Best Investment Platforms

What are the best investment platforms in 2024? Find out more with our guide below.

Updated: June 5, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

Elizabeth Anderson

Edited By

Elizabeth Anderson

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If you're new to investing, you’ll want to choose an investment platform that’s right for you — ideally one that is low-cost, simple to use and with good educational material.

Before going any further, it's worth mentioning that the vast majority of retail investors who attempt to become day traders lose a substantial amount of money, and the entire process can be incredibly emotionally draining if you're not careful.

Most investment platforms can only take you so far, and you need a degree of trading nous to make any money in the markets.

For a longer-term perspective, you may want to stick with a handful of investments and hold them for a number of years. You could invest in stocks, bonds or funds.

A fund will invest in a mixture of stocks and bonds (or one or the other), increasing your exposure to different investments rather than selecting individual companies.

With that in mind, we'll walk through all you need to know about investment platforms within this article.

When investing, your capital is at risk and you may get back less than invested. Past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

1. Plus500★★★★★Learn more
2. XTB★★★★★Learn more
3. Pepperstone★★★★★Learn more
4. eToro★★★★★Learn more
5. Trading 212★★★★★Learn more
6. Interactive Investor★★★★Learn more
7. Coinbase★★★★Learn more
8. Kraken★★★★Learn more

Best Investment Platform in the UK — Reviews

In this section of the article, we'll be breaking down our top 7 investment platforms in the UK where you can start trading with today with a fairly small amount of money.

Again, it's worth reiterating before moving forward that regardless of the quality each of the options on this list displays, the potential to lose substantial amounts of money is always there and should be taken seriously.

Having said that, let's look at some of the options below.

1. Plus500 — Best UK Based Investment Platform in 2024

80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Plus500 launched in 2008 and has ultimately become a household name among traders of any experience level since then. The platform is used in over 50 different countries by around 300,000 active customers. The company is listed on the FTSE 250 index.

You know where you're at with Plus500 in terms of its pricing structure since it's fairly simple. There are no trading fees, but it makes money through “market spreads” and currency conversion fees.

Just keep in mind that you'll be charged up to $10 (£8) per month if your account lays dormant for a period of at least three months, so try to remain active or close your account to avoid any unnecessary expenses. 

Finally, the minimum investment for retail investor accounts being around £100 isn't exactly ideal if you've got limited resources and only want to invest a small amount. 

Still, Plus500 has ultimately become a household name among traders of any experience level since then, and it's a platform used in over 50 different countries across 22 million different people.


✔️ Able to choose from 2,000 different CFD assets.

✔️ Listed on the London Stock Exchange's FTSE 250 index.

✔️ Provides access to leverage — just be very careful with this if you're a beginner.

✔️ Comes with a demo account.


❌️ Minimum deposit of £100.

❌️ Offers CFDs, which are high risk.

2. XTB — A Large Broker With a Range of Investment Instruments

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

We included XTB as number two on this list for its range of investment benefits. Research told us that this investment platform was founded in 2002, meaning it has been around for many years — 18 to be precise. We found that it has more than 935,000 investors, and noticed that XTB is a popular investment platform.

Now, when we look at the investment perks, you'll see that 5,600 instruments are available with this platform. We found that it features stocks and exchange traded finds, forex instruments, commodities and indices. In terms of pricing, we noticed that there is no commission fee for monthly turnover that equates to €100,000 (£85,447.45) or less.

It's important to know that if you make a withdrawal worth below £50, you will have to pay a £5 withdrawal fee. But the good news is that we found that it costs nothing to open an XTB account, and in most cases, account maintenance is also free. If you don't make a transaction within 365 days, we learned that XTB will charge you £10 each month.

What makes XTB an excellent investment platform is its investing courses, customer support, and market news. The investing courses provide videos on how to make wise investments, and customer support offers services at all hours a day for five days during the week. The market news, which comes from the XTB expert research team, will ensure you’re up to date with current market insights.


