Each year we provide five-year platform projections and look at the main drivers of growth and change, and their significance for different stakeholders.
The world is literally changing before our eyes. The nationalistic mood sweeping through global politics is re-setting government policy globally and there is a similar mindset shift sweeping through financial services. Whether fund managers and platforms like it or not, in this low-growth world the old way of doing business is no longer viable or sustainable and investors are no longer willing to subsidise it. That means increased focus on the cost of investment solutions and their component parts (advisers, platforms, fund managers...).
It’s been very busy in the D2C platform world and competition is hotting up as the April deadline for unbundled platform pricing approaches. Hargreaves Lansdown was the first to announce its post-RDR charging structure and was followed by Fidelity, Barclays and a host of other discount brokers and direct platforms in the days and weeks that followed.
The lang cat’s price comparisons are comprehensive (latest update at http://langcatfinancial.co.uk/blog/cut-price-fruit-russian-oligarchs-gary-coleman/) so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, apart from pointing out the outliers. These include a pretty expensive Chelsea, which announced its charge of 60bps (which includes the Cofunds fee of 20bps) and Barclays at 70bps for £5k but tiering down quickly to 35bps from £10K. At the other end, Charles Stanley Direct is one of the cheapest for the modest end of the market with a fee of 25bps up to £250K and then 20bps from there upwards. In a bid to attract customers from other platforms, it will also waive the platform charge for a year for all new money and transfers to its platform until 1st April 2014.