On line bond trading

Are there brokers other than Interactive Investor where you can buy and sell Orb bond electronically as opposed to telephone dealing?


  • I should think most but definitely iDealing.
    Pretty sure Hargreaves Lansdown (I hold some in my account there so can't imagine why not, unless I transferred them in some time ago)
  • YouInvest still rely on the telephone for their dealing in bonds
    Would prefer if they did migrate to electronic trading, as this would make it easier
    Hopefully it will be sometime shortly!
  • edited February 2020
    Hopefully you folks can instead move to stock trading which is electronic everywhere now : )

    Bonds being higher up in capital structure have less volatility and with various maturities have limited liquidity all along the term structure, and then this becomes self-fulfilling prophecy, dealers don't want to provide liquidity as they get stuck with the inventory, i mean they were having liquidity problems with treasuries what with all these capital charges from new regulations
  • Selftrade (soon to renamed Eqi) allow online trading for most bonds. Youinvest said that their systems could not handle accrued interest, so you can only trade over the phone, although they only charge the online rate !
  • Yeah, they are rebranding, it's about time, talk about inertia, haha -

    Selftrade is soon to have a new name and look

    Selftrade will be renamed EQi

    The EQi name brings us closer to our parent brand, Equiniti, a FTSE 250 listed company which has owned Selftrade for five years.
  • Argungaur,
    "Hopefully you folks can instead move to stock trading which is electronic everywhere now : )",
    Occasionally we do take a punt or two, my last one was Novacyt (Ticker code NCYT)
    More than doubled in two weeks
  • edited February 2020
    No not punt, that you can do on any gambling site or your local bucket shops

    I am talking about market timing where you are increasing or decreasing your holdings re valuation, it's much harder to do in bonds vs stocks, i mean i keep hearing of yields too high or too low, so buy this bond or sell that bond, this is much harder with low vol illiquid bonds, but with high vol liquid stocks you can do the same based on earnings or multiples being too high to too low
  • I have always wanted to learn different strategies on trading platforms
  • Hargreaves Lansdown charge £11.95 per trade for online trading. Very quick and efficient. I recently shifted all my bonds from Interactive Investor to HL after the Share Centre got taken over and II tried to charge me £50 per telephone trade.
  • We have been moved to Interactive Investor from Eqi and now face same problem

    Our PIBs, PSBs and Bonds all now have to be traded by telephone at £49 per trade plus the £7.99 commission

    ii have said they will not charge the telephone fee for dealing in those investments that were moved across - but I have yet to clarify whether that only applies to sales and not further purchases of those particular ones

    To move these to another broker would probably not be cost effective for us in the long run, (what with charges on the new platform) as the holdings are modest.

    We will just let the bonds mature out in time and leave the PIBs/PSBs to pass away when we do !

  • I've always been very happy with iDealing.com as far as bond/PIBs etc dealing is concerned.

    £9.99 online dealing charge.

    If I've ever needed to deal on the telephone (to get a better price or deal in larger amount) then they've been happy to do so and still only charged the online commission. If I've wanted to buy something not already available then I've just asked and they've made it available (did this yesterday for AXI which is not actually a bond but a bond IT).

    Wozzitworthit - if you've been forced to move, do you now get the option to move elsewhere at no cost? If not, I'd complain ,although not sure who to.
  • Wozzitworthit, did they really say securities moved from EQI will not be subject to the 49£ charge? They did not mention this when I asked them.
  • Woz, I'm in exactly the same position. Quoted £49 to deal on the phone. I have transferred to London South East where you can trade pibs etc on line. From what i recall you were allowed to transfer away from Interactive with no fees. Definately worth looking into
  • Capucino - what they said - on the telephone - was that they have marked my account so thatif I deal in those particular investments (Bonds, PIBs and PSBs), they will only charge usual online dealing fee. I asked about wife and they said she would have to make a request on her own understandably. I have nothing in writing.

    It was when the person I spoke to saw our relatively large holding (in terms of number of investments) that she asked me to hold whislt she spoke to another department

    It's not just the charge that riles me, it's the hassle of getting through listening to pre-recorded bumpf and also not being able to keep checking on price movements.
  • Laughton, Colin etc

    We were offered the chance to opt out of the transfer. I decided to wait and see what ii were like. Without doing much research I thought telephone fees were £40. The £49 plus & £7.99 was the straw !

