Australia has been named as one of the most investor-friendly countries for investment fees and expenses, according to Morningstar.
In its Global Investor Experience survey on fees and expenses, the firm found Australia was top, alongside the Netherlands and the United States.
Morningstar said effective regulation had led to high fee transparency while competition and economies of scale conferred savings in Australia. It also noted Australian markets were closed to funds domiciled elsewhere which meant their low expenses for locally-domiciled funds were unaffected by pricier offshore funds.
Italy and Taiwan were named as the least-friendly for investors as they had high fee costs while Italy fell from Below Average to Bottom as it suffered from high asset-weighted median expenses and imposed front loads.
Morningstar considered publicly-available open-ended funds and used asset-weighted expense ratios to compare fund costs across global markets.
“Based on our analysis, we conclude the investor experience is improving across multiple markets given lower fees and ease of entry for investors to buy funds without loads or trailing commission.
“Across many markets, regulators are stepping up to promote fee transparency, as government policies in these markets have facilitated increased savings through tax incentives, compulsion or both. Considerable investment industry growth, helped by rising markets and increased savings, has also put a spotlight on the need to share the benefits of economies of scale with investors,” Morningstar said.