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Commission ban hits fund supermarkets

Platform fees and 'clean' share classes will be the norm on investment websites as the City watchdog extends a ban on commission and overhauls the way funds are sold to investors.

 

by Gavin Lumsden on Apr 26, 2013 at 13:51

Commission ban hits fund supermarkets

The City's new watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has confirmed plans to stop online fund 'supermarkets' and discount brokers from receiving money from fund managers and passing some of it to investors.

Continuing the work of its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, the FCA has said it will ban all investment platforms from taking cash rebates of more than £1 per fund, per month from investment groups.

It believes the move will make 'execution-only' platforms such as Hargreaves Lansdown, Fidelity FundsNetwork, BestInvest, Barclays Stockbrokers and The Share Centre more transparent. Discount brokers such as Chelsea Financial Services, Willis Owen, Cavendish Online and rPlan, which use other platform operators' services to offer funds to the public, will also be affected. So will platforms serving financial advisers.

As we explained last month the regulator thinks the rebate system has allowed investors to think their fund supermarket was free, when in fact they were paying for it through the fund's annual charge.

Christopher Woolard, director of policy, risk and research at the FCA, said: 'Platforms provide a valuable service but investors are often unclear on what that service costs. These rules ensure that platforms put customers at the heart of their business. Customers will know what they are paying and the service they can expect.'

Instead of funding their business from taking a slice of the annual management charge of the funds sold on their platforms, investment websites will have to charge investors fees.

The abolition of what are effectively commission payments paid by fund managers to platforms will probably see the disappearance of 'loyalty bonuses' paid by platforms to investors. These were already under threat by HM Revenue & Customs' annoucement last month that rebates paid to investors outside of ISAs and Sipps were taxable.

The clean-up of the platform sector comes just four months after financial advisers were prevented from taking commission from product providers.

Leading fund supermarkets said the latest reform would accelerate the adoption of 'clean' fund shares classes. These are cheaper than the 1.5% average annual management charge levied by most investment funds because the payment to the platform is stripped out.

Just Modray of savings website Candid Money said: 'While some fund platforms already offer the public clean, transparent charging, notably Charles Stanley Direct and Alliance Trust Savings, the majority currently still rely on commissions and/or platform fees paid by fund managers to earn their crust. The problem is these payments are not always disclosed, leaving customers with no idea how much they're really paying a platform , via fund charges, for its services.'

The new rules will apply to new investments from 6 April next year but platforms have been given until 2016 to move all investors to clean share classes, a major blow for platforms, providers and advisers who wanted to cling on to existing rebates.

David Ferguson, founder of Nucleus, an independent platform used by financial advisers, welcomed the move, however, saying there would be 'no more cosy collusion between fund groups and platforms and that platforms will be required to operate on a properly level playing field.'

Fund managers face the challenge of creating separate share classes for their funds on each platform, if platforms compete on price as the regulator wants them to. Andrew Power, partner at Deloitte, the accountants, said this would put pressure on their margins.

However, the Association of Investment Companies was delighted. The investment trusts and investment companies it represents have historically not paid commission, unlike unit trusts and open-ended investment companies, and so struggled to find shelf space on platforms. Ian Sayers, director general of the AIC, said: 'The decision whether to include a product on a platform will now be driven by what consumers and their advisers want, rather than whether a product provider has paid for access.'

There was some concern that the FCA's proposal to allow fund managers to pay a 'reasonable' amount for advertising and other corporate services could create a loophole for platforms and investment groups to exploit.

On the stock market the announcement sent a shiver through some financial stocks. Jupiter Fund Management (JUP.L) dipped 3,4p or 1% to 316p, Standard Life (SL.L) shed 5p to 386p and Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.L), the country's biggest investment platform, fell 18p or nearly 2% to 959p. The company is expected to say more about its new fee structure next week.

53 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Alan, Bristol

Apr 26, 2013 at 14:49

Good - so it's started at last!

