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Axa Wealth sets out RDR bancassurance advice charges

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Axa Wealth has set out what it will charge for investment advice through its bancassurance partnerships with The Co-operative Bank, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks and West Bromwich Building Society.

Customers of the single-tied advice service will pay an initial advice charge of 3.25 per cent of assets invested, regardless of the investment amount. Customers who come in for initial advice who do not go on to take out an investment product will not be charged. Any additional investments would be levied at the same initial advice charge rate.

Axa says there is “currently no charge” for ongoing service or reviews that do not lead to an additional investment although a spokeswoman says this will be kept under review.

There is a one-off platform implementation charge of 1.25 per cent and a 0.4 per cent annual platform charge which is wrapped into the fund charge.

Bancassurance customers will not be eligible for Axa’s loyalty offer which rewards clients for investing in Architas funds through the Elevate platform.

In October 2011, Axa announced it would waive the Elevate platform charge for the life of the Architas investment, provided it was held until the end of 2012.

It also offers an annual loyalty payment equal to 75 per cent of the platform charge for every year clients remain invested in Architas. The offer runs until the end of the year.

There is no minimum investment requirement to access advice. Advice is given on Axa products only, with access to external fund managers via Architas’ multi-manager range.

Money Marketing revealed last week what some of the high-street banks are charging for restricted investment advice.

Lloyds’ upfront charging structure starts at 2.5 per cent on the first £300,000 invested, while HSBC starts at an upfront fee of £950 on assets up to £75,000, and 1.3 per cent on assets between £75,0001 and £150,000.

Royal Bank of Scotland is charging £500 to set up a financial plan and a fee when the client invests, which starts at 1.25 per cent for assets up to £500,000.

Nationwide is charging 3 per cent initial and 0.5 per cent for ongoing advice.

Jacksons Wealth Management managing director Pete Matthew says: “I thought the whole point of the RDR was to divorce the advice from the product. There still seems a bit too much smoke and mirrors around such charges for my liking.”

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