Elevate says the cash rebate ban is "not a massive deal" but has nevertheless vowed to lobby the FSA in an effort to understand the "confusing" rationale behind it.
Axa Wealth Distributors managing director, David Thompson, says it is unclear if the move is an attempt to achieve greater transparency or whether it reflects the regulator's suspicions surrounding advisers' handling of rebates.
"This feels confusing to me," Thompson (pictured) says. "We want to understand the rationale behind the move - transparency or suspicions around what advisers do with rebates."
But whilst Thompson says Axa Wealth will speak to the FSA to gain insight into the regulator's thinking, he thinks the impact of the ban on Elevate will be negligible.
"We will have to pass rebates back in a different form - this is not a massive deal for us," he says.
Elevate's stance contrasts with that of both Transact and Ascentric, who have voiced their concerns about the fallout from the ban. Transact's Malcolm Murray has warned the ban could lead to an unintended tax impact, whilst Ascentric chief Hugo Thorman says it will "leave clients in a real mess" and create unwanted CGT issues.
Away from the rebate issue, Axa Wealth's Thompson thinks there are aspects of the consultation paper that are positive and points to improved disclosure requirements as an example.
"Do not underestimate the amount of work some platforms have to do with disclosures," he says.
Meanwhile, Thompson expects the platform industry to undergo a process of consolidation over the next five years as players vie for market share in a competitive environment. Those platforms backed by owners with financial muscle will emerge victorious, says Thompson.
"Platforms require investment and continued development. Newer players will need strong financial backing in those early years when not profitable."
He also warns those platforms looking for short-term gains will fare less well than those with a long term strategy.
"A key decision-making process when choosing a platform is not just about functionality but whether it is sustainable and its owners continue to invest in it," he says. "Will it still be around in five years time?"
He added the demise of Macquarie's platform came in what was a "symbolic week" for the industry.
Thompson adds platforms will become increasingly influential and thinks large distribution groups aligning themselves to two or three players will become the norm.
"The decision is no longer if to adopt a platform but when and which."
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