SJP ‘not in talks’ with FCA about charging structure 11 October 2019

SJP ‘not in talks’ with FCA about charging structure


St James’s Place has confirmed it is not in “current active discussion” with the FCA regarding the wealth manager’s charging structure.

In an update to shareholders on its website, the company said press coverage of a leaked call with advisers was reported “out of context”.

The conference call, which had more than 700 advisers dialled in, was thought to have caused concern among senior staff that the regulator wants to stop the firm charging exit fees.  

In the note to shareholders SJP says: “On 15 September the Sunday Times published extracts of an internal adviser briefing hosted by SJP’s managing director, Ian Gascoigne. During this briefing Ian took the opportunity to remind those attending that our charging structure for bonds and pensions is compliant with the requirements introduced by the Retail Distribution Review but is often subject to external scrutiny, comment and misunderstanding.

“The comments made during this internal briefing have been reported out of context and we can confirm that there are no current active discussions between the FCA and SJP regarding our charging structures. We do however continue to contribute to wider industry consultations as and when we have the opportunity.”

The wealth manager, however, would not comment when asked by Money Marketing if it had previously been in discussions with the regulator about charging structures or about any outcomes from such talks.

Similarly, SJP would not disclose which consultations it has contributed to and whether the consultation on the investment platforms market study was one of them.

It said the company does not make its responses to consultations public.

The FCA declined to comment on whether discussions are being held with SJP about charges.

The FCA says it will consider feedback to the consultation on making transfers simpler before issuing a policy statement and finalising its rules in late 2019.

For the discussion on exit fees, it will consider responses to the questions and “may issue a formal consultation” by the end of the year.

The regulator is expected to introduce a ban or cap on exit fees in a bid to increase competition in the market.

The call, leaked to the Sunday Times, suggested SJP managing director Ian Gascoigne expressed concerns that the FCA would likely want to examine the firm’s use of early withdrawal charges further.