James Hay has hit out at the UK Platform Group's recent behaviour on the issue of re-registration, calling it "nothing short of anti-competitive".
It says the group is unnecessarily debating technology solutions, when re-registration can be achieved manually.
“By insisting on a technology-based solution, it now leaves no option for advisers and their clients stuck on these platforms,” the wrap provider says.
The UK Platform Group contains Cofunds, Standard Life, Fidelity FundsNetwork and Skandia’s Selestia wrap. Earlier this month, the group was at loggerheads over a new system solution, ISO20022, which would enable simplified asset re-registration.
But James Hay propositions and eCommerce manager Chris Smeaton says the large providers are missing the point, and have fallen out over delivery timescales of the new technology.
“In our view, many of the UK Platform Group providers currently operate restrictive practices, preventing advisers and their clients from moving their assets freely between platforms,” he says. “This behaviour is nothing short of anti-competitive.
“Advisers using the providers that are part of this group are forced to keep assets where they are, even when they could get a better deal elsewhere in the market."
Smeaton says even without the ISO20022 standard, James Hay already offers free asset transfers on or off the wrap platform.
“All providers could facilitate the transfer of assets on a manual basis, but in our view many of the large providers are not keen to do this as it would put their large back-book of business under threat of transferring out,” he says.
"The recent news therefore that the UK Platform Group members can not agree when and even if the new system can be implemented is no surprise given they were reluctant to find a solution in the first place and the falling out now seems a little too convenient.
“James Hay now calls for the wrap and platform industry to ensure funds can be moved freely between platforms and that consumers do not find themselves trapped with a poorly performing provider.”
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