Yes, usually there is a fee. Our goal though is to keep any foreign currency exchange as little as possible through VIAC’s intelligent calculation system. Thus, in the best case, the fee is at 0% when the purchases and sales of foreign currencies during rebalancing cancel each other out across all customers.
Should the purchase and sale volumes not be identical, the foreign currency fee is only charged on the difference that is actually traded – more information on the settlement system can be found here: Academy. The resulting costs are then distributed proportionately among all customer orders.
Experience shows that, depending on the strategy, one-off costs of a maximum of 0.20% (e.g. Global 100) could occur. Here an example: 60% foreign currency share x 0.3%, whereby the 0.3% corresponds to the effective optimized foreign currency fees for the months June, July and August 2020. Without internal settlement or optimization which VIAC carries out in the interest of its customers, the premium charged by the Bank would be 0.75%. Therefore we pass on 100% of all cost advantages directly to our customers.
Historically and over the long term, the annual average cost of all strategies is less than 0.05%. With other providers, these fees are usually hidden and not disclosed to the customer. They are for instance not included in the TER of a fund. Hence the name “Total Expense Ratio” is misleading as foreign currency hedges, which cause recurring / running costs are also not included in the TER. However, especially in long-term pension plans, such recurring costs are much more important than a one-off fee for the foreign currency exchange.