Broker that supports both ISA accounts and API access?

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by 7XkDyx8eah, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    I'm looking for a stockbroker but can't seem to find one that 'ticks all the right boxes' - can anyone help please?!

    The essential requirements are:

    * Supports Shares ISA accounts
    * Access to ETFs on the LSE, especially iShares
    * Real-time price info/trading (with as low latency as possible)
    * Low fees/charges (preferably with a heavy discount for say 10+ trades per week)
    * Available to individuals, not just institutions

    Execution-only is fine, don't need anything fancy. The ISA requirement probably restricts it to UK brokers I guess. There are loads of brokers that do all of the above, so then it comes down to my key additional requirement:

    * API access, e.g. FIX (for automated/algorithmic trading)

    But I can't find any brokers that have both ISA support and API access. I guess it mustn't be a common requirement for individual investors in the UK but it seems commonly available from US brokers. I can probably live without API access if I really have to. (As long as there's a web interface, which they all seem to do nowadays. And I have no requirement for desktop/mobile trading platform software.)

    My 'would really like but can be flexible on' requirements are:

    * Existing (open source/cheap) connector for Marketcetera or similar
    * Real-time level 2 price info at a reasonable price
    * DMA (Direct Market Access) on the LSE at a reasonable price (preferably without a massive 'professional client' process to have to go through)

    Then the optional/'nice to have's are:

    * Demo/'monopoly money' account for testing
    * Ultra low latency pricing/trades
    * Can switch into CFDs/spreadbetting
    * Also supports SIPPs

    So, does anyone know of any brokers that meet some/all these requirements?

    The cheapest ones I've found that meet my essential requirements are and, both currently charging £5.95. There's also whose Premium account might be useful in the future but rather pricey up front - £3000 per year for unlimited trades with no other major charges. E*TRADE might have done the job but they're no longer trading in the UK. Interactive Brokers seems to be the only choice for API access in the UK (?) but they don't support ISAs. (They've said "After reviewing this we have decided not to support ISA's at this time." so it won't happen anytime soon.) There are some nice-looking platforms like Marketcetera/JBookTrader/tradelink/ActiveQuant - but if they can't connect to a broker that does ISAs they're skuppered for my purposes.

    And some additional questions while I'm thinking:

    1. Anyone know how much latency there actually is on a normal UK retail broker's web interface's "real-time" prices/trades?

    2. Are stock prices pretty much the same across different brokers? I read in a review somewhere that one broker didn't offer as good a stock prices as others?! Is this down to the RSPs they use maybe?

    3. Is it even possible to get DMA on the LSE at a reasonable price without a massive 'professional client' process to have to go through?

    Thanks! Any help appreciated!