7 Best ETF Platforms in the UK in 2024

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Thomas Drury
Thomas Drury

Thomas Drury

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Seasoned finance professional with 10+ years' experience. Chartered status holder. Proficient in CFDs, ISAs, and crypto investing. Passionate about helping others achieve financial goals.

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Dom Farnell
Dom Farnell

Dom Farnell

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Dom is a Co-Founder and of TIC. A passionate investor and seasoned blog writer with a keen interest in financial markets and wealth management.My goal is to empower individuals to make informed investment decisions through informative and engaging content.

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Last Updated 07/05/2024
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Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing, which means there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

Quick Answer: Which are the best ETF Platforms?

In the UK, the best platform for trading ETFs is eToro. It offers a user-friendly interface, a diverse selection of ETFs, and competitive fees. Highly recommended for its reliability and comprehensive services, eToro stands out in the ETF market.

Here are the Top 7 best ETF Platforms in the UK

  1. eToro – Best overall ETF Platform for UK Investors and Traders

  2. Saxo – Preferred for active traders and investors seeking engagement.
  3. Trading 212 – Ideal for newcomers with its sign-up bonus and commission-free trades.

  4. Lightyear – Top choice for beginners for overall ease and support.

  5. Hargreaves Lansdown – Unmatched for a diverse fund portfolio offering.

  6. Interactive Investor – Distinguished for exceptional customer service.

  7. IG – Renowned for a broad market range and additional services.

  8. Wombat – Excellent for beginners with an interest in thematic investments.

ETF Trading Platform Comparison Chart

eToro logo
eToro
Saxo Logo
Saxo
Trading 212
Lightyear
Interactive Investor
IG
Hargreaves Lansdown
Regulator
FCA
FCA
FCA
FCA
FCA
FCA
FCA
Mobile App Usability
5/5
4.6/5
4.5/5
4.6/5
4/5
3.5/5
3.5/5
Variety of Assets
ETFs, Stocks, Crypto, CFDs & Social Trading
Invest in 7,000+ ETFs from tech, healthcare, environment and other major sectors
12,000+ global stocks & ETFs, commodities, forex
Stocks 3000+, ETF's 1000+
1,000+ ETFs, Stocks (UK & International), Bonds, Ethical Investments
18,000+ markets, stocks, ETFs, commodities, currencies, bonds, funds
Stocks, shares, funds, bonds, ISAs, SIPPs
ISA Available
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Trust Pilot Score
4.3/5
3.9/5
4.6/5
4.8/5
4.7/5
4.1/5
4.1/5
Fee Score
4/5
4/5
4/5
4.5/5
4.2/5
4/5
3.5/5
ETF Availability
Good
Limited
Excellent
Limited
Good
Limited
Excellent
Overall Review Score
4.7/5
4.6/5
4.5/5
4.4/5
4.4/5
3.9/5
3.9/5

Top 7 best ETF Trading Platforms

Etoro Logo
4.4/5

TIC Score 4.7/5

eToro - Best overall ETF Platform for UK Investors and Traders

eToro ETFs page displaying the diverse investment options available, featuring icons for statistics, currency, oil, and industry, encouraging users to 'Get Started' with over 300 ETFs.

eToro caters to both novice traders and seasoned investors seeking a dynamic trading experience.

Renowned for its innovative platform, eToro offers a diverse array of investment options, including ETFs, stocks, and cryptocurrencies. It is uniquely designed to support users of all levels through an intuitive interface and social trading features.

With its competitive pricing structure and expansive social trading tools, eToro empowers its users to make informed trading decisions. The platform’s CopyTrader feature, in particular, allows investors to mirror the trades of experienced peers, making it a favored choice for those who value community insights and collaborative investment strategies.

Pros

Cons

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Saxo Logo
4.6/5

TIC Score 4.6/5

Saxo - Best overall ETF Platform for UK Investors and Traders

Interactive homepage of Saxo Bank showcasing investment opportunities in over 7,000 ETFs across various sectors like technology, healthcare, and environment, with a prompt to open an account or explore ETFs in a platform demo.

