Regulator to launch investment platform market study

Regulator to launch investment platform market study

The FCA has said it will run a separate market study into the investment platform space following on from its review of the asset management sector.

In the body's 2017/18 Business Plan published today (April 18), the FCA said its interim report into the asset management space highlighted a "number of competition issues" in the platform arena, warranting its own study.

The review, which look at both intermediated and direct to consumer platforms, will begin this year and report in the FCA's 2018/19 operating year. It will use information collected from its current asset management review as a foundation.

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The FCA said its concerns focused on whether there was enough competitive pressure in the platform market to incentivise operators to put pressure on asset management fees.

It had already raised concerns in the current market study on whether platforms were restricting competition by hampering switching and if investors benefited from economies of scale, suggesting this warranted additional work.

The FCA said: "The study will explore whether platforms enable retail investors to access investment products that offer value for money.

"The investment platform market study will allow us to understand the causes of any competition problems in this market and assess what we can do to improve competition between platforms and improve consumer outcomes."

The regulator also confirmed its asset management market study was running on course, and its full report will published by the end of June, following on from the interim report published last November.