Invest in the London Stock Exchange

Find out more about the London Stock Exchange and how to invest in companies on the LSE.

Ways to invest in LSE Learn more
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The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is the main stock exchange in the United Kingdom and is the largest stock exchange in Europe. The main index on the LSE is the FTSE 100 which is the 100 largest stocks on the London Stock Exchange. Also on the LSE is the FTSE 250, which, as you can probably work out, is the 250 largest stocks on the exchange.

Find out more about this major stock exchange and how you can invest in the London Stock Exchange.

How does the London Stock Exchange work?

The stock exchange started in 1698 and was originally called “The Course of the Exchange and Other Things”. It was simply a list of the price of stocks and commodities posted at a coffee shop. It was made more formal in the 1800s, with a set of rules and a fee to be part of it.

A company doesn’t need to be British to be included. It’s got stocks from over 60 countries worldwide.

Companies in the London Stock Exchange include:

Ways to invest in London Stock Exchange

  1. Buy shares in specific companies. If there are specific companies that you’re interested in investing in then you can just invest in those. You can’t realistically invest in all of the companies on the LSE.
  2. Invest in the FTSE 100 or FTSE 250 indices. There are several ways to do this, so check out our dedicated pages on those indices to decide how you want to invest.

How to invest in the London Stock Exchange

  1. Choose a broker or trading platform. If you want to invest in the London Stock Exchange, you’ll need to pick a platform or broker that lists British stocks directly or via LSE-focused ETFs.
  2. Open a share trading account. Once you’ve selected the broker or platform, you’ll need to open a trading account to start investing in LSE stocks.
  3. Deposit funds. Before you start trading, you’ll need to deposit money into your investing account. Depending on your broker or platform, your funds may also need to be converted from pounds into a different currency, such as US dollars.
  4. Buy LSE stocks. Once your account is funded, you’ll be able to buy and sell shares. You can use the platform’s search function to find the specific British stock or ETF you want to invest in.

How much does it cost to trade on the London Stock Exchange?

Sometimes the fees you pay depend on whether it’s an international stock but the standard fees should apply when you invest in the London Stock Exchange.

Here are some of the fees for some top providers. We’ve listed the standard commission for a trade and the best commission. The best commission will have some kind of condition, such as if you trade more than 10 times in the previous month or if you invest a certain amount. Check out the specific provider reviews to find out how to qualify for the best commission on offer with a provider.

ProviderUK standard commissionUK best commission
Hargreaves Lansdown£11.95£5.95
IG£8£3
eToro£0£0
interactive investor£7.99£7.99

Why should I invest on the London Stock Exchange?

The London Stock Exchange is one of the largest in the world and is the largest in Europe. There are some major companies on it, like the high street bank HSBC, supermarket Sainsbury’s and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Compare investment services

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Name Product Ratings Finder rating Customer rating Min. initial deposit Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fee Offer Link
FREE TRADES
IG Share Dealing
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£250
UK: £8
US: £10
EU: 0.1% (min €10)
UK: £3
US: £0
EU: 0.1% (min €10)
£0
Get 0% commission on US shares when you make 3+ trades in the previous month.

Capital at risk

Platform details
Finder Award
OFFER
Freetrade
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£1
£0
-
£0
Receive a free share worth between £3-200. T&Cs apply. The probability is weighted, so more expensive free shares will be rarer. Other charges may apply.

Capital at risk

Platform details
FREE TRADES
eToro Free Stocks
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
$10
£0
N/A
£0

Capital at risk

Platform details
OFFER
Fineco
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£0
UK: £2.95
US: $3.95
EU: €3.95
N/A
£0
Get £500 in trading commissions to use in the first 3 months (T&Cs apply)

Capital at risk

Platform details
Capital.com
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
Not yet rated
£20
£0
£0
£0

Capital at risk

Platform details
Wealthify
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£1
£0
N/A
0.6%

Capital at risk

Platform details
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All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

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