How to buy Santander shares

Spanish bank Santander operates as a global financial institution with presence all over the world. Find out if now is a good time to invest in the banking giant.
By: James Knight
James Knight
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed,… read more.
Updated: May 18, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

This guide will look at the history of Santander and give you the low-down on its recent performance. In addition, it explains where to buy Santander stock online.

Compare the best platforms to invest in Santander shares

The best place to buy Santander shares is through an online stockbroker. If you are not quite ready to invest yet, scroll down to learn more about Santander.

1
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$50
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10
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Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
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Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
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Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
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eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
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user-score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
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Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
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How to buy Santander shares, a step-by-step guide

This is a simple process, even for the most inexperienced investor. The following list explains the steps you need to take to complete your investment.

  1. Choose a broker. To get started, you need to use an online brokerage platform. There are many different options to choose from, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. The comparison table above can help you select the right broker for you, and you can head to our comprehensive broker reviews if you’re still unsure.
  2. Create an account. Once you’ve selected your broker, simply go to their website and create an account. The steps required for this will vary from platform to platform, but generally, you can expect to have to provide your name, email address, phone number, and some form of photo identification.
  3. Deposit funds. Log into your broker account and select the option to deposit funds. Depending on your broker you’ll have a variety of payment options available; most brokers accept bank transfers and debit card payments, but not all accept e-wallets such as PayPal. Select your preferred payment method and deposit the amount of money you wish to invest in Santander shares.
  4. Place an order for BNC stock. Now navigate to the stocks section of your chosen brokerage platform. Here, you’ll be able to search for Santander’s ticker symbol (BNC) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the number of shares you wish to purchase and place your order.
  5. Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your Santander shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Santander! Check out our educational courses for further stock investing guidance.

What is Santander? And should I invest?

Santander Group (LON: BNC) is a Spanish bank and financial services company. It is the largest bank in Spain and through a series of acquisitions it has a presence all over the world to make it one of the largest financial institutions around. 

Santander operates slightly differently to many high street banks, using its global reach to insulate itself from market shocks. That generally worked well until the coronavirus pandemic hit and affected the entire global economy. That led to Santander announcing its first ever loss, a sign both of the group’s good performance history and also the depth of the pandemic downturn.

Santander must answer to banking regulators like the European Central Bank and Bank of England. Both blocked banks from paying dividends in 2020. Santander will look to restart the dividend as soon as possible and prior to the pandemic had been offering an attractive dividend yield.

How has the company performed in recent years?

The COVID-19 pandemic forced BNC into announcing the first loss in its history. Its UK arm contributed to the loss in a big way and had been struggling before that, embroiled in a price war over mortgages that erased its margins. In late 2020 BNC hit its lowest ever point on the London Stock Exchange, with shares trading at 138p.

Until the pandemic Santander had been performing well and particularly so compared to its competitors. Where British banks were affected by constant uncertainty in the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit vote, Santander suffered only a small downturn before bouncing back up to 500p. 

That has proven a good guide for BNC’s value since 2013, as it has hovered between 400-500p but has been unable to break much beyond that barrier. Those fluctuations could offer an opportunity for investors who base their investments on technical analysis, while the fundamentals are more complicated.

Is it a good time to buy Santander shares now?

Banks tend to be a good guideline for the health of the overall economy and the pandemic is a reminder that this type of investment is always vulnerable to unpredictable market events. With that in mind, Santander is more resilient now with increased capitalisation compared to the 2008 crisis and its global spread can help insulate it from localised economic shocks.

The question marks are more to do with the global situation as a whole, which means any potential buyer needs to assess how banks may benefit from more certainty in the aftermath of the pandemic. Although Santander hasn’t been affected by Brexit in the same way as its competitors, a struggling Eurozone could cause it problems.

Those factors will affect Santander stock in the short to medium term, while longer term investors will want to look for signs of interest rate changes to increase loan profitability. Bank dividend payouts are likely to be restricted in the short term and until they are released from regulatory forces might struggle to offer as good a return as possible. You can follow all the latest news and read our market analyses below.

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Buying, selling and trading shares for beginners

What to do before buying shares

You should always take the time to research a stock fully before investing your money, especially if you haven’t bought shares before. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances of making a wise investment. 

With that in mind, here’s a checklist to run through before investing in Santander shares.

  1. Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company before investing. What is Santander? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Santander’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Santander, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
  2. Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before getting involved in the stock market, make sure you have an understanding of how it works. This will ensure that you have more clearly defined goals and have thought through how you will achieve them.
  3. Decide between share dealing and CFD trading. Choose the type of investment strategy you want to pursue, and make sure you have carried out the necessary fundamental or technical analysis for share dealing and CFD trading respectively.
  4. Set the size of your budget. The golden rule of investing is never to risk more than you can afford to lose. Not every investment you make will result in a profit, so it is important to set a budget that not only allows good potential for capital growth, but also protects against overly damaging losses.
  5. Find the right broker. Individual brokers each have their own pros and cons. Some will have low fees but have a user interface you struggle to understand, whereas others may be a bit more expensive but come with a range of features that you want to take advantage of. Our broker reviews can help you find the right platform for you.
  6. Examine broader market conditions. No stock exists in a vacuum, and it’s always important to analyse the general trends of the stock market as a whole before investing. If a bear market is setting in and stock prices are falling, it’s best to wait it out and invest your money later when the stock is cheaper. If, however, the market is looking bearish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. Our news section can help you keep on top of movements in the financial markets.

