“ Share-price look-up and new issues information, with details of execution-only stock dealing by telephone and fee- and commission-based advisory services. „
Ladies and Gents, there are hundreds of Stockbrokers out there, and there is absolutely NO justification to use Barclays. You're probably thinking that being a big, 'reliable' brand that your funds will somehow be in safer hands. Simply the opposite is true. All it means is that these guys are experts in ripping you off and fobbing you off, transposing all their knowledge from retail banking into stockbroking. I fully support all the other Barclays complaints mentioned in previous reviews but to boot, for me, I have lost about £400 in charges ALONE thanks to their cleverly deceptive layout which misleads you as to what you owe and what you're being charged for. Just stay away from them.
Only once I was stung on more than one occasion did I stop and question: Why did I go with these guys in the first place? Then I realised that it's your natural inclination to trust companies like Barclays because they're a household name. However in this industry that's all the more reason to stay away from them. Parasites.
If you move abroad forget it - Barclays are unable to cope with changes of address. They will confirm your details then reject them. They don't know what they are doing doing or how to apply their own rules. They will transfer money then refuse to do so eight months later.Much better to use HSBC who are a truly global bank. I've been using Barclays for 30 years but my experience with their stockbrokers has been so bad I have closed all my Barclays accounts.
I chose to open a MarketMaster account as I had a pre-existing bank account with Barclays and assumed it would be easier.
Barclays online trading platform is good for beginners and those that trade infrequently as it is very simple to use and provides the necessary functionality to execute your trades easily. There are some nice features which allow you to buy or sell shares(s) at a prefixed price so when the price gets to that level it will automatically execute the trade for you. This is particularly useful if you do not want to sit in front of the screen all day watching a graph.
I do not have anything to compare it against but the online platform in my opinion was simple and effective enough for my needs (perhaps trade once a week/ fortnight). A feature which seemed to be useful is that they give you a 10 second window in which to accept or decline a price meaning you have a few seconds to change your mind. They state that when the trade is executed they work to make sure you get the best price which can be marginally better than what you were initially quoted.
After each trade, you will receive a confirmation electronically and in the post for your records. This is useful, should you need to declare your earnings from investments for whatever purpose you may have.
Transfering money between bank and share accounts seem to work effectively and I have not had a problem to date.
Trading online through Barclays stockbrokers is not the cheapest option and is more expensive than other mainstream banks. However, the costs does go down if you trade frequently. This makes it more competitive with the others but still a premium per trade compared to the other online platforms available.
You do not have the ability to trade shares in other markets via the online platform such as NASDAQ or DOW. You are limited to the UK. This is a limiting feature as HSBC which charge less per trade also from the start let you trade on a number of different markets.
Should you need to make trades via the telephone, then it gets even less competitive and the prices you pay seem very much bloated compared to III.
There is also an inactivity charge should you not trade in the quarter. This seem particularly harsh seeing as Barclays charge more per trae than others and said others do not have an inactivity fee.
If you bank with Barclays, it may be worth paying slightly more just for the ease and simplicity. However, other cheaper platforms offer more competitive packages and do not charge an excess of fees for inactivity, telephone trades and other markets that Barclays deem appropriate.
I created my ISA account with Barclay's stock brokers back in May 2009. Initially I find them excellent as my trade frequency was maybe once a month. Later I open Marketmaster account and started trading daily now my trade frequency was almost once or twice a day that's the time when there system starts falling apart. As a day trade I rely heavily on the portfolio tool on the move I will check percentage change as soon as I get to my target profit of day I will sell my holding. Unfortunately Barclays system was reporting wrong percentages and was showing me in profit too early where as my holding was still in loss (I never realise that problem) un till one day when system was showing that My Barclays holding is (+17,579.60%) up and my purchase value is some kind of random value, I ring up Barclays stockbrokers to ask them what's going on in my portfolio, the customer service agent told me we don't know the value of your holding and you give us value and we can update system. Now this is not the answer I was expecting although lady was polite and trying to help but I was not convinced that company like Barclays can say that we don't know your purchase value where as they are managing all my money, I send them email asking them about problem and fix. I received a reply after about 48 hours that problem occurred because my trade frequency is too high, in that case if system lost track it will only download updated values overnight, and now my portfolio has be update with overnight calculation I was happy with response. I returned home in evening and decide to go through all my trades and calculate all values myself but nothing was matching up One of my holding was showing me in profit where as I was actually in loss of £521.71, other one was showing me in loss where as I was in profit. I reply that email back that problem still exist, I never receive any reply, after 2 weeks I send another email I never receive replay.
In short if you are frequent trader stay well away, they have good customer service agents as long as you don't ask for service, if you have any complain, complaints are handled by same people who you are complaining about.
I have been managing my personal share portfolio online with Barclays Stockblokers for nearly three years now. They offer a range of accounts tailored to suit different types of investor.
