BNP Paribas offers Vanguard founds (not ETFs) from Europe

Hi all,
at the moment i am looking for a Broker to start with my mustachian investing. I see that in this blog is recommended to buy ETFs because it is not possible to buy US vanguard funds from Europe.

I have seen that there is a French Bank offering vanguard funds and amundi founds (very similar to vanguard but not clean) at low cost. This Bank is PNB Paribas.

All my colleagues in Spain are buying funds this way and I ask myself if this could be also possible for us living in Switzerland and if doing this to buy them would be better/cheaper than buying the ETFs in other brokers like IB or CT.

What is low cost?

Mutual Funds are not cheaper than ETF, at least in case of Vanguard they are more expensive than ETFs.

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I think they charge only the TER of each fund (about 0.30% for Vanguard funds). No buy and sell commissions.

Recently they have started to charge a 0.24% custody commission but it is possible to avoid it if you have in your portfolio more than 50% invested in “no clean” funds, like Amundi (very similar to Vanguard).

And why exactly do you want mutual funds?

US-Listed ETFs will result in TER of <0.1% for a globally diversified portfolio. With IE-Listed, you can get <0.2%.

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If you’re in CH, consider yourself lucky and take advantage of what you get here (no capital gain tax, access to lower cost and more efficient US ETFs), people in Spain likely don’t have that choice and have to do something different.

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Actually, I’d like to clarify what are the tax implications in Switzerland when holding index funds?

Vanguard UK offers a general account with 0.15% account fee, capped at 375 GBP per year. then you can invest in both index funds and ETFs.

It’s not all that expensive, especially when compared to choosing a Swiss broker. You skip a broker totally, which is one less point where it all could fail. I know JCollins invests directly with Vanguard (in USA), he skips the exchanges and ETFs, he has somehow more trust in index funds.

My questions here are however:

  • which currencies does Vanguard UK accept
  • at which exchange rate does Vanguard covert your money to USD when you buy a USD product
  • how do you report index funds in Swiss tax declaration
  • at which prices do you trade index funds, since they are not exchange traded

I really like the idea of investing directly with Vanguard, because it’s a simpler and a bit safer solution. And when you buildup your portfolio and you reach $1’000’000 value, you still only pay 375 GBP, which at this point would only be 0.0375%. To me that’s a fair price and you don’t feel like you’re just freeloading on the backs of active traders like you do on Interactive Brokers.

What do you guys think?


First thing on that link: Capital at risk. For UK residents only.

For CH, there’s some mutual fund available: but TER for individual investor classes is much higher than ETFs and there’s a 100k minimum investment. Maybe at some point Vanguard might target the CH individual investment market (but I’d guess they’d first go for some larger EU market first).


I missed that one. So I guess for Swiss residents there is no way to directly invest with Vanguard yet? The website looks really shabby and I don’t see what you should do to invest with them.

Are you sure the Swiss branch is offering these funds? Offers in each country are different.
A lot of amundi funds use Swap, be careful with that.

I completely agree that mutual funds are easier to invest. However, the funds from Vanguards in Europe have an higher TER than ETFs and with european based funds you can’t use the W8-BEN to have a tax reduction

If you are in Switzerland - Vanguard has an office in Switzerland (Zurich), but not for private investors. The “easiest” thing is to open an account with Swissquote (Online Bank) and buy those either on the Swiss Exchange in CHF (VUSA > S&P500) or directly on the other exchanges. Swissquote offers really super competitive pricing structure (see link). You can register also as a non Swiss resident online on their web site.
P.S. I don’t put any affiliation link in - I truly like Swissquote for trading any kind.

You should probably know that most of Mustachians here are with Interactive Brokers, where we can buy the cheaper and more tax efficient Vanguard US funds, while each trade costs 0.3 US$ and there are no custody fees. Swissquote comes out extremely expensive in comparison.


Oh, did not know that. Thanks for that advice!

Interactive Brokers is a lot cheaper. However, Swissquote is one of the cheapest based in Switzerland

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They truly don’t. They may be cheap within Switzerland, but not cheap compared to e.g. IB.