International Retail Service (IRS)

What is the International Retail Service (IRS)?

The IRS is operated by the London Stock Exchange. It provides a simple and quick way to invest in approximately 350 European and North American blue chip stocks.

The list of stocks is updated by the LSE on a weekly basis. Popular European stocks offered include Banco Santander, Nokia, Fiat, Pirelli and Ericsson.

Stocks are structured as CDI's (CREST Depository Interests). This is a type of security held by CREST in an overseas settlement system. They trade just like any other UK listed share.

What are the benefits of the IRS?

  • Easy access - all IRS stocks, including European stocks, are available online as well as by telephone
  • UK dealing commissions apply. Find out more about our rates and charges
  • No stamp duty on North American and European Markets
  • Stocks are priced and settled in Sterling - therefore, there is no need for a FX transaction

How does the IRS compare with live market trading?

  • Costs of FX are absorbed into the bid/offer spreads quoted by Retail Service Providers. These spreads are therefore wider.
  • IRS bid/offer spreads are also wider because the IRS market is smaller and hence less liquid.
  • The service is available during normal LSE opening days and market hours. CDI's have different Mandatory Quote Periods during the UK trading day because of different time zones and global exchange hours. These are as follows:
RegionTrading Hours
USA & Canada 14.45 - 17.00
Norway 08.45 - 15.00
Italy & Sweden 08.45 - 16.00
Rest of Western Europe 08.15 - 16.00

Which account do I need to take advantage of the IRS?

You can take advantage of the IRS with our Trading and Trading accounts.

Other Requirements - Complete a W-8BEN Form. View our helpful guide here.

To begin trading on any of the international markets through the Computershare Sharedealing service, we require you to complete and return the US Internal Revenue Service form, W-8BEN. This form will also allow us to ensure that the correct amount of non-resident tax, withheld at source on US dividends, is deducted.

Need Help

Call our Customer Services team on 0370 707 1606

The value of your investments can go down as well as up. You may not get back all the funds you invest.

Computershare Brokerage Services provided by TD Direct Investing (Europe) Limited (a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank). Incorporated in England and Wales under registration number 2101863. Registered office: Exchange Court, Duncombe Street, Leeds, LS1 4AX, United Kingdom. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HS, United Kingdom (Financial Services Register Firm Reference Number 141282), member of the London Stock Exchange and the ICAP Securities and Derivatives Exchange. VAT Registration No. 397103051. For the purposes of the brokerage services, any contract is between you and TD Direct Investing. An affiliate of TD Direct Investing (Europe) Limited owns an equity interest in TMX Group Limited ("TMX") and The Toronto-Dominion Bank has a nominee director serving on the board thereof. As such, TD may be considered to have an economic interest in the listing and trading of securities on an exchange owned or controlled by TMX, including The Toronto Stock Exchange, the TSX Venture Exchange and Alpha Exchange, and in the clearing, settlement and depository services provided by The Canadian Depository for Securities and its affiliates. No person or company is required to obtain products or services from TMX or its affiliates as a condition of TD or its affiliates continuing to supply a product or service.

Compensation Arrangements (see also section 25 of our Terms of Service).

TD Direct Investing (Europe) Limited

Computershare Share Dealing Services are provided by TD Direct Investing and are covered by the protected investment business scheme operated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This scheme may in certain circumstances pay compensation to clients if they are eligible and if the regulated firm is unable or is likely to be unable to meet its’ liabilities to clients including when the firm becomes insolvent. Compensation may be available to eligible investors in respect of protected claims up to a maximum of £50,000 per claimant. Further information is available on the FSCS website at

Your cash is pooled with those of other clients and deposited with a number of Financial Institutions. The UK deposits are protected under the FSCS to a value of £75,000. In the interests of diversifying the risk we may invest a proportion of the pooled money in a Country outside the UK where we cannot guarantee that the money will be protected by similar Deposit Guarantee Scheme to the FSCS. The FSCS publish some useful material on this matter on