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Isa managers may fall into platform classification

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Some Isa managers are likely to be caught up in the definition of a platform because an Isa is classed as a tax wrapper rather than a retail product.

The FSA has altered the definition of a platform to move the emphasis away from admin services, which could spark VAT liabilities. If Isa managers, which are authorised by HM Revenue & Customs, are defined as platforms, they would have to present their products without bias and disclose to the client any fees or commission they accept from third parties. The FSA says Isa managers that distribute funds from more than one provider will need to consider whether they fall within the definition.

It confirmed that Sipp operators do not fall within the definition because a Sipp is a retail investment product.

The paper says: “We consider these to be reasonable requirements, and we have updated the cost-benefit analysis to reflect that the definition captures some Isa managers.”

AJ Bell marketing director Billy Mackay says: “This is information that should be provided under the general spirit of the RDR to improve transparency. If the rules are appropriate for a platform, why would they not be appropriate for a life company or an Isa plan manager?”

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