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FSA is accused of U-turn on single-pricing

The Investment Management Association has accused the FSA of a U-turn on its single-pricing policy and claims its latest plan will confuse investors.

The IMA claims the FSA has been committed to a man-datory single-pricing structure since 1995 when it indicated it would extend the pricing regime for Oeics, Catmarked funds and stakeholder to unit trusts.

The IMA believes this commitment was expressed when the regulator published its Collective Investment Schemes Sourcebook in August 2000.

But it says the FSA&#39s new proposals, which simply add a swinging-price system to the existing structure, will be more confusing for investors.

Autif suggested in a paper to the FSA last year that it was in the industry&#39s and investors&#39 interests not to have a mix of pricing systems.

However, the FSA says it has not dismissed the IMA&#39s views and intends to consider a single-pricing regime after its proposals for the swinging system are in place.

IMA head of communications Clare Arber says: “We fully support the recommendations for greater transparency of the pricing method used but the proposals, as we understand them, will make fund pricing more confusing for the consumer than it is now and much more so than under the compulsory single-pricing regime we had expected and accepted. We do not believe the answer is to introduce yet more complexity.”

FSA spokeswoman Jackie Blyth says: “Single-pricing is still on the agenda but first we need to see how these proposals bed down.”

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