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Hidden Fund Fees Mean British Investors Pay Double U.S. Rates

U.K. investors are paying twice as much for mutual funds as those in the U.S. and getting worse returns as a result of hidden fees costing as much as 18.5 billion pounds ($29.3 billion) a year, say industry executives.

Opaque fee structures, which exclude trading charges that can double the cost of owning a fund, make it difficult for customers to compare products and hurt competition, according to executives at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, Fundsmith LLP and SCM Private LLP. U.K. and European Union regulators are taking note and have already moved to ban some commissions starting next year.