The fee war continues to rage on both sides of Atlantic and this time it is DWS who has cut charges on five of its core fixed income ETF range,
The Xtrackers II US Treasuries UCITS ETF (XUTD) and the Xtrackers II US Treasuries 1-3 UCITS ETF (XUT3) have seen their expense ratios cut to 0.07% from 0.12%.
Meanwhile, the Xtrackers II EUR High Yield Corporate Bond UCITS ETF (XHYG) and the Xtrackers USD High Yield Corporate Bond UCITS ETF (XHUY) saw a reduction to 0.20% from 0.35%.
Finally, the Xtrackers II Eurozone Government Bond UCITS ETF (X03F) saw its expense ratio slashed from 0.15% to 0.09%. XHUY tracks a Bloomberg index while the other four track iBoxx indices.
A spokesperson from DWS said in a statement: “As assets under management in Xtrackers ETFs continue to increase, we regularly review our product offering to see where we can reduce fees.”
The fee race to the bottom has been a key theme of 2019. In the US, Fidelity launched the first zero expense ratio index funds last summer while Salt Financial went one further on 12 March by filing to launch an ETF that pays investors for owning it, the Salt High truBeta US Market ETF (SLT).
While in Europe, JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) matched rivals Lyxor in launching Europe’s cheapest ETF at 0.04%, after ETF Stream revealed it was listing the JPM BetaBuilders US Equity UCITS ETF (BBUS).
However, the developments have received backlash from some parts of the industry with HANetf’s co-CEO and co-founder Hector McNeil labelling zero-fee ETFs as “gimmicks” while DWS’s very own head of passive investment sales for EMEA and Asia, Simon Klein warned the focus on fees is “misleading” and “dangerous”.
So far these cuts have been made in the core ETF space and it remains to be seen whether this will spill over to other parts of the markets such as smart beta or thematics.