It’s beginning to look like a trend. First we had the tiny Aegon platform making a play for the massive Cofunds platform, and last week it was announced that Interactive Investor is to buy TD Direct, TD Bank’s European direct business.
January is usually an austere month. After the Christmas and New Year festivities, not only do we have far less money, but it’s also becoming the norm to give up alcohol for the entire month. Add to that our (mostly) unrealistic New Year resolutions to get fitter, get richer, and get better at a variety of things and January becomes a very tiresome month.
The focus on cost was particularly important in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) platform world. With the April deadline roaring down the tracks towards them, January was when most D2C platforms announced their pricing strategy. The industry had been waiting with bated breath for the largest direct platform (and also the largest overall distributor in the country), Hargreaves Lansdown, to announce its pricing strategy, which it finally did on 15th January. In a nutshell, Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) has introduced a flat fee of 0.45% regardless of the size of assets under administration.