Saxo Bank provides a vast selection of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), offering investors access to over 7,000 ETFs that cover a multitude of sectors including technology, healthcare, and environmental markets.

Their expansive ETF portfolio is designed to cater to both novice and seasoned investors looking for diversified investment opportunities across global markets.

With Saxo’s user-friendly platform, investors can seamlessly integrate ETF trading into their investment strategy, leveraging Saxo’s competitive fees and robust trading tools to optimize their market position.

Pros

Cons

Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing, which means there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

Trading 212 Logo
4.5/5

TIC Score 4.5/5

Trading 212 – Ideal for newcomers with its sign-up bonus and commission-free trades.

Screenshot of Trading 212's ETF page displaying a diverse selection of exchange-traded funds with advanced filtering options to help investors find ETFs by performance, sector, and geographical region.

Use code TIC to get a free share worth up to £100

Trading 212 stands out as an ideal platform for newcomers to ETF trading, offering a unique combination of a sign-up bonus and commission-free trades, making it highly accessible for those new to investing.

As a fintech company, Trading 212 has rapidly grown to become one of Europe’s leading brokers, emphasizing simplicity and innovation in its app and web platform.

Its user-friendly interface and educational resources make it an excellent starting point for beginners eager to dive into the world of ETFs without the burden of high costs.

Pros

Cons

Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing, which means there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

Lightyear Logo
4.5/5

TIC Score 4.6/5

Lightyear – Top choice for beginners for overall ease and support.

Detailed view of Lightyear's ETF offerings on their website, highlighting zero commission trading options, a wide range of international ETFs, and user-friendly investment tools for global markets.

Lightyear is a top choice for beginners in ETF trading, celebrated for its overall ease of use and exceptional support.

The platform distinguishes itself by offering a streamlined, intuitive user experience coupled with zero-commission trading, although other fee’s may apply this still makes it financially attractive for novice investors.

As a newer entrant to the market, Lightyear is committed to removing financial barriers, offering transparent pricing and a curated selection of ETFs that cater to investors who value simplicity and affordability.

This contains financial promotion. The Investors Centre will be paid a referral fee when you open an account and deposit funds through one of the links on this page

Pros

Cons

Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing, which means there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

HL Logo
3.9/5

TIC Score 3.9/5

Hargreaves Lansdown – Unmatched for a diverse fund portfolio offering.

Hargreaves Lansdown ETF selections page screenshot, illustrating their wealth of ETF investment choices, in-depth fund insights, and tailored investment strategies for retirement and savings.

Hargreaves Lansdown is unmatched in the realm of diverse fund portfolio offerings, making it an exceptional choice for investors looking to access a broad range of ETFs and mutual funds.

As one of the UK’s leading investment platforms, Hargreaves Lansdown is renowned for its extensive research, comprehensive investment choices, and premium customer service.

This platform is ideal for investors seeking to build a diversified portfolio underpinned by expert insights and analysis.

Pros

Cons

Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing, which means there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

interactive investor logo linking with homepage
4.4/5

TIC  Score 4.4/5

Interactive Investor – Distinguished for exceptional customer service.

Interactive Investor's ETF section screenshot showcasing their comprehensive ETF investment platform with expert analysis, ratings, and customizable watchlists for savvy investors.

Interactive Investor is distinguished for its exceptional customer service, positioning itself as a go-to platform for investors prioritizing support and guidance.

Offering a wide selection of ETFs alongside a vast array of other investment products, Interactive Investor appeals to a diverse investor base, from beginners to seasoned traders.

Its flat-fee pricing model makes it an attractive option for investors with larger portfolios, ensuring that customer service excellence remains a cornerstone of its offering.

Pros

Cons

Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing, which means there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

IG Logo
3.9/5

TIC  Score 3.9/5

IG – Renowned for a broad market range and additional services.

IG platform screenshot highlighting ETF investments, market trends, and portfolio management features.

