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From Adviser Guide: Picking a Platform part 1

Q: What are the FSA’s requirements for platforms?

UK platform service providers are regulated firms.

By Emma Ann Hughes | Published Apr 04, 2012 | comments

Platform providers are therefore bound by the following ‘blocks’ of the FSA Handbook:

1) High Level Standards.

2) Prudential Standards.

3) Business Standards.

4) Regulatory Processes.

5) Redress.

6) Specialist Sourcebooks.

7) Regulatory Guides.

The detailed application of the FSA Handbook requirements is determined by the regulated activities undertaken and services provided by the platform in question, according to Jeremy Mugridge, platform specialist of Skandia.

Bill Vasilieff, chief executive of Novia, said platforms must:

1) Disclose charges relating to the platform and the buying and selling of assets clearly and transparently, for example, separating platform, adviser and fund manager fees clearly and distinctly.

2) Safeguarding customer assets in strict accord with the FSA Cass handbook, which means adherence to the various record keeping, reconciliation and reporting requirements.

3) Adhering to the FSA COBS and COLL sourcebooks as appropriate.

4) Considering the way it treats customers to ensure it is fair and there is no bias towards the products or services of any particular product provider and to disclose information to them in a way that is clear, fair and not misleading.

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