Expenses in Nordic Investment Funds in a European Context finds that Nordic funds charge on average just 0.98% per year across the four main product categories – equity, fixed income, allocation and money market – compared with a pan-European average of 1.08%.
The region’s strong performance can be attributed to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, respectively the lowest-cost European domiciles for allocation, bond and equity funds.
Investors pay just 0.28% for Norwegian-domiciled bond strategies, for example – less than a third of the European average.
Outside of the Nordic region, Ireland and France also compare favourably with the rest of Europe, with overall asset-weighted average charges of 0.78% and 0.85% respectively (see table).
France is the lowest-charging European domicile for money market funds, with annual fees running at just 0.17%.
Belgium, Italy most costly
At the other end of the spectrum, investors in Belgian-domiciled funds pay the highest AMCs, with allocation and money market strategies the costliest in Europe.
Italy also fares poorly, thanks in part to equity fund charges of 2.11%, almost 70 basis points above the continental average.
Investors in Luxembourg- and UK-domiciled funds similarly pay over the odds, according to Morningstar, with average fees of 1.22% per year. Indeed, Luxembourg-domiciled bond strategies are the most expensive in Europe on an asset-weighted basis, with AMCs of 1.00%.
“Our findings demonstrate that domicile does indeed matter, with considerable degrees of variation between the average ongoing charge in each of the domiciles we surveyed,” wrote Nikolaj Holdt Mikkelsen, Morningstar Denmark’s chief analyst.
“If we take an investment of €100,000 and assume an additional monthly savings rate of €500 for a further ten years, and only take ongoing charges into account, we have a difference of some €9,500 in growth between an investor in the cheapest domicile, Norway, and the most expensive domicile, Belgium.”
A PDF of the full report can be downloaded from the Morningstar website, here.