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New ‘low cost’ investment Lifetime ISA launches

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04/03/2020
EQi has launched a stocks and shares Lifetime ISA (LISA) offering one of the lowest platform fees on the market, at just 0.2% for new investors.

The new LISA from investment platform EQi – formerly Selftrade – allows people aged 18-39 to save up to £4,000 a year for their first home or retirement and they will receive a maximum £1,000 bonus from the government. See YourMoney’s Lifetime ISA guide for more information.

Eligible customers can open the EQi LISA with a minimum investment of £10 a month and they will pay a 0.2% platform fee (capped at £10 per quarter) if they do not hold any other EQi products.

However, new LISA customers will benefit from a ‘pricing holiday’, meaning there are no platform fees to pay for the first two quarters after opening.

Existing EQi investors won’t be charged for adding the LISA to their existing portfolio and won’t pay the 0.2% platform fee.

EQi will accept transfers from existing LISA providers and customers can choose from 60 funds, including ETFs, bonds and investment trusts. Each fund comes with an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) rating too.

While EQi doesn’t offer model portfolios, it lists a range of funds based on category – such as emerging markets; outcome – such as growth; and risk – such as cautious.

Other charges to be aware of are a £10.99 trading fee per sale (discounted to £5.99 for 20+ trades a month), plus the usual postage or banking charges which apply to any account.

EQi runs a ‘best execution price promise’ which means it will refund the investor’s commission if it fails to achieve the best possible results when it receives a buy or sell order. As the market moves quickly, the price at which a trade is made can vary by the time the order reaches EQi. If the price moves and is favourable to the investor, EQi will make sure they benefit. If the price goes the opposite way, customers will be asked to resubmit their order.

Any cash left on the investment platform will attract 0% interest (up to £250,000).

Richard Pearson, director at EQi, said: “Cash savings rates are offering pitiful returns at the moment, so savers should be looking at investment-based products to make more of their money. The LISA is a great way for people to begin their investment journey by encouraging them to start saving for a home or their retirement, as well as taking advantage of the government bonus.”

Lifetime ISA charges on other investment platforms

There are a handful of other investment platforms offering LISAs. Here is what they charge:

AJ Bell charges a 0.25% platform fee (maximum £7.50 per quarter). It also charges between £1.50 and £9.95 for buying and selling investments.

Hargreaves Lansdown charges a 0.45% platform fee though the annual charge depends on whether you hold funds or shares and the value of your account each month. It doesn’t charge for fund dealing but it costs £5.95 to £11.95 for share dealing.

Depending on your investment style, Nutmeg investors will be charged 0.45% for fixed allocation portfolios (0.25% on £100,000+) or 0.75% on its fully managed or socially responsible portfolios (0.35% on £100,000+). There’s also a 0.17% fixed allocation average investment cost or 0.19% average fund cost for the fully managed option.

With its ready-made LISA, The Share Centre has no dealing commission, account admin fee or initial charges. But you will need to pay ongoing fund charges within the underlying fund.

The Ongoing Charge Figure is as follows:

  • Cautious fund: 1.68%
  • Balanced fund: 1.56%
  • Adventurous fund: 1.62%.

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