✔️ More than 5,600 instruments available to trade.

✔️ Leveraged CFD instruments are available to give you more buying power.

✔️ 0% commission for stocks and ETFs worth up to €100,000 (£85,447.45).

✔️ The Financial Services Compensation Scheme protects your funds worth up to £85,000.


❌️ Small withdrawal fees may apply in some cases.

3. Pepperstone — Great for Spread Betting, Forex and CFDs

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.2% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

In the realm of online trading, Pepperstone stands out as a premier platform for seasoned traders focused on forex, CFDs*, and spread betting. It is particularly effective for those adept at strategic trading and using complex trading interfaces. Pepperstone provides access to well-known trading platforms including cTrader, MetaTrader 4 (MT4), and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), serving both individual and corporate clients.

On these platforms, traders can utilise a range of indicators and customisable charts to trade various instruments such as currencies, stocks, and commodities. At Pepperstone, the fees for spread betting depend on the account type, with the entry-level account offering zero commission, incorporating all trading costs into the spread itself.

Pepperstone offers most of its markets commission-free for those with raw accounts, though some fees might start at over £2. Funding options are diverse, including PayPal, credit cards, and bank transfers.

Renowned for its robust educational offerings and thorough market analysis, Pepperstone equips traders with the resources necessary to make well-informed decisions. The platform supports 24-hour trading during the US earnings season and is known for its strong liquidity, ensuring prompt execution without requotes.

4. eToro — Best Option for Multi-Asset Investment Platforms

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. {etoroCFDrisk}% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

eToro ultimately has a bit of everything — making it the most well-rounded investment platform on our list.

Put simply, this is a platform that was made directly for retail investors, tailoring pretty much all of its services and features to those with less experience in mind — even allowing you to start trading with only a relatively small initial investment.

In terms of loading your account with funds, it's generally pretty easy with eToro, too, since it accepts more or less every UK debit card — as well as other methods like digital wallets or bank transfers too.

From here, you'll gain access to over 3,000 companies if you're mainly looking for shares, but they've also got a vast range of other financial assets that you can trade, too — whether it's bonds or ready-made funds.

The real appeal of eToro for a beginner investor has to be its famous Copy Trading feature, which, as the name might suggest, gives you an opportunity to mimic some of the most profitable traders in the space without having to do any of the work yourself.

Naturally, this can be exceptionally useful if you're a newcomer who isn't particularly confident in their own trading abilities yet. But you don't want to become too reliant on this feature, as it’s still useful to do your own research and make your own decisions. 


✔️ Commission-free stock trading.

✔️ Can choose from a huge selection from a variety of different markets.

✔️ Set up a smart portfolio that's professionally managed so you can invest passively.

✔️ Can buy fractional shares.


❌️ The Copy Trading feature may lead to losses.

5. Trading 212 — The Cheapest Services

When investing, your capital is at risk and you may get back less than invested. Past performance doesn’t guarantee future results.

Like eToro, Trading 212 also doesn’t charge commission on trades.

The platform also offers plenty of resources if you're a beginner who needs the extra support. The eToro is also used by plenty of advanced traders, too — as reflected by the sheer range of CFDs and various financial assets you can invest in.

Furthermore, customer service can often be lacking with some of the larger platforms in the UK because of the number of people using the app, but it's certainly not something that's lacking with Trading 212.

Generally speaking, there are far more positives to cover regarding this trading platform than there are negatives, so let's break some of these down.


✔️ Commission-free trading.

✔️ Plenty of choice in terms of investment options, like CFDs, as well as more traditional choices.

✔️ Foreign exchange fees are very manageable (0.15%) and can trade in various currencies too.

✔️ Offers an ISA.

✔️ Mobile app is very intuitive.

✔️ Plenty of educational resources to become a better trader.

✔️ Customer service is better than average.

✔️ No minimum investment amounts.

✔️ You're able to trade fractional shares.


❌️ No personal pension (SIPP).

