The priciest investment platforms revealed: Names including Hargreaves Lansdown, Barclays and Aviva put head-to-head

Lucy White
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The platforms through which private investors place their money in investment companies can charge wildly differing costs, and new research has just revealed which rack up the highest charges.

The study, completed by consultancy The Lang Cat and trade body the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), revealed that several platforms were uncompetitive on price whether investors were putting in £5,000 or £1m.

Some tech-focused firms were correspondingly competitive across all sizes of investment, while other providers offered better or worse value for money depending on the size.

The platforms rated on how much they charge as a percentage of different investment sizes

“For the particularly cost conscious, there are significant savings to be made if you shop around,” said The Lang Cat's Steve Nelson.

“But, of course, price is only one aspect of platform selection. How much help you need choosing investments, how much importance you attach to online functionality and how much you value a big brand name are some of the other things.”

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The research looked at the costs of holding portfolios of investment companies, assuming this is within an Isa, and making four buys or sells in a year.

Platforms' charges are split into ongoing costs, charged regardless of how much an investor trades, and transaction costs for buying or selling shares.

Six platforms had no ongoing costs for holding investment companies, seven had fixed fees ranging from £20 to £120 and the remainder had charges based on a percentage of what was invested.

Standard transaction costs varied from £5 to £12.50, though 12 of the 26 platforms offered much lower fees for regular investments.

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