The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today set out plans to tackle weak price competition, poor value for money, and inadequate performance reporting in the asset management industry.
These include supporting the consistent and standardised disclosure of all costs and charges to institutional investors, and requiring fund managers to appoint a minimum of two independent directors to their boards.
In addition, the FCA will chair a working group to focus on how to make fund objectives more useful, consult on how performance is reported, and launch a new market study into investment platforms.
"In the current low interest environment it's vital we help people earn a return on their savings," FCA chief executive, Andrew Bailey, said. "We need a competitive sector, attracting investment into the UK which also works well for the people who rely on it for their financial wellbeing."
Additional plans outlined today include:
Strengthening the duty on fund managers to act in the best interests of investors
Introducing technical changes to improve fairness around the management of share classes and the way in which fund managers profit
Supporting the disclosure of a single, all-in-fee to investors
Recommend the DWP removes barriers to pension scheme consolidation and pooling
Seeking views on rejecting the undertakings in lieu of a market investigation reference regarding the institutional advice market to the Competition and Markets Authority
Recommending the HM Treasury considers bringing investment consultants into the FCA's regulatory perimeter.
The regulatory body said that the implementation of these plans will take place in a number of stages, and that some will require further work in light of other legislative initiatives, including MiFID II.
However, Cardano head of clients, Richard Dowel, criticised the proposals, saying that there are only a few firm recommendations on how to really improve the asset management industry.
"In many ways, the anticipation of FCA action has been more effective in shaping the industry than the final report itself," he said.
"We welcome that the FCA is consulting widely over their concerns regarding the competitive nature of the market and we look forward to their further update in the not too distant future."