Barclays Stockbroker Review

Barclays-StockbrokersBarclays stockbrokers are the biggest execution only broker in the UK, they firmly established themselves in the market when they bought out the UK operations of Charles Schwab in 2003.

Barclays is of course a full service financial institution offering retail banking, wealth management, business banking, retail stock broking, mortgages, institutional trading and execution only broking plus much more.

Barclays have weathered the financial crisis reasonably well, they chose not to accept a government bail out, and instead recapitalized the bank by raising funds from the Qatari and Abu Dhabi royal families amongst others.

Recently they acquired the assets of the defunct Lehman Brothers Bank at a knock down price, their name now shines brightly in downtown New York.


Fees & Commissions

Charge per Trade £12.95
Frequent traders rate £6.95
Quarterly Inactivity Fee
Telephone Fee per trade £50.00



Barclays website is a little on the complicated side, It’s not surprising considering the number of services they offer. Trying to navigate around it and find what you’re looking for is a bit of a nightmare.

Fortunately Barclays use sub domains for all their different services so you can access Barclays stockbrokers directly at which should save you hunting around for it every time.

This doesn’t excuse the fact that Barclays have an insanely complicated product portfolio. In terms of trading accounts alone there are over nine different options to choose from.

To test out their service I decided to sign-up for a standard MarketMaster account with an optional International Trader account, this enables me to trade over 12,000 equities on 26 major global exchanges and 18 international markets.


Trading Tools

Once you’ve signed up for an account you get free access to Barclays web trading platform which unusually doesn’t have a name. This just goes to show, Barclays is a serious bank for serious traders.

You can trade all Barclays investment products via this platform with the exception of CFDs for which you’ll have to open a separate CFD account. There’s also a fully customizable professional platform available for serious traders, this does have a name it’s called BARX.

BARX gives you full level 2 data, live streaming pricing, up to the minute news feeds from six of the major providers including Dow Jones Newswire and in-depth market research and analysis.



BARX is a premium platform that comes with a fee; which is reduced the more you trade. If you trade more than 25 times a quarter then the fee is waived altogether. You can also add modules to BARX enabling you to trade CFDs, foreign exchange and equities markets.

For the purposes of this review I’m going to concentrate on the standard web based platform, mainly because my boss won’t cough up the extra fee for BARX.

The standard web platform is both easy to use and navigate around, it’s not the easiest platform I’ve ever used but after dealing with their website I was quite surprised how efficient it was.

When executing a trade you can choose from a multitude of order types including Quote & Deal, Limit, At Best, Stop Orders and Trailing Stop Orders. You can also combine order types which is useful as part of a flexible trading strategy helping you to protect your trades no matter which way the market moves.

There isn’t a live news feed built in but you can purchase a subscription from Barclays Investment Research, which isn’t from Barclays at all it’s supplied by Digital Look, or upgrade to the more comprehensive BARX platform.

I’d consider myself an intermediate trader and I have to say I found myself constantly wishing I had access to the tools from the BARX platform, but for a smaller trader or beginner the standard platform should suffice.



  • Easy to use base platform
  • Excellent tool-set from the BARX platform
  • Reasonable pricing for active traders



  • Complicated service offering
  • Difficult to navigate website
  • Quarterly inactivity fee



The BARX platform is excellent and provides experienced traders with all the tools they need to execute trades profitably. It has a professional look and feel to it, there’s no Mickey Mouse graphics to detract from the trading like you find from some other firms.

The basic web based platform is nothing special but it has everything the basic trader needs. To be honest this is a good thing as all too often, beginners are overawed by the sheer number of tools available from a more professional platform.

Would I recommend Barclays? Yes I Would, they’re a professional broker with a good reputation. If you’re a beginner I think you’re probably better off choosing one of the smaller brokers to start with.

But if you’re an intermediate trader with a significant amount of money to invest then Barclays are a good choice. If nothing else you’ll be able to take advantage of all the other services they offer.

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