Barclays plays down price war as it reveals similar fund charges

Michael Bow
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BARCLAYS Stockbrokers yesterday said customers will not pick fund supermarkets based solely on price, as it revealed slightly higher tariffs for its new pricing model.

The business, which has 300,000 customers, unveiled a 0.35 per cent tariff charge for customers yesterday, matching rival Fidelity.

The two have both undercut market leader Hargreaves Lansdown, which will charge 0.45 per cent. All three fund giants control 52 per cent of the market.

“We actively keep an eye on the market to remain competitive but we don’t think the battleground in this space will all be about pricing in future,” Barclays Stockbrokers director Alastair Thaw said.

“Price sensitivity isn’t the only thing that drives clients to choose asset classes.”

Fund supermarkets, which cater for DIY investors, have been forced by regulators to start charging people to use their platform after new rules unbundled the single charge for funds and access previously levied.

Barclays said customers who have less than £4,000 invested on their platform can expect to pay more under the new regime, although the number of customers holding less than this is thought to be small.

Thaw said Barclays’ platform was different to Fidelity and Hargