Investment Association urges fee transparency

Investment Association sets out goals for greater charges and costs transparency. 

A commitment to greater cost and charging transparency was revealed by the investment association’s Jon Lipkin at a conference in London this week.

Lipkin who is director of public policy at the Investment Assocation, said: “We are developing a framework to move transparency forward, so that we can reassure clients that the industry is accountable. We need to provide more data for client confidence, and then discuss what it means for firms to be accountable in the first place”.

He claimed that the framework will be completed by the end of this year. Panelists at the conference remarked on how since 2008, there have been different expectations in how investors communicate charges and costs, and how there is an increasing need for greater transparency in the market.

Ralph Frank a member of the Transparency Taskforce, which aims to increase transparency in financial services, stated that information is not always disclosed and some are paying for services they do not need. He said: “There is a need for consistent disclosure of costs and charges. Granular data can develop a robust environment”

Frank believed the first initiative should be focusing on what is realistically possible, because getting firms to open up is already challenging enough.

The speakers also affirmed that the recent referendum is no reason for lack of diligence.  Frank said:  “Concerning Mifid, nothing will change with what we do. Those who want to keep the status quo are just using Brexit as something to hide behind. We will not let this stop us reaching greater transparency.”

The discussion closed on remarks about the challenging nature of extending transparency in the industry and how perfect transparency may be unrealistic; however, the IA said that it is likely to see significant results in the near future.