Hargreaves Lansdown tops investment platform poll

Updated on 12 February 2014 | 5 Comments

Researchers have run the rule over the UK's 12 biggest investment platforms.

An investment platform specialist has released the results of research which ranks the UK’s 12 leading platforms.

The Platforum conducted extensive research into areas including cost, ease of use, customer service and guidance.

Hargreaves Lansdown came out on top overall, with Fidelity in second place and Barclays Stockbrokers, Bestinvest and Charles Stanley Direct joint third.

However, the rankings were finalised before the recent flurry of platform price changes, which was led by Hargreaves Lansdown. Based on this, Bestinvest would have taken second spot..

The top 12

Number one platform Hargreaves Lansdown was praised for its personal touch, including “a knowledgeable, helpful human being” answering the phone and its “great all-round service”. However, the survey did acknowledge that it is at the pricier end of the spectrum.

Here is the top 12 in full:



Final score


Hargreaves Lansdown



Fidelity Personal Investing



Barclays Stockbrokers






Charles Stanley Direct



Interactive Investor



The Share Centre



AJ Bell Youinvest



TD Direct Investing



Alliance Trust Savings



JP Morgan WealthManager



Willis Owen


The Platforum researchers did acknowledge that there's no real 'one size fits all' soluton and different investors with different needs will require different platforms.

Free guides to stocks and shares ISAs and SIPPs

Platforum picks

For people just getting started with a stocks and shares ISA with a pot of up to £10,000 to invest, it recommends Charles Stanley Direct as a good "all-rounder".

For beginner investors with larger amounts to invest, it points to Bestinvest or Fidelity.

Holly Mackay, Managing Director of The Platforum, commented: “For larger accounts there are price points beyond which it’s a no-brainer to look beyond the fixed fee model. But for the average direct portfolio size of £28,700 there’s much less in it. At this point you want financial security, you want real people to answer the phone, you want a joined-up website which works and some will value tips and guidance.”

The Platforum says that just over a third (34%) of investors leave all or most of their investment decisions to a financial adviser, 29% make all their decisions themselves, and 37% are mostly DIY, but seek help occasionally.

Between them, Hargreaves Lansdown, Barclays Stockbrokers, Fidelity and TD Direct Investing have 58% of the assets on platforms.

Compare stocks and shares ISAs

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Investment platform Nutmeg cuts fees, but is it cheapest?

Hargreaves Lansdown backtracks on investment trust charge

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Five ways to invest in UK businesses


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