Transact, Ascentric and Cofunds have hit out at new FSA rules that require platforms to send detailed fund information to advised investors, insisting it is up to IFAs to provide clients with any relevant information.
In its policy statement, published in August, the regulator stipulated that from January 1, 2013 platforms will be required to provide advised and non-advised investors with the information and notifications they receive from fund managers and depositaries about any changes to their investments.
The information can be sent electronically but where that is not possible it must be sent by post. Clients are not allowed to opt out.
Ascentric managing director Hugo Thorman says many clients use an IFA so they do not have to digest large volumes of information about their investments.
He says: “The FSA finds it hard to believe that clients employ advisers so they do not have to sift through this information. Even if a client explicitly says they do not want this inform- ation, we will still have to send it to them.”
Transact managing director Ian Taylor (pictured) has questioned the need for platforms to send the information to clients.
He says: “There is no evidence that clients want this inform- ation from platforms. Perhaps they are getting it from their adviser, perhaps they do not want it at all. They certainly do not ask us for it.”
Cofunds chief executive Martin Davis says: “It is not the type of information advisers are telling us their clients want. If an adviser has a good relationship with their clients, they should be disseminating this inform- ation to those who want it.”
Seven Investment Management marketing director Justin Urquhart Stewart says: “This could become a very significant industry cost, especially with regard to platforms that operate on thin margins.
“I think the FSA has misunderstood the concept of how things work and it should be supporting advisers, not bypassing them.”
An FSA spokeswoman says: “The same information should be provided to both direct investors and those who invest through an advised process.”