Platforms are questioning whether delays among the 'big three' propositions in listing investment trusts (ITs) may be compromising the independent status of the advisers who use them.
Cofunds and Skandia are yet to announce launch dates for the listing of investment trusts on the platforms, while Fidelity FundsNetwork, which initially planned to list in November, has said it is now unsure when the option will be available to advisers.
"If a platform does not offer investment trusts or index trackers, I don't see how you can maintain independent status, unless you encourage [advisers] to go off platform which can get very messy," said Nucleus CEO, David Ferguson (pictured).
The FSA said it would be "very rare, if possible at all" that a firm could use one platform and remain independent, though a single platform offering a full range of investments combined with off-platform products could satisfy the regulator's criteria.
Alliance Trust head of platforms, Gary Mcluckie, said the "surprising" decision by FundsNetwork to shelve its investment trust plans meant advisers placing business with the three largest platforms would be forced to consider a secondary option.
"IFAs will now need to seriously consider combining a platform such as FundsNetwork or Cofunds with a secondary platform," he said.
"[This would be necessary] to access the whole investment trust market, ETFs and equities and show that all investment types have been reviewed."
A spokesperson for FundsNetwork said it still had "every intention" to launch investment trusts on the platform.
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