    (I also glossed over in my mind what telephone calls to anyone these days were like, menus, announcements etc etc)

    Colin - did you transfer from Eqi to LSE or did you do so after transfer to ii ? Was it a painless process ?

    Laughton - I need to check to see whether we still have option to transfer free of charge having not taken up the offer before it was effected

    I'm still mulling it over as , like others have already said, retail bonds are getting few and far between now, and I am now using investment trusts much moe than I used to, hoping that their access to investments the likes of me can't buy and their skills (?!) will save me a few more white hairs

  • edited August 2021
    I was transferred from Eqi to ii and upon reading the previous comments I have attempted to get online prices on a selection of my fixed interest holdings. I succeeded in getting quotes for selling 1SBB and PFP2, but failed for LAD2 and LIV2.

    Like Woz, I am also looking more to ITs for future investments. I would probably let my bonds run to redemption, but there are times like the covid crash last year where I sold quite a few quickly online from my ii account, but was hindered with my SIPP with AJBell that required telephone trading.

    Thanks to you all for sharing your experiences, I will need to have a think about this as I do quite like the ii trading platform.
  • It's all very difficult with less and less issues available and brokers less and less willing to support the few issues left. Of course many that are left are legacy and increasingly classed as complex instruments and some of the brokers just aren't interested in providing a service for those, so put them on phone dealing.

    There may be some good news coming down the line in due course. I'm not sure I fully understand this so forgive me I if mislead. Some legislation may possibly go through parliament in the next year which would remove the £100k limit on corporate bonds and bring the minimum size down to something more appropriate

    This regrettably isn't the only problem though as retail customers currently get different prospectus's than corporate so they will need to be somehow aligned too. There's a bunch of other barriers in the way too, many of which are considerable.

    Then finally there's the thorny question of even if you sort all the barriers to retail bonds whether the brokers than run the books would want to deal with retail anyway as they currently aren't set up to do it.

    I am hopeful that in time we will see new issues, but I'm not hopeful on the timescale. The FCA and all the regulatory bodies move so slowly and what I think should be sorted in a week, seems to take years.
  • Several times I have sung the praises of Interactive Investor on this forum. No more.

    I just cannot understand why an expanding company that prides itself on its competiveness could do such a thing. It has to be because they are just no longer interested in retail bond trading and want eventually to get rid of it as much as possible. There ain’t enough in it for them.

    This has struck me at just the wrong time. I went hell bent for equities during the height of the covid crisis and now consider myself to be way overweight there and underweight in bonds. I will stick with II for the moment and have today moved into bond funds for the first time. What I least like about such funds is that they take all the fun out of investing.
  • Wozz, I started the transfer procedure early last week, so I'm hoping it's painless. I checked back on the literature Equiniti and then Interactive sent out. Interactive offer 'no exit fees'. They also made a price promise to equiniti transferees stating '
    if after 6 months you would have paid less online at Equiniti we will refund the difference',... however a further search of Interactive conditions reveals this does not cover phone charges !
    I don't at the moment trade very often so don't like shelling out every month for my and my wifes accounts but the thought of having to trade on the phone and all the waiting and mucking about did not sit happilly with me. Much prefer the online version
  • Colin

    Many thanks for that.

    I have at last , after your reply, gone back to the documentation that was sent out and it jogged my memory inasmuch as I had decided at that time to "give them a go" knowing there was a 6 month grace period where they would transfer out at no charge.

    (Quite how I had temporarily forgotten that I don't know, although there was a lot of other stuff going on in our lives at the time so I'll put it down to that rather than old age creeping up !)

    I am making a list of questions for London South East, one of which, you or others may have the answer to , is - do they normally partake in offering new retail bond issues?

    The fees seem extremely reasonable particularly as there are no standing charges and no "no dealing" fees.

    If there is anyone else on this forum that uses London South East I'd be grateful for any comments they might have about them.

    The six month offer re charges isn't enough to tempt me to stay with Interactive Investor. The telephone dealing for most of the fixed interest stuff is the biggest gripe, underlined by the excessive charges for same.


