Online investment market faces FCA probe amid competition concerns
Britain's financial watchdog is to investigate the growing online investment market amid competition concerns in the sector.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will look at investment platforms used by consumers and financial advisers to assess whether competition between them is working in the interest of consumers.
The regulator pointed out that the platform market has grown rapidly over the last eight years, with assets under administration (AUA) for both adviser and direct platforms increasing from £108 billion in 2008 to £500 billion in 2016.
As part of its probe, the FCA will explore whether platforms help investors make good investment decisions, if they offer investors value for money and ascertain whether the relationships between various platforms work in the interests of investors.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: "With the increasing use of platforms, and the issues raised by our previous work, we want to assess whether competition between platforms is working in the interest of consumers.
"Platforms have the potential to generate significant benefits for consumers and we want to ensure consumers are receiving these benefits in practice."