Platform rebates were at the top of the agenda when IFAonline interviewed Skandia chief executive Peter Mann live on Twitter this afternoon.
Here's how the conversation went:
Q (IFAonline): The big one - why won't Skandia disclose its rebates publicly?
A (Peter Mann): Rebates typically only part of remuneration, clients should have the full story. They'll have this when we unbundle.
Q: When can advisers expect that?
A: Well in advance of the current Dec 2012 deadline.
Q: Rebate issue is causing anger among some advisers. Are you concerned?
A: We believe IFAs are happy with the pricing of our product, otherwise we wouldn't have the largest platform in the UK.
Q: Why do you prefer unit rebates to cash rebates?
A: Because they are fairer to the customer who primarily uses a platform to invest in funds not cash.
Q: So are you disappointed by the delay to the cash rebate ban?
A: It does create some planning issues. We continue to build our offering based on what we believe is right for customers.
Q: Will advisers be able to use just Skandia platform and meet FSA requirements?
A: Yes, as long as the platform meets the needs of each customer.
Q: Is the current platform market sustainable?
A: For some platforms it's not, especially if they continue their suicidal pricing strategy or sub-scale asset acquisition.
Q: Has the FSA thrown some platforms a lifeline by saying IFAs probably need to use more than one?
A: Customer needs should define platform usage rather than the regulator. The strong will survive, the weak won't. #Darwin
Q: Do you have any plans to go direct to consumers?
A: We have no immediate plans for that.
Q: Is it important to have a large number of independent advisers in the market post-RDR?
A: It's more important to have the right number to ensure customers have appropriate access to professional advice.
Q: What's the latest thinking on number of advisers leaving industry because of RDR?
A: Not as many as some estimate. The UK advice industry has remained remarkably resilient over many years.
Q: Beyond advisers themselves, are providers, fund managers etc ready for it?
A: RDR is a big challenge for us all. The companies with integrity and scale will get there.
Q: What's going to be the next big development in platforms?
A: Management of debt? On platform protection? What does everyone else think?
Q: Is there a valid argument for delaying RDR implementation by 12 months? Would that harm Skandia?
A: There's an argument for some, but not for us. We're already in danger of regulating yesterday's market.
Q: What impact is current market volatility having on your business?
A: It's generally unhelpful but the essence of investment markets is that they are cyclical.
Q: Who would you say is most influential person in financial advice industry at the moment?
A: The customer.
Q: And finally... what does Peter Mann do when not thinking about platforms, rebates, RDR...?
A: Keeping an eye out for great shirts
Partner Insight: For Blackfinch, the arrival of its IHT portfolio services was a 'natural evolution' in the group's offering and points to an established track record of returning cash to investors.
Senior Managers Regime
Interest rate outlook unchaged
FCA made demands last week