Advisers face headache over cost disclosure

Advisers face headache over cost disclosure

Advisers could face additional "onerous" workload due to the way the majority of platforms are preparing to implement new transaction cost reporting rules.

The rules, which stem from the The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, require an adviser to show the client their total cost of investing, including a breakdown of individual transaction costs.  

The majority of adviser platforms FTAdviser spoke to stated they would only be able to provide advisers with data for a set period of time, for instance a calendar year as defined by the platform, not a discrete time period chosen by the adviser.

This means advisers face an "onerous amount of work" trying to figure out transaction costs, according to Minesh Patel, adviser at EA Solutions in London, because advisers conduct annual reviews with clients throughout the year, and if a platform only offers the disclosure to the end of the previous calendar year, the information will not be up to date.

Mr Patel said: "I have thought for a while that platforms and others in the industry are not ready for the transaction cost rules, despite having had time to do this.

"Really we should be able to do this with just a couple of clicks, but if they don’t have discrete dates, then we need to go to different parts of their system to find [each transaction], and that really is an onerous amount of work for a small firm such as ours."

The two Standard Life-owned platforms Wrap and Elevate, Zurich and Nucleus are the only platforms who confirmed to FTAdviser they will offer flexibility around setting dates from day one.

A representative of Standard Life said: "Advisers will be able to create their own summary by selecting the end date to be reported on. The summary is automatically created covering the 12 months up to the date chosen (or since inception, whichever is the shorter.)"

Aegon confirmed advisers can receive discrete dates, but must request this information from the platform, rather than access it automatically.

An Aviva representative said it will not initially offer discrete dates.

The representative said: "Advisers will be able to view the disclosure documents via their clients’ platform correspondence library.  

"Our initial specification for the ex-post costs & charges disclosure document will use a fixed reporting period determined by client plan anniversary, but we recognise the benefit of enabling advisers to specify the period covered, and plan to include this in a later stage of development."

A representative of Ascentric said the company will monitor demand from advisers before introducing a discrete pricing structure.

Mike Barrett of consultancy firm the Lang Cat said transaction reporting was on the top of advisers' concerns when it came to Mifid reports and not facilitating flexible reporting could create problems for many.

He said: "If an adviser has a client with all of their assets on one platform then it might not be too bad, the report might be adequate, because the client is getting one report from one platform.