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Robo-adviser closes and adviser fees challenged: the week in news

Robo-adviser closes and adviser fees challenged: the week in news

Fundraisers hoping to make Big Ben bong for Brexit created controversy this week as Brexiteers campaigned for the historic clock to chime on January 31 while their opponents rejected the vast sums of money needed to ring the bell.

Meanwhile, costing issues also forced a robo-adviser to close its doors and caused a stir when a firm offered financial advice for just £500 per year. It’s time for the week in news.

1 No Moola left

Robo-advice firm Moola is set to close at the end of February after the company held a “strategic review” of its progress, FTAdviser revealed this week.

The company sent a note to clients stating payments would no longer be taken after today (January 17) and that clients with assets on the platform would have those assets sold and the cash placed in the bank account they have registered with Moola.

The robo-adviser said it would refund any capital gains tax liability incurred by their clients as a result.

2 Fair fees forever

A wealth manager launched to market this week with the promise of providing ‘fair fees forever’ in the form of a flat fee for all.

Bancroft Wealth, set to challenge the advice market with a fee of £500 a year, is targeting investors who are willing to receive their advice digitally and over the phone, saying this minimises operating costs and allows it to charge low fixed-fees to everyone.

The firm predicted savings of up to £36,000 against an ongoing fee for clients who invested £500,00 over five years.

3 Warning over DB Ssas

A warning was sounded by pensions experts who predicted companies using small group personal pension pots to exceed the annual allowance could end up embroiled in the next big tax scandal.

According to them, defined benefit small, self-administered schemes were “designed” to enable large contributions over the £40,000 yearly limit and there was little reason to adopt such a policy other than to do so.

They warned HM Revenue and Customs were likely to clamp down on the schemes in the near future.

4 Case dismissed

The High Court refused to delay a trial against two unregulated introducers and their managers over the transfer of £86m in pension assets after one of the defendants claimed he was in poor health.

A doctor told the judge the defendant was presenting with acute depressive symptoms and that any forthcoming trial would be detrimental to his health.

But the judge ruled there was “obvious public interest” in the case, which was originally brought forward by the FCA, and found him in full mental capacity, so dismissed the case for an adjournment.

5 From DB to default

A collapsed advice firm which had FCA permission restrictions for defined benefit pension transfers entered default after the FSCS received an eligible claim against it.

BlackStar Wealth Management, based in the West Midlands, appointed administrators five months ago but the FSCS is now satisfied the firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it.