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Standard and Poors set for charge climbdown

Standard & Poor&#39s Fund Services is set to climb down over charges after at least seven major fund firms refused to pay increased fees this summer.

Framlington, Invesco, Thr ead needle, Henderson, Merrill Lynch, Schroders and Fidelity refused to pay after S&P&#39s raised fund rating fees in July to make the service free to IFAs.

After five months of talks, S&P is now on the verge of a deal. Merrill Lynch says it has settled the dispute and signed up for 2001.

Investment houses will be billed using a staggered system. Firms may be charged a set fee per rating for their first 15 funds and then lower fees per rating for each 10 rated funds. The service will remain free to IFAs.

A senior fund management source says: “They have come back with a much more competitive offer. The fees are steep, but better than they were. We are at least outside the bounds of fantasy. We want to see Fund Research having some concrete proposals for extending the significance of fund ratings into the wider market. The brand has lost its premium label and is going to need to spend quite significantly in the intermediary market to regain that.”

S&P&#39s European communications manager Sophia Cunningham says: “Until we have completed our final meetings we are not ready to comment.”


Scottish Legal Life targets over 50&#39s

Scottish Legal Life is aiming its mutual investment bond at the over 50&#39s who are looking for capital growth as they head towards retirement. This unit-linked bond will provide investors with access to the company&#39s unitised with-profits fund. In addition, investors can choose the managed or deposit funds. Investors can switch between the funds and […]

Credit where it&#39s due

The Government&#39s pension credits scheme pledges that pensioners will always benefit by saving but the industry is querying whether pensions are the best investment vehicle for everyone. An increase in the minimum inc ome guarantee and the introduction of pension credits provides more encouragement for people to save through pensions. The industry agrees that these […]

Investec calls up new mobile technology

Commenting on the main useful features of the product, Lakey says: “One strong point is that the wireless theme makes the ethos very distinctive,” while Watkins says: “I like the methodical method of stock selection, with a top down sector by sector approach.”Stevens adds: “While there may be only 30 to 40 stocks in the […]

Between the lines

Howard Davies&#39 letter on polarisation to Chancellor Gordon Brown is open to more than one interpretation. It could well be construed as a total failure to understand the significant advantages of the present polarisation regime. Alternatively, it could be construed that he and the FSA have been forced into a corner by Brown, Treasury economic […]


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