Monthly Archives: November 2012

28Nov 12

True and Fair calls for tough regulation post-RDR

True and Fair calls for tough regulation post-RDR

 

RDR could be the death knell for mainstream financial advice unless the regulator toughens up regulation and strives for total transparency in the industry.

Posted By: True and Fair, 7:33 pm

27Nov 12

True and Fair Campaign calls on FCA to implement ‘Six Point Plan’ to ensure RDR restores consumer protection and confidence

Gina Miller, who spearheads the True and Fair Campaign (www.trueandfaircampaign.com) has called on the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) to urgently address six core tasks to ensure that the forthcoming Retail Distribution Review (‘RDR’) does not fail in its stated intention to promote better consumer protection and restore trust in financial services.
The True and Fair Campaign’s Six Point Plan is:

 

  1. FCA should demonstrate it is not a prisoner of the industry – stop delegating key powers to the investment trade bodies; strong regulation and statutory rules are critical
  2. 100% transparency on charges and investments, policed by the FCA, with legal force. Voluntary codes do not work
  3. A Code of Ethics – with those who act against consumer interests: named, shamed and prosecuted (if needed)
  4. Regulation focused on reducing conflicts of interest, increasing competition, transparency and therefore overall trust
  5. FCA to enact wide-spread communication with industry prior to regulation to ensure it is clear, logical and effective
  6. Every key FCA decision judged not in isolation but in overall context to ensure consumer is better off

 

Gina Miller, co-founder of SCM Private and spearheaded of the True and Fair Campaign said, “Like so many others, we believe there are a number of issues associated with RDR that need urgent examination before 1 January 2013, which is why we have outlined this six point plan. Whilst we welcome Martin Wheatley’s intention to address issues such as transparency on costs and charging, we really need to engage with consumers and ensure they understand all the confusing rhetoric.

 

“Unless steps are taken to strengthen regulation, commit to 100% transparency on charges and holdings, and devise a Code of Ethics, there is a real risk that RDR could in fact kill mainstream financial advice rather than being a much-needed silver bullet. RDR could potentially result in millions of savers being denied independent advice by the very regulation which was meant to open it up for them. Many will be forced to invest via execution only platforms, frequently characterised by conflicts of interest where fund managers pay the platforms for ‘shelf space’, and where the recommendations frequently mislead consumers into believing they are receiving unbiased and independent advice.”

 

The True and Fair Campaign advocates that transparency, rather than just low fees is the key to better consumer protection. And that ALL fees should be published in ONE ticket price number. The True and Fair Label incorporates all costs – fund managers, platforms, advisers and also takes into account rebates or revenue from stock lending so for the first time consumers will be able to see the likely costs of investments and be able to make fully informed choices.

Posted By: True and Fair, 3:36 pm

12Nov 12

Mullins not giving up on Question of Trust

Mullins not giving up on Question of Trust

 

Shane Mullins has insisted he is not giving up on his campaign to restore trust in financial services, but is changing tack.

Posted By: True and Fair, 4:38 pm

09Nov 12

Association of Investment Companies (AIC) comment

Commenting on the decision by the Association of Investment Companies (‘AIC’) calling on its members to consider publishing full portfolio details after RDR is implemented in January 2013, Gina Miller who spearheads the True and Fair Campaign (www.trueandfaircampaign.com) said:

 

“We are delighted that the AIC has chosen to closely follow the full recommendations of the True and Fair Campaign published in January this year in having proper 100% disclosure of holdings, preferably monthly but at least quarterly with a maximum 3 month delay. In January 2012 the True and Fair Campaign recommended that the UK industry publish 100% of holdings at least quarterly. This was met with derision by some of the same fund management companies in the UK who have been allowing their US clients precisely this level of transparency for years.”

 

“It is an absolute scandal that until now neither the UK investment industry nor the UK regulator has even considered this for ALL funds when this has been the law in the US since 2004. Back then, the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) adopted several amendments to its rules and forms intended ‘to improve significantly the periodic disclosure that mutual funds and other registered management investment companies provide to their shareholders about their costs, portfolio investments, and performance’. It’s time the UK regulator and the wider UK investment industry wholeheartedly support transparency not through empty rhetoric but through firm actions; as a matter of urgency.”

 

“There is simply no excuse for the rest of the fund management industry, and the IMA in particular, not to modernise and improve, just because their regulator has not insisted on the higher standards being required in the UK. If the old traditional industry of investment trusts can do it, why can’t they? The two tier system for UK investors must stop, whereby US fund management companies are forced to operate by far higher standards for their US customers than their UK customers.”

 

“Rather than continue to bury their heads in the sand, hoping the issues will go away, all trade bodies involved in the savings, investment and pensions industry should come together with the FSA/FCA to now put in firm, enforceable, and workable solutions for genuine transparency of fees and holdings that will improve consumer protection and the reputation of the industry. This should take place after proper consultation with all stakeholders, rather than closing ranks and continuing to defend the indefensible.”

Posted By: True and Fair, 7:56 pm

05Nov 12

Call for consensus on reporting costs and fees

Edinburgh Evening News – “Let’s make things clear, we can’t go on as before”

 

INVESTMENT INDUSTRY MUST ‘ACT WITH URGENCY’ ON FEES AND CHARGING IF MILLIONS OF SAVERS ARE NOT TO BE DISENFRANCHISED: THE TRUE AND FAIR CAMPAIGN.

Posted By: True and Fair, 5:15 pm