Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) track the performance of an equity index or commodity on a one-for-one basis, and as such will rise or fall throughout the trading day according to the Underlying Asset that it tracks. Unlike Exchange Traded Funds, ETNs can track a single Underlying Asset, which makes them perfect for gaining access to a single commodity or underlying asset. The comprehensive range of ETNs available from Societe Generale includes virtually all major commodity markets.


ETNs also have an advantage when it comes to investing in foreign markets. Traditionally, where an underlying asset is quoted in a currency different to that of the investment product, the investor is exposed to ‘Currency Risk’. As such, any change in exchange rate between the two currencies may erode the performance of the product. To eliminate this ‘Currency Risk’, Quanto ETNs replicate the performance of the underlying in percentage terms, ignoring changes in the exchange rate. So a 1% change in the price of an underlying such as gold would correspond to a similar change in the price of a Gold Quanto ETN. Quanto ETNs are subject to Quanto and management fees, details of which can be found on the product pages.


As a one-for-one trading product, ETNS have the same risk / reward profile as a direct investment in the underlying asset. However capital is at risk and the investor does not acquire an interest in the underlying asset. Importantly, unlike an ETF, ETNs do not hold any physical assets as security and therefore investors bear Counterparty Risk to Societe Generale. If Societe Generale failed to make payments due investors could lose some or all of their investment.


With access to a wide range of agricultural, broad based, energy, industrial and precious metal commodities, plus a number of countries or regions, the choice is extensive. Deciding which is right for you is primarily driven by which market you are interested in. However, you can also decide whether you wish to have currency protection or not. If you do, look for the Quanto ETNs.


The costs for ETFs are an annual management fee (Total Expense Ratio or TER) and commissions paid to the intermediary to buy or sell Lyxor ETF units like a share.  In the case of ETNs, the Quanto fees (for the currency protection feature) are disclosed on this website on a daily basis on each individual ETN page. You will also pay a commission to your stockbroker to buy or sell an ETN in the secondary market.


ETNS are investment products that are listed with live pricing publicly available on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and trade like a share through your existing stockbroker account, Stocks and Shares ISA or Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)* at any time during LSE market hours (08:15 / 16:30).

The minimum trading amount for an ETN is one unit, which may cost anything from £4 to £8 when they launch. Trading ETNs are subject to the following costs: 

Bid/Ask spread; There is a small difference between the price at which you buy – the ‘Ask’ price, and the price at which you could sell – the ‘Bid’ price. This difference in prices is called the ‘Spread’. The wider the spread, the greater the cost will be of selling back your product.

Unlike a UK share purchase, you will not be charged the 0.5% Stamp Duty usually incurred*.


  • Counterparty Risk –  Any failure by the Issuer to make payments due under the ETN may result in the loss of all or part of your investment. You will have no claim for compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or any other scheme where the Issuer is domiciled.
  • Capital at Risk – As a one-for-one trading product, ETNS & Trackers have the same risk / reward profile as a direct investment in the underlying asset. However capital is at risk and the investor does not acquire an interest in the underlying asset
  • Underlying Risk - The underlying asset of an ETN may be complex and volatile. When investing in commodities, the underlying index is calculated with reference to commodity futures contracts exposing the investor to a liquidity risk linked to costs such as cost of carry and transportation. Exposure of the Fund to Emerging Markets carries a greater risk of potential loss than investment in developed markets and the Fund is exposed to a wide range of unpredictable emerging market risks.
  • Currency Risk - An ETN may be exposed to currency risk if you have not selected a Quanto ETN, as the underlying asset, may be denominated in a currency different to that of the ETN. This means that exchange rate fluctuations could have a negative or positive effect on returns.
  • Liquidity Risk / Early Sale Risk – The Issuer may be the only market maker and therefore the only party providing prices for the Product. Trading prices will only be available in normal market conditions. You can sell an ETN before the end of its term but may get back less than you invested irrespective of the performance of the Underlying Asset. 


ETNs are Securitised Derivatives* suitable for sophisticated retail and professional investors in the UK, who have a good understanding of the underlying market and characteristics of the security. In particular, it is important that an investor appreciates at the outset that they could lose all their capital when investing in an ETN.

 The tax statement is only a general guide. The tax treatment of investments will depend on an individual’s circumstances. If investors are in any doubt as to their tax position, they must consult with an appropriate professional tax adviser. This statement of the UK tax treatment of the product is based on our understanding of the laws and practice in force as of the date of this document and is subject to any changes in law and the interpretation and application thereof, which changes could be made with retroactive effect.

 *A securitised derivative (SD) is a security listed on the London Stock Exchange and issued by a bank via an Issuing Programme which is approved by the UK Listing Authority. Final Terms are published for each SD which provide investors with its characteristics and its pay-off at maturity. The product features given in the Final Terms are prescribed by the approved Issuing Programme

 You should read the Investment Guide and Final Terms for your chosen product before making any investment. You should read the Final Terms carefully and keep it safe for future reference

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