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Share Dealing - UK - October 2013

“A lack of financial education has caused many consumers to lack the confidence to make financial decisions. Many see shares as high-risk financial products that are beyond their understanding. With interest rates expected to remain low for the foreseeable future, these consumers are losing money due to the impact of inflation. Online developments have helped to make share ownership easier for consumers, providers now need to harness these developments to teach consumers about how to manage their finances better, improve their savings habits and learn about share dealing.”

– Alexander Hiscox, Senior Financial Services Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How has the RDR affected advised share dealing providers?
  • Should X-O providers stop producing research articles?
  • What will change consumer attitudes towards risk?
  • How should share dealing providers look to attract new customers?

Share dealing revenues grew by 2.8% in 2012. However, this was mainly led by Hargreaves Lansdown, with a number of large providers reporting decreases in revenue. Revenue decreases were primarily due to a decrease in trading transactions. A reduction in trading transactions can be potentially damaging to X-O firms, as they rely on dealing charges for the majority of their revenues.

X-O share dealing has grown over the past 10 years, as the internet has made it easier for consumers to manage their accounts and research shares online. The success of Hargreaves Lansdown illustrates this perfectly, growing revenues from £40 million in 2004 to £292 million in 2013. However, the industry faces a number of challenges which it needs to overcome if it is to continue to attract new investors. Consumers suffer from an oversensitivity to risk, a lack of financial education to make independent investment decisions and savings which are too low to make it worthwhile investing.

This report examines the UK share dealing market, focusing on execution-only and full-service stockbroking firms. Analysis focuses on some of the key developments in the market, while looking at the impact of economic and regulatory challenges. This report also provides analysis of the revenues of stockbroking firms and the value of assets under management, with a forecast showing the expected revenue growth over the next five years. The report concludes with Mintel’s exclusively commissioned research looking at product ownership, consumer investment strategies, attitudes towards risk, the features that consumers look for in a share dealing service and insight into how consumers make investment decisions.

Market definitions

Share dealing – a term used to describe the buying and selling (or ‘trading’) of stocks and shares.

Stockbroker – a firm that trades in stocks and shares, as well as other financial instruments such as derivatives, on behalf of private clients (eg individuals, trusts and charities) for commission. A range of services may be offered, from execution-only trading (no advice) through to full portfolio management.

The stockbroking market comprises two distinct types of firm:

Full service stockbrokers – which focus on private client discretionary and advisory business, often supplemented by wider financial planning services

Execution only stockbrokers (X-O) – which offer telephone and online dealing, providing execution and custody services, often at a lower cost than full service broker firms.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Market definitions
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Market forecast
                • Figure 1: Forecast for total revenues by stockbroking firms, 2008-18
              • Decrease in the number of portfolios under £50,000
                • Figure 2: Total percentage change in the number of accounts/portfolios, by value band – nominee accounts only, 2012
              • The value of X-O assets closes the gap between full-service assets
                • Figure 3: Value of assets managed, by execution-only and full service stockbrokers, 2009-12
              • Total number of X-O trades decreased in 2012
                • Figure 4: Number of stockbroker trades, by investment type, 2011 and 2012
              • Market factors
                • Strong financial markets and low interest rates have failed to push consumers towards equities
                  • The RDR focuses attention on investment charges
                    • FCA shifts focus to X-O platforms
                      • X-O providers will need to be careful not to be deemed to be offering advice
                        • Companies, brands and innovation
                          • Competition continues to decrease
                            • Figure 5: Share of total revenues, by the five largest firms in each sector, 2009-12
                          • The consumer
                            • Share ownership remains low despite a strong stock market performance
                              • Figure 6: Ownership and intentions to buy, June 2013
                            • Only 12% of consumers own an X-O account, but this is likely to grow
                              • Figure 7: Share dealing ownership, June 2013
                            • Nearly two thirds of investors have a clear investment plan
                              • Figure 8: Saving and investing strategies, June 2013
                            • Half of share dealers don’t see themselves as making risky investments
                              • Figure 9: Attitudes towards risk and financial management, June 2013
                            • Charges are top of consumers’ minds when choosing a share dealing provider
                              • Figure 10: Features that consumers look for in share dealing services and online brokers, June 2013
                            • There is little consensus amongst consumers on how to choose shares
                              • Figure 11: Features consumers look for in share dealing services and online brokers, June 2013
                            • What we think
                            • Issues in the Market