6. Interactive Investor — Best for Account Diversity

Investment value can go up or down and you could get back less than you invest. If you're in any doubt about the suitability of a Stocks & Shares ISA, you should seek independent financial advice. The tax treatment of this product depends on your individual circumstances and may change in future. If you are uncertain about the tax treatment of the product you should contact HMRC or seek independent tax advice.

What’s good about Interactive Investor is that you have a very wide range of investments to choose from — including access to 40,000 global stocks and 3,000 funds.

Interactive Investor also offers a wide range of accounts, including SIPPs, Junior ISAs, and Stocks and Shares ISAs.

Interactive Investor charges a management fee of £4.99 a month for users with a portfolio value up to £50,000. For those with values above this, the fee is £11.99 a month.

The cost per trade is £3.99, although this is reduced to £0 for regular investments.


✔️ Flat fee structure makes the platform good value for those with large portfolios.

✔️ Commission-free dealing for regular investments of at least £25 a month.


❌️ The fixed fees work out expensive for those investing small amounts.

7. Coinbase — Best for Cryptocurrency Beginners

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 minutes to learn more.

Moving forward, let's cover an exchange that's specifically geared towards any of the crypto enthusiasts reading — Coinbase, one of the most successful crypto investment platforms in the UK and worldwide.

Fortunately, it's a platform that's mostly geared towards beginners, which is demonstrated by the fact that you can only trade spot — meaning no leveraged trades, CFD, futures contracts, or margin.

As such, it generally makes Coinbase slightly limited in regard to its versatility, but that appears to be the point — provide a simple service where you're (slightly) less likely to lose money, rather than the same kind of service a platform like Binance provides.

Having said that, for all its simplicity, it's still a fairly expensive exchange in terms of its fees — coming with a 3.99% fee for every crypto investment you want to make with a debit card, for instance.

Though this figure does take the trading commission into account, it's obviously still a major deterrent if you're depositing substantial sums of cash — not to mention the additional 1% trading commission that comes whenever you want to sell your crypto.


✔️ Plenty of deposit options, including UK debit card and wire transfer.

✔️ Over 250 different cryptocurrencies to trade.

✔️ Can use the Coinbase mobile app to store your crypto.

✔️ Excellent security.


❌️ Excessively high deposit fee at 3.99%.

8. Kraken — Most Secure Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

Don't invest unless you're prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 minutes to learn more.

Finally, our last trading platform is another cryptocurrency option — Kraken. 

Kraken comes with exceptionally cheap fees, starting at just 0.16% for any transaction you make.

If you're a slightly more experienced investor who likes to day trade primarily, you'll definitely value these fees being so low, given that you may place multiple trades in a day.

We touched on earlier about how the cryptocurrency space is less regulated and secure than other financial markets, so any crypto exchange that hasn't faced a major security breach is definitely worth noting. Kraken has won awards for its standard of security. 

You can get started on Kraken with only $1 — allowing you to access a market with over 220 different cryptocurrency options, even making use of things like margin and other leveraged coins to amplify your trades.

Still, you'll have to upgrade to their Kraken Pro service if you want to access the tools they provide for technical analysis and charting, so it may not be the most appropriate platform for beginner investors.


✔️ Impressive trading fees.

✔️ Highly secure, and they keep 95% of their users' crypto in cold wallets.

✔️ Vast selection of crypto assets to trade.


❌️ Relatively high debit card deposit fee of 3.75%.

What Is an Investment Platform?

Let's explore what an investment platform actually is. Although it may sound fairly self-explanatory, these services often come with a host of different features.

At their core, investment platforms are basically just a digital marketplace that gives you an opportunity to get involved with a bunch of different financial markets — allowing you to set up and manage an investment portfolio across various asset classes.

It ultimately depends on the specific platform that you've chosen, but most of the options we'll be covering on the list later give you access to a wide selection of investment options — ranging from more traditional options such as stocks and shares to trading platforms that offer high-risk contract for differences (CFDs).

