The FSA will allow platforms to facilitate the collection of adviser charges, but says this must be done to the same standard as product providers.
Platforms would need to "obtain and validate" instructions from a customer to pay an adviser charge, the FSA says in a consultation paper (CP) published today.
Any payments taken from a customer's account for adviser charges would need to match payments then made to their adviser firm, and a customer would need to be able to stop the payment of ongoing fees.
The FSA says most respondents to its March discussion paper on platforms felt facilitating payment of adviser charges was preferable to alternative methods, such as using multiple share classes, and that cash accounts on a platform would provide a "simple, clear mechanism".
"We noted concerns about using multiple share classes and we agree that using a platform cash account can be a relatively straightforward way of facilitating payment of adviser charges," the CP reads.
"When payment is facilitated by a platform, we feel it is important that the same requirements are placed on the platform as would be placed on a product provider and we have reflected this in our draft rules."
A key proposal in today's CP is to ban product providers from paying cash rebates to consumers. However, the FSA will not stop a fund manager from rebating part of their fund charges to customers in the form of additional units.
The regulator says the "relative ease" with which platforms could assist the payment of advisers' fees could be one reason for more retail business being transacted through platforms.
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