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Ascentric warns FSA platform guidance is causing unnecessary switching


Ascentric is warning the FSA’s guidance on single platform suitability may drive advisers to switch wraps for the sake of it.

Speaking at The Platforum Annual Conference today in London, Ascentric managing director Hugo Thorman (pictured) said an unintended consequence of the FSA’s guidance, which states that it is unlikely one platform can meet all clients’ needs, would see advisers look to move some clients to another platform simply to satisfy the regulator.

Thorman said: “We have had transfers unfortunately that were not always for the right reason, that is one of unintended consequences of instruction and guidance given by the regulator.

“We have had advisers saying we are going to have to scale back and move half of the clients across to another platform, not necessarily because they are more suitable but because that is the only way they can demonstrate to the regulator they are not using one platform.”

The FSA has previously said it was unlikely advisers could use one platform and maintain independence.

Thorman went on to add that Ascentric’s white label offering, Independent Funds Direct Limited, would overtake the Ascentric platform in terms of attracting new business.

He said: “Although the Ascentric platform is doing well, the white label business is growing and we would expect that to overtake Ascentric as we put more emphasis on offering firms a white label solution through IFDL.”



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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Hugo, if I pay my adviser to recommend the best value platform as well as the one that fits my needs – I’d be miffed if I found out yrs later I’d paid £50k too much without any difference in tax benefits, same portfolio, same adviser charges, etc – wouldn’t you? (An avg difference between ‘best & avg’ value.

    Do you always renew your house, car, holiday insurance with the same insurer for 25 yrs??


  2. This doesn’t sound like an accurate interpretation of FSA guidance. FSA have factsheet on platforms and independence – suggest reading this

  3. @William and Anon…
    Hugo was relaying his experience. The issue lies with the regulator. The FSA do not say “yes, it is perfectly fine to use a single platform solution”, what they say is that they think it unlikely that a Firm could use a single platform solution to satisfy all of their clients.
    Come on….. you establish a business, you segment, you specialise, you manufacture a sausage factory (in conjunction with your chosen platform/custodian (nice one Ian)),and you are ruthless in your client acceptance policy as per other speakers today. If the prospect doesn’t fit the business then he will not be a happy (and let’s be honest profitable) client, so as in the interests of the firm, he will not become a client. my existing, profiled, segmented, targetted, yada yada yada are and do. Single platform, compliant etc. This is not a Hugo problem. if you want to use a single platform, then it is a You(go) problem (and a regulator problem for wrapping something simple in a cloak of mud).
    Apologies to the Hugo for using his name in vain, i’ll get off my horse now.
    As Zebedee said….
    “Brian, have you seen Ermentrude and Dylan?”

  4. Rory Percival spoke at same conference and was crystal clear

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