                                • How has the RDR affected advised share dealing providers?
                                  • Should X-O providers stop producing research articles?
                                    • What will change consumer attitudes towards risk?
                                      • How should share dealing providers look to attract new customers?
                                      • Trend Application

                                        • Trend: Survival Skills
                                          • Trend: Life Hacking
                                            • Mintel Futures: Generation Next
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Key points
                                                • Global shares approaching pre-financial crisis levels
                                                  • Figure 12: Performance of Nikkei 225, FTSE 100, S&P 100 and Eurofirst 300, January 2003-July 2013
                                                • Consumers’ disposable incomes are being squeezed
                                                  • Figure 13: Monthly change in RPI and average weekly earnings, January 2003-July 2013
                                                • Planned investor activity decreases as the FTSE rises
                                                  • Figure 14: Intended purchases of shares and equity-based unit trusts, government and corporate bonds and bond-based unit trusts*, sales of equities and unit trusts and FTSE 100, Q3/Q4 2002-Q1/Q2 2013
                                                • Low interest rates making shares more attractive
                                                  • Assets held in stocks and shares ISAs
                                                    • Figure 15: Value of investments held in stocks and shares ISAs, 2012 (provisional figures)
                                                  • Increasing numbers of investors want to manage their own investments
                                                    • Figure 16: Attitudes towards financial advice in the investment market, June 2013
                                                  • RDR will be extended to X-O platforms in 2014
                                                  • Market SWOT Analysis

                                                      • Figure 17: UK Share dealing market – SWOT, 2013
                                                  • Who’s Innovating?

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • eToro gets FCA approval to offer financial services to its users
                                                        • Sanlam Private Investments launches execution-only platform including CFDs
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Stockbroking revenues continue to rise
                                                              • Figure 18: Total revenues by stockbroking firms, 2009-13
                                                            • Commission and brokerage earnings continue to decrease
                                                              • Figure 19: Stockbroking revenue streams, by firm type, 2011 and 2012
                                                            • Value of assets buoyed by stock market performance
                                                              • Figure 20: Value of assets managed, by execution-only and full service stockbrokers, 2009-12
                                                            • X-O and full service brokers keep costs under control
                                                              • Figure 21: Total costs as a proportion of total revenues, 2009-12
                                                            • Market forecast
                                                              • Stockbroking revenue expected to increase over five years
                                                                • Figure 22: Forecast for total revenues by stockbroking firms, 2008-18
                                                                • Figure 23: Forecast for total revenues by stockbroking firms, 2008-18
                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                                • Fan chart explanation
                                                                • Portfolio Segmentation

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Decrease in the number of investors with investments under £50,000
                                                                      • Figure 24: Number of accounts/portfolios, by value band – nominee accounts only, 2012
                                                                    • The number of share certificates decreasing, as investors migrate online
                                                                      • Figure 25: Number of X-O accounts, by type, 2012
                                                                    • Stable markets are making spread-betting less appealing
                                                                      • Figure 26: Number of active spread bet and CFD accounts held by execution-only stockbrokers, Q1 2006-Q4 2012
                                                                  • Trading Activity

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Number of trade transactions fell by 15.7%
                                                                        • Figure 27: Number of stockbroker trades, by investment type, 2012
                                                                      • Spreadbetting/CFDs saw the largest decrease in trading activity in 2012
                                                                        • Purchases outstrip sales, as stock markets grow
                                                                          • Figure 28: Historical bargain volumes, Q1 1998-Q4 2012*
                                                                        • Overseas equities gain popularity
                                                                          • Figure 29: Bargain volumes*, by asset class, 2011 and 2012
                                                                      • Market Share

