FCA to publish cost disclosure templates in the autumn

FCA to publish cost disclosure templates in the autumn

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will publish charge disclosure templates for funds managing people's pensions in the autumn.

The Institutional Disclosure Working Group, chaired by Chris Sier, published its initial recommendations last month, proposing five templates which will cover charges associated with most asset classes, but are not compulsory.

The group, set up last year, has urged pension funds to probe the honesty of their asset managers. 

Today (5 July) Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s director of strategy and competition, said the watchdog would now work with interested parties to begin the process of supporting these recommendations.

He said: "We believe that the group has made significant progress in tackling the issues we found in relation to institutional disclosure as part of the Asset Management Market Study."

As part of its proposals, the IDWG has encouraged the formation of a new body or group to curate and update the framework, to convene by autumn.

Mr Woolard confirmed the FCA was working with interested bodies and anticipated the new group would be formed over the summer, to comply with the deadline.

"The full IDWG report, including the templates, will be released once the new group has been convened," he said.

The five templates include a main account-level template covering most product types; a user template summarising the data from the account-level template; and three sub-templates covering private equities, physical assets, and ancillary services or custody.

While the group hasn’t recommended the templates are mandatory, it said institutional investors, investment consultants and other market participants should apply pressure on providers.

Industry representative organisations and trade bodies should also be prepared to adopt the templates as their disclosure codes and to support the use of the templates by their members.

The group also noted the FCA should consider writing rules regarding cost disclosure in the future if there was poor adoption of the templates by institutional investors or their providers or institutional investors reported difficulties in obtaining cost data to the level proposed in the templates from their providers or if providers were found to have misrepresented data via the templates to clients.

Last year Mr Sier had to apologise to the Investment Association and Schroders for comments he made in an interview with The Times when he said institutional pension fund managers were taking £35bn more in fees than they are entitled to and the IA and Schroders were particularly resistant to change.