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Santander overhauls fund marketing after FCA review

Santander overhauls fund marketing after FCA review

Santander Asset Management has confirmed that it recently adjusted some of the material it shows clients to emphasise that certain of its products invest in a way similar to a tracker fund.

Santander said: “We have taken the opportunity to clarify to customers how a small number of our funds operated with reference to a benchmark, and have updated their investment documentation disclosures accordingly, which was in response to the FCA’s Thematic review into “Meeting investors’ expectations.”

The company confirmed it is not one of the firms that recently had to refund customers for charging active fees for products that are closer to passive in nature and so should therefore be cheaper.

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Separately Lloyds Banking Group told FTAdviser it reimbursed customers as a result of this fee disparity in 2016, and that none of its brands were required to repay customers as a result of the recent Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) action.

As FTAdviser previously reported, the FCA  recently found a range of product providers were charging a level of fees similar to those typically associated with active funds, for products that do little more than track an index.

Last year, the regular estimated £109bn of investor assets is held in such products.

Alan Miller, a wealth manager at SCM Private said recent activity from the FCA is “too little, too late.”

The £34m in charges asset management companies have returned to clients equates to 1.2 per cent of the £2.72bn in excess fees he believes such firms have earned over the past five years.

David.Thorpe@ft.com