Just for an additional bit of context, a stocks and shares ISA (or Individual Savings Account) is essentially just a trading account that you can use to invest in a variety of assets, including stocks and shares. You won’t have to worry about capital gains tax or income tax, so you should ideally start with a stocks and shares ISA. Be aware you can pay up to £20,000 into ISAs each tax year.

Multi-Asset Trading Platforms

We briefly touched on the term “multi-asset trading platform” before, but it's worth sharing a little bit more insight regarding what these actually are before we move forward — given that several of the platforms we'll be covering later on in the article fall under this category.

When you think of investing, you are more likely to think of stock or fund trading before anything else. But there are actually some trading platforms out there that let you get involved in a range of different asset classes — giving you access to bonds, commodities, crypto, futures contracts and various other funds.

In terms of why this is important, some of the more popular trading platforms out there focus heavily on one particular asset class rather than a host of them — Binance, for instance, is a trading platform that only lets you trade cryptocurrency and DeFi assets.

Crucially, this doesn't make Binance worse by default than, say, eToro (a multi-asset trading platform) simply because it doesn't offer the same range of financial assets as the platform — it’s just better equipped for one particular asset class instead.

So, try to only compare the individual asset class that the platform you're considering specialises in when you're shopping around for investment brokers.

How Do Investment Platforms Work?

So, now that we've got most of the fundamentals out of the way, let's take a closer look at how investment platforms actually work.

At their core, they all more or less work exactly the same way — the only major differences are often just the user interface and the odd novel feature here and there.

Let's start with how to get started with your account, as the setup process tends to be fairly similar across the board.

Account Creation and Onboarding

Setting up a trading account, general investment account or stocks and shares ISA is your gateway to the financial markets and being able to executive your first trade.

If you're someone who appreciates the anonymity of cryptocurrency and doesn't like to hand over their personal information, you'll have to search for a specific trading platform that doesn't require KYC (Know Your Customer) onboarding requirements since you'll often have to hand over a few financial details at this stage.

In some cases, though this is fairly harmless, you're also required to complete a risk assessment questionnaire before you're actually able to trade so that the platform can tailor an investment strategy to your particular risk tolerance.

Navigating the Digital Landscape

The specific length of the process can vary depending on your platform. But it's normally not that long — perhaps a few minutes — unless you have an issue verifying your identity.

Once you've registered, you'll be sent to a dashboard where you can now select the financial asset you wish to trade.

Make sure you're getting a feel for the accessibility and user-friendliness of whichever platform you're using, as you'll definitely want to feel comfortable navigating your platform when you make time-sensitive trades with potentially large sums of money — regardless of whether you're a novice or seasoned trader.

Execution of Trades and Portfolio Management

Trading naturally relies on real-time decisions, so you're going to want your platform to be able to execute trades and allow you to manage your portfolio without any kind of delay.

Fortunately, most platforms are helpful on the accessibility front, and you'll often see plenty of tools for setting investment goals, creating watchlists, and even automating certain aspects of portfolio management.

Key Features You Should Look Out for

So, now that you're a bit more familiar with how to actually operate one of these trading platforms let's delve into some of the more distinctive features that set them apart from other, more traditional, methods of investing.

Capital Gains Tax Considerations: Navigating Tax Implications

Before we go any further, it's worth getting out of the way that tax is an unavoidable part of trading. So being able to manage some of the implications of expenses, such as capital gains tax, is a major part of becoming a successful trader.

Thankfully, you'll often find plenty of tools to calculate all of your potential tax liabilities before you actually execute your trade. So these platforms can definitely help you take a more responsible approach to investing since they seem to recognise the significance of minimising the impact of tax on your profits.

Capital gains tax does not apply to money held in ISAs.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme: Ensuring Investor Protection

All trading platforms in the UK are legally required to adhere to  the regulations set by the Financial Conduct Authority. They should also be a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This means that you are eligible for some kind of compensation in the event that the platform becomes insolvent.

