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FCA crackdown on fund managers gathers pace

The FCA has met the chief executive of every large fund manager as part of crackdown on misconduct in the industry, according to the FT.

The newspaper also reports the regulator has put together its first asset management supervisory team, which consists of more than 50 employees.

Berenberg Bank asset management analyst Prasaanna Jeyanandhan warned the FCA against a “gung ho” attitude toward fund managers.

He said: “The FCA has definitely done the right thing in terms of cleaning up the murky world of commission payments.

“But it could be getting a bit gung ho if it pulls up [a fund manager] every time they take an adviser out to lunch to talk through their product range. The FCA needs to be more sensible than that.” 

Investment Management Association chief executive Daniel Godfrey told the paper: “We have certainly moved to an environment where the regulators’ policy seems to be [to give out] more and bigger fines, even if the level of inadvertent breaches has not increased.” 

The FCA recently fined Aberdeen Asset Management £7.2m over failures around the protection of client assets. It concerned investment in money market deposits with third party banks made between 2008 and 2011. 

An FCA spokesman said: “The asset management sector is a key industry for the UK and an area of supervisory focus for the FCA. 

“We are engaging with the industry a lot more and that includes increased engagement with and expectations of senior management.”

The regulator will outline further details on how it plans to tackle conflicts of interest in the fund management sector later this month.

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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Comments

There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. One might begin to ask with some justification why they don’t just have done with it and close down financial services all together.

    Yes, there may have been some nefarious activities, but on the whole the financial industry has been running for a darn sight longer than regulation and on the face of it seemed to do not too badly. This constant investigatory action and the publicity surrounding it actually does precious little for one of regulations prime objectives – fostering public confidence. Less shouting about it please.

    Or could it possibly be that by investigating everything minutely they will no doubt find case to fine so called miscreants large sums of money – thereby contributing to the public purse. This is redolent of the policy of Traffic Wardens and Local Authority coffers. Please tell me I’m wrong.

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