Multimillionaire asset management boss Martin Gilbert has welcomed a scathing new report from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about a lack of transparency within the UK’s asset management market.
Mr Gilbert, who founded Aberdeen Asset Management, said the findings would provide a “sense of urgency” to make sure customers got a better deal in future.
He said: “There is a need for increased transparency in relation to the services provided, the costs of such and also for ensuring value for money.
“Asset managers play a vital role in helping investors achieve their financial goals and the FCA’s proposals will help deliver this.”
He said he was now eager to work with the watchdog and the industry as a whole to make sure all investors, no matter whether investing small or large sums, received quality service.
Mr Gilbert also believes that the recommendations will lead to the UK asset management industry becoming a much more attractive proposition across the globe.
He added: “The FCA’s suggested remedies will also help to strengthen confidence and competitiveness in the UK asset management industry, making it more attractive on the global stage by leading the way in best practice.”
In a lengthy and damning interim report, the FCA has recommended sweeping changes within the UK fund management sector in a bid to make sure savers enjoy good returns at a time of historically low interest rates.
The authority says savers are facing unfairly high charges because price competition is weak, with asset managers currently unwilling to undercut each other.
FCA CEO Andrew Bailey has called for greater transparency, including all-in fees so investors can see exactly what they will be charged by each company, making it easier for them to shop around for the best deal before deciding where to put their money.
He said: “In today’s world of persistently low interest rates, it is vital that we do everything possible to enable people to accumulate and earn a return on their savings which can meet their lifetime needs.”
Mr Bailey said it was therefore necessary to ensure the asset management sector is competitive and transparent.
While he acknowledged that low interest rates were vital for the UK economy, he said that attention must be paid to savers as well as borrowers.
The interim report will now go out to consultation, before the final conclusions are revealed in 2017.