The MER on many of the popular iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will be going up due to a 5% increase in management fees. This change will affect 29 ETFs. A notable ETF not affected by this change is the S&P/TSX 60 Index Fund (XIU).
The Notice to unitholders goes to a lot of trouble to explain that this is just a change in the way that the GST is handled. BlackRock used to pay the GST out of the management fees collected, but now they won’t. The claim is that “There will be no change to the amount of management fees paid by any iShares Fund.”
Notwithstanding language games, the amount of management fee kept by BlackRock for the affected funds will be going up by 5%. The amount that investors will pay for the combination of management fees and GST will be going up by 5%. There is no getting around the fact that this is a 5% fee increase.