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Nutmeg: ‘Hargreaves' charging structure is completely bewildering'

by Robert St George on Jan 15, 2014 at 12:13

Nutmeg: ‘Hargreaves' charging structure is completely bewildering'

Nick Hungerford, chief executive of online investment manager Nutmeg, has hit out at Hargreaves Lansdown for failing to do more to simplify its cost structure.

‘Hargreaves has missed a golden opportunity to simplify charges for customers,’ Hungerford (pictured) said. He highlighted that its new Vantage tariff, which includes 73 lines on its different charges, as well as ‘complicated’ qualifying notes.

'These include charges that are set fees, percentage of AUM fees and percentage of transaction fees, some including VAT and others not including VAT. Furthermore there are complicated criteria to qualify for this or that and a note that chosen investments may have their own initial and annual charges and bid offer spread,' he said.

'This is completely bewildering to the average investor and requires a detailed analysis by the most committed of analysts.'

Hungerford called for all other wealth managers ‘to stop arguing among themselves about who will take how much, following the stripping back of hidden costs, and to consider what their customers really want - clarity and fairness’.

Cavendish Online managing director Ian Owen was also critical of Hargreaves, saying the platform remains one of the most expensive, despite its new charging structure. He also accused the firm of 'stringing' out its announcements by not disclosing which funds will be in its core list until March 1, meaning investors do not yet know how much they will be paying. 

'Customers will have to wait a further six weeks to find out what it will really cost them to invest with Hargreaves Lansdown as they are stringing out the announcement of their alleged renegotiated AMCs until March 1,' he said.

Meanwhile, Stuart Welch, CEO of TD Direct Investing, queried why the platform had taken so long to unveil its post-RDR proposition.

'We did this 18 months ago and it's disappointing that it's taken others so long to catch up,' he said.

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