MS17/1: Investment platforms market study

Terms of reference
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Interim report
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Final report
Q1 2019
Q1 2019

We have published the investment platforms market study interim report. It sets out our provisional view on the way competition works in the investment platform market and how we would like the market to develop.

Show MS17/1.2 Interim report (PDF)


Show MS17/1.1 terms of reference (PDF)

Our market study

Investment platforms are increasingly being used by consumers and financial advisers to access retail investment products, and manage investments online. Our study will explore how investment platforms compete to win new, and retain existing consumers, to help us assess how we can improve competition within this market and develop better consumer outcomes.

In the study, we will:                     

  • explore whether platforms help investors make good investment decisions, and if their solutions offer investors value for money
  • look at how platforms compete in practice and whether they use their bargaining power to get investors a good deal
  • assess whether relationships between investment platforms and other platforms, advisers, asset managers, and fund ratings providers, work in the interests of investors

Our investment platforms market study will cover:

  • platforms and other firms that offer access to retail investment products through an online portal
  • retail investors who access retail investment products through an online portal
  • intermediaries, including financial advisers and wealth managers who use intermediated platforms to access different retail investment providers on behalf of their clients
  • product and wrapper providers who use platforms to distribute their products
  • technology providers to whom platforms outsource services, and
  • fund ratings and data providers whose information platforms use and distribute

This market study follows on from the asset management market study final report published in June 2017, which highlighted a number of potential competition issues in the platforms sector.

Interim report

In July 2018 we published our interim report which set out our provisional view on the way competition works in the investment platform market and how we would like the market to develop. We are consulting on a range of proposed remedies.

Show MS17/1.2 Interim report (PDF)


Annex 1: Market Overview

Annex 2: NMG Consulting - Consumer Research

Annex 3: NMG Consulting - Consumer Research Technical Report

Annex 4: Financial Analysis

Annex 5: Model Portfolios

Annex 6: Assessment of platform non-price features and platform fees

Annex 7: Fund discounts and promotions

Annex 8: Gap Analysis

    Next steps

    We are consulting on our proposed remedies and we want to engage with a wide range of market participants.

    Chapter 9 of the interim report contains a series of questions on which we would specifically be interested in stakeholders’ views. Stakeholders will have until 21 September 2018 to comment on the interim report before we publish our final report in the first quarter of 2019. 

    Please send any comments or queries:

    • email: i[email protected]
    • write to: Investment Platforms Market Study, Strategy & Competition Division, Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN.

    Find out more about how we conduct market studies.