Obviously, this is a last resort solution that should only really serve as a backup safety net, but the FSCS definitely still provides an additional layer of security and reassurance for people that you wouldn't find otherwise.

At this point, it's worth mentioning that the cryptocurrency space is far less regulated in relation to traditional investment platforms that only focus on financial assets such as stocks and bonds. So you'll have to be a lot more vigilant regarding how safe the platform you select actually is if you're only interested in crypto.

Platform Fee Transparency: Clarity in Financial Transactions

Any trader with a bit of experience knows how frustrating it can be to see an initially appealing figure for your PnL (Profit net Loss), only for it to be drastically reduced by a bunch of hidden transaction fees you didn't expect to have to pay.

So, always be on the lookout for a low-cost investment platform with a transparent fee structure that clearly outlines all of its fees, leaving no room for potential hidden costs that could erode your investment returns over time.

It may seem like the bare minimum for trading platforms to be open about these costs. But unfortunately this isn't always the case. So being far more clear with their fees allows for a much more straightforward financial relationship with you, the investor — letting you confidently manage your portfolio with total awareness of all the associated costs.

Diverse Investment Options: Beyond Stocks and Shares

Finally, it's worth mentioning that when we're comparing multi-asset investment platforms, all the best ones don't simply provide one basic option for each financial instrument — there should be a range of different options to choose from, beyond more traditional trading vehicles like stocks and shares.

Try to look for a platform that'll give you an opportunity to invest in things such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and investment trusts. These will allow you to make a diversified portfolio that's not too exposed to one particular asset.

Again, this is ultimately something that you'll value in the future in terms of sticking to your risk tolerance and investment goals, given that you'll be able to adopt a much more personalised and adaptable investment strategy.

Pros and Cons of Trading Platforms in the UK


Kicking things off, let's start positively because although the threat of losing money rapidly in the financial markets is certainly a disadvantage for the majority of people, it's not exactly the fault of the trading platform itself in most cases — hence why so many more of the experienced investors tend not to be dissuaded by the disadvantages.

User-Friendly Interface ✔️

There is a very high standard of user-friendliness across the board when it comes to trading platforms. They generally offer an intuitive environment for you if you're a novice trader, regardless of your level of expertise.

Aside from this, you'll generally find that the platform tries to make it as easy as possible for you to execute trades, given that they want your money — naturally, the ability to manage your portfolio effortlessly comes with this, too.

Diverse Investment Options ✔️

You will still find plenty of investment options if you're using one of these platforms for the first time — whether you're interested in crypto, stocks, bonds, ETFs, or another kind of financial instrument.

Of course, this is only the case if you're using a multi-asset investment platform, such as eToro, rather than a trading service that's explicitly built around one particular asset.

Even then, you'll find plenty of different ways of trading that asset if you are using a platform like Binance that only focuses on cryptocurrency — through futures contracts, margin, and spot trading.

Ultimately, this just means you're able to keep your portfolio as well-rounded as possible, hopefully keeping you insulated in case of any market crashes.

Real-Time Market Data and Research Tools ✔️

You’ll want to be armed with real-time market data when you're doing your due diligence/charting before executing a trade. The good news is that most platforms provide you with these basic research tools.

Interactive Investor, for instance, is a good option when it comes to up-to-the-minute information for all of your charts and technical analysis. But you'll find that the vast majority of trading platforms all have features like this.

Competitive Fund Costs Ranging Across Platform ✔️

Lastly, and although this isn't always true for every trading platform, you should still hopefully find that most services keep transaction costs at a minimum — although they do tend to range across various options. If you are starting small, look into percentage-based fees or commission-free trading.


Aside from the short disclaimer at the start of the article, we've only really talked positively about trading platforms so far.

Still, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to steer clear of these kinds of services entirely — especially if you're a novice retail investor with incredibly minimal experience in the financial markets — so let's explore a few of the disadvantages below.