I opened a "MarketMaster" account, which is the simplest one aimed at people who trade infrequently. Your portfolio can include shares, funds, covered warrants, bonds and investment notes (derivative products that are structured to look like a bond and are based on a specified underlying security, such as the FTSE-100 index, or a basket of securities). The commission structure is simple: £12 per transaction for the first ten transactions in any quarter, then £7.50 per transation. The commission sounds quite high, but, as it is a fixed amount, the larger your transaction is the smaller it is as a percentage. I consider £1000 to be the minimum value of a transaction, for which £12 represents a 1.2% charge. If you want to deal by phone the commission is more expensive, starting at £17.50 per transaction. There is also a £9 administration charge per quarter.
The other trading accounts include the "Frequent Trader Club", which is aimed at people who trade more frequently or have larger transactions. This appears to be very similar to the MarketMaster account, but, they also send you monthly share-dealing newsletters via e-mail.
There are also accounts aimed at companies and investment clubs, and there are special accounts for dealing in spread bets, CFDs (Contracts For Difference) and self-select ISAs.
It is worth noting that the share accounts are "nominee" accounts. That is, you don't own the shares, but Barclays owns them on your behalf. If you just want to invest this distinction is academic, as all cash flows are identical to the case where you do own the shares. However, some companies offer shareholders special privileges, and you might be wanting to own a share for the privilege it confers. In some cases, Barclays will pass the privilege on to you if you request it, but it is not automatic and it is not true in all cases. When you open your account they send you a list of all companies where they can pass the privilege on to you.
The web site itself is easy and intuitive to use. A home page lists all the accounts you have; the page for a given account lists the securities in your portfolio with the purchace cost, current value and change shown for each (as well as for the portfolio as a whole). You can also get histories of your deals and of the account cash flows.
There is a "research" section that gives a lot of information about the whole market, sectors and individual shares: news, analyst recomendations, details of todays dealing, analytical charts and so on. Of particular use are the Stock Screening Tools. These allow you to filter down the whole universe of stocks to a managable handful using a wide range of criteria. Whether you want to screen based on balance sheet fundamentals, recent price performance or analyst estimates of next years yield, it is all in there.
When you want to deal shares, the process is very simple. Most simply, you enter which share, buy/sell and the quantity. You are then given a quote that is valid for 15 seconds, which is enough time for you to check over the details while a big red counter counts down the seconds. Simply hit the button to carry out the deal or let the timer expire. That is a "quote and deal" transaction type; for the more adventurous there are other transaction types, e.g. a "limit order" allows you to specify a price you want to deal at. The deal will only go ahead if the specified price is reached.
Finally, it is easy to transfer cash both in and out of your account. Put it in via a credit/debit card transaction; withdraw it as an electronic transfer to a bank account that you designated when you opened your trading account.
On the recommendation of others I have always used Barclays Stockbrokers for any share purchases or sales (normally sales, admittedly). I was tempted to go online for recent transactions, but given that share transactions normally involve a considerable amount of money I stuck with the phone lines for the moment. Before you begin to trade with Barclays Stockbrokers you need to register. This is very simple and they will send you a welcome pack, although you can trade before that arrives as they will give you your reference number over the telephone, along with the telephone number to trade itself. Upon using this number you can use a couple of voice activated menus to obtain a share price. Should this be to your liking you can take the option of speaking to an operator. On a recent occasion I did choose to speak to one and make a transaction. The operator was very helpful. She was able to use their Price Improver to ensure I got a better price, but this only appeared to be for the time when I was on the phone with them. I was also quite taken aback by their commission rate, which is quite high in my opinion at 1.5%. If you add on transfer stamp duties on a purchase and you end up paying quite a lot on top of just your shares. Finally they were very good in sending documents out to me quickly. My welcome pack arrived in the following day's post, as did the contract for my transaction. This was especially helpful, as I was able to return the necessary documents to them in plenty of time before the date they required them (I had nearly two full weeks to return documents to them, a very decent amount of time in my book). In summary I found the helpfulness of the phone operator and the prompt manner in which I received my paperwork to be the plus points of dealing with them, although to be honest I really feel their commission rate is too high to consider using them all the time if you are just an occasional trader. Given
the wealth of online traders operating with smaller commission rates I will probably use one of those next time.
This was my first introduction to share dealing in the UK and I must say that this service was appaling. I ohoned up to join the sharedeal account and they eventually took my deails (incorrectly I might add) after a long wait on the phone and then I was able to deal immediately. The phone lines are always jammed and have had massive queues on them. So to try and get though is always really frustrating. I tried to upgrade my account to a sharedeal plus and they sent me an applicaiton form with my deails already filled in (still incorrect) and I amended the form and enclosed a bill and a bank statement. They sent a letter a few days later asking for a bill and a bank statement. They had managed to lose my bill and bank statement and I understandably was annoyed so I phoned up and complained and apparently spoke to the person who had opened my envelope and he apparently distinctly remembered my lack of bill etc. I don't like being lied to and I do not like being treated this way. If they made a mistake and manged to lose my information, then I can get over that so long as they admit it. Instead they were so childish as to lie about it and have now lost my business. Avoid this company at all costs as far as I am concerned, and they never once managed to spell my name correctly.