Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Financial discussion for any financial queries for Expats
tieresias
Posts: 29
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:25 pm

Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby tieresias » December 21st, 2016, 5:43 pm

Since this topic used to come up regularly, I have opened three dealing accounts whilst ex-pat:
- https://www.degiro.co.uk/
- https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/home.php
- https://svsxo.com/online-share-dealing

All require a UK bank account. They have varying degrees of requirements for documentation. Prices range from £2-£8 per trade. Pros and cons of each.

Am happy to share more details if anyone is interested and also happy to hear if anyone knows of any others.

dspp
Lemon Slice
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Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby dspp » December 21st, 2016, 6:28 pm

I used to use Charles Stanley when I was an expat fwiw and found them excellent - http://www.charles-stanley.co.uk/

JMN2
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Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby JMN2 » December 25th, 2016, 12:31 pm

When I was living abroad I had Barclays and HL.

SeagoonN
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Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:13 am

Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby SeagoonN » December 26th, 2016, 2:22 pm

A couple of observations:

1. Charles Stanley have stopped accepting applications from non-UK residents. I know as I tried to add my wife's name to my account, which I have had for many years, and they wouldn't do it.

2. Interactive Brokers do not require you to have a UK bank account. I opened ours with a bank account in Belgium.

Best festive wishes to all.

Regards,
Neddy

tieresias
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Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:25 pm

Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby tieresias » December 26th, 2016, 3:45 pm

SeagoonN wrote:2. Interactive Brokers do not require you to have a UK bank account. I opened ours with a bank account in Belgium.


Okay, then I will re-phrase.

All three can be opened to operate with a UK bank account. Interactive Brokers and DeGiro are international operations which can work with a wide range of non-UK bank accounts.

Deev8
Posts: 33
Joined: November 7th, 2016, 11:11 pm

Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby Deev8 » January 9th, 2017, 4:13 am

TD Direct Investing International (based in Luxembourg) will also allow ex-pats to operate accounts.
http://int.tddirectinvesting.com/

DiamondEcho
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Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby DiamondEcho » January 14th, 2017, 4:16 pm

Deev8 wrote:TD Direct Investing International (based in Luxembourg) will also allow ex-pats to operate accounts. http://int.tddirectinvesting.com/


But do you know what would happen if said expat returned to the UK? Would they force out the client?
Others like Interactive Brokers, for a returning Brit expat with an account in a non-UK jurisdiction, would automatically force him to flip the legal entity of the IB account from the foreign one UK one.

Lootman
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Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby Lootman » January 14th, 2017, 5:25 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:But do you know what would happen if said expat returned to the UK? Would they force out the client?

TDDI moving you from Luxembourg to the UK would be a fairly easy and seamless transition, I would have thought.

But with the pending sale of TDDI UK to ii, it would be useful to know if the Luxembourg operation in included in that sale. Otherwise it would be messier

DiamondEcho
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Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby DiamondEcho » January 15th, 2017, 2:37 pm

But my question is thinking along the lines of - what if when you return to the UK, you wish to leave your account offshore, and legally non-declared to the UK authorities, i.e. no subject to UK witholding tax.

Lootman
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Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby Lootman » January 15th, 2017, 5:45 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:But my question is thinking along the lines of - what if when you return to the UK, you wish to leave your account offshore, and legally non-declared to the UK authorities, i.e. no subject to UK witholding tax.

I don't understand why an offshore broker would care where you are resident. The point of them surely is that will take clients from anywhere.

Of course, they typically target ex-pats but UK residents can just as easily open such accounts and hold securities overseas - it's just that there is no tax benefit for them over an on-shore account (except the absence of withholding).

So this may be an Interactive Brokers policy rather than some universal law or rule.

The other idea is to switch to another overseas broker that doesn't have a UK entity. They would not be able to insist that you move to their UK business because they don't have one!

Deev8
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Joined: November 7th, 2016, 11:11 pm

Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby Deev8 » January 16th, 2017, 2:41 am

DiamondEcho wrote:
Deev8 wrote:TD Direct Investing International (based in Luxembourg) will also allow ex-pats to operate accounts. http://int.tddirectinvesting.com/


But do you know what would happen if said expat returned to the UK? Would they force out the client?


Sorry - I don't know what their policy is.

Deev8
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Joined: November 7th, 2016, 11:11 pm

Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby Deev8 » January 16th, 2017, 2:44 am

Lootman wrote:... with the pending sale of TDDI UK to ii, it would be useful to know if the Luxembourg operation in included in that sale. Otherwise it would be messier


The Luxembourg operation is included in the sale of TD Direct to ii, at least that's what a statement on the TD Direct International website said shortly after the sale was agreed.

Dave

DiamondEcho
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Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby DiamondEcho » January 16th, 2017, 10:25 am

Lootman wrote:
DiamondEcho wrote:But my question is thinking along the lines of - what if when you return to the UK, you wish to leave your account offshore, and legally non-declared to the UK authorities, i.e. no subject to UK witholding tax.

I don't understand why an offshore broker would care where you are resident. The point of them surely is that will take clients from anywhere.
Of course, they typically target ex-pats but UK residents can just as easily open such accounts and hold securities overseas - it's just that there is no tax benefit for them over an on-shore account (except the absence of withholding). So this may be an Interactive Brokers policy rather than some universal law or rule. The other idea is to switch to another overseas broker that doesn't have a UK entity. They would not be able to insist that you move to their UK business because they don't have one!


