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Getting into gold investment is one of the most tried and tested avenues for many traders particularly the more experienced, and especially in times of economic turbulence thanks to the safe-haven nature of the precious metal.
If you are in the UK and thinking about buying gold, then your journey should start with the best broker you can find. We have gathered a collection of some of the best in the industry below, along with some useful tips to help you get started.
Key Factors When Buying Gold in the UK
Trusted Broker: First and foremost you want to make sure you are dealing with a reputable broker. Strong indicators here can include the length of time they have been operating, positive reviews from a large pool of users, and any other professional accreditations they are holding. All of the brokers we have selected are among the most trusted in the country.
Storage Fees & Security: Double-checking the fees, not only the spread on trading but most importantly any storage fees are very important to your bottom line. Local storage in the UK is beneficial and means you can even see your physical holdings in many cases.
Local Taxes and Regulations: Being fully aware of your tax liabilities and any other local regulations is also very important. In the UK, as with many other countries, there are favorable tax terms in place on investment-grade gold that we will look at in more detail below.
Best Places to Buy Gold in the UK
Direct Bullion specialises in supplying LBMA-approved Gold and Silver bars and coins to clients both within the UK and internationally.
In addition to online sales, Direct Bullion offers a highly personalised buying service. Their in-house industry specialists are readily available to assist customers and respond to any queries. This personalised service can be accessed either over the phone or through face-to-face appointments at one of their London offices.
Customer satisfaction is the paramount priority at Direct Bullion, achieved through their ‘Gold Standard Customer Service'. They believe that a premium product such as gold warrants equally premium service. This philosophy has rapidly established Direct Bullion as a leading choice for confidential, bespoke precious metals packages, offered at surprisingly competitive premiums.
Although renowned for their work with HNW individuals, particularly in the £1million+ investment bracket, Direct Bullion extends the same high level of service, low margins, and insured UK delivery to all clients, regardless of whether they are purchasing a single coin or stocking a vault.
This is our top pick for UK residents.
BullionStar is among the most trusted names in the industry anywhere in the world. BullionStar is based in Singapore where they run a hugely transparent operation facilitating your investment in over 1,000 different products across 10 categories including not only gold bars but coins and more though they do hold a good reputation among UK traders and others around the world
They can provide a completely tax-free environment for your gold bullion purchases thanks to the tax and reporting-free environment in Singapore, while also facilitating your 24/7 online access to your holdings from the UK and other jurisdictions. These holdings are also fully insured and held in the most secure physical storage that is certified and regularly audited. BullionStar will also send you pictures of your holdings or you can view them in person at their physical location in Singapore.
Their spread on trading gold and other precious metal products is extremely low while storage fees start from only 0.09% per annum with a daily minimum fee of 0.19 SGD. You can also keep cash as well as gold and commodities on your account at BullionStar to take advantage of online trading at any time. The broker also has impeccable financial records that they make available transparently on a regular basis.
GoldBroker.com is another extremely popular broker choice if you are looking to buy gold or other precious metals in the UK. The broker is backed by a highly experienced team and is UK-based having been around since 2011. They are though kept very accessible to traders from the UK and other countries around the world. With storage facilities in Singapore and other major countries like the US, Switzerland, and Canada, this is also ideal for those who wish to avail of the tax-free environment.
Alongside competitive pricing on gold and the other assets they offer, the broker is able to provide you with direct and certified ownership of the gold in your own name and without any intermediaries. This makes the process extremely smooth and user-friendly particularly if you are new to buy or trading gold.
The fees here are GoldBroker.com remain competitive also. They have a sliding scale in place that varies depending on the size of your gold holdings with charges ranging from 0.95% for more than 4,500 ounces, to 1.5% on anything below $20,000 in value. The minimum investment here is $10,000 and they also provide a very useful and competitive buyback service as well as shipping capabilities.
Bullion Vault is another top choice if you are looking for an industry name to buy gold in the UK. The company was founded in 2003 and has risen to become one of the most high-volume gold trading and storage services in the world with vault locations in several countries.
As well as being able to trade from around the world in gold, silver, and other precious metals, Bullion Vault also allows you to hold an account and automatic gold investment plan that you can set up to make regular purchases at some of the best prices offered through their service.
They are known as one of the most secure for physical storage around the world, and all of your funds that are not yet invested are also kept in a segregated top-tier bank account, that along with your precious metal holdings, is fully insured. Commission on purchases starts from 0.5% on the first $75,000 of gold which drops on a sliding scale with higher purchases. Storage fees are 0.12% on your stored gold per year. This is billed on a monthly basis.
UK Gold Tax Regulations
Just as in many other countries, investment-grade gold is exempt from some taxes in the UK. This means you will not have to pay VAT on your gold purchase if you are a UK resident and you declare your purchase there, or purchase it in the UK.
The payment of Capital Gains Tax is another matter in the UK. There is no straightforward exemption, though it does depend what kind of gold product you are buying. Almost all British made gold coins for example, will qualify for an exemption from CGT since they are classified as legal currency in the UK. You can double check the exact status with an expert prior to purchase. If you are purchasing other types of gold you may pay CGT at between 10-20% based on your income though you will have a tax-free allowance of £11,300 above which any profits are liable to be taxed.
The availability of several trusted brokers, and favorable tax conditions particularly if you are buying British-made gold coins, make the UK a great place for you to start investing in gold at any level.
Anthony is a financial journalist and business advisor with several years’ experience writing for some of the most well-known sites in the Forex world. A keen trader turned industry writer, he is currently based in Shanghai with a finger on the pulse of Asia’s biggest markets.