400 3,100

These stock exchanges are available at Hargreaves Lansdown:

Hargreaves Lansdown Stock Exchanges and Indexes
Europe North America
London Stock Exchange Lisbon Stock Exchange NASDAQ
Amsterdam Stock Exchange Luxembourg Stock Exchange NYSE
Brussels Stock Exchange Madrid Stock Exchange NYSE Arca
Copenhagen Stock Exchange Oslo Stock Exchange Toronto Stock Exchange
Deutsche Boerse Exchange Paris Stock Exchange  
Frankfurt Stock Exchange Stockholm Stock Exchange  
Helsinki Stock Exchange Swiss Stock Exchange  
Irish Stock Exchange Vienna Stock Exchange  
Italian Stock Exchange    

Funds

Hargreaves Lansdown's mutual fund offer is great. 

Hargreaves Lansdown mutual fund selection
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
Fund providers (#) 164 68 17

You will find funds from the biggest fund providers, such as BlackRock and Vanguard, as well as from smaller ones.

Bonds

Hargreaves Lansdown's bond offer is not competitive. The selection is limited, and only around half of the bonds can be traded online.

Hargreaves Lansdown bond selection
  Hargreaves Lansdown Degiro Saxo Bank
Bonds (#) 350 870 38,000

You can trade with both corporate and government bonds.

Portfolio+

You can invest in portfolios that are managed by Hargreaves Lansdown's fund managers. This is great if you don’t want to manage your investments on your own.

You can choose from six portfolios, depending on your risk appetite and whether you invest for growth or income. The minimum investment is £1,000 and there are annual management fees in addition to the commission for mutual funds. Annual management fees vary over time. At the time of the review, the fees ranged from 1.30% to 1.45%.

Venture Capital Trusts

Venture Capital Trusts or VCTs let you invest in small and growing companies. There is a high minimum investment threshold, however, of between £3,000 - £6,000.

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Research

3.8
The research section is full of useful features such as trading ideas and fundamental data. However, there are no sophisticated charting tools.
Pros Cons
Trading ideas Only basic charting and analytics tools
Data on asset fundamentals
User-friendly

We tested the research tools available on the web trading platform. There are a lot of tools to choose from, including trading ideas and stock market reports.

All research tools have nice and clean visuals. However, due to the large number of tools, it's sometimes easy to get lost and hard to find the way back to a particular section.

Trading ideas

You can find trading ideas for stocks in the 'Broker Forecasts' section. These are recommendations from top-tier banks like HSBC, UBS, Barclays, etc.

Hargreaves Lansdown review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

Hargreaves Lansdown offers fundamental data. You will find a plentiful amount of useful information, ranging from performance charts to forecasts and dividends.

Hargreaves Lansdown review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

Hargreaves Lansdown has some basic charting tools. You can set 26 technical indicators on an easy-to-use and clear interface. This is more basic compared to what some other brokers provide.

Hargreaves Lansdown review - Research - Charting

News feed

There is a great news feed. The main news flow shows business news from reputable sources like The Guardian and Bloomberg. The news section of the fundamental data screen combines news, reports, tips and company announcements.

Compare research pros and cons

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Customer service

4.0
Hargreaves Lansdown's customer service is great, as they provide fast and relevant answers. On the negative side, there is no 24/7 availability and live chat is not provided.
Pros Cons
Phone support No live chat
Fast response time No 24/7 support
Relevant answers

You can contact Hargreaves Lansdown via:

  • phone
  • email

We were really satisfied with Hargreaves Lansdown's phone support. We were connected instantly, and received relevant answers to our questions.

The email support works as you would expect. We emailed them four times and received relevant answers within a day. For example, we got a long and detailed email about who can open an account at HL.

However, we missed 24/7 availability and the live chat option.

Hargreaves Lansdown review - Customer Service

Open account

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Education

4.0
Hargreaves Lansdown's education section offers a range of useful materials for beginner investors. It's well-designed and easy-to-understand, but there is no demo account available for testing.
Pros Cons
Trading platform tutorial No demo account
Educational videos

At Hargreaves Lansdown you can learn in the following ways:

  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Live in-person seminars across the UK
  • Quality educational articles

We really liked the downloadable PDF materials that cater to beginners about specific topics, like picking shares, a guide to Initial Public Offerings, a tax guide, and so on. They are well-structured, well-edited and suitably comprehensive. Other special elements in Hargreaves Lansdown's education services include:

  • live seminars held regularly throughout the UK
  • various calculators available on the website (e.g. household budget planner, regular savings calculator)

There is no demo account available for testing, however.

Hargreaves Lansdown review - Education

Open account

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Safety

Hargreaves Lansdown is regulated by the FCA, a top-tier financial authority, and it is listed on the London Stock Exchange. On the negative side, it does not hold a banking license.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority Does not hold a banking license
High level of investor protection
Listed on stock exchange

Is Hargreaves Lansdown regulated?

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

Hargreaves Lansdown is based in the UK and was founded in 1981.

Is Hargreaves Lansdown 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

This is important for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from entity to entity. However, this is not an issue in this case, as all customers are covered by Hargreaves Lansdown PLC. This means that due to the FCA regulation you get investor protection for an amount of up to £85,000.

Hargreaves Lansdown investor protection
Country of clients Protection amount Regulator Legal entity
All clients (UK + EEA) £85,000 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Hargreaves Lansdown PLC

Hargreaves Lansdown also provides negative balance protection.

Background

Hargreaves Lansdown was established in 1981. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Hargreaves Lansdown is listed on the stock exchange, which is a big plus for safety as it means the broker releases financial statements regularly and transparently.

Being listed on a stock exchange, providing financial statements, and being regulated by a top-tier authority are all great signs for Hargreaves Lansdown's safety.

Find your safe broker

Hargreaves Lansdown review
Bottom line

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the biggest UK brokers and is regulated by a top-tier authority.

Its customer service is great, providing you with relevant answers within a short time. The web and mobile trading platforms are user-friendly and the educational tools are high-quality.

It has some drawbacks though: it has high fees for stocks and ETFs, account opening for clients outside the UK is not fully digital, and there is only one base currency (GBP).

As there is no minimum deposit and no inactivity fee, Hargreaves Lansdown is a good choice for opening a trading account.

Open account

Share

Comments

×