Moving funds to IBRK?

My partner and I are moving to Switzerland from the UK in the coming months. We have some ETFs at Vanguard UK and Interactive Investors (UK). Should we transfer these to IBRK, since that seems to be the recommended platform here? We can keep our UK Vanguard and II accounts but I’d prefer to simplify our account setup as far as possible. How is IBRK for collecting relevant information needed to file tax returns etc? Some brokers make this easy, some make it hard.

It’s unfortunate that our investments and cash are in sterling but I don’t think this is a problem that this forum can help us with :cry:

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First, it might be necessary since Vanguard UK/Interactive Investors might not accept residents outside of UK for compliance reasons.

Second, check how tax rules are in UK. Any exit/Capital gain taxes ?

If you decide to move funds to another broker, I would check if transferring the funds is cheaper or not compared to sell, transfer cash and rebuy. You might be few days out of the market, but the risk is low in a 15y and longer investment time horizon

Tax returns for normal ETFs are pretty easy in Switzerland with IBRK. Print out the yearly activity report and report the values from there (value on 31.12. and dividends paid out through the year). If you accumulating ETFS, I would switch over to distributing equivalents. Tax handling is the same but reporting will be easier.

About currency, the difference of performance is just the different valuation of currency, the underlying is exactly the same. In Switzerland it makes sense to go for US ETFs to save on some US-witholding tax. In IBKR the sale, exchange of currency and the rebuy is dead cheap.

Hope that helps.


I would recommend to actually take the official numbers from here (especially in case of dividends paid in an other currency than CHF or some special dividends that might be tax free) : ICTax - Income & Capital Taxes

I can keep my Vanguard and II accounts in Switzerland, though I’d prefer to consolidate them. My positions are all a loss so there’s no CGT to pay, fortunately or not…

I didn’t want to crystallise the loses (also see next point) but as Switzerland has no CGT perhaps it doesn’t matter.

Does this hold even accounting for the dramatic weakening of GBP against USD? That is, I bought, say, £1000 of an ETF 8 months ago. That ETF has lost value (say it’s £800 now), as has sterling against USD. If I sell now I am both losing £200 on the original investment and my resulting £800 buys fewer USD to buy an equivalent USD-denominated fund. Should I conclude that an equivalent USD-denominated ETF would be equally priced even accounting for selling the GBP fund, then buying USD with the resulting proceeds?

If however you can deduct losses from your whole income, it would be actually interesting for your final tax declaration in the UK. Otherwise, it does not matter since Switzerland has no CGT, as you correctly stated.

About the currency :
This won’t matter, the underlying securites are the same. For instance, you can buy VWRL (vanguard all world) in USD, EUR, GBP or CHF. You will see that the performance of VWRL is different per currency, but that this can be explained totally through differences in currency exchange. You can sell your VWRL in GBP, exchange into USD, rebuy VWRL and you should have the same amount of VWRL (-transaction costs). If of course the time gap between selling and buying is more than few days, there might be an issue if the current UK finance minister is releasing a new budget in the mean time…

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Aha, okay. I’m not sure where my previous misunderstanding of this stemmed from but after reading this it seems obvious. For my own curiosity I also checked out the price of VWRL in CHF/GBP and VWRD (its USD counterpart) and, indeed, N units of VWRL is worth N units of VWRD after converting the currency.