Ascentric overhauls platform charges

Ascentric overhauls platform charges

Platform provider Ascentric has announced it will overhaul its pricing structure, which will see some charges scrapped and others raised.

The Royal London platform’s new “all in” pricing structure, to take effect on 1 May, is designed to make it easier for financial advisers and their clients to understand the total cost of ownership without having to worry about additional costs accumulating over time.

Clients will be charged a single standard account fee under the new structure and will not be charged for any additional trading or services on the Ascentric platform.

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The fee charged depends on how much money the client has on the platform, with a 0.3 per cent charge for assets up to £1m, 0.1 per cent for assets between £1m and £3m, and 0.06 per cent for assets between £3m and £5m. Terms are available on request for assets of more than £5m.

The minimum charge that can be incurred on the “all in” structure is £15 per month.

The platform previously charged 0.25 per cent for assets up to £1m, so this group sees its platform charge increase by 0.05 percentage points.

Previous charges that have been scrapped were up to £20 per trade, up to £60 per year to invest in its model portfolios, and a £150 annual charge each on self-invested personal pensions and drawdown.

Also binned is a 0.5 per cent charge levied against individuals who used the wholly intermediated platform without an adviser, for example if the investor's adviser has retired or is no longer servicing them for other reasons.

The company stated that it is the first retail platform to offer a single charge across all wrappers and investments, including Sipps, with no extra fees for any other services.

Ascentric managing director Jon Taylor said that the company came up with the new fee model after speaking to advisers about how they most often use the platform. He said that most clients use model portfolios and discretionary fund managers, and trade often.

“The new charging structure demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing an unbiased platform service to financial advisers, giving them the freedom to select the very best wrappers and investment options for their clients. 

“This totally agnostic approach to charging across Isa, Sipp and general investment accounts is unique, easy to understand and explain, and removes advisers’ concerns about additional trading, wrapper or administration charges building up for their clients.”

The company added that it has experienced an increased demand for from advisers for passive investments, including exchange-traded instruments.

“Thanks to both its in-house stockbroking services and now this simplification of charges, Ascentric is able to provide these in a very cost-effective way,” Mr Taylor said.