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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a659514

Barclays reverses on RDR admin fee plans

by Sarah Miloudi on Feb 18, 2013 at 10:23

Barclays reverses on RDR admin fee plans

Barclays' wealth arm has reversed on plans to levy an administration fee on product providers.

Last year, the bank was understood to be in discussions about introducing the fee, a move many believed would protect its margins as the retail distribution review (RDR) came into force.

As reported in Wealth Manager in October, Barclays was considering administration fees for product providers across its advisory, discretionary and execution-only channels, arguing fund groups should bear the cost of administering portfolios rather than clients, with the fee coming out of the 75 basis points fund groups typically charge on new RDR share classes.

However in a statement, Barclays said it had called time on these discussions and that no administration fee would be introduced.

A spokeswoman said: 'In line with our commitment to identify fund pricing solutions which will be of direct benefit to our clients, we are pleased to note the increasing competitive pricing now being considered by fund providers and we are no longer progressing discussions on the proposed administration fee.'

When the discussions came to light last year, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said it was unable to comment on the bank's plan, and whether it matched with the spirit of the RDR, one of wealth managers' biggest concerns with Barclays' plan.

The regulator did, however, say that much would depend on the type of service being provided.

The FSA said: ‘If you are giving advice or a personal recommendation, you are caught by adviser charging rules. If you have some element where you would fall under the definition of a platform service provider, you would fall under the proposed rules there.

'If you are not under either category you still have to comply with the rules on inducements.'

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