Let's see what it does for HL's share price and what HL propose by way of admin fees to keep their coffers filled. Seems the initial market reaction was to mark HL's share price down. With a PE of around 40, I think HL is grossly over-valued.

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CB

Apr 26, 2013 at 15:09

At present if I buy a UT direct from a Fund Management house I pay up to ,say, 5.5% initial and 1.5% AMC.

If I buy thru HL I pay nil initial and receive a rebate on the AMC. I am well aware of the AMC charge and the rebate and I feel I have a good deal for the services they provide me..

Why can't the FCA keep their nose out. Now I'll have to pay a fee in 2016 from my taxed income all for a "clean" fund price.

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Chris Macdonald

Apr 26, 2013 at 15:27

CB - You are looking at things too simplistically.

In the future if you trade through HL (or many others) as you will be paying probably half (or less than half potentially) of the AMC in the first place, any fee you do pay to hold the fund is likely to come in far south of this.

You will still pay less in this model but at least you will now know exactly what you are paying HL and therefore be in a far better position to judge whether they (or anybody else) are worth their fee.

If not, its simple - go elsewhere.

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Ian Phillips

Apr 26, 2013 at 15:42

I agree with CB, this another example of petty fiddling around so that Nanny can save us all from our own ignorance........in reality I will now pay a fee every time I trade a fund whereas before it was free .........ok, HL make money from the AMC but that doesn't really affect me, I might only own the fund for a month.

Just how many of, say, HL's clients don't know what the charges are I wonder?and if they don't know presumably they don't care!

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dd

Apr 26, 2013 at 16:10

I haven't worked out which will be best for me, taking into account the platform I use but ... it does annoy me that the FCA (or anyone else) seems to think that we are all idiots and can't read or understand that charges are made by platforms (old style).

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P Everton

Apr 26, 2013 at 16:21

Ian Phillips, A long-term investor might well ask why the performance of their investment in a fund should be reduced by the costs are your trading in and out of it every five minutes?

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Louis

Apr 26, 2013 at 16:25

It is interesting that HSBC has taken the opportunity to increase it's charges under the guise of Clean funds.

Their FTSE tracker funds previously had an AMC of 0.25% + 0.03% expense Total = 0.28% (this is now called the legacy class)

The "Clean" fund charges an Account fee of 0.39% + AMC of 0.10% + 0.08% expense - Total = 0.57%

This more than doubles the fees as no account fee is payable with the legacy fund.

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Mickey

Apr 26, 2013 at 16:27

So the likes of HL who have created hundreds of jobs continually get slated because the authorities think that we are too thick to know HL and others take commission to fund their service. I'm struggling to understand why commentators from Bristol think it a good thing for HL to be hit, perhaps they wish to see further unemployment in the area.

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Chris Macdonald

Apr 26, 2013 at 16:49

The dangerous comment is 'before it was free'

An industry almost entirely built on ignorance has prospered - and not necessarily to the clients' benefit.

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PRS

Apr 26, 2013 at 17:39

I. like many others it seems, fully understand the charges, loyaly bonus, initial refund fees etc that are made and paid by HL.

Prior to my wife and I moving our investments over to HL, we both experienced very poor customer service, poor advice, lack of care, and horrendous rip off charges, with the companies involved.

We continue to be very impressed with HL and their service, whether by phone, online, post (transferring pensions and other accounts), or information available on their website.

There may be other similar companies to HL in the market, who may also be offering comparable services to HL - and fair play to those who may use them. I have no problems with companies like HL making a profit, and also allowing me to me to manage my investments our own investments.

Nevertheless, we will be remaining with HL, even if there are similar and cheaper alternatives about, because we remain confident of their continuing service levels, which leave the banking, pension and insurance so far behind.

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S. Brown

Apr 26, 2013 at 17:44

We know fund management is not free. But paying fees up front will be tough for those with little actual income. All this fiddling costs money and nothing in life is free. But good value for money is very different.

