The FCA has today published the terms of reference for its Investment Platform Market study and Hargreaves Lansdown has commented.

The firm’s head of policy Tom McPail said: ‘The FCA has set a very broad scope for this study; the terms of what constitutes a platform can include online portals, life insurance companies, wealth managers and banks; in effect any organisation providing a retail investment service is likely to come under scrutiny.

This study recognises the vital service platforms now provide to millions of people, helping them to save and invest for their future. The advice gap remains and platforms have an important role to play in delivering guidance and support to investors, many of whom need help if they are to invest with confidence.


Platforms can also bring pressure to bear on asset management costs, negotiating discounts for investors, promoting good funds and highlighting poor performers. As with the asset management study, this paper is not simply about the price charged by retail investment service providers, it is about the value they deliver to investors.’

The study will:

  • Be broad in scope, encompassing many of the products and services sitting between consumers at one end and fund managers at the other
  • Focus on all aspects of value experienced by consumers using platforms
  • Look at barriers to entry and competition within the platform market
  • Consider the impact of advisers
  • Look at entry and exit charges and barriers to switching
  • Examine the products and services available across platforms.

For more details, click here.


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