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Standard Life completes bulk-conversion to clean share classes

Standard Life has completed its bulk-conversion to clean share classes on its platform.

Head of platform propositions David Tiller says the firm has now converted all assets to an unbundled share class where this has been possible, with less than 1 per cent of assets on the platform unable to be converted.

This is because some fund management firms have elected not to offer an unbundled share price on certain funds, or are yet to have the unbundled version in place. Standard says it will work with affected clients to help them move to an alternative clean share-class investment.

The FCA in March banned rebates from fund managers, effective from next April, with a sunset clause on legacy business until April 2016.

Rebates became subject to income tax from April this year. 

Other platforms including Novia, Alliance Trust Savings and Ascentric are in the process of moving all clients to unbundled investments, a move that means any trail commission associated with the investment will no longer be paid. 

Tiller adds: “It’s not easy to do with 121 different fund groups and every one of them has different ways of operating. Every time you convert it’s a major reconciliation exercise because you have to make sure your numbers tie-up with the fund manager’s in order to convert.”

Some platform providers, including Skandia, have said they will support adviser-led conversions but will not actively prompt a bulk move to unbundling, leaving it to the adviser to make the decision about when to move before the 2016 deadline. 

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