Technical Glitches and Downtime ❌️

Kicking things off, it's worth mentioning that despite the advancements in technology and prestige of a lot of these trading platforms, not one of them is immune to the occasional technical glitch or downtime.

Now, it goes without saying that this can become massively frustrating if you're using the platform at the same during a crucial moment. The ability to be able to execute can genuinely be the difference between life changing profit and your portfolio being wiped, so you need to bear how reliable the technical infrastructure of the platform you decide to use is.

Learning Curve for New Investors ❌️

Of course, the majority of trading platforms aim to be as user-friendly as possible, but there's often still a massive learning curve for new investors who are a bit less familiar with the platform — regardless of whether you're using copy trading features or not.

Generally speaking, coming to terms with advanced market dynamics and utilising the vast array of features shoved in your face can be a bit overwhelming if you're a beginner. It's essential that you invest a bit of time into learning the ins and outs of the platform so you're able to fully maximise its potential.

Risk of Overtrading ❌️

Again, this may be something that affects the novice traders with less experience more than anyone else, but the ease of executing trades on trading platforms can actually be a double-edged sword at some points, given how easy it is to over trade.

Even the more seasoned investor accounts can succumb to the temptation of excessive buying and selling based on market fluctuations or emotions.

As such, the importance of discipline and strategy is as clear as ever.

Limited Personalised Guidance ❌️

Finally, although we've mentioned that a lot of platforms tend to offer some educational resources to help the newcomers out, the general quality of personalised support you'll receive is probably going to be fairly limited.

Ultimately, platforms are not financial advisors or trading gurus — they just supply some of the most basic insights into technical analysis and the trading world in general. That's not to say they're without merit; it just means you'll definitely want to consume these educational resources alongside some additional financial planning or advisory services.

Final Thoughts

To wrap the article up, it’s difficult to provide a clear answer on the best trading platform for you. There are simply too many variables to consider, from your specific trading style to how much experience you already have in investing.

Having said that, there are definitely some options on the list that we've broken down in our review section that might be more beneficial to certain kinds of traders. eToro, for instance, is a quality option if you're in the market for a multi-asset investment platform rather than something that focuses entirely on cryptocurrency, such as Coinbase.

Ultimately, just make sure that if you’re a newcomer to the world of trading — whether it’s in the cryptocurrency market or stock trading market — you understand that education comes before anything.

You’re generally competing against the most profitable and experienced individuals in the world who have seemingly limitless resources behind them, so don’t be naive enough to believe you can compete without a clear idea of what you’re doing.

Fortunately, all of the options we've covered come with plenty of educational resources that you can utilise to improve your trading skills, so don't go into any of these services treating them like a casino — apply a bit of technical analysis, and you'll go a long way.


When choosing which investment platforms to include in this article, we prioritised:

  • Easy access to UK customers
  • Regulated by the FCA
  • Positive reviews outweighing negative reviews
  • First-hand experience
  • Great mobile app

The information we provide is objective and independent. It is our own personal opinions, based on first-hand knowledge or wider customer reviews.

CompareBanks makes its money through advertising and partnerships. This means we may make money if you sign up to that product through a link on our website. You will not have to pay us anything at all, so there are no catches or hidden extras involved when using CompareBanks.

The price and value of investments and their income fluctuates: you may get back less than the amount you invested. If you are unsure about the suitability of a particular investment or think that you need a personal recommendation, you should speak to a suitably qualified financial adviser. Please note, the tax treatment of these products depends on the individual circumstances of each customer and may be subject to change in future. If you are uncertain about the tax treatment of the products you should contact HMRC or seek independent tax advice.

Related Guides:


Can Educational Resources Really Impact My Investment Success?

How Do Platform Fees Impact My Overall Investment Returns?

How Can Investors Manage Emotions During Long-Term Trading?

How Does Long-Term Trading Differ From Short-Term Trading, and What Are The Advantages?

Is Long-Term Trading Suitable for All Types of Assets, or Are There Specific Markets That Align Better With This Strategy?

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