By far and away the biggest story of the weekend is for IFAs is the Sunday Times’ look at adviser charges. It suggests that among other things Investec is the most expensive with an RIY of 3.8% followed by Rathbones at 3.4%. It says Barclays Wealth, 1825 — the advice arm of Standard Life — and Smith & Williamson are joint third, with a rate of 3.2%.
The comparison is from Grant Thornton and interestingly shows that out of twenty firms compared SJP are the fifth cheapest. HSBC and Nationwide are the cheapest.
The paper also looks at ways an investor can find out about and cut back on their charges and the money editor James Coney suggests that financial advice should be for the many not the few.
There is a huge amount to process from these stories. I would question whether most advisers would consider Investec or Smith & Williamson to be in the same peer group though clearly they are providing financial advice and wealth management.
There may be a lot for smaller local advisers to consider in all of this not least comparing prices. Still think that while it would be great for advisers to be offering financial advice more broadly as per Mr Coney's view – It is clear it needs a regulatory redesign to deliver this.
This is a very interesting observation made by political consultant Cicero’s Iain Anderson in Money Marketing that some in the regulator believe it could sort out the financial services aspects of Brexit with its counterparts if it was left to them alone.
He has also noted a big change in how the regulator wants to achieve things, citing a speech by the FCA's Chris Woolard, in which he says the regulator stopped relying on transparency and various wake up messages but is now introducing pathways suggesting a greater willingness to intervene in the shape of the market.
The regulator has had a bit of a history of talking tough, notably on fund management fees, before watering down its measures. Yet it is certainly something to watch.
Richard Penny, a fund manager with Crux Investment Management, says the UK safe stocks are now overpriced and investors looking for safety have missed the boat.
AJ Bell is launching a new low cost retirement account which it says with help IFAs with suitability concerns.
Former regulator Rory Perceval joins the board of the Sense network.
Ken Davy is standing to be Conservative MP for Huddersfield unsurprisingly on a pro-Brexit ticket. If he wins Huddersfield, it would surely be as part of a huge Conservative majority.