David Moffat, group executive at International Financial Data Services, said platform managers would consider shunning asset managers who could not receive equal terms on pricing compared to rivals.
However, many asset managers would only be prepared to offer discounts in the unlikely event that platforms could increase fund flows, causing a potential lack of choice for advisers, including those who outsource to discretionary, multi-manager and multi-asset funds on-platform.
Mr Moffat said: “While increased transparency is clearly a positive step, concerns are that a distinct lack of consistency around what the various stakeholder groups are looking to achieve will very possible lead to further confusion for the consumer.”
His comments came as research conducted by IFDS in association with CWC Research uncovered mixed opinion among platforms on whether the removal of rebates to consumers will hike or pull down prices, with 62 per cent predicting a rise and 45 per cent forecasting a drop.
The joint research from the outsourcing provider and consultancy also found the majority - 55 per cent - predicting widespread difficulty in transferring funds between platforms.
The survey also revealed that two-thirds of asset managers would be drawn to restricted advisers while half would seek influence over distribution in order to make discounts worthwhile.
The possible showdown ahead could indicate why two-thirds of advisers polled for the research said they would stay put with their current platform, even after rebates were outlawed, outnumbering the one-third who would review the market.
55% of adviser predict inter-platform transfer problems
33% would review the market post-rebate ban
62% advisers preduct a rise in prices post-rebate ban
Mark Hibbitt, director at Gloucestershire-based Sovereign Independent Financial Advisers, said: “The change really muddies the waters as we just will not get a level playing field in terms of a base annual management charge. You can use discretionary fund management model portfolios on platforms but explaining how all the fees work in a year’s time to clients will not be easy.”