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Regulator rethinks adviser-charging for platforms

The FSA is to review its approach to platforms following concerns from the asset management industry about the implementation of adviser-charging.

At the McKinsey asset management conference last week, FSA director of conduct and risk Dan Waters said the regulator would be re-examining the strength and integrity of platforms due to their importance in the fund market. He said: “We have previously considered
whether additional rules and guidance were required for the operation and use of platform services. We concluded that our existing principle-based approach was adequate but the subsequent intervention of the RDR solutions and, in particular, concerns by the asset management
industry about the implementation of adviser-charging have caused us to look again.”

“We plan to include in the RDR policy statement a chapter which will set out a number of ideas around our future app roach to platform services, taking into account the RDR decisions.”

Waters said that the issue of remuneration is not simple as platforms provide services to a variety of parties. He said: “At the very least, for example, where platforms receive payments from fund managers and other product providers, we need to know and be able to explain what it is for – administration services, distribution services or a combination of both?”

Waters also warned on structured products in his speech. He said: “It is quite clear from our work that there remains a significant risk of profound mismatches bet ween retail products produced through the investment value chain and the needs of consumers who end up owning them. This is not just an issue for structured products.”

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