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Revenues for selected stockbrokers
                                                                            • Figure 30: Total revenues for selected stockbrokers, 2011 and 2012
                                                                          • Full service and X-O brokers increasingly dominated by top five firms
                                                                            • Figure 31: Share of total revenues, by the five largest firms in each sector, 2009-12
                                                                        • Companies and Products

                                                                          • X-O stockbroking charges
                                                                            • Figure 32: Charges of eight largest stockbrokers*, October, 2013
                                                                          • Key execution only firms
                                                                            • Barclays Stockbrokers
                                                                                • Figure 33: Key financials for Barclays Stockbrokers Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                              • Halifax Share Dealing
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Key financials for Halifax Share Dealing Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                • Hargreaves Lansdown
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Key financials for Hargreaves Lansdown, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                  • Selftrade
                                                                                      • Figure 36: Key financials for Talos Securities Ltd, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                    • The Share Centre
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Key financials for The Share Centre Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                      • TD Direct Investing
                                                                                          • Figure 38: Key financials for TD Direct Investing (Europe) ltd, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                      • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Online continues to become the dominant advertising channel
                                                                                            • Figure 39: Total advertising by stockbrokers and share dealers only, by media type, 2009/10-2012/13
                                                                                          • Online stockbroker advertising expenditure increases to £7.3 million in 2012/13
                                                                                            • Figure 40: Total advertising expenditure on investment products and services, by product category, 2008/09-2012/13
                                                                                          • Top 10 advertisers still dominated by spreadbetting firms
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Top 10 advertisers – stockbrokers and share dealing only, 2008/09-2012/13
                                                                                          • A note about adspend
                                                                                          • Channels to Market

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Discretionary and non-managed channels grow in popularity
                                                                                                • Figure 42: Full-service stockbroker assets, by management channel, 2009-12
                                                                                              • Online accounts for seven out of 10 trades
                                                                                                • Figure 43: Online trades as a percentage of X-O trades, 2008-12
                                                                                              • Half of consumers who would buy or sell shares prefer to do it online
                                                                                                • Figure 44: Preferred methods of buying and selling shares, June 2013
                                                                                            • Product Ownership

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Only a fifth of consumers own individual company shares
                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Ownership and intentions to buy, June 2013
                                                                                                • Only 2% of investors own an ETF
                                                                                                  • Spreadbetting far from entering the mainstream
                                                                                                    • Young consumers have share ownership aspirations
                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Ownership and intentions to buy, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                  • Ownership of Share Dealing Accounts

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Share dealing accounts are still a niche product
                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Share dealing ownership, June 2013
                                                                                                      • Women are less likely to own a share dealing account
                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Share dealing ownership, by gender, June 2013
                                                                                                      • X-O accounts appeal across wealth groups
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Amount of savings and investments, by share dealing ownership, June 2013
                                                                                                    • Investment Strategies among Share Dealers

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Eight out of 10 share dealers prefer to save for the long term
                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Saving and investing strategies, June 2013
                                                                                                        • Low interest rates are increasing investors’ interest in share dealing
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Agreement with the statement ‘Low interest rates have made me more interested in investment products, such as collectives and shares’, by gross annual household income, June 2013
                                                                                                        • Younger investors are less likely to have the money to make investing worthwhile
                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Agreement with the statement ‘I don’t have enough money to make investing worthwhile’, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Risk among Share Dealers

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Investors are confident in their ability to make financial decisions
                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Attitudes towards risk, June 2013
                                                                                                          • The majority of share dealers do not want risky financial products
                                                                                                            • Six out of 10 investors want a financial safety net
                                                                                                              • X-O investors are more willing to take on investment risk
                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Attitudes towards risk, by share dealing ownership, June 2013
                                                                                                            • Features Sought in a Share Dealing Service

