Letter to FT – ‘Surely some mistake…’

A letter to the FT: 

From Mr Charles Scanlan.

Sir, In opposing universal disclosure of its members’ fees and costs (“Call for fund fees ‘labelling’ ”, February 4), the Investment Management Association must have overlooked the “Guiding principles for policy” displayed on its website. These proclaim that retail customers “should be informed clearly and accurately” how their money is being invested and “what it is costing them”. Moreover, the IMA chief executive’s argument that “extra requirements can add extra cost – and risk the UK becoming anticompetitive” seems, in this instance, at odds with the opening words of the guiding principles: “Markets exist to serve savers … not the other way round.” Enabling customers to compare costs makes a market more competitive and bears down on suppliers’ profit margins.

One might almost think that the competition Richard Saunders wants the UK to win is not to provide the best-value services to clients but the best-protected profits for investment managers. Surely that cannot be, since the guiding principles make it clear: “Intermediaries should not be able to extract excess rents.”

Charles Scanlan, London NW8, UK

Posted By: True and Fair, 9:56 am

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