In a move that will see Barclays Stockbrokers compete with major fund supermarkets such as Hargreaves Lansdown, the partnership will provide the bank with a new and enhanced mutual fund offering for its clients through its existing Funds Market platform.
As part of this enhanced fund range, Barclays Stockbrokers’ platform will boost the number of funds available, from its current offering of 1,000 funds which can be traded online, to 2,000. This will then be expanded to 3,000 within the coming weeks.
The new development will also see a significant change to the Funds Market charging structure. The enhanced platform will have no initial charges on funds, no dealing commission, and for funds in a Barclays Stockbrokers account, there will be no account administration charge.
As well as this, Barclays Stockbrokers plans to offer a ‘loyalty bonus’ to clients, similar to that offered by Hargreaves Lansdown, which will see a level of the trail commission rebated, the extent to which depending on the nature of the underlying fund.
Rupert Dickinson, head of Barclays Stockbrokers, said: ‘It will be hugely competitive; especially when you add this to our existing leading position in share-trading.
‘We are absolutely determined to be market leader in this space. We are number one in the active trading space and we want to be number one in self-directed services through the UK. With this combination, we have a strong foundation.’
Dickinson said there have been three main drivers spurring these developments, including the move among clients to become more self-directed in their investments, as well as the provision of online services.
‘The retail distribution review will also drive more of that activity – more money will go into self-directed investor services,’ Dickinson said.
He added the firm has done research on its clients, who are looking for all investments in a single place, and a wide-range of funds to choose from, as well as the ability to use tools and market data to help their selection.
‘There will be a fair amount of change over the next 18 months. So we are delivering a wide range of services for investors holding funds, adding to our heritage of active trading,’ said Dickinson. ‘The world in the next 18 months will see a seismic amount of change.’
David White (pictured) head of FundsNetwork, added: ‘From our perspective, we are a technology enabler, extending our administration services to feed into Barclays Stockbrokers, including straight through processing and automation. This is an exclusive for Barclays.’