New platform guide aims to expose hidden charges

A guide has been produced by Nucleus that breaks down the different types of platform charges in a bid to expose hidden charges.

The guide, available on Nucleus’ website, breaks down charges into three categories; initial, core and event-driven and provides a description of each.

The guide has been designed to work in tandem with a range of due diligence questions and case studies to assist advisers in researching the total costs of a platform to clients.

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Terry Huddart, technical communications manager at Nucleus, said: “Platform charging should be simple. Unfortunately on many platforms it is not.

“The past fourteen months has seen a huge amount of platform pricing change taking place but it’s vital that advisers are aware that the charges being advertised are often a far cry from the total platform costs incurred by clients.

“There are so many potential extra charges in the small print that we wanted to bring a bit of clarity by creating a one-page guide to what they all are.

“Event-driven charges can be incurred through situations such as moving money, withdrawing money or switching investments and platforms may rely on these additional charges to bolster their revenue stream.

“With our guide and case studies we’re hoping to give advisers some help to identify these charges and how they may manifest themselves.”

Huw Jones, director of Proposito Financial Planning, said: “Client relationships are built on trust but with an increasing emphasis on charges comes the real need to demonstrate value.

“An unexpected platform charge can certainly go some way to tarnish that trust – and place a question mark over value. All advisers need to have an open and transparent conversation about platform charges.

“Investing should be a simple process not something akin to buying concert tickets online where customers are levied with three of four additional charges before their tickets even arrive.”