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FSA backlog blamed as fund firms hit by delays to big ISA launches

Fund managers have blamed an FSA backlog of funds awaiting regulatory approval for delaying some of this Isa season&#39s biggest launches by up to seven weeks.

Several fund managers which planned February fund launches have had to push launch dates back to within two weeks of the end of the tax year, losing valuable Isa season sales.

The process usually takes around four weeks but managers have complained it has in some cases taken up to 11 weeks to gain approval.

Aberdeen Asset Management, which is launching its European Champions fund next week, originally hoped for a February launch for the fund after applying for FSA approval in December. It will now have just 17 days from launch until the end of the tax year, after which Isa sales traditionally fall away sharply for the summer.

SG Asset Management, which is launching a corporate bond fund next week, says the delay in approving its latest fund has had a knock-on effect on future launches. Plans to launch a US fund next month will have to be put back to May or even June because of the delays.

SGAM managing director John Ions says: “If you are trying to develop your business and plan, it is very difficult when things get delayed. Maybe there should be a more standardised process.”

FSA spokesman Jackie Blyth says: “We have not had any complaints through.

But we do get an increased number of applications through at this time of year. We endeavour to respond as quickly as possible.”

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