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Over half of investors look to pay a low fee per trade
                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Features consumers look for in share dealing services and online brokers, by account ownership, June 2013
                                                                                                                • DIY investors are more price-sensitive than advised investors
                                                                                                                  • Charges are important to prospective consumers
                                                                                                                    • Only 14% of X-O investors are interested in a wide range of investments
                                                                                                                      • Half of consumers look for a share dealing service that is easy to use
                                                                                                                        • Prospective investors are inexperienced and may need greater guidance
                                                                                                                          • Sensitivity to risk will affect the features that investors look for
                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Features consumers look for in share dealing services and online brokers, by agreement with the statement ‘’I think that I’m more willing than most people to take financial risks’, June 2013
                                                                                                                        • How Consumers Make Share Dealing Choices

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Investors take shortcuts in picking shares
                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: How consumers choose shares, by account ownership June 2013
                                                                                                                            • Prospective customers need support and encouragement to start investing
                                                                                                                              • Consumers’ methods of choosing shares vary little with level of savings
                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: How consumers choose shares, by amount of savings and investments, June 2013
                                                                                                                              • Attitude towards risk affects what measures investors use to choose shares
                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: How consumers choose shares, by agreement with the statement ‘I think that I’m more willing than most people to take financial risk’, June 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Product Ownership

                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Ownership and intentions to buy – Savings account/cash ISA, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Ownership and intentions to buy – NS&I product, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Ownership and intentions to buy – Company pension, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Ownership and intentions to buy – Personal pension, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Ownership and intentions to buy – Individual company shares, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Ownership and intentions to buy – Investment trust, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Ownership and intentions to buy – Unit trust/OEIC, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Ownership and intentions to buy – ETF, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Ownership and intentions to buy – SIPP, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Ownership and intentions to buy – Financial spread-betting account, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: Ownership and intentions to buy – With-profits, unit-linked, money market, distribution or guaranteed investment bond, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Ownership and intentions to buy – Investment property, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Ownership and intentions to buy – Other savings or investments, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Ownership of Share Dealing Accounts

                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Most popular share dealing ownership, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Next most popular share dealing ownership, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Investment Strategies among Share Dealers

                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Saving and investing strategies – I prefer to save/invest for the long term, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Saving and investing strategies – I have a clear investment plan, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Saving and investing strategies – I can’t afford to take any risks with my money, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Saving and investing strategies – I can’t afford the costs and charges involved with stock market investments, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Saving and investing strategies – I do not have enough money to make investing worthwhile, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Saving and investing strategies – Low interest rates have made me more interested in investment products, such as collectives and shares, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Saving and investing strategies – I prefer to make my own investment decisions, than use a fund manager to invest on my behalf, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Saving and investing strategies – I would look for a fund manager with a proven track record when choosing an investment product, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Saving and investing strategies – I do not have time to choose my own investments, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Attitudes towards Risk among Share Dealers

                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Agreement with the statement ‘I think that I’m more willing than most people to take financial risks’, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Agreement with the statement ‘I would feel nervous if I don’t have at least three months’ living expenses in the bank’, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Agreement with the statement ‘Even if a risky investment offered higher returns, it wouldn’t compensate for the amount of worry it’d cause me’, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Agreement with the statement ‘I try to make the most of my money’, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Agreement with the statement ‘My friends would probably describe me as being a risk taker’, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Agreement with the statement ‘I’m happy to make a lower return on my savings if it means I don’t have to lie awake at night worrying about investment risk’, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Agreement with the statement ‘I’m confident in my ability to make good financial decisions’, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Features Sought in a Share Dealing Service

                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Most popular features consumers look for in share dealing services and online brokers, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Next most popular features consumers look for in share dealing services and online brokers, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 93: Other features consumers look for in share dealing services and online brokers, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – How Consumers Make Share Choices

                                                                                                                                • Figure 94: Most popular how consumers choose shares, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 95: Next most popular how consumers choose shares, by demographics, June 2013

                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                            Share Dealing - UK - October 2013

                                                                                                                            US $2,648.76 (Excl.Tax)