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Halifax

Halifax

This site is for the confident

Investor who knows what they are doing, and who is looking for a low-cost, no-frills service.

What we say

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Holly's View

Holly has accounts with all the providers on our website and independently reviews all of them.

This site is for the confident investor who knows what they are doing, and who is looking for a low-cost, no-frills service. Price is the USP and for any less confident investors there is very little help, content, guidance or substance to offer a more rounded experience. Not an obvious choice for pensions which is really not their heritage. But OK for those who don’t want to do anything fancy and to keep costs rock bottom.

Holly Mackay Holly Mackay
Holly Mackay Founder and CEO of Boring Money

Customer review

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Overall Summary

Ease of use

Navigating this site can be a bit frustrating. Researching shares and funds is not intuitive and the fund information, supplied by Morningstar, is factual without offering much help about what to actually pick and why. It’s difficult to zip through the website, as everything is cluttered and the content is extremely text heavy.

Mobile & Apps

There is no investment app available. The website is not particularly mobile-friendly, especially when assessing potential fund choices. Investors are even advised to only attempt certain functions on desktop.

Behind the scenes

If you know what you want – to get in, trade and then get out – it works fine. And at £12.50 a year to hold an ISA here, with additional trading fees, it’s easy to see why they don’t spend a lot on development. Really depends on what the individual wants but the less confident will get lost.

Ready-made

3 Scottish Widows ‘multi-asset’ funds are available from parent groups Lloyds Bank. Newly launched in September 2019 there is no meaningful track record. Costs will be a maximum of 0.74% a year to hold these funds on the platform, including a service fee and all investment costs.

Investment Choice

Products

  • Stocks and Shares ISA

  • Junior ISA

  • Investment Account

  • Pension

The 'Geeky' Details

Provider details

Halifax’s SIPP is administered by pensions specialist AJ Bell (https://www.boringmoney.co.uk/isas-pensions/aj-bell-youinvest/). There is a quarterly admin fee of £22.50 for SIPPs under £50,000 and £45 for SIPPs over £50,000, which works out at £90 and £180 per year respectively depending on your portfolio size.

The website lacks sophistication and user-friendliness, feeling quite old-school and stuffy, especially when navigating through the logged-in sections and dealing journey. However, it must be noted that recent improvements to the ‘research the market’ section are clear and have made a noticeable difference. It almost feels like a different website.

There is a wealth of investment options, with nearly 3000 funds available alongside UK, US and European equities. The choices can be narrowed, with a shortlist of 96 top-rated funds produced by global research house Morningstar clearly presented.

Trading fees are consistent, regardless of funds or shares, with each trade priced at £12.50, falling to £2 a trade if you set up a regular trading plan.

For investors approaching retirement, there are a number of charges to be aware of, including a £180 annual charge for flexi-access drawdown, a £90 charge for one-off income payments or an annuity purchase and a £90 SIPP closure charge (£300 if closed within 12 months of opening).

For those looking to transfer in their pension, Halifax charges £60 but there are no transfer out fees.

Important Facts & Figures

Provider Size:

A sizeable platform, administering billions. Part of FTSE 100 listed company Lloyds Banking Group.

Minimum amounts:

£0 minimum investment

Halifax