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 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. 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 value for money and whether they'd recommend it to someone else.
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:
- 'Since becoming smart investor I feel like I am a second class customer compared to those who also have a Barclays current account.'
- 'Website [is] not very user friendly.'
- 'it is easy to use and no one tries to influence what investments I choose.'
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 fees of £4, maximum of £125
- £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.
Read our comparison of investment platform charges to see whether another platform could work out cheaper than Barclays Smart Investor for your portfolio.
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.
However, investors with large portfolios could save money with several more highly-rated platforms.
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, with better services on offer.
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-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.
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.
A Junior Isa is a tax-free savings account for under 18s.
- Find out more: how investment platforms work
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