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DIY

Apr 26, 2013 at 17:45

Entirely agre with CB, Ian Phillips, and Louis.

Firstly, how much does it cost us a tax payers to keep the meddling nannies of the FCA in their jobs? Secondly, as Louis implies, this redundant legislation will likely, by the law of unintended consquences, result in us all paying higher charges, not less.

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Ian Phillips

Apr 26, 2013 at 18:03

@ P Everton

Not quite sure what point you are making......are you suggesting I should consider changing my investment technique for the benefit of someone else's?Maybe the FCA could invent a new set of rules to protect that possible circumstance as well................

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Moylando

Apr 26, 2013 at 18:14

Of all the things that the FCA should be doing they chose to solve a problem that didn't exist. If only the rest of the financial industry was as efficient and customer focussed as HL ! They have enabled people like me to take control of my capital

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Moylando

Apr 26, 2013 at 18:16

.... and my pension. They are making a good profit because they provide a service that people understand and use.

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DIY

Apr 26, 2013 at 18:32

Nice ones, Molyando! Hope CityWire able to ensure that the FCA get to see all this stuff from us real investors . . . .?

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CB

Apr 26, 2013 at 21:11

Nothing in life is free. We all have options as to how we invest. I chose H.L because they offer and provide an excellent and efficient service for the management of my portfolios. Of course they make money from my portfolios - they are not a charity - but unlike some IFA's ,of old, they didn't rip me off in fees or ludicrous commissions either. Oh, by the way I make more money as well!

From 2016, for their " simple " generosity of rebating some of the AMC, I am required to pay a fee - sorry "clean" funds will be cheaper but not by much I bet?

It appears that everyone on this site understands the charges of investing in pooled funds. Yes Investment Trusts may now prosper but they are different investment vehicles,don't forget.

If the above view is consistent amongst HL clients I am about to buy HL SHARES !!

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Alex Peard

Apr 26, 2013 at 21:51

I agree with the comments above noting that most of us realise that we are indirectly paying for the services of firms like HL (whose customer service is first rate) when buying OEIC's. Agreed that AMC's are too high on most funds (some of which we are being rebated by HL) but I bet we'll end up paying the same or more under the new rules!

My experience with IT's is very mixed, their charges may be lower but their NAV performance is meaningless if the discount moves against you (e.g. Caledonia or Hansa Trust).

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invsb

Apr 26, 2013 at 22:24

The people who comment on this site are generally very investment savvy, but most people who invest in funds aren't. That's why the FCA make such decisions. Most people don't understand fund charges and rebates.

Having separate charges for advice and platforms means that both of these are possibly liable to VAT, which fund fees and rebates weren't.

It's important that the FCA monitors and acts on investment companies who don't reduce their fund charges in response to these measures.

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CB

Apr 26, 2013 at 23:31

Why can't people take time to educate themselves on funds - if they have money to invest they must surely have a certain amount of acumen or strategy for money/business . With the recent FSA measures, individuals must start to learn the fundamentals of investment or relunctantly pay fees to advisers. Become self sufficient, take control of your life whether you are looking after your SIPP, ISA, or Savings, no-one else will !!

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Shaun O'Reilly

Apr 27, 2013 at 09:36

Frankly, the only reason I am against this move is that it now spoilt the investment trust market by default. I always thought investing in unit trusts through "platforms" was an expensive option and was to be avoided. I always took the investment trust route. It has one drawback, namely, that historically most trusts have stood at a discount to their assets. On the one hand this enabled you to acquire a share in businesses at less than their cost but on the other hand it meant that investment trust investment had this discount to content with. That said, these discounts have narrowed substatntially on most trsuts and moved to a premium on many of the better trusts.

Whilst I have been content to allow unit trust investors to do their thing, the move to change retail practices now means that "professionsals" (if that is the correct term that has to be applied to them) must now review the investment trust market for their customers. Hence the greater interest in investment trusts.

Essentially, it has become a tad harder now for investment trust specialists.

