Woman looking at mobile phone

How do I trade US shares?

If you want to trade US shares there are 2 things you need to do first.

Please note, this needs to be completed in the order shown below.

Please remember that the value of investments and the income from them, can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invest. If you’re not sure about investing, seek independent advice. There will normally be a charge for that advice. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.

1. Complete the relevant tax form

a) A non-US person such as a UK resident would ordinarily complete a W-8BEN.

Download a W-8BEN form (PDF, 62 KB)

b) A US person would ordinarily complete a W-9:

Download a W-9 form (PDF, 130 KB)

How long is it valid for?

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.

Once you’ve completed your form you’ll need to send it to us.

  • Send from your personal computer

    Complete and sign the document on your computer using Adobe Sign, then email the completed document to us.
  • Send from your phone

    If you’re an Apple user, you can use the below method to complete the form using Markup.

    Use Markup on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support

    If you use Android you can use apps like the Adobe fills and Sign app edit the form.

    Once you’ve completed the form you just need to email it to us.

    Email us
  • Send by post

    Customer Registration Department
    Lloyds Bank Share Dealing Limited
    Lovell Park Road
    LS1 1NS

2. Complete the NYSE subscriber agreement

Once the W-8BEN form has been registered on your account, you can place your international trade. Simply log on to your share dealing account, select dealing from the right hand menu and choose the Int'l tab.

The first time you trade a NYSE agreement will pop up. Once you've completed the form and confirmed that you are not a professional investor, you will be able to trade immediately.

The NYSE agreement will only appear the first time an international trade is placed and if your circumstances change you will need to contact us.

  • Before you can buy US shares (or if you’re receiving income from the US), you must complete an IRS tax form. For trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), we are required to declare your status as either a non-professional or professional investor. We may share your personal information with NYSE if they request confirmation of your status as a non-professional investor.

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.

Table showing different risks from UK markets whilst dealing on foreign markets


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.


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 international charges do I pay?

We’ve removed our dealing commission fee for online trades across six international markets. Foreign exchange rates still apply (1%).

Our currency conversion fee takes away 1% from the exchange rate for buys, and adds 1% for sales. An indicative exchange rate will be shown prior to trading and the final rate will be shown once the trade is completed.

See our full list of charges (PDF, 87 KB)

  • Below is an example of how the foreign exchange charge is calculated:

    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


    Cost of shares in GBP -$1,000.00/1.52


    FX rate with FX charge added (1%)

    1% of 1.52 = 0.0152
    1.52 – 0.0152 = 1.5048

    Cost of shares in GBP including FX charge


    FX cost: £666.22 -£657.89


    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.

Common questions we’re asked

Trading questions

  • 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.

  • As international orders are placed directly on the relevant market's order book you will need to specify a quantity to trade and will not have ability to use an ‘invest’ option.

  • 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, which allows you to trade shares from 8am until 9pm, Monday to Friday.

    Opening hours of international stock markets

    Stock Exchange

    Local Times

    UK Times

    Stock Exchange

    New York (NYSE, NASDAQ, NYSEAmex)

    Local Times

    09:30 - 16:00

    UK Times

    14:30 - 21:00

    Stock Exchange

    Frankfurt (XETRA)

    Local Times

    09:00 - 17:30

    UK Times

    08:00 - 16:30

    Stock Exchange

    Milan (Euronext)

    Local Times

    09:00 - 17:25

    UK Times

    08:00 - 16:25

    Stock Exchange

    Paris (Euronext)

    Local Times

    09:00 - 17:30

    UK Times

    08:00 - 16:30

    Stock Exchange

    Amsterdam (Euronext)

    Local Times

    09:00 - 17:30

    UK Times

    08:00 - 16:30

    Stock Exchange

    Brussels (Euronext)

    Local Times

    09:00 - 17:30

    UK Times

    08:00 - 16:30

  • Trading international shares

    When investing in international shares you’re required to have an additional 10% of the total value of the trade (the total value is based on the estimated 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.

    Trading UK shares

    When you get a quote for a UK share we use automated systems to request quotes at the same time from all available market counterparties. 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.

    When you trade UK shares 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 we will have the ability to use an ‘invest’ option which lets you trade up to the full amount of money held in your share dealing account rather than specifying a number of shares to buy.

Tax and income questions

  • When dividends, interest payments or some other types of corporate settlement are made by foreign corporations or governments, Withholding Tax will usually be deducted at the point of payment and paid to the government of the country initiating that payment. The amount of Withholding Tax deducted can differ from country to country and will affect the value of the returns.

    If you receive foreign payments from trading international securities through us, the amount of Withholding Tax you have paid will appear on your consolidated tax certificate, which can be viewed online. If you are not registered online we post this certificate to you at the end of the tax year.

  • 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.

Important legal information

The Lloyds Bank Direct Investments Service is operated by Halifax Share Dealing Limited. Registered Office: Trinity Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2RG. Registered in England and Wales no. 3195646. Halifax Share Dealing Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 183332. A Member of the London Stock Exchange and an HM Revenue & Customs Approved ISA Manager.

Important share dealing information