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Barclays Smart Investor investment platform review

We analyse the charges levied by Barclays Smart Investor and ask whether the fund supermarket provides good value for investors

In this article
What is Barclays Smart Investor? What does Barclays Smart Investor offer? Is Barclays Smart Investor good or bad? What do customers say about Barclays Smart Investor?
What are Barclays Smart Investor's charges?  Who is Barclays Smart Investor good for? Who is Barclays Smart Investor expensive for? Get top money-saving tips from Which?

What is Barclays Smart Investor?

Formerly known as Barclays Stockbrokers, Barclays Smart Investor is the investment arm of the giant high street bank. 

Of all of the banks offering investment services, Smart Investor most closely resembles other specialist fund supermarkets in terms of the products and services on offer. 

What does Barclays Smart Investor offer?

The information below gives an at-glance view of the key things that the accounts and services Barclays Smart Investor offers.

Elements marked with a are offered by Barclays Smart Investor and those marked with a are not.

 

✓ Advisory services

 

Advisory services allow you to access professional investment advice.

 

 General investment account

 

A general investment account that can hold different types of investments but doesn’t give tax-free benefits like pensions and Isas.

 

 Income drawdown

 

Income drawdown allows you to take money out of your pension to live on in retirement.

 

 Stocks and shares Isa

 

A stocks and shares Isa is a tax-free account that allows you to put your money in a range of investments.

 

✓ Sipps

 

A Sipp is a pension where you have complete control over the investments you put your savings into.

 

 Annuities

 

An annuity is an insurance product which allows you to swap your pension savings for a guaranteed regular income that will last for the rest of your life.

 

 Banking services

 

Banking services allow you to operate bank accounts, make transfers and make payments.

 

Junior Isa

 

A Junior Isa is a tax-free savings account for under 18s.

 

 

 Savings accounts

 

A savings account is somewhere you can put your money so it can grow in value.

Is Barclays Smart Investor good or bad?

To get an idea of how good or bad Barclays Smart Investor is, we asked its customers.

Which?'s rating for customer satisfaction is based on feedback from real customers. The score is made up of a customer's overall satisfaction with the brand, and how likely they are to recommend that brand.

Which? members can exclusively read the results of our unique customer satisfaction survey.

Members can log in to read our analysis. If you're not already a Which? member, you can sign up for a  one month trial to Which? Money for £1 to get instant access to all our reviews and results.

Aspect of service Star rating
Online tools Logged out padlock
Customer Service Logged out padlock
Investment information Logged out padlock
Investment options Logged out padlock
Value for money Logged out padlock

What do customers say about Barclays Smart Investor?

We’ve spoken to real-life investors who use Barclays Smart Investor and this is what some of them had to say:

  • 'Since the transfer from Barclays Stockbrokers things have deteriorated rapidly and I am now looking to transfer elsewhere.'
  • 'Barclays Smart Investor has been appalling. Four of us locked out of our accounts due to passwords not working. Unable to deal for two months. Unable to extricate cash. Dividends not paid. I could go on.'
  • 'It's OK. There were teething problems but it seems to function adequately now although there are still times where I can't access it.'

Check out our guide on the best and worst investment platforms to see how Barclays Smart Investor compared.

What are Barclays Smart Investor's charges? 

Annual Charges 

  • 0.2% a year on funds
  • 0.1% a year on other investments
  • Minimum monthly fees of £4, maximum of £125

Trading charges

  • £3 per fund trade
  • £6 for other online investments. 
  • £1 per automated regular investment

We’ve estimated the cost of investing various sums in investment platforms over the course of a year in the table below. The costs assume you only buy funds (shares work out slightly cheaper with some companies), and make four purchases and four sales each year.

Amount invested Annual cost
£100 a month  £13
£5,000  £34
£10,000  £44
£25,000  £74
£50,000  £124
£100,000  £224
£250,000  £524
£500,000  £1,024

Source: Analysis by Which? Money correct as of April 2019

Read our comparison of investment platform charges to see how much investing with Barclays Smart Investor costs for a range of portfolios.

If you're thinking of using Barclays Smart Investor to take an income from your pension in a drawdown plan, read our comparison of pension drawdown charges

Who is Barclays Smart Investor good for?

The fees are complicated, but if you can get your head around them, investors with £100,000 or more will find Barclays Smart Investor on the cheaper side. 

Who is Barclays Smart Investor expensive for?

It's not great for smaller investors, although it's not the priciest. There are much cheaper platforms if you have less than £50,000. 

Read our comparison of investment platform charges to see how much investing with Barclays Smart Investor costs for a range of portfolios.

And if you're thinking of using Barclays Smart Investor to take an income from your pension in a drawdown plan, read our comparison of pension drawdown charges

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