  • London south east is just a Jarvis in disguise. So it should be similar to x-o. They dont offer access to IPOs in general but sometimes they do. (never seen x-o give access to a new bond offering)
  • Capucino

    Yes ! - they also have ShareDeal active as yet another trading name - perhaps unsurprisingly they appear to have almost identical features and services as LSE. Some pages on the two sites are identical as far as the content goes

    However, ShareDeal active charge £50 p.a .plus VAT for ISA accounts and £15 + VAT for withdrawals

    In both cases withdrawals have to be arranged by email or telephone which seems a little antiquated in this day and age, but not a show stopper for me.

    I'm still making a list of questions I have for LSE

    The fact they might not routinely offer IPOs for new issue retail bonds is a minus

    Thanks for your input


  • Having been transferred over from EQi to II I was a bit concerned by comments about having to pay telephone dealing charges for bond dealing. I have regularly topped up holdings of bonds when I have cash in my ISA account. This morning I was considering either the Lendinvest 2022 or 2023. My initial attempted purchase of the 2023 (LIV2) produced the expected "must be done by telephone" message but the 2022 (LIV1) was offered at a reasonable price 1.01538 compared with a quoted 1.0005/1.0245. The deal was executed and my portfolio updated accordingly.
    I then tried a number of dummy deals and discovered that it was possible to deal online for PAG2, PFP2, 66WS, RGL1 and I then stopped looking! Whether the same bonds are always available for online dealing or not I don't know and, having been successful this morning, don't want to muddy the water by asking II directly.
  • Geoffp

    That's good news - and illustrates the benefits of boards such as this.

    I had tried a very few random bonds,PIBS etc a while ago and didn't get anywhere - but that was in the early days when I was feeling myself around the website

    But now, buoyed on by your findings I have managed to get some quotes.

    I seem to have found , so far, these scenarios

    1) Some are recognised by their EPIC code and I can continue to either get a quote or to be informed that it's a telephone trade.

    I think this is similar to Eqi where I either got a quote or I could fill in a form with maximum amount I was willing to pay and a dealer would then try, and ,if succcessful buy as many as poss or kill the request if there wasn't sufficient available ("fill or kill"). The charge for this was same as online dealing
    ii just say "Telephone" and you pay a premium for that !

    2) Some aren't recognised by their EPIC code by if I ignore that and carry on clicking I either get a quote (witht the correct name of the stock) or I am asked to telephone


  • More news ref PIB trading with Interactive Investor

    In summary I mentioned that not all of the PIBs we currently hold could be recognised on the trading screen

    I got this reply back within a few minutes

    Please note that a few months ago we have
    switched most of the PIBs which we trade to phone-only dealing. This is because
    we have had many errors where customer would place trades online and the wrong
    amount of interest would get added. We would then have to manually edit such
    trades. For this reason we have decided to only trade PIBs over the phone. If
    some are still allowed to be traded online is most likely because they have not
    been switched to phone-only trading yet.

    I thought that was a very honest reply and I respect them for that.

    I am now thinking of getting back to them to ask if, in a diplomatic way now they have extra account holders as a result of the EQi transfers, they could look into getting their software sorted -and saying that EQi seemed to handle it OK as we never had any issues with incorrect accrued interest

  • Good thinking, Woz, and perhaps suggest that they consider introducing the old EQi system of "route to dealer". It wouldn't require a telephone call just an 'on-line' communication that they could deal with at their earliest convenience. Whilst appreciating their honesty it does seem a little unfair that all their customers are disadvantaged just because a few errors had been made, particularly as the errors were not made, I assume, by the customers!
  • Thanks Geoff - will incorporate your observations when I get back to them

    By the way, it was just PIBs that were referred to in my communication with ii - I'm assuming that the same applies to any accrued interest investment eg Bonds
  • Woz, I agree that would seem likely. I had already agreed the calculation of interest accrued on my Lendinvest purchase to the penny so I can't see why they should have been having probems.
  • OK - so I have now asked them to confirm their comments apply to all Accrued Interest Investments , stated that we hold a lot of these and mentioned that EQi and Selftrade handled interest OK for over 15 years we were with them, pointed out the "Route to Dealer" options we had (also saying it was charged at same fee as online deals), and finally asked to whom we should contact requesting they re-visit the issue
  • Hargreaves Lansdown trade almost all the ORB bonds online in Sipp, ISA and broking accounts.

    The online valuations are a bit iffy and they usually fail to inform me about new issues. The only way to ascertain a sensible bond valuation is by performing a dummy trade to obtain a market quote for selling or buying.

    If the portfolio comprises shares and bonds the ongoing charges for large balances are minimal.

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