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Platforms come under scrutiny in RDR

Packaged products on platforms, re-registration and adviser-owned funds will all come under scrutiny as part of the retail distribution review.

The RDR feedback paper states that platforms which do not allow transfers off and only offer their own packaged products, even where these include a wide range of underlying funds, will not be in line with independent principles.

The paper says: “It restricts the type of products the client has access to while also restricting the client’s ability to switch products should they wish to.”

Financial Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna says: “It is impractical to have every type of product on a platform and it is not economically viable, so it will be important to consider the underlying cost to the consumer. Logic needs to be tempered with common sense.”

The paper highlights adviser-owned funds as an area where regulatory scrutiny is required.

Bloomsbury Financial Planning partner Jason Butler says firms which create structures to capture assets rather than benefit clients face a clampdown. Bloomsbury is in the final stages of creating its own Oeic but says the move is revenue-neutral. Butler says: “Anyone ripping the guts out of their clients’ portfolios is going to come under the spotlight.”


Feverish regulation in a cold climate

With the FSA’s plans to make some firms hold three months of expenditure as capital adequacy and using an educated guess, may I suggest that the following groups will be unhappy.

Channel churn

Advisers are angry that the term “sales advice” will be used to define one of the sales channels under the latest retail distribution review proposals.

Is this the endgame for the current mergers & acquisitions boom?

Last year, worldwide mergers and acquisitions (M&A) rose to an unprecedented $4.7tn, according to Thomson Reuters, a 41 per cent increase over 2014. Anthony Forcione, senior equity analyst at Loomis Sayles, an affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management, looks at what’s been driving this particular wave of mergers. Click here to view full article: Loomis-Sayles


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