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David L

Apr 27, 2013 at 10:58

Guess I'm a bit slow on the implications of all this! I use a "no advice" company to buy all my funds/trusts, getting the initial charge rebate, and (happily) paying the annual management charge. As they say, nothing in life is free. Can anyone comment on the implications for this and no advice dealers ?

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Bob saxton

Apr 27, 2013 at 11:47

My nominee account was sold to another IFA when theUK business was closed. The new outfit sold my portfolio without my knowledge. They then tried to charge me for selling it, charge me for advice and then charge me to reinvest it. I went to the Finacial Ombudsman, got compensation and all the cash from the sale of my portfolio and I did not have to pay any fees.

I opened a Vantage account with HL and reinvested my cash. They were very supportive and I have been delighted by their service and customer care.

The web site is superb, lots of information. I feel that I get good value for money. The FCA would be better employed chasing the bad guys.

Bob the electrician

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dd

Apr 27, 2013 at 12:18

"The FCA would be better employed chasing the bad guys."

Precisely.

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Fund of Funds

Apr 27, 2013 at 12:31

Well I welcome the FCA moves, It is time the vast profits of HL and others are returned to clients. I am currently with HL and generally pleased with the setup but going over to clean funds will make a huge difference to my total investments over the coming years. HL are no longer competitive and after leading the field are now one of the more expensive platforms. We are seeing more competition in the market which has to be good. I hope HL will now declare asap what their new policy on charges will be before I and many others will jump ship. I just cannot ignore the large increase that my funds will make by changing to one of the newer platforms. HL have lost their customer focus since they went public and just look at their investors as opposed to their clients. The miserly return of what they call bonus this year was simply an attempt to try and hang onto clients until the new regulations were clear. They could have done this on SIPPs a long time ago. If the bonus rates were 0.5% then at least that would be something but in reality many funds give low bonus or 0% bonus and the actual average is around 0.15%.

I prefer to be in charge and retain the average 0.75% which they take from us and be charged for transactions I make. All platforms should operate on an even playing field so that an easy comparison of charges can be made.

What are these companies doing for taking 0.75% of my portfolio on an annual basis for a no advice service.

The following sites compare the various platforms

comparefundplatforms.com or rplan.co.uk

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John Osborne

Apr 27, 2013 at 13:28

It is agreed that H-L have provided industry leading customer service and fund platforms, but they were floated as a public company which has the objective of maximising returns for their shareholders. This was done very successfully with the tripling of their shareprice, large increase in profits and billionaire directors.

I personally do not resent this, as they have earned it whilst at the same time giving savers and investors a better deal than other parts of the industry, but there is a clear conflict of interest. We should not forget that our personal aims are to minimise charges. For example, In the case of a £100K portfolio, the "hidden" charges my OEICs held with H_L based on 0.5% p.a. amount to £500 for a self select portfolio. Whether this is reasonable or not, it represents a significant drag on performance over a long period, for example for a pension saver over 35 years.

If they are looking to replicate this by annual commission fees then it is clearly too much for investors with large portfolios who in effect subsidised investors with less savings.

Times move on after RDR, and there will be other competitors with lower cost bases offering better value , depending on their fee structure and value of portfolio.

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Franco

Apr 27, 2013 at 13:38

I cannot believe how ignorant even readers of this website are

They all think they pay the annual management charge (AMC), when in fact it is the TER which is ALWAYS higher

You are dealing with the most deceitful industry of all and you deserve the fleecing you get from HL

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Franco

Apr 27, 2013 at 13:59

Re the service and charges you pay to HL

The Vanguard FTSE All Share tracker has a TER 0.15%, but HL charge you a platform fee of £24 pa which raises its cost to you to a horrendous 2.55% for a £1000 investment. Happy investing, dudes

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Fund of Funds

Apr 27, 2013 at 14:04

I agree Franco

Hl until recently quoted TER figures but have now changed to AMC figures on their website with another entry for additional charges which when added make up the full TER charge. With some funds eg HL's own funds the AMC charge looks reasonable but there is then you find a very large additional charge, for whatever reason, which makes up a significant TER charge.

