Investor Event

Youinvest Revise Charges

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AJBell Youinvest, one of the more popular low cost retail brokers, are revising their client charges. These might mean some substantial changes for some clients because of the introduction of a custody charge based on a percentage of investments held. However there is an upper limit of £25 per quarter for a SIPP or £7.50 for an ISA and the previous SIPP custody charge of £25 per quarter is being scrapped. There will also be a “tiered” custody charge for funds which will replace a previous standard percentage charge – the bigger your portfolio, the smaller percentage charge that applies in future.

They have provided a link to enable you calculate the cost impact on your existing holdings and it shows how their costs will compare with other well known platform operators. Certainly for larger holdings they would appear to remain very competitive.

Perhaps any clients of Youinvest who are reading this note might like to comment on the impact (the fact it has been announced in the middle of August when many of their clients may be on holiday suggests that the company may be wishing to avoid publicity on the matter).

From this writer’s experience the Youinvest service is both efficient in administration and low cost. However one gripe is that they do not enfranchise their nominee shareholders, i.e. provide an easy way to vote your shares at General Meetings, or provide information. In that regard therefore I favour other brokers who do.

Roger Lawson

  1. Brian says:

    While they unfortunately don’t offer Personal Crest, that’s perhaps understandable given that their origin was SIPP provision, where it isn’t possible. It also isn’t possible in ISAs. They are one of the best brokers at providing Letters of Representation free of charge and efficiently, and allow holders to vote their shares with minimal effort, either via their corporate actions section, or via secure message. The main negatives I find with their service is their telephone dealing service is weak, and their website isn’t great – recent changes to upgrade the website have added complexity and fragmentation, without adding useful function.
    Overall, in terms of value for money, if you don’t require a good telephone service, they’re difficult to beat.

  2. marben100 says:

    I have also been a longstanding client of AJ Bell’s, for my SIPP and agree 100% with Brian’s comments: never a problem getting LoR’s or voting shares: simply request it via their secure messaging service. AFAICS the changes to their charging structure for equity investments won’t make any difference to me, as I already pay £25/qtr and under the new regime my charges will remain capped at £25. However, for any clients who hold OEICs or similar funds, the changes could be substantial, as there doesn’t appear to be cap any more so, for example £200,000 held in funds will now cost £500 p.a. (previously capped at £200 p.a.) – another reason to prefer investment trusts or ETFs to funds.

    Mark Bentley

    • sharesoc says:

      Yes but there is no automated system for collecting votes which means you have to manually instruct them and then tell them how you want to vote each resolution which is very tedious and not practical. Likewise they don’t tell you about upcoming AGMs, or notify you when annual reports are available or send you copies. This is not nearly as convenient as some other brokers and could be automated.
      Roger Lawson

  3. Connor Davidson says:

    I am currently steaming about this. I have been building up a portfolio of shares which I bought when there was no custody charge. AJ Bell is now applying the charge to shares I bought years ago. For example if you spent £100 buying ten shares for £10,000 you did not have to pay anything to keep these. Now they say give us £30 a year or pay £250 to transfer them. I actually opened my account because there was no custody charge! They should not be allowed to levy this charge on shares bought when there was no charge. It’s outrageous.

    It’s like buying a car for £10,000 then getting told years down the line that there is now a £2.50/month ownership charge which you don’t have to pay if you pay £250 to transfer your car to another dealer.

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