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Industry left guessing on progress with platform market study

The FCA has been tight-lipped about the progression of the platform market study since its adviser questionnaire on platform use and charges.

The FCA wrote to a number of platforms asking for feedback on the data it was collecting last August, and approached advisers in March this year asking for information on their choice of platforms and the use of discretionary fund managers.

However, since then, those in the platform market say there has been little talk of progress.

It is understood the regulator is gathering further insights into the use of outsourced technology providers.

A source close to the FCA says: “The FCA’s business plan includes reference to a focus on service providers supporting multiple firms, which could include technology service providers supporting platforms.”

Was the FCA’s asset management study a buying opportunity?

Lang Cat consulting director, Mike Barrett says technology provider FNZ was a likely instigator for this, after the chaotic replatforming of both Aviva and Barclays.

Barrett says: “One of the questions being considered within this is the defining the role of a technology provider and how they are really serving the market at the moment.”

Aegon director of pensions, Steven Cameron says the FCA is also expecting fund managers to consider if they are passing the benefits of economies of scale to investors.

He says: “One connected development is the requirement in the asset management market study remedies for fund managers to appoint independent directors to their boards and to monitor and report on value.”

Cameron says there has been limited communication to the market as to how the regulator is proceeding, but that comparing the submissions would likely take more time.

He says: “The competition team will have an enormous amount of data to analyse and make sense of.”

The interim report on the study’s findings is expected over summer.

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  1. “The interim report on the study’s findings is expected over summer.”

    Probably explains why we’re left guessing…

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