IG is renowned for its broad market range and comprehensive additional services, catering to both casual investors and seasoned traders.

With access to over 17,000 markets, including a wide selection of ETFs, IG stands out for its trading technology and versatility.

The platform also offers extensive educational resources and analysis tools, making it suitable for those who seek to trade a variety of asset classes beyond ETFs, including stocks, indices, and forex.

Pros

Cons

Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing, which means there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

Understanding ETFs

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are a popular form of investment that offers the flexibility of stocks with the diversification benefits of mutual funds. They are traded on stock exchanges, allowing investors to buy and sell shares throughout the trading day at market prices.

What is an ETF?

An ETF is a type of investment fund that holds a collection of assets, such as stocks, bonds, or commodities, and is designed to track the performance of a specific index or sector. ETFs offer investors a way to invest in a wide array of assets without having to buy each one individually.

Stocks and Shares

  • ETFs that focus on stocks and shares invest in a variety of companies, ranging from large-cap to small-cap stocks.

  • They offer exposure to specific industries, geographical regions, or investment styles (e.g., growth or value).

  • Key benefits include diversification and the potential for growth.

Bonds

  • Bond ETFs invest in different types of debt securities, including government, municipal, and corporate bonds.

  • They provide regular income through interest payments and tend to be less volatile than stock ETFs.

  • Investors can choose from short-term, mid-term, and long-term bond ETFs based on their investment horizon and risk tolerance.

Property

  • Property or Real Estate ETFs invest in stocks of companies involved in the real estate industry, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs).

  • They offer a way to gain exposure to the real estate market without owning physical properties.

  • Benefits include potential income from rent and property appreciation, along with diversification across various real estate sectors.

Image explaining how ETFs work from start to finish
How Do ETFs work?

ETF Trading Platforms

ETF trading platforms are online brokerages that provide investors with the tools and resources needed to buy and sell ETFs. These platforms vary in features, fees, and available ETFs, making it important for investors to choose one that fits their investment style and goals.

What’s an ETF trading platform?

An ETF trading platform is a digital service that enables investors to trade ETFs through a user-friendly interface. These platforms offer real-time market data, research tools, and educational resources to help investors make informed decisions.

Trading ETFs

  • Research and Selection: Use the platform’s tools to research ETFs based on performance, sector, and risk.

  • Buying and Selling: Execute trades during market hours, with the option to set market, limit, and stop orders.

  • Portfolio Management: Monitor your investments and adjust your portfolio as needed to align with your investment strategy.

ETF Comparisons and Types

While both ETFs and index funds are designed to track the performance of a market index, there are key differences:

  • Trading: ETFs can be traded throughout the day like stocks, while index funds are bought and sold at the end of the trading day at the net asset value price.

  • Minimum Investment: ETFs can be bought with the price of a single share, whereas index funds may require a minimum investment.

  • Passive Funds: These funds aim to replicate the performance of a specific index. ETFs often fall into this category, offering lower fees due to reduced management activity.

  • Actively Managed Funds: Managers of these funds actively select investments to outperform the market, leading to higher fees. Some ETFs are actively managed, offering investors the potential for higher returns with increased risk.

Choosing between passive and actively managed funds depends on your investment strategy, risk tolerance, and financial goals.

ETF Investment Options

Investing in ETFs offers flexibility and accessibility, allowing investors to diversify their portfolios across various asset classes. Understanding the investment options available for ETFs, including tax-efficient accounts and retirement savings, can enhance your investment strategy.

Can you buy ETFs within a Stocks & Shares ISA?

  • Yes, ETFs can be purchased within a Stocks & Shares ISA.

  • This allows for tax-efficient investing, as gains and dividends from ETFs within an ISA are not subject to capital gains tax or income tax.

  • It’s an excellent way for investors to grow their wealth over time while minimizing tax liabilities.

Can you buy ETFs within a pension?

  • Yes, ETFs are also eligible to be held within pension schemes, including Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs).

  • Investing in ETFs through a pension can provide a diversified investment portfolio with potential tax advantages, as investments grow tax-free until retirement.