Although HL is a non advisory platform they do their best to stuff information down our throats on specific funds, some of which I find dubious recommendations. Maybe they push the funds where they get the best deals, now wouldn't that be surprising.

Clients of HL are paying dearly for their loyalty to HL. I hope they let us know asap of their future pricing structure for their platform. I do feel that they have kept clients in the dark about their future policy. With all the press coverage of RDR and the coverage of new platforms, I would have thought that we would have been had information from HL.

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John Osborne

Apr 27, 2013 at 15:18

Fund of Funds and Franco

Further to your points, H_L have published a "Client Guide to the Platform Paper" outlining their policy but not pricing structure which will be advised later in the year. They said in this paper they are negotiating the best deal on clean funds for their clients and will publish the fees and funds offered on their platform after then.

However, one has to ask, if "clean funds" are without commission, then just what are they negotiating? Are they going to exclude funds that do not "negotiate"? Perhaps someone can elucidate.

Another thing to watch for is stock transfer fees. All these platforms will do their utmost to keep their customers, and if RDR results in an increase in this fee then it is a good cause for further complaint,

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CB

Apr 27, 2013 at 16:03

What do HL provide for their retention of part of my AMC (sorry not TER as Investment Management House keep the other charges along with half of the AMC, which will still remain on "clean funds" :

- Ease of buying and selling online

- online fund information

- historical performance details and charting comparison.

- daily valuation facility.

- ability to speak to a real people with knowledge.

- immediate telephone answering system- no press 1 for this and 2 for that.

- detailed portfolio analysis

Etcetera.

You pay for what you get! If you don't want the simple route then buy individual shares via your stockbroker inc. Investment Trusts and pay their charges !

I prefer the hands on approach of dealing online with an efficient service.

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Fund of Funds

Apr 27, 2013 at 16:05

I do hope that the FCA ensure that companies are not allowed to hang on to customer funds by charging high transfer fees. They were supposed to be making the transfer of funds easier. I think HL are one of the highest and charge £30 a fund at the moment which is totally unacceptable.

I do hope HL do not wait until next year to bring in their new pricing structure. Every month that goes by we lose money on the current scheme. They should bring in clean funds asap. They probably want hang on as long as possible and see the year out and retain these trailing fees to make sure there results will look good for another year.

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Mark C Digby

Apr 27, 2013 at 18:10

What an interesting debate, thanks to all. I too am waiting to know HL's charges, I am almost sure they WILL keep competitive, as they cannot afford not to! With hindsight, having bought their shares when first issued, any loss on high charges, (not much for me), are well covered by the gains on the share price thank you!! Their staff and main owners have a strong financial interest in keeping clients surely?

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ynys

Apr 27, 2013 at 21:59

Could it be that the the money the fund management group previously gave to fund supermarkets etc could go straight to the investor (in the form of lower costs) making it likely that the best deals would be had from the likes of M&G or JP morgan . . . HSBC who could offer a decent range of their own funds at low cost rather than the likes of HL who will likely charge a fee for selling other peoples funds?

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dd

Apr 27, 2013 at 22:16

Moving the goal posts also costs money, in the sense that it costs time to manage the change. I hope that it will be worth it.

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John Osborne

Apr 28, 2013 at 00:42

Mark and others,

I fear that now HL as a public company are market leaders have a huge client base and their directors and many staff are millionaires, the incentive to offer lowest charges is gone. They may do all they can to hang on to existing customers by stressing customer service and sales of higher margin products as well as raising all fees and leaving charges, rather than giving everyone best value for money.

I hope they are watching this discussion and reallise that a high proportion of their customers, many of them paying 4 figure sums per annum in previously hidden charges, have in effect put them "on watch".

Undoubtedly there will be winners and losers in fees paid in the next few years, depending on our portfolio mix and services needed.

