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Hargreaves delays RDR pricing as it ‘refines’ Wealth 150

Discount broker and direct-to-consumer platform Hargreaves Lansdown has delayed unveiling its pricing structure to accord with the Retail Distribution Review rebate ban until early 2014, to allow the firm more time to “refine” its plan for the Wealth 150.

In September, Hargreaves confirmed that the fee structure would be based on a sliding scale of fund assets under administration with no transaction elements.

In an analysts’ note from Barclays that was widely reported as being effectively confirmed by Hargreaves, the banking group said a net direct fee structure of 0.7 per cent for assets less than £10,000 sliding down to 0.35 per cent for anything over £1m would be mostly “revenue neutral”.

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However, Hargreaves has stated that this estimate does not constitute a confirmation of its pricing plans, branding the press reports “unfounded”.

Hargreaves chief executive Ian Gorham said: “We note recent unfounded press speculation about Hargreaves Lansdown’s pricing, but at this stage details of our final charges are yet to be confirmed.”

The firm has previously claimed more than two-thirds of the 98 funds in its Wealth 150 will be cheaper under newly-negotiated deals for preferential or “superclean” rates with fund groups.

Mr Gorham told FTAdviser that because Hargreaves offers funds direct to advisers, and because it is able to ‘recommend’ funds simply on the basis of returns minus costs, it has more clout when it comes to negotiating rates.

Mr Gorham continued: “We are delighted with the results of our tender to fund managers seeking market leading fund charges for our clients.

“We look forward to announcing the pricing structure in early 2014 and implementing it before the regulatory deadline of 6 April.”