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Bestinvest asks VCT firms to reveal rival commission deals

Hargreaves Lansdown has slammed Bestinvest after it sent a questionnaire to venture capital trust managers asking them to disclose HL’s commission terms.

The letter, seen by Money Marketing, is dated August 2010 and asks managers not only its standard market commission terms but also those offered by Hargreaves Lansdown, which runs several hundred million in the venture capital trust sector.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “Our first thought is always how we can get the best deals for our clients and make sure they pay the least amount possible for investing in VCTs and I think Bestinvest should be doing the same for theirs rather than worrying about we are doing.

“You would not get Tesco’s asking a supplier what Sainsbury’s are paying would you.”

A spokesman for Bestinvest says: “Bestinvest is committed to remaining as competitive as possible on the headline rates we are able to offer to clients. Consequently, we ask a number of different questions to enable us to do that.

“Managers are under no obligation to inform us what terms they have offered other groups and many choose not to.”

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