Hargreaves Lansdown vs Trading 212
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# Trading


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Alex Manea

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Hargreaves Lansdown vs Trading 212: Fees, Platforms and Offerings Compared

If you’re looking for a new trading platform, you may be struggling to decide between a traditional style brokerage and a low-cost online platform. Two great examples of these are Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212. So, here we’ll perform a head-to-head Hargreaves Lansdown vs Trading 212 comparison in more detail to help you. 

About Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown is a well-established brokerage brand in the UK, with a track record spanning over 40 years. Despite the evolution of the industry into low-cost, online trading platforms, Hargreaves Lansdown has continued to be a large investment platform, and today, it manages over £120 billion in 1.6 million customer investment portfolio accounts. 

Hargreaves Lansdown is classified as a traditional brokerage, but it has moved with the times and now offers its services to a more diverse client base.

The company does have a more costly fee structure compared to newer online share trading platforms, but Hargreaves Lansdown prides itself on providing great customer service. This includes offering phone support with real operators, which is not typically available with a modern trading platform. 

About Trading 212

Trading 212 has been around since 2005. It began in Bulgaria but quickly moved into the UK markets. In fact, Trading 212 was one of the first zero-commission investing platforms in 2017. Today, Trading 212 offers commission-free trading on Exchange Traded Funds and stocks (including fractional shares) via its web and mobile apps. 

Trading 212 aims to make it easier for newbies to trade stocks. The account opening process is quick and fully online, and the trading platform is easy to use. However, its product portfolio is somewhat limited, so if you’re looking for a more comprehensive selection of asset classes, you may find Trading 212 slightly lacking. 

Hargreaves Lansdown vs Trading 212: Services

Hargreaves Lansdown is a traditional style brokerage, and its services include access to a wide variety of investment options on the stock market. This includes stocks, ETFs, bonds, and trusts. In recent years, Hargreaves Lansdown has begun offering crypto trading services. 

While Trading 212 may not offer the same variety of assets, this platform does have some excellent educational tools and services. The platform has over 170 educational videos, detailed articles, and a community forum via its learning center.

This provides an excellent resource for newbies who are finding their way or for the more experienced trader who wants to learn about more advanced trading techniques. 

Trading 212 vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Fees

When we compare Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212 fees, the differences become apparent. Hargreaves Lansdown has quite a complex fee structure. Since Trading 212 is marketed as a commission-free trading platform, Hargreaves Lansdown is obviously going to cost more, but you’ll need to be good at math to work out what each trade will cost you. 

While there are no initial charges to open an account, once you start to invest, there is an annual fee. This is 0.45% of your investment fund total, but the fees may vary according to whether you purchase exchanged listed or nonlisted assets. 

There are also other fees, including a spread fee of approximately 0.07%, and dealing fees that apply when you buy and sell investments. These fees are on a sliding scale, so you can lower your costs by making more trades. So regular and more experienced investors can benefit from lower fees. Currently, the dealing fees are £5.95 to £11.95. You will also need to pay your own stamp duty when you trade with Hargreaves Lansdown. However, you'll not incur any account inactivity fee.

There are two types of Trading 212 accounts (Invest and CFD), which will determine your minimum initial deposit. Once you deposit money, you can enjoy zero-commission trading. However, you will need to pay a spread when you trade. Unfortunately, Trading 212 does not publish its average spread costs, making it tricky to work out if you’re getting the best deal. 

Hargreaves Lansdown vs Trading 212: Platform

Hargreaves Lansdown is a traditional brokerage, so you won’t need to deal with a learning curve to use its services. Hargreaves Lansdown will buy and sell assets on your behalf, so all you need to do is create your account and then issue the buy or sell orders. 

Trading 212 is more involved, but it is still remarkably easy to use. There is both a web-based and an app trading platform. The platform features are easy to use, and the layout is clean and simple, with integrated news headlines prominently featured. Additionally, besides the general investment account, you can also open a demo account to learn and practice stock trading and investment strategies.

Additionally, the website caches your credentials locally, so you will be automatically logged in when you access the platform from its browser. This means that you don’t need to waste time remembering all of your login credentials. 

Whether you’re using the web platform or app, you can access various trading tools. There are watch list screeners, an upcoming events feature, and easy-to-interpret symbols, which make it intuitive to use.

Hargreaves Lansdown vs Trading 212: Offerings

Since it is a traditional brokerage, Hargreaves Lansdown offers access to a far more diverse selection of financial instruments. This includes more than 4,000 stocks, ETFs, corporate and government bonds, investment trusts, and shares listed on the UK (London Stock Exchange), Canadian and European exchanges. 

The Trading 212 list of offerings is far more modest. You can invest directly in approximately 1,500 stocks, 180+ forex pairs, 29 commodities, and 36 indices. If you're into trading CFDs, Trading 212 is also a great choice. Just remember that CFD trading involves using high-risk financial instruments, and often, retail investor accounts lose money when dealing with them.


As an FCA-regulated company, Hargreaves Lansdown ensures that your funds are protected by FCSC coverage. This means that portfolios up to a value of £85,000 are protected if the brokerage fails. Additionally, client money is held in separate trust accounts. This provides further security since Hargreaves Lansdown cannot access the funds, and they can only be returned to you. 

Trading 212 is regulated by several authorities, including the FCA in the UK, the FSC in Bulgaria, and the CySEC in Cyprus. 

Other Features

While Hargreaves Lansdown does appear to be a more simple platform, it does provide access to more products, including pensions and ISAs. 

One of the stand-out features of the Trading 212 platform is its charting. There is the option for five charting types with access to 19 drawing tools and 45 indicators. You can use this feature to create and save chart templates, so you can apply various settings across different charts according to your preferences. You can also open multiple charts, switching between them when you’re doing your trading research. 

Hargreaves Lansdown vs Trading 212: Which is better

In the Hargreaves Lansdown vs Trading 212 comparison, which one is better will be determined by your preferences and trading experience.

If you’re looking to access a wide variety of assets and are happy to simply have someone buy and sell on your behalf, Hargreaves Lansdown is a solid option. While you may pay a premium for this traditional style broker, you can access great customer service, discussing your requirements with a real person on the helpline. 

On the other hand, if you’re new to trading and want to dip your toes in the water with a low-cost, easy-to-use platform and no inactivity fees, Trading 212 could fit the bill. The Trading 212 team has simplified the platform for beginner investors to start trading quickly. However, more experienced traders may find the platform is limited and does not meet their trading needs.

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