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.

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 Finder Score Min. initial deposit Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Offer Link
XTB
4.4
★★★★★
£0
£0
£0
£0
Earn up to 5.2% interest on uninvested cash.
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Capital at risk

Platform details
Finder Award
OFFER
CMC Invest share dealing account
4.4
★★★★★
£0
£0
N/A
£0
Earn up to £1,000 when you transfer before 5 Aug 2024. Plus, get 12 months free when you switch to Premium plan. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.
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Capital at risk

Platform details
InvestEngine
4.4
★★★★★
£100
£0
N/A
0% - 0.25%
Get a Welcome Bonus of up to £50 when you invest at least £100 with InvestEngine. T&Cs apply.
Go to site

Capital at risk

Platform details
EXCLUSIVE
Saxo Share Dealing Account
4.3
★★★★★
£0
£3
N/A
0.12% per year
Get up to £200 back in online trading fees during your first 3 months with our exclusive Finder offer. T&Cs apply.
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Capital at risk

Platform details
Finder Award
FREE TRADES
eToro Free Stocks
4.3
★★★★★
$100
£0 on stocks
N/A
£0
Go to site

Capital at risk. Other fees apply.

Platform details
Wealthify
4.2
★★★★★
£1
£0
N/A
0.6%
Go to site

Capital at risk

Platform details
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
4.2
★★★★★
£1
£11.95
£5.95
£0
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Capital at risk

Platform details
interactive investor Trading Account
4.1
★★★★★
£0
£3.99 (free regular investing)
£0
From £4.99 a month
Enter a prize draw to win £100,000 if you open an ii Trading Account by 31 July and deposit £5,000 min. T&Cs apply.
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Capital at risk

Platform details
Moneyfarm
3.9
★★★★★
£1
£3.95
N/A
0.25% - 0.75%
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Capital at risk

Platform details
Charles Stanley share dealing account
3.7
★★★★★
£0
£11.50
N/A
0.35%
Get up to £1,500 cashback when you transfer your cash and/or investments to Charles Stanley Direct. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.
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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.

Zoe Stabler DipFA's headshot
Senior writer

Zoe was a senior writer at Finder specialising in investment and banking, and during this time, she joined the Women in FinTech Powerlist 2022. She is currently a senior money writer at Be Clever With Your Cash. Zoe has a BA in English literature and a Diploma for Financial Advisers. She has several years of experience in writing about all things personal finance. Zoe has a particular love for spreadsheets, having also worked as a management accountant. In her spare time, you’ll find Zoe skating at her local ice rink. See full bio

Zoe's expertise
Zoe has written 176 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Share dealing
  • Reviews and comparisons of trading platforms
  • Robo-advisors
  • Pensions
  • Banking

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