The FCA aims to protect customers by making sure that advisers, manufacturers and distributors of financial products can deliver effective product oversight and governance.
Advisers who already have strong client suitability processes in place could be forgiven for thinking this means they are covered from a PROD perspective. Rory Percival explains why that is not likely to be the case, and outlines the key issues that advisers should consider.Download Rory's articles
Robust platform research
The FCA rightly insists that advisers undertake thorough due diligence before recommending a platform to their client. As well as choosing a provider that offers the best possible value for money, you also have to look at issues like profitability, stability and the quality of service provided. With so much to consider, we think you’ll welcome all the help you can get – which is why we have pulled together a wealth of reports and information to help you make the right choice.
In addition to our own due diligence factsheet, we have also gathered valuable contributions from FinalytiQ, the lang cat, Platforum, AKG Financial Analytics, regulatory expert Rory Percival and Regis Media’s Robin Powell.
Barriers to transfer
The FCA has previously identified problems with some advisers using the same platforms they always have, when in truth their clients’ needs could be better served by switching to another provider. This so-called ‘status quo bias’ is something the FCA is keen to address. To help you tackle the issue we are working with the lang cat to look at the various barriers to transfers that exist, and how you can sensibly mitigate them. An update on this work will be available in due course.
To make transferring to AJ Bell Investcentre as easy as possible we have:
- sped up the transfer process, using Origo where possible to facilitate straight through processing of transfers for SIPP cash and cash/in specie for ISA and GIA
- set up dedicated, experienced and well-resourced teams to handle re-registrations, working exclusively on cash and in specie transfers (our service level agreements are available on our service page and updated on a monthly basis)
- created a new transfer tracker on the beta website to show the progress of all transfers
The lang cat report
Suitability of products and charges
Research the products - and your clients
At AJ Bell Investcentre we strive to ensure that the products and solutions on our platform are easy to use, with charges that are highly competitive and completely transparent.
At AJ Bell we are always looking at ways to create efficiencies that allow us to drive down charges.
The most recent reductions include:
- entirely removing the £1 dealing charge for all deals carried out via our Bulks & Models tool, including all deals for portfolios linked to our Managed Portfolio Service
- reducing the annual management charge on our Managed Portfolio Service (MPS) by 40%, from 0.25% p.a. to 0.15% p.a. +VAT
- reducing the annual management charge on all AJ Bell Passive funds to 0.15% p.a.
- removing the SIPP establishment and quarterly administration charges for all Junior SIPPs (where all assets are held in the Funds & Shares Service), creating a saving of up to £320 plus VAT in the first year. The standard SIPP charges will only apply when the account holder reaches age 18.
- driving efficiencies that have led to consistent reductions in the OCF and vehicle costs on our AJ Bell Passive funds range
Regis Media’s Robin Powell considers the potential impact of excessive investment charges, and our Senior Technical Consultant, Charlene Young, gives an update on pension transfers.
Whatever your clients’ needs, we have investment options to meet them
Our Funds & Shares Service offers a comprehensive investment range, and uses our own stockbroker to keep costs down.
A low-cost range of passive, active and income portfolios with an annual management charge of just 0.15% + VAT.
External discretionary fund managers and investment companies who can handle your clients' SIPP investments.
AJ Bell Investment Committee
If you are using our in-house investment solutions you may be interested in the governance that sits behind them.
Our Investment Committee, which includes independent representatives who hold senior positions at some of the UK’s most respected investment providers, plays a key part in our governance process. By reviewing comprehensive reports on asset allocation, risk rating, investment performance and market commentary, the committee aims to ensure that every AJ Bell product fully meets its stated aims.
Managing Director/Chief Investment Officer
Managing Director, AJ Bell Youinvest
Managing Director, AJ Bell Investcentre
Chief Risk Officer
Get in touch
Members of our Business Development Team are available to talk through any questions you have. Find your local contact below.