Fidelity is upping the ante in the fund supermarket battle for assets by offering IFAs and their clients financial incentives for re-registering investments on its platform FundsNetwork.
In a move that the group says is designed to offset some of the costs of consolidation, Fidelity will pay IFAs £50 and their clients £25 for each application made, with spousal applications treated separately. The offer, the first of its kind, will initially run from May 3 until June 30 but it is likely to be extended should the group's re-registration activity rise significantly as a result.
Fidelity says its decision has been partly driven by a desire to maintain a balance between FundsNetwork's net new business, which has remained relatively buoyant in comparison to other platforms, and re-registration. But it admits that the cost of the exercise – plus its ability to provide marketing support – is likely to deter rivals from introducing similar offers, giving it a significant competitive advantage.
Re-registration, seen by many as the main way for supermarkets to gather assets in the current environment, accounted for £224m of Fidelity's new business last year.
Head of IFA business Stuart Holah says: “IFAs will not make money per se but it will reduce the costs of consolidating holdings. We have deep corporate pockets and it would be nice to have to send out a good number of cheques.”
Cofunds marketing director Rick Andrews says: “Is £50 really going to make any difference to IFAs? Rather than pay inducements, we would prefer to put our time and resources into developing products and services which help the consolidation process.”