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Investing in funds that aren’t based in the UK

Investing in offshore funds

Most of the funds we offer to UK investors are based in the UK. This means that the investment manager keeps the assets in the UK and the fund manager is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

We also offer funds that are based in countries other than the UK. These are often called ‘offshore funds’ and are based in international financial centres in Dublin and Luxembourg.

These funds are registered for sale to investors in the UK and other countries. They allow companies like AXA Investment Managers to create funds that can be sold in many different countries at once. This makes managing the funds more efficient and allows us to offer more choice to clients.

Investing in an offshore fund is not a way for investors to evade tax. Investment returns are subject to the same rules on tax as domestically based funds. 

You should get advice before investing in an offshore fund

If you are unsure whether investing in an offshore fund is right for you, you should consider getting some advice from an independent financial adviser.

You can find an independent financial adviser on unbiased.co.uk . This is a website with national listings of independent financial advisers that can help you find an adviser in your area.

There are some particular areas of risk you should be aware of before investing in a non-UK domiciled fund.

Your investment may not be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) or the UK Financial Ombudsman

Because offshore funds aren’t authorised by the FCA, investors are not necessarily entitled to all the protections that are provided to investors in domestic funds.

An important one to be aware of is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS protects investors when UK-authorised financial services firms fail by paying compensation. Your investment is usually guaranteed by the FSCS up to an amount of £85,000 across all accounts held with the failed financial services firm.

You may also not be entitled to go to the UK Financial Ombudsman if you have a complaint about your investment.

You might be protected under these schemes if you invest through a UK financial adviser. But if you invest directly with the offshore fund manager it is very likely you won’t be covered. This introduces another layer of risk that you should consider before you invest.

Changes in the value of the pound can have an effect on returns

Investing in offshore funds often means investing in a currency other than pounds sterling, such as euros or US dollars. Changes in the exchange rate – the relative value of the pound to other currencies – will change the value of your investment, independently of how the value of the assets you are invested in changes. This is often called ‘exchange rate risk’.

This can be positive or negative. If the other currency rises in value relative to the pound, your holding will be worth more; if the value of the pound rises, your holding will be worth less.

This will only affect you when you come to cash your investment in – just like the other factors that can have an impact on the value of your investment – but it is another risk you should be aware of before you invest in an offshore fund.

Longer dealing times can affect what you get when you buy and sell

There is often a delay between the time you let us know you want to buy or sell a fund and setting the price of the deal. As a result, there can be a difference between the value of your investment when you let us know you want to trade and the actual price when you buy or sell, especially if markets are moving quickly.

It can take longer to price deals for offshore funds than UK-domiciled funds. UK funds typically deal within 24 hours. For offshore funds, it can be two days or more.

A longer dealing time could mean a bigger difference between the value of your investment when place a trade and the value when the deal is priced. You should bear these timings in mind when you are buying or selling units in an offshore fund. 

Many AXA IM funds also offer a ‘sterling hedged’ share class, which aims to reduce the impact of exchange rate fluctuations against the pound. That way, the value of your investment may better reflect the performance of the underlying assets.

Taxation could be different in offshore funds

Returns from offshore funds are taxed in same way, and at the same rate, as investments in domestic funds – you cannot avoid tax by investing offshore. However, there are administrative differences to the way offshore funds are taxed that can be important when you file your tax return. You should obtain tax advice if you’re uncertain about how this might affect you. 


Find out more about funds

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How to invest in offshore funds with AXA IM UK

You can invest in an AXA IM offshore fund either directly from AXA IM or by using an investment platform or fund supermarket.

If you have any questions after you’ve made your investment, you should go back to the channel you used to invest. So, if you invest through a platform or fund supermarket you should address any questions to them rather than AXA IM.

You can find out more about how to invest from our Frequently Asked Questions.

Find out more about investing

Helpful information to help you understand your investments.


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A fund is an easy way to invest in a diverse portfolio of different assets.


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Fixed Income

Investing in bonds

A bond is like a loan that pays regular interest and a final lump sum.


Your A to Z of key investment jargon

Key investment terms explained.

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    This marketing communication does not constitute on the part of AXA Investment Managers a solicitation or investment, legal or tax advice. This material does not contain sufficient information to support an investment decision.

    Issued in the UK by AXA Investment Managers UK Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. Registered in England and Wales No: 01431068. Registered Office: 22 Bishopsgate London EC2N 4BQ

    In other jurisdictions, this document is issued by AXA Investment Managers SA’s affiliates in those countries.

    Risk Warning

    The value of investments, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.