If anyone is looking for a fast reliable service, I can recommend iDealing. Have tried them out over the last 6 weeks and found their service fast and without snags, and the brokerage is £10 regardless of size.
I looked at using iDealing at the end of last year, so I e-mailed them to ask how many different stocks could be traded through them. You need to be aware that the only way of contacting this company is via e-mail. Their response was one sentence long, and took five working days (and after a further e-mail prompt).
My supposition was that if a simple question took them five days to answer then goodness knows how long it would take to have any trading-related problem resolved. I took my dealing elsewhere solely because of that tardy response.
I've used Selftrade for a few months and found them to be very good. Flat £12.50 fee, additional £5 for a telephone deal (unless it arose from their fault, then its waived, and it has been for me.) Prompt e-mailed Contract Notes, good prices when trading at best, immediately executed. Simple method of depositing and withdrawing funds (I've tried both deliberately) from a Bank of Scotland Account which pays interest. You can trade without waiting for your previous transaction to clear.
As there are no charges it may be worthwhile to have them as an alternative anyway. (The joining offer at the time included 3 months of Share magazine, a magnum of champagne (after the first tade) and free trading through January.( They appear to be offering web credits at present)
They have always reponded promptly to e-mail or 24 hour local rate help line calls.
Skim. Am surprised you needed to write to find out how many shares can be traded, if you refer to their home page is clearly states approx 2,300 Crest stocks.
There is a complete back-up alternative online site which automatically kicks in if there is a snag on the main site, and the couple of emails I sent were responded to forthwith.
Having used various online brokers I can only give you my personal experience that I have found this the most user friendly in operation, and have completed some 40 plus trades without a hitch since the 1st Febuary.
I commenced the thread for the benefit of those who may need an online broker or looking for cheaper dealing, especially if dealing over £5000.
Uncle - I know you think I'm stupid but, trust me, I'm not!
If you read what I wrote, I said I contacted them at the end of last year. At that time their web site clearly stated that they dealt in 1100 stocks, but failed to state whether these included AIM, etc. Therefore I e-mailed them to ask which ones these 1100 were, and whether these included any AIM. The answer eventually came back that they were, in fact, dealing in around 2,000 stocks and some, but not all, AIM stocks were included in this.
OK thanks John
That seems to be the norm.
I'm looking again, i tried EGG great interest rate 6.3% gross but the share dealing service ( XEST ) a division of Charles Stanley failed on two out of four, i was lucky not to lose money. No back up, no telephone...not very satisfactory...i complained and was told to refer to the terms and conditions.
Re iDealing.com-- I have to agree with Uncle, I have used them for about four months and have found them to be very user friendly,responsive and courteous. They are very cost effective and generally get inside the spread. I am now trading four standard accounts and three ISA's through them.
On the down side the equities available are quite limited, and you may well experience trouble trying to place an order for anything greater than NMS. So clearly one has to retain another, more traditional broker to handle more complicated orders.
One other slight concern is that they are not backed by a major financial institution. They are of course regulated by the SFA, but with only unnamed private individual backers one has to consider how long it might take to sort out any major transgression (a la Robert Maxwell). Having said that I have always found them to be reassuringly fussy with regard to all matters of compliance.