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Mickey

Apr 28, 2013 at 01:14

Hardly evidence that high numbers of clients have put them on notice, just 38 comments here and many in support of the fund supermarkets.

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Fund of Funds

Apr 28, 2013 at 01:19

John

Well said. They have many customers who have them 'ON WATCH' and I also hope they have been watching the various comments on the various forums over recent weeks. I had expected them to have taken some action by now before other companies stepped in before the official FCA statement which everyone knew would happen.

For those who say we are paying for the website facilities and analysis, you can get better elsewhere for free. I always transfer my fund details from my HL account to another website because HL do not supply good enough fund analysis. Try Trustnet or Morningstar both of which provide excellent analysis and fund information.

What HL do well is provide marketing information to persuade u to buy the funds they want you to buy. Not always the best funds.

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Fund of Funds

Apr 28, 2013 at 01:45

Mickey

Maybe you have not been following all the articles in the financial press over recent weeks and on some of the forums. This article is one of many. I was also surprised to see some positive comments above. Not seen that elsewhere !!

On the comparison sites and in the comparisons in the financial press, HL are now one of the most expensive platforms. If you like the way they operate then stay with them, I would prefer to do so if they get there new model pricing right. Maybe it is just me that is not prepared to stay with them out of loyalty to see my pension fund end up many thousands of pounds less. It can be quite an amount over 10 to 20 years either in your SIPP or after drawdown.

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Clovis Bassington

Apr 28, 2013 at 08:09

My reading of this is that the cost of dealing in and holding funds may rise against the cost of dealing in and holding trackers, shares and etfs.

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Fund of Funds

Apr 28, 2013 at 11:28

Ian Gorham CEO of HL has just made an announcement that they will unveil their tiered pricing structure in the Autumn. It will be competitive but not crazy. They have until 2014 to implement scheme but hope to bring it in earlier. They will provide clean funds without trailing fees but we will have to see how they charge customers whether an annual fee and/or dealing charges. He does not feel the changes will affect the profitability of the company.

Pleased to see that HL have made a statement for customers on their website at the same time as giving their comments to the press.

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John Osborne

Apr 28, 2013 at 11:34

Clovis,

I do not think this will be the case. It is possible many of the platforms will look to maintain their profits by levying some sort of custody fees or percentage of portfolio value on all investments, unfortunately. I admit I am only speculating here.

The platforms, admin, research, plush offices, sales support, directors bonuses etc.. all have to be paid for by us customers of course, whatever the investments.

At least now with RDR and the internet we will be able to see where the best value lies.

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easy life

Apr 28, 2013 at 13:15

I use HL have done for 10 yrs or so and have a sizeable portfolio with them. I also use other platforms (spread the risk).

It is true HL are not the cheapest but as mentioned their service is excellent and compared to what was out there 10 yrs ago they have saved me a forttune.

Also, having used other platforms that have clean shares, taking into dealing costs and other account charges into consideration they are not always as cheap as HL.

But this is not just about HL, I and I am sure most investors using platforms are fully aware of the 'costs' and the fact that most will deal online means we are internet savy and can compare the costs of other providers (How stupid do the FCA think we are?). Just removing the commission does not mean that it is easy to compare provider costs. It will still depend on how many deals, what type of investments, service etc. - yes you will still need to do your own research!

What interfering by FCA almost certainly will mean is that we will ALL PAY MORE NOT LESS.Why? Assuming the current providers will continue to make similar profits, currently my costs for their service are tax free. In future payment will come from taxable income (42% taxed) and maybe VAT. Or will my costs be tax deductible - in which case another can or worms, extra overhead for HMRC and me.

What a waste of time and effort, why cant FCA focus their efforts on stopping the fraud (Keydata et al) and miss selling of other dubious investments that are obvious to most of us.

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dd

Apr 28, 2013 at 13:57

I agree with easy life.

I am sure that there are more serious issues which need fixing.

