Britain’s financial watchdog has launched a probe into online platforms that dominate the retail investment funds market in the UK.
The Financial Conduct Authority warned in June when it published a wide-ranging review of the UK’s fund management sector that it would look in detail at ‘funds supermarkets’.
Today it said it would focus on whether these platforms help investors make good investment decisions, if they are value for money and competition between them and the relationships with fund managers and advisers.
Christopher Woolard, at the FCA, said that following on from June’s review it wanted to assess if competition between platforms is working in the interest of consumers.
He said using a platform has many benefits but the FCA wants to make sure these are being passed on to customers in the form of lower adviser and platform fees.
Shares in Hargreaves Lansdown rose 0.5% to 1,285p and broker Shore Capital said it would not expect the announcement of these terms of reference to impact on HL, as it is very explicit in the way in which it negotiates and passes though discounts from fund managers to its customers.
Interested parties need to send their views to the FCA by 8 September with an interim report scheduled for summer next year.