Standard Life set to launch bespoke share classes

Standard Life has said it is near to reaching agreements with 15 groups to launch bespoke share classes.

The share classes offer advisers’ clients access to preferential terms via Standard Life’s platforms without any rebate mechanism or tax liability, the company said.

It added that on average, the terms will offer approximately nine basis points discount on the current clean terms.

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The platform said all the terms of the share classes would be published in September and that it was working with each group individually to get the new share classes on the platform “as soon as possible”.

There had been debate about whether fund groups could negotiate bespoke prices with platforms ahead of the FCA’s platform paper in April but the regulator paved the way for the move to happen.

It said in April that its rules “do not prevent product providers from varying the price of their fund to different platforms through multiple share classes”.

“However, in this situation, firms would need to take account of our rules on re-registration and to present products in a way that is fair, clear and not misleading,” it added.

David Tiller, Standard Life head of adviser platforms, said: “In April, we announced our intent to move to a rebate-free platform. We are already well advanced in our rolling programme to introduce clean share classes to our Wrap platform and today’s announcement of the progress in our super-clean negotiations is another major milestone in this journey.”

Mr Tiller added the savings made as a result of the deals would “pass on to advisers’ clients”.

Graham Dow, Standard Life head of investment group relationships, added fund groups had shown the “need to support” the platform paper’s goals of “transparency and total cost to customers”.