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Standard Chartered Online Trading DID Removed 0.5% UK Stamp Duty From Certain Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)

On April 26, I wrote about the clarification that I did with SCB online trading that from Apr 1st 2014, investors seeking to invest in LSE traded exchange traded funds (ETF) should not be charged with a 0.5% stamp duty.

I attempt to carry out the transaction and was disappointed to see that the Stamp Duty was still in effect.

It turns out that a reader MoMo have probed and garnered more information than me:

It would seem that  ETFs on LSE with ISIN starting with GB and IE are exempted from stamp duty.

The fees shown when placing order is only indicative. To look at the actual cost, you have to look at the contract note.

The two Vanguard FTSE All World ETF, one in GBP (VWRL) and USD (VWRD) are listed here as having ISIN code: IE00B3RBWM25 and IE00B3RBWM25 respectively. Which qualifies them to be exempted.

As SCB online trading have no minimum commission payable (which is why they are so attractive), and that you can purchase 1 share of any stock instead of 1000 shares on the LSE exchange that are listed, I went about purchasing 1 share of VWRD, which is the USD version of the All World ETF.

The difference this time is that I executed the transaction. In the summary you can see that $0.34 of UK stamp duty or 0.5% is charged.

When I received the Securities Contract Note in the letter box it reads the following:

  • US$ 68.15
  • Brokerage US$ 0.17
  • UK PTY Levy US$ 0.00
  • Client GST US$ 0.01
  • Total US$ 68.33

As you can see, the UK Stamp Duty wasn’t levied (but there is an additional of GST). In addition, UK have 0% dividend withholding tax compared to US whose withholding tax is 30% (Singapore is also 0%)

However, UK does have an inheritance tax which behave more like a death tax. If an investor passes away with 500k pounds, the amount in excess of 325k pounds currently (subject to change in the future), which is 175k will be taxed 40%, in this case 70k pounds.

Reader MoMo does cite the advantage of VWRD over VWRL on SCB Online Trading, by virtue of a more favorable conversion from SGD to USD versus SGD to GBP on the platform (although it is still rather bad)

One quick note: You cannot find the quote query for VWRD on SCB. As I have shown, you can still select and bid for it. You are likely to see this no quotes found.

Is SCB the cheapest platform? Not quite. Rather it depends on the quantity and frequency of purchase.

If you have a large sum that you can split to 4 investments a year, other brokerage platforms might be worth it. The downside of most platform is that they have an inactivity fee, which forces you to execute more transactions than you would like (SCB do not have that)

The upside is that they have slightly better currency conversion rates than SCB.

To get started with dividend investing, start by bookmarking my Dividend Stock Tracker which shows the prevailing yields of blue chip dividend stocks, utilities, REITs updated nightly.

Make use of the free Stock Portfolio Tracker to track your dividend stock by transactions to show your total returns.

For my best articles on investing, growing money check out the resources section.


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Saturday 3rd of January 2015

Hi all, just wondering whether the article is still updated. I just checked SCB's website that it states that for ISIN starting with IE, a stamp duty of 1% would be levied.


Monday 12th of May 2014

Btw, now you can use POEMS to view the price of VWRD :)


Saturday 3rd of January 2015

I believe POEMS give you delayed quotes? How does one find out live quotes?


Monday 14th of July 2014

which platform do u use to trade momo? i suppose kyith use SCB right? for VRWD

Gabriel Wong

Wednesday 7th of May 2014

Hi Kyith,

I was looking into VWRD quote but there is nothing in SCB as mentioned. So asking how to get the VWRD from SCB? I got the USD settlement account but not GBP account?


Wednesday 7th of May 2014

Just key into the stock quote VWRD when purchasing. if you query the latest price, you will not get anything.


Wednesday 7th of May 2014

Hi Gabriel Wong. You cannnot see VWRD in stock quote, but you can place order. This means we need another site to view the price. Hope this helps.


Wednesday 7th of May 2014

can i clarify, it is not clear to me, so SCB did not charge the 0.5% and the transaction summary is incorrect.

Is my understanding right?


Wednesday 7th of May 2014

Hi kael. You are right. SCB did not charge the 0.5% stamp duty as verified by Kyith in his contract note. Well the transaction summary did say "Estimated Transaction Amount".


Tuesday 6th of May 2014

Hi Drizzt, another advantage of VWRD over VWRL when using SCB platform is that the dividends for this ETF are in USD. So if you buy VWRD, you receive dividends in USD which is ready for reinvestment.

Saxo is no longer attractive as they increased their LSE commission from 8 GBP to 20 GBP!


Wednesday 7th of May 2014

Hi momo, have you considered Canadian ETFs instead? The Vanguard ETFs there like VDU, VUN and VEE seem to have better liquidity than their UK counterparts like VWRD and VDEM.


Wednesday 7th of May 2014

Hi Drizzt and momo, I am thinking to switch my investment in ETFs listed on NYSE to those on LSE, and looking for the equivalents now.

For Bond ETFs, Vanguard only has UK govt bond index ETF. I am looking for equivalents of IEI and BWX which tracks US and intl govt medium-term bonds. Do you have any recommendations? Or can you share what bond etf you use in your asset allocation? Thanks :)

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