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FSA to reassess approach to platforms

FSA to “look again” at platforms. 

In a speech at the McKinsey asset management conference earlier this week, FSA director of conduct and risk Dan Waters said the regulator would be re-examining the strength and integrity of platforms given their importance in the funds market.

He said: “We have previously considered whether additional rules and guidance were required for the operation and use of platform services.  While we concluded that our existing principles-based approach was adequate, the subsequent intervention of the RDR solutions and – in particular – concerns expressed by the asset management industry about the implementation of adviser charging has caused us to look again. 

“Going forward, we plan to include in the RDR Policy Statement a chapter which will set out a number of ideas around our future approach to platform services, taking into account the RDR decisions.”

The chapter will examine the way in which platform operators are remunerated, the inducements they provide to adviser firms, the provision of data on product sales and the levels of adviser charging, and the use of platforms by independent advisers.

Waters said: “The issue of remuneration is not a simple one, particularly as platforms provide services to a variety of parties.  At the very least, for example, where platforms receive payments from fund managers and other product providers, we need to know and be able to explain what it is for – administration services, distribution services or a combination of both?” 

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