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HMRC rebate tax reaction: Will fund groups bow to share class pressure?

HMRC 480

Kames Capital has ruled out launching preferential share classes for Skandia or Standard Life Wrap in the wake of HM Revenue & Customs’ announcement that platform rebates are to be taxed.

HMRC confirmed in a briefing note last week that all rebates associated with unwrapped investments will be taxed from 6 April. It will not apply retrospectively.

As a result, Skandia and Standard Life have both said they are considering asking fund managers for a lower share class than those available on other platforms to reflect their scale in the platform market.

Kames says although it supports the adoption of clean share classes it will not offer different share classes at the request of platforms.

A Kames spokesman says: “We recognise the need for clean share classes which is why we have gone for the model of commonality across platforms, where institutional price is the norm.

“We are currently reviewing our position in light of the HMRC ruling. However, we have no intention of offering preferential share classes to individual platforms.”

A number of other fund mangers have not ruled out offering preferential share classes with Fidelity, Henderson, JP Morgan all saying they are considering their options.

Aberdeen, Blackrock, BNY Mellon, Schroders, Threadneedle, Jupiter, Octopus and M&G all declined to comment.

Murphy Financial senior partner Adrian Murphy says: “You can see why Standard and Skandia would be asking for preferential share classes with the effect this ruling will have on their business models.

“However, I am with Kames on this one as I think the days of big life offices dictating the state of play are over. It is also easier for re-registration if fund groups give all platforms the same share classes.”

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Comments

There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The idea of different share classes for each platform provider is a worrying one. Surely this will give the platform providers the upper hand (again!!), as in personal portfolio’s to move would mean encashment rather than re-registration; therefore clients may have to stay with a platform provider who’s service is poor because of the CGT liability they would incur and sell the fund even if it is doing what the client wants. Previously we would have advised a re-registration to avoid this CGT liability.

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