I expect to pay for a service and generally speaking, a low on-going commission is preferable to high initial commission which tempts IFAs to sell inappropriately, IMO.

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Clovis Bassington

Apr 28, 2013 at 16:07

John

Perhaps you're right, hard to say. They will need extra revenue from somewhere but 'm not sure that they will be able to load extra costs onto hare dealing etc, . Or will we see more 'no frills' low cost platforms. People will continue to look for advice but why should the advice come from the platform? such advice has not always been good in the past and another source is just one tab away in your browser.

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invsb

Apr 28, 2013 at 22:07

Franco - please don't generalise about what 'they all think'. TER has been replaced by Ongoing Charges and they are usually but are not always higher than the annual management charge.

It will be interesting to see if overall costs go down or up with this new model. Will the FCA take action if they go up?

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willb

Apr 28, 2013 at 22:41

I suspect the days of full initial charge rebates may soon be over as well.

We may see a combination of direct management charges and a reduction in initial charge saving.

Yes, overall costs will probably increase!

It will also be Interesting to find out how fund platforms will collect the management fees, will we be invoiced if our portfolios create no income or will units/ shares be sold to cover the cost ?

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dd

Apr 29, 2013 at 08:54

I think that in the event of insufficient cash, units/shares will be sold from the holding with the highest value in a portfolio, to cover the cost. (That is with Bestinvest Select platform.)

That in itself does not worry me. It is whether or not the overall cost increases as a result of the new rules which matters and also, of course, the performance of the investment.

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Fund of Funds

Apr 29, 2013 at 11:12

The platform of choice will depend on how many funds you have in your portfolio and how many transactions you make and the size of your portfolio. I am assuming that there will be an annual fee + fee for each buy/sell. It will have to be seen whether you will be able to convert one fund into another without fees.

Whatever happens I think each investor will have to choose the platform that best suits their needs. I am mainly interested in how much my investments are going to make. As far as analysis and information there are websites around which do this job better than any of the platforms.

Looking at the platforms already selling clean funds it would appear that we will certainly be better off than paying the trailing fees as in the past. It remains to be seen what HL will do but I hope they will be competitive with the other platforms already using the new fee structures.

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mikec via mobile

May 01, 2013 at 07:55

I agree with fund of funds. I have been with hl for about 10 years as initially they were the leader in providing a good platform and were the first to give something back. At the start of the year I nearly moved my funds to interactive investor including my sipp and would make annual savings well into four figures. I was a bit disappointed that hl were making no announcements and were obviously waiting for the FCA to see what they would have to do. In the end I waited as the transfer charges would have wiped out the first years savings and it would have been a lot of hassle. I think the charges will be more in line with other platforms where you pay for activity and an annual platform fee. People who change funds often and have relatively small portfolios will pay more .I say removing all hidden charges which are under the guise of expenses or other terms is a good idea. Maybe next they will look at the rest of the fund managers charges.

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John Osborne

May 01, 2013 at 11:17

The extortionate transfer charges that these platforms are now levying (up to £30-£35 per stock) are clearly a restrictive practice. It demonstrates their attitude in trying to keep customers by coercion to maintain excessive profits at our expense, rather than genuine competition.

It also makes it difficult for new more efficient companies offering us cheaper services, unless they pay the transfer fees which we end up paying one way or the other.. The actual cost to them is much less.

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Cape Town

Jun 08, 2013 at 06:06

What a very HL centric debate and strange how most comments say how very good HL are even though they are relatively expensive.

Always fell a little bit suspicious in circumstances like this....

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John Osborne

Jun 08, 2013 at 09:51

Cape Town. It is a moving situation. I do not think anyone knows yet exactly what the fees will turn out to be for the various categories, so have suspended judgement until Companies like HL make it clear.

Agree about suspicions., there is a clear conflict between the companies whose motive is to maximise profit at our expense and our objective to minimise costs. Lets hope competition wins.

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European markets slump as soaring euro takes toll

by Daniel Grote on Jul 21, 2017 at 16:54

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