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:
|USA & Canada
||14.45 - 17.00|
||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.