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Hargreaves negotiates on platform charges in bid to retain assets

Hargreaves Lansdown is offering to negotiate wrapper fees with clients in an attempt to retain assets on the platform.

Anecdotal reports from consumers suggest Hargreaves is willing to negotiate fees down and in some cases cap the cost of holding assets on the Vantage platform.

One consumer posting on the Moneysavingexpert forum says the platform offered to cap fees at £500 in order to prevent the business being lost to a rival direct platform.

Hargreaves says it may make “exceptional arrangements” for some clients and would not deny it was offering discounts on headline custody fees.

A spokesman says: “Our pricing tariff is clearly stated and is designed to be fair, competitive and sustainable. It is not our standard approach to have individual arrangements – with 577,000 clients this would simply be unworkable.

“That said, from time to time exceptional arrangements may be appropriate.”

Fawcett-Jeremy-Platforum-2013-700.jpg
Jeremy Fawcett

The firm adds charges may be negotiable “where clients put forward some other strong case for an individual arrangement”.

The Platforum head of direct Jeremy Fawcett says: “I suspect recent publicity around pricing will have led to more people thinking about moving but it is probably worth negotiating with clients only if they are particularly valuable or there are lots of them.”

Pilot Financial Planning director Ian Thomas says: “If this is going on there is a question about whether it is reasonable for Hargreaves to be favouring one customer over another with different prices.”

Hargreaves revealed its unbundled pricing structure last month and was forced to defend the introduction of exit fees and re-registration charges.

It later U-turned on its decision to apply additional charges for holding investment trusts.

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