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 investment platforms in terms of the products and services on offer.
- Find out more: read our guide to the best and worst investment platforms
Is Barclays Smart Investor good?
The Which? 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, customer service and investment information. We also ask if the available investments meets their needs, whether the platform represents good value for money and whether they would recommend it.
However, to be named a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP), customer satisfaction alone won't suffice; we also consider platform fees.
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.
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:
- '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; eg 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?
- 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, as shown in the table below.
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, it's relatively cheap for those with smaller portfolios of up to £50,000.
However, investors with large portfolios could save money with several more highly-rated platforms.
Who is Barclays Smart Investor expensive for?
It's not particularly cheap for those with smaller pots who primarily trade funds. If you have a larger portfolio (more than £250,000), trading shares may become expensive compared with some other platforms in our analysis.
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.
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 goes 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
What does Barclays Smart Investor offer?
The information below gives an at-a-glance view of 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 such as 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.
A Sipp is a pension where you have complete control over the investments you put your savings into.
✓ Savings accounts
Barclays offers a range of savings accounts and cash Isas.
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 those under the age of 18.
- Find out more: how investment platforms work
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