What is the difference between buying, selling, and trading shares?

If you’re new to stock investing, then it’s important to understand the basics of how to buy, sell, and trade Santander shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying Santander

This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for Santander stock, as outlined in the steps further up this page. Ideally, you want to time your investment when the stock’s price is low so that you can profit by selling the shares after they increase in value.

Selling Santander

When you sell any Santander shares you have bought, you’ll want to do so at a higher price than the one at which you bought to earn a profit. 

When you sell is up to you. You might decide to hold for a long period of time, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that Santander’s stock is already up a lot compared to the price you bought it and you’ve noticed that the stock market is starting to fall, it might make sense to sell and take your profits to invest elsewhere. Equally, if the stock has fallen since you bought it and looks set to fall further, it might be a good idea to cut your losses by selling your shares.

Trading Santander

Trading is the same process as buying and selling shares, it’s just done over shorter periods of time with the aim to make small profits on a regular basis. This means that you can make money faster and spend your profits in your day-to-day life – however, on the other side it means you can lose money faster as well. For inexperienced investors, we generally recommend making investments for at least 6 months to a year instead of making trades in quick succession.

You can trade Santander shares directly or use CFDs. These allow investors to speculate on stock prices and trade with leverage in pursuit of bigger gains. CFDs trading is explained further in the next section, but it is worth noting that beginners should avoid trading with leverage. It comes with large risks and is best left to experienced investors.

Share dealing vs CFD trading

When it comes to investing in any stock, the two options you have are share dealing and trading. Which one of these methods to opt for largely depends on your investment timeline, with investors that have a long-term vision tending to go for share dealing, and those looking for short-term gains exercising a more aggressive trading strategy.

Here’s a quick summary of the two approaches, and the pros and cons of each.

Share dealing 

Share dealing refers to the practice of holding shares in a particular company over the long term. When investing like this, you’re seeking to profit either from regular and stable dividend payments or an increase in the stock’s price over time.

When investing your money this way, it is important to do thorough fundamental analysis of the company in which you are investing. You want to put your money in a stock you believe will trend upwards over time, even if there is some market volatility along the way, rather than get distracted by shorter term peaks and troughs.

Pros

  • Can build wealth over time to achieve financial goals
  • Don’t need to be very reactive to short-term market movements
  • Some stocks will allow you to profit with regular dividend payments

Cons

  • Takes a long time to realise any profits
  • Your capital is tied up in stocks and cannot be used for other investments

CFD Trading 

If your aim is to generate profits in the short term, then you might be better off trading shares than holding them in your portfolio. Stock trades like this are executed using CFDs (contracts for difference), which allow investors to trade against the value of a stock without having to take ownership of it. When CFD trading, investors are looking to buy and sell stocks fast to profit from short-term fluctuations in value.

One aspect of CFD trading that many investors find attractive is that they allow you to trade with leverage. This means you can place large trades while only putting up a fraction of the value yourself – for instance, if a platform offered leverage of 1:10, you could put £10 into BNC shares and be able to trade £100 worth. This can maximise profits if the market moves in your favour, but be careful as it can also lead to heavy losses.

When trading using CFDs, it is key to be skilled at technical analysis and reading stock price charts. As you’re trading stocks quickly and frequently, the fundamental strength of the company in which you’re investing isn’t as important as being able to predict how its stock price will rise and fall minute-by-minute.

Pros

  • Can generate fast profits if you read the market right 
  • Some platforms allow you to trade with leverage
  • Prevents your capital being tied up so you can take advantage of investment opportunities

Cons

  • Trading with leverage is risky and can lead to big losses
  • Doesn’t necessarily generate growth over the long term

Consider which approach suits you best and craft an investment strategy that works for you. If you need more information, then simply take our stock trading course and read our guide to CFD trading to get you up to speed. 

If neither of these options appeal to you, then you can find a variety of other ways to invest in BNC stock on this page. If, however, you’re ready to get involved now, simply select one of the brokers in the table above.

How to choose a broker

With the wide variety of online brokers available these days, it can be hard to figure out which is the best service to go with. Our comparison table and in-depth reviews can help you cut through the noise, but by and large, these are the aspects you should be considering when selecting a broker:

  • Range of stocks available. The most important thing is that you can actually use the broker to purchase the shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets, such as forex and commodities.
  • Fees and commissions. You want to keep as large a chunk of your profits as you can, so it’s important to make sure your broker doesn’t charge high fees that can eat into your profits.
  • Regulation. You should only use regulated brokers to make investments. Unregulated brokers can be risky and offer little to no protection if the business were to fail while you had funds in your account.
  • Payment methods available. You might want to invest using a specific payment method, such as PayPal. Not all brokers accept every payment method, but by using our comparisons, you can search for only the brokers that support the option you’re looking for.
  • Reputation. One of the strongest indicators of a broker’s reliability is the reputation it has with the customers who have used it. Brokers are online businesses, and as such many user experiences can be found online. You can check these out in addition to our reviews to make sure you choose the right platform.
  • Customer service. As you’re going to be investing your money using the platform, you want to check that the broker offers good customer service in case you have a query or something goes wrong.

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Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

James Knight
Financial writer
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed, rode, and ate an ostrich all on… read more.