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‘FSA platform survey makes no sense to customers’

Advisers and platforms have questioned the value of the FSA’s research into consumer views on platforms, saying most clients do not have sufficient technical knowledge of the market.

Last week, Money Marketing revealed that the regulator is contacting consumers who have assets held on platforms to gauge their knowledge of platform functions. The results will form part of its research into whether or not to press ahead with its proposed ban on payments and rebates.

The telephone-based research will be carried out by independent consultants NMG. Platform providers have been asked to provide the regulator with client lists.

The hour-long survey asks consumers what level of involvement they have with their investment and what tasks they leave to their adviser. It also asks consumers what they think the platform, fund manager and adviser charge for their involvement.

The survey closes by asking clients their view on the FSA’s proposed ban of payments from fund managers to platforms and of cash rebates from fund managers to consumers.

Concept Financial Planning managing director Paul Richardson says: “This will do no good at all. Most clients do not understand what a Sipp is, never mind technical details of platforms.”

Transact managing director Ian Taylor says: “The questions will make no sense to customers. They are not technicians. How many clients do you think will pick up on the finer points of unit rebates and capital gains tax, for example?”

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