International shares.

Please remember that the value of an investment and the income from it can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested.
We don't provide advice so if you are in any doubt about making your own investment decisions we recommend you seek advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser.

Trading US shares

Before you can buy US shares, you need to complete a US tax form and return it to us. You may also benefit, depending on your circumstances, from a reduced rate of withholding tax on US sourced income (such as dividends).

Completing the appropriate tax form

It is your responsibility to make sure you complete the right form for your circumstances. If you are completing a W-8BEN form, please refer to the ‘How to’ guide first. Further help can be found at under ‘Forms & Instructions’.

W-8BEN form

A Non-US individual such as a UK resident would ordinarily complete a W-8BEN:

The W-8BEN form is valid for three calendar years following the year in which you sign it, unless your personal circumstances change. Please let us know within 30 days if this happens. We will contact you when your form is due to expire.

UK listed shares paying US sourced dividends

Ordinarily if you complete a W-8BEN form you will only pay the 15% Withholding Tax rate instead of 30% on US listed shares paying US sourced dividends. For UK listed shares paying US sourced dividends a 30% Withholding Tax rate is applied even if you have a W-8BEN form in place.

For example, you would receive $70 on a $100 dividend.

W-9 form

A US person would ordinarily complete a W-9:

Returning the form


IMPORTANT: We can only accept completed forms from the email address you have registered with us.

There are two ways you can email the completed form:

  1. Complete the form and digitally sign (with date and time stamp) and email an electronic copy of the form to us, or;
  2. Complete the form then print, sign, scan and email the form to us.

Please email your completed form to We aim to log all forms within one working day and we’ll text you confirmation when it’s complete.

Print and return by post

Please send your completed form to: Customer Registration Department, Halifax Share Dealing, Lovell Park Road, Leeds LS1 1NS. The form we receive from you must be completed and signed in pen, and not a copy.

Which international stock markets can I trade on?

As well as UK shares you can also trade on six global stock markets with our range of trading accounts. International markets have different opening times from the London Stock Exchange, effectively allowing you to trade shares from 8am until 9pm, Monday to Friday.

When you place an international order we will access the market directly through a third party trading provider and place your order onto the central market order book.

We use a third party to complete all our international orders, they in turn will route the orders to the respective markets and/or their member firms.

Your order will be routed to our international market counterparty who will trade it at a price at least equivalent to that available on the relevant international stock exchange or trading venue.

Please note, if you’ve received a dividend payment from an international share this can’t be automatically re-invested.

Opening hours of international stock markets

Stock Exchange Local Times UK Times
New York (NYSE, NASDAQ, NYSEAmex) 09:30 - 16:00 14:30 - 21:00
Frankfurt (XETRA) 09:00 - 17:30 08:00 - 16:30
Milan (MTA) 09:00 - 17:25 08:00 - 16:25
Paris (Euronext) 09:00 - 17:30 08:00 - 16:30
Amsterdam (Euronext) 09:00 - 17:30 08:00 - 16:30
Brussels (Euronext) 09:00 - 17:30 08:00 - 16:30

During the change between Greenwich Mean Time and British Summer Time our opening hours may not match those of foreign markets.

Planning to trade on the New York Stock Exchange?

If you want to trade online on the New York Stock Exchange you’ll need to complete the NYSE Subscriber Agreement form and return this to:

Dealing Administration Department
Halifax Share Dealing
Lovell Park Road

Limit orders

Limit orders – shares to be sold at a specific price or within a certain time – are handled differently for international orders than they are for UK trades.

Your instruction will be routed to our international market counterpart who will arrange its display at the price you specified on the relevant stock exchange or trading venue’s public limit order system.

It will be placed on that market’s central market order book and will be prioritised in terms of price (in the case of a limit) and time. Trades placed onto order books are visible to the entire market so as to contribute to the overall liquidity.
The stock or cash value of the order will therefore be unavailable for you to trade until the order is cancelled or completed.

What are the risks involved with international shares?

Dealing on foreign markets will involve different risks from UK markets - in some cases the risks may be greater.

Culture Language and cultural differences between the UK and foreign markets may mean that there is a lack of information, or difficulty in obtaining information you may consider important to your trading decisions.
Currency Risks Any potential profit or loss from your trade in foreign markets may be affected by fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.
Economy and Politics Economic or political factors such as inflation or interest rate fluctuations in the UK could affect overseas markets. The general economic outlook and market conditions may differ considerably between the UK and foreign markets causing them to be less – or more – favourable.
Emerging Markets Emerging markets tend to be less developed than in the UK leading to greater volatility in securities pricing. The value of your investments could, as a result, change quickly.
Shareholder Rights You may find, as a shareholder, you are excluded from some shareholder rights and benefits because you are resident in a different jurisdiction from that of the company you have invested in. An example would be participating in corporate events such as a Rights Issue. You may find you are not treated in the same way as other shareholders and could suffer losses as a result.
Taxation Tax laws overseas differ from those in the UK. Tax authorities in many countries will take a larger amount of tax than they would in the UK because of higher rates. Remember that ISAs and SIPPs will only shelter you from UK tax. How tax is calculated abroad could therefore affect the value of, and returns from, any foreign investments.
Trading and Settlement Foreign markets may trade at a lower volume than in the UK and this reduced liquidity may make it more difficult to sell shares you have bought. It could also cause delays with settlement.

What charges do I pay?

A dealing commission charge of £12.50 per trade will be made for all online trades in international shares. Telephone trades cost £25 dealing commission per trade.

A currency conversion must be made for an international trade, either from Pounds Sterling into a foreign currency to buy, or from a foreign currency into Pounds Sterling to sell. As our fee, we take away 1.25% from the exchange rate for buys, and add 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.

We provide indicative exchange rates prior to trading and the rate applied to each trade is confirmed on the trade confirmation after the deal is completed.

Please note: You can’t trade international shares within the Halifax ShareBuilder.

How is the foreign exchange charge worked out?

You buy 10 shares in a company valued at $100.00 per share. At the time the trade is placed, the £/$ exchange rate is 1.5200.

Cost of shares - 10 x $100.00 $1,000.00
Cost of shares in GBP - $1,000.00/1.52 £657.89
FX rate with FX charge added (1.25%) 1.25% of 1.52 = 0.019
1.52 – 0.019 = 1.501
Cost of shares in GBP including FX charge $1,000/1.501=£666.22
FX cost: £666.22 - £657.89 £8.33

The final figure shown within the above table as the FX cost will be the fee taken by us for the $1,000 international trade at an exchange rate of 1.5200.

Why trade international shares with Halifax Share Dealing?

  • A simple and easy to use dealing account which you can manage online, over the phone or on your mobile.
  • Use our TradePlan service to automatically trade for you at the price you want. Charges apply for this service.
  • Real-time online dealing for £12.50 commission per trade (plus FX charge).

View our accounts View our charges

Halifax Share Dealing Limited.  Registered in England and Wales no. 3195646.  Registered Office: Trinity Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2RG.  Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN under registration number 183332.  A Member of the London Stock Exchange and an HM Revenue & Customs Approved ISA Manager.