Thanks for the opinion, and to Deev8 also.
Per the above [Lootman]. I think it might be a parallel of the issues US expats have opening accounts, the obligation to comply with [for the providers] onerous FATCA reporting/withholding requirements. Not many banks abroad have the many US private clients, and hence not the profit margin from those clients to justify having a FATCA reporting unit.
With the case of Interactive Brokers, as I mentioned I've had an account with them for about 10 years now, each time we move they try to force me to flip the legal entity [location] where my assets are held. I've been through this now across 3 continents, perhaps why their policy seems like a normal approach to me. I think they're following some kind of best practice, putting you into a local entity that forces you into declaring profit to the local tax authorities. And if there is anything like a local withholding tax where you reside then they'll apply that too.
In earlier times the obvious choice was opening an offshore account, Switzerland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Luxembourg [esp for the Germans and French] etc. But there seem to be less options in this field today, and certainly less reputable/competitive discount-brokers that are set up there that might open accounts for non-residents.

Perhaps the question might be reframed, in light of the above? Does any Brit have a recommendation for a discount broker [for FTSE-350 stocks] which is ex-UK, which doesn't have UK tax withholding, that will keep you as a client if you later move from expat to UK resident?

LongbeardRanger
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Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby LongbeardRanger » January 18th, 2017, 7:58 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:
Perhaps the question might be reframed, in light of the above? Does any Brit have a recommendation for a discount broker [for FTSE-350 stocks] which is ex-UK, which doesn't have UK tax withholding, that will keep you as a client if you later move from expat to UK resident?


I'm not sure I understand this. There is no withholding tax on UK source dividends, irrespective of the jurisdiction of the recipient. (There is UK withholding tax on interest, but the mention of FTSE 350 stocks makes me think this is not relevant. )

matzuba
Posts: 1
Joined: January 19th, 2017, 2:15 pm

Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby matzuba » January 19th, 2017, 2:27 pm

tieresias wrote:Since this topic used to come up regularly, I have opened three dealing accounts whilst ex-pat:
- https://www.degiro.co.uk/
- https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/home.php
- https://svsxo.com/online-share-dealing

All require a UK bank account. They have varying degrees of requirements for documentation. Prices range from £2-£8 per trade. Pros and cons of each.

Am happy to share more details if anyone is interested and also happy to hear if anyone knows of any others.



Thanks for Sharing!
Would you mind being specific about how the account opening process was with these providers? You mention they require a UK bank account but what about UK residency status? Are they fussy?

Also, what is your experience with using them?
I am looking at ETFs and possibily transfering an ISA if that product is offered.

I've spoken to Hargreaves Lansdown - you need to be a resident and TD International and you have to be in the EU. I am in Australia and computer said no!

cheers

tieresias
Posts: 29
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:25 pm

Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby tieresias » January 20th, 2017, 6:14 pm

matzuba wrote:
tieresias wrote:Since this topic used to come up regularly, I have opened three dealing accounts whilst ex-pat:
- https://www.degiro.co.uk/
- https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/home.php
- https://svsxo.com/online-share-dealing

All require a UK bank account. They have varying degrees of requirements for documentation. Prices range from £2-£8 per trade. Pros and cons of each.

Am happy to share more details if anyone is interested and also happy to hear if anyone knows of any others.



Thanks for Sharing!
Would you mind being specific about how the account opening process was with these providers? You mention they require a UK bank account but what about UK residency status? Are they fussy?

Also, what is your experience with using them?
I am looking at ETFs and possibily transfering an ISA if that product is offered.

I've spoken to Hargreaves Lansdown - you need to be a resident and TD International and you have to be in the EU. I am in Australia and computer said no!

cheers


I contacted each of them before attempting to open an account and was up-front about being British but resident in Saudi Arabia.

DeGiro was the easiest to open. They just wanted my UK bank details and the account was open in minutes. Do not use their so-called "Sofort" (Dutch for "immediate") money transfer service - it really messed with my bank's security and got me temporarily locked out of my account. Instead, transfer money to their account and wait a day or two for it to be recognised and credited to your trading account. This is the cheapest of the three: £1.70 fixed fee plus some small percentage of the trade value. I found their platform confusing at first (partly because it covers so many European exchanges). Dividend reporting is rubbish. Also, they consider GBP (pounds) and GBX (pennies) to be two separate currencies...

Interactive Brokers required proof of ID (passport scan sufficed) and residence. For the latter, you should not have a problem. I did, but that is because KSA has no postal delivery service, it's all based on PO Boxes, so I had no bills or anything with my actual address on them. In the end, they accepted a scan of a letter from my employer stating where I lived, with all correspondence to go to the company PO Box. It took a couple of weeks to get the account set up from first contact. £6 per trade for UK shares. Very busy interface with too many bells and whistles that I don't need, but overall fine. Note, until your overall assets are valued above USD 100k, there is a monthly fee of USD 10, offset by any trading you do (so, two trades per month and it's free).

SVS XO was the most difficult account to open. They want all documents certified by a lawyer, in hard copy, not scans on e-mail. For me, they wanted UK and Saudi bank statements, passport and Saudi residence permit and the employer's letter about my address. The whole process took about five weeks. £8 per trade. Nice simple platform with clear dividend reporting.

The only one of the above to offer an ISA is SVS, but, since you're non-resident you can't open one anyway.

Customer service for all three has been responsive and helpful.

HTH

Deev8
Posts: 33
Joined: November 7th, 2016, 11:11 pm

Re: Online Stockbrokers available to UK ex-pats

Postby Deev8 » January 23rd, 2017, 11:24 pm

matzuba wrote:... TD International and you have to be in the EU. I am in Australia and computer said no!


You definitely don't have to be resident in the EU to open and operate a TD Direct International account - Australia shouldn't be a problem.

Just be certain that you are looking at TD Direct International, based in Luxembourg, rather than the TD Direct UK website.


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