Dealing help

Trading online with Bank of Scotland

We're connected up to 20 counterparties at any one time. When you get a quote we use automated systems to request quotes equally from all available market counterparties and once we've received these quotes, we will automatically take the best price available and display this to you. Your order will be executed at the best price available from our market counterparties at the time of execution for that trade size.

We operate a strict best price wins policy which means that you will always get the best possible price for your trade. We're committed to providing our customers with the opportunity to execute orders at the best possible price. We have no commercial arrangements or exclusivity agreements with any specific market counterparties, allowing connection on an equal basis to an extensive number of firms competing to provide you the best price.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What’s the difference between trading international shares and UK shares?

    Trading international shares

    When you invest in an international share you’re required to have an additional 10% of the total value of the trade (the total value is based on the indicative price) as a buffer to possible fluctuations in share price.

    It’s worth noting that whilst you don’t need a 10% buffer in your account to sell international shares, you do need to understand that because of how the order book works you may not be able to sell your full order.

    All international orders are placed on the order book and removed at the end of that working day – so if your order doesn’t go through or is only partially completed then you’d need to place a new order for the next trading day.

    Want to know more about international shares? Have a look at our educational page.

    Trading UK shares

    When you get a quote for a UK share we use automated systems to request quotes equally from all available market counterparties and once we've received these quotes, we will automatically take the best price available and display this to you. Your order will be executed at the best price available from our market counterparties at the time of execution for that trade size.

    When you trade UK shares with us there is also no 10% buffer, you’ll only need to cover the cost of your trade with the money in your share dealing account.

    Because we get a quote instantly for you which is provided by the market, you have the ability to use the ‘invest’ option which will let you trade up the full amount of money held in your share dealing account rather than specifying a number of shares to buy.

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  2. When will I be able to withdraw the money from my trade?

    Most UK and European trades take two working days to settle. This settlement period allows time for the delivery of the stock and cash and for any other trade administration to be completed. Your trade confirmation will confirm the trade’s settlement date.

    On the day of settlement the money from a sale will be available for you to withdraw.

    Please note, U.S. trades usually take two working days to settle.

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  3. Why are there no live prices available for international trades?

    International orders are dealt directly through the ‘order book’ at face value. Trading in this way allows us access to a much wider range of markets at a much lower cost, however this also means that a live quoting service is not available.

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  4. Why do I have to buy a quantity of shares for international trades?

    As international orders are dealt directly on the relevant markets order book at face value, fluctuating exchange rates mean we can’t be sure of the price we will receive for an international order until it has been dealt. If there is a particular price you have in mind then you can use our one day ‘Limit Order’ service for your international order.

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  5. What is the FX charge and how is it applied?

    A currency conversion must be made for an international trade, either from Great British Pounds into a foreign currency to buy, or from a foreign currency into Great British Pounds to sell. As our fee, when we do this we add 1.25% to the exchange rate for buys, and take away 1.25% for sales. An indicative exchange rate will be shown prior to trading and the final rate will be shown once the trade is completed.

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  6. When will I be able to see my fund trade?

    Funds are traded in a different way to shares. Funds are generally priced once each day at a time called the Assured Valuation Point (AVP). The price per unit for the fund will be set by the valuation of the assets.

    For most funds, if you place your order before 11.15 am, the trade will be placed at 12 noon. Any order placed after 11.15 am would not be placed with the Fund Manager until the following working day at 12 noon. The completed trade can take a couple of days to show within your account.

    When you place an order for a fund you can only set an amount you wish to invest. The Fund Manager will receive your order at the next AVP and will invest your money at the new fund price (the future price). Your order will then be allocated to your account within a couple of days.

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Experiencing problems?

We get a lot of questions about trading, below you’ll find our top customer questions and our answers:

Problems trading shares

  1. Why am I unable to get a live quote for my shares?

    1. The size of the trade is larger than the current market appetite: There is no Market Counterparty willing to offer a live price to buy or sell your shares due to the size of the order.
    2. The stock has no or limited liquidity: If the stock only trades in small quantities or very infrequently then a live quote may not be offered by Market Counterparties.
    3. The stock is in auction: Volatile stocks may be put into auction on the market. This means that internal Market Counterparties will bid each other for the stock in order to stabilise it’s price. During this time, no trades can be placed and we must wait for the stock to come out of auction before we can begin to place orders again.

    If a live price is unavailable you can continue to try for a live quote, place your order as a negotiated trade or take advantage of our TradePlan service.

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  2. I got a live quote but can’t place my order

    If you have received a live quote and attempt to place the trade we may inform you that the order could not be completed.

    This is usually because the quote provided by the market has been withdrawn. Our Market Counterparties withhold the right to withdraw their quotes at any time, providing they haven’t been completed.

    This means that after providing you with a fifteen second price quote they may decide they no longer wish to offer that quote and cancel it before you have accepted.

    This is most typically common at times of high volatility, when the price of a stock is constantly moving.

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  3. What is a negotiated order?

    If a live price is not available for your order we will offer you the option of a Negotiated Order. This means that your order will be taken to the market by our dealers to get you the best price they can. Often this means our dealers have to contact the market directly to negotiate a better price than that which would be available at the click of a button.

    All Negotiated Orders are dealt in fair and due turn and as soon as practically possible, meaning orders of this type are dealt in a queue in the order in which they are received. This means that on occasion some Negotiated Orders can take a little longer than normal to be executed however we will deal all Negotiated Orders as soon as we can.

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  4. What is a delayed order?

    When the market is closed you can still place an order which will be dealt when the market re-opens. The price on these orders is not a guaranteed price and the order will be dealt by the Automated Trading System (ATS) at the best price available for an order of that size. All orders are dealt in fair and due turn as soon as practically possible.

    If you’d like to safeguard the price of your order you can set-up a TradePlan which will execute your trade when the price hits a pre-set limit. For example, if you wanted to buy a stock at 98p or less, you could set-up a limit order which would only deal when the stock hits 98p.

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