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More standardisation and collaboration needed

More standardisation and collaboration needed

Industry voices have come together to say that more standardisation and collaboration is needed within the financial services sector for it to develop.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Gina Miller, founder of investment manager SCM Group, said that as more people start seeing the price and the transparency of holdings are not fit for purpose, there will be even more of a shift to ‘do it yourself’ investing.

“How is the industry going to cope with that? There is a real shift coming and everybody seems to have their head in the sand. I don’t understand why there isn’t more collaboration going on.

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“There was a massive change in the safety guidance in the car industry, we all worked together with the government to put it in place but that same level of collaboration doesn’t seem to be happening in the industry.

“Instead there’s everyone saying ‘you should do it my way’ or ‘you should only do this part’- we should be fighting against this. There doesn’t seem to be that sea change that happens in other industries and I think in the long term that is really going to hurt us because more and more people will either not invest or they will just do it themselves, which is not good for the industry.”

Ms Miller says there has be to be a “standardisation”.

“The problem with transparency or with improvements is that if everyone does it in a different way and actually puts it in a different place its actually not going to help consumers’ understanding.

“The ultimate goal is for a consumer to have all the information to make the best possible decision for themselves, and this means being able to balance the cost, the risk and the possible returns.

“That is the goal consumers should be going for, or consumers should be looking for or investors should be looking for, how do they get those bits of information.

“The public accepts that the industry has put something that is standardised and is honest in a form that they can understand, and that is what we need to do.

“At the moment this whole argument that it’s too complex - ‘we can’t do it’ - to me is a complete and utter fudge, people don’t need to know the detail they just need to trust that the information is right.”

Andy Agathangelou, founding chair at the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals’ Friends of Automatic Enrolment, said: “To my mind, collaboration is a rewarding, satisfying and wonderfully efficient way to bring about positive change that also brings out the very best in people.

“There are many collaboratively-minded people in financial services willing and able to work together; even from competing organisations and contrasting backgrounds.

“There isn’t a shortage of things that need fixing in the world of payroll, pensions, investments and financial services generally - and collaboration is an ideal way to achieve this.”