What is Barclays Smart Investor?
Formerly known as Barclays Stockbrokers, Barclays Smart Investor is the investment arm of the giant high street bank.
Barclays also offers a 'do-it-for-me' investment platform named Barclays Plan & Invest, where your investments are chosen for you based on a questionnaire you fill out.
- Find out more: read our guide to the best and worst investment platforms
Is Barclays Smart Investor any good?
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 member, join Which? and get full access to these results and all our reviews.
How we rate investment platforms
Which?'s rating for customer satisfaction is based on feedback from real customers.
We ask investors to rate their current platform for the quality of its online tools and smartphone app, customer service, and information on investment opportunities and performance. We also ask whether it meets their needs, represents value for money and whether they'd recommend it to someone else.
How do we pick Which? Recommended Providers?
A platform must allow investors to pick their own investments from an extensive list.
It will have received at least a 70% customer rating, and not received a rating below three stars on any of the underlying criteria, such as customer service, investment information or the quality of its online tools.
It also mustn't be in the top four platforms for charges, based on our fee analysis.
What do customers say about Barclays Smart Investor?
We’ve spoken to investors who use Barclays Smart Investor, and this is what some of them had to say:
- 'All telephone contact with any staff at any time and for any reason have always been worthwhile, pleasant and with easy communication. It's simple and it works for infrequent transactions.'
- 'Generally OK, but not the most intuitive platform; I always find it difficult to work out how to withdraw money.'
- 'Its website and online service went through a major upgrade a few years ago (as part of banks' ring-fencing) and some of the features that were available previously were discontinued. But, generally speaking, the service is stable after initial hiccups.'
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?
These charges apply to keeping investments in a stocks and shares Isa.
- 0.2% a year on funds
- 0.1% a year on other investments
- Minimum monthly fee of £4, maximum of £125
- £3 per fund trade
- £6 for other online investments (such as shares and investment trusts).
- £1 per automated regular investment
How much would I pay to invest?
We’ve estimated the cost of investing with Barclays Smart Investor over the course of a year in a stocks and shares Isa.
Costs will vary depending on how much you invest and whether you trade funds or shares. All assume that you make four purchases and four sales each year, spread out over different months.
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 if you're trading funds.
For share trading, Barclays Smart Investor is relatively cheap for those with smaller portfolios of up to £50,000.
Who is Barclays Smart Investor expensive for?
If you have a larger portfolio (more than £250,000), trading shares may become expensive compared with most other platforms in our analysis.
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.
- Find out more: how investment platforms work
What does Barclays Smart Investor offer?
The information below gives an at-a-glance view of Barclays Smart Investor's accounts and services.
- Advisory Services – allow you to access professional investment advice.
- General investment account – can hold different types of investments but doesn't give tax-free benefits like pensions and Isas.
- Junior Isa – a tax-free savings account for under-18s.
- Sipp – a pension where you have complete control over the investments you put your savings into.
- Stocks and shares Isa – a tax-free account that allows you to put your money in a range of investments.
- Income drawdown – allows you to take money out of your pension to live on in retirement.
- Savings accounts – Barclays offers a range of savings accounts and cash Isas.
- Banking services – allow you to operate bank accounts, make transfers and make payments.
What can you invest in with Barclays Smart Investor?
- Thousands of funds, shares, ETFs and investment trusts
What tools and research does Barclays Smart Investor offer?
- UK shares research centre with company information and market data
- Live share prices and streaming charts – but these are only accessible through their partner Web Financial Group's (WFG) Active Trader platform
Is your money safe with Barclays Smart Investor?
If Barclays went out of business, you would be compensated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The FSCS will cover up to £85,000 of investments per person, per platform. You can claim for free online: there’s no reason to use a claims management company.
You won’t be compensated for investments falling in value, or a company in which you hold shares going bust, unless this poor performance resulted from bad advice given by a regulated Independent Financial Advisor that has since gone bust.
- Find out more: how the FSCS works