Attending yesterday’s Platform Evolution conference in London, Percival asked the panel of advisers why they charge customers direct when using platforms, and why net cost sometimes appear higher when using a platform.
He said: “Given that the bulk of what platforms do is to drive efficiencies and support services that advisers provide the customers, why is it that cost of wraps are charged directly to the customer rather then being an overhead to the advisory firm?
“The second part to my question is given again that platforms provide efficiencies for advisers in processing client advice, why is it that in some cases the net cost to the customer becomes higher?”
But Argyle Financial Management director Phil Melville defended his decision to direct all charges to the customer.
He said: “On the platform all charges are explicitly charged to the clients account directly. They are not sneaked in anywhere, or piggybacked under AMC. It might not be the ideal solution but nonetheless, they are all there, completely transparent and visible.”
To Percival’s second point about customers potentially paying higher net costs when using a platform, Melville said: “You guys and the supervisory part of the industry still look at a service proposition through the eyes of a product sale and apply your values, judgments and otherwise rather than a service one.
“Service has to be valued by the recipient because they are the one who is going to decide whether or not they are going to continue paying for that service.”