  • This option is particularly appealing for long-term investors looking to build their retirement savings.

Costs and Fees

Understanding the costs and fees associated with ETF investing is crucial for managing your investment efficiently. These costs can impact your overall returns and vary depending on the trading platform and the ETFs themselves.

ETF Trading Platform Fees

  • Platform Fee: A yearly charge levied by the platform for using their services. It’s usually a percentage of your investment value.

  • ETF Fees: Also known as the expense ratio, this is an annual fee that covers the fund manager’s costs, expressed as a percentage of the fund’s average net assets.

  • ETF Trading Fees: Charges incurred each time you buy or sell ETF shares. Some platforms offer commission-free trading for certain ETFs.

  • Currency Conversion Fees: If you’re buying ETFs listed in a currency different from your account’s base currency, you may face currency conversion charges. This fee varies by platform and can significantly affect transactions involving foreign ETFs.

By carefully considering these investment options and associated costs, investors can make informed decisions that align with their financial goals and risk tolerance.

Pros

Cons

Is it safe to invest in ETFs?

Investing in ETFs is generally considered safe, especially when compared to individual stocks, due to their inherent diversification. However, like all investments, ETFs carry some level of risk, which varies depending on the type of ETF and the underlying assets it holds. Here are key points to consider regarding the safety of investing in ETFs:

Diversification: ETFs typically hold a wide range of assets, spreading out the risk. This means that the poor performance of a single asset will have a less significant impact on the overall investment.

Market Risk: All investments are subject to market risk. The value of an ETF can go down as well as up, depending on the performance of the underlying assets or market sectors it tracks.

Liquidity: Most ETFs are highly liquid, meaning they can be easily bought and sold during trading hours at market prices. However, some niche or specialized ETFs may have lower trading volumes, which could impact liquidity and pricing.

Expense Ratios and Fees: While ETFs often have lower expense ratios compared to mutual funds, fees can vary, and it’s important to understand the costs associated with any ETF investment. 

Interest Rate Risk: For ETFs that invest in bonds, interest rate changes can affect their value. Generally, when interest rates rise, bond prices fall, and vice versa.

Currency Risk: ETFs that invest in international markets or assets may be subject to currency risk. Fluctuations in exchange rates can affect the value of these investments.

To mitigate risks and ensure a safe investment experience with ETFs, investors should:

Research and Choose Wisely: Select ETFs that align with your investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.

Diversify: Even within ETF investing, diversification across different sectors, asset classes, and geographies can reduce risk.

Stay Informed: Keep abreast of market trends and economic factors that could impact your investments.

Consider Long-Term Investing: Over the long term, markets tend to increase in value, which can help smooth out short-term volatility.

In conclusion, while no investment is without risk, ETFs offer a relatively safe option for investors looking to diversify their portfolios and reduce exposure to the volatility of individual assets. Proper due diligence and a well-considered investment strategy are key to maximizing the safety and potential returns of ETF investments.

FAQs

The best ETF platform in the UK for beginners offers user-friendly interfaces, educational resources, and low-cost options. Platforms like Trading 212 and Lightyear are often recommended for their comprehensive services and support for beginners.

ETF brokers specialize in offering a wide range of exchange-traded funds with lower fees and often provide tools specifically designed for ETF trading. Traditional brokers, on the other hand, offer a broader range of investment products but may have higher fees for ETF transactions.

Yes, you can find specialized ETF brokers in the UK that cater to investors looking to focus exclusively on ETF investments. These brokers typically offer extensive ETF selections, competitive pricing, and specialized trading tools.

When choosing an ETF platform, look for features like a wide range of ETFs, competitive fees, comprehensive research tools, user-friendly interface, and strong customer support. Also, consider platforms that offer educational resources to help you make informed decisions.

Trading tools on ETF platforms can enhance your investment strategy by providing real-time market data, analytical tools, and the ability to set up alerts. These tools help you make more informed decisions, manage your portfolio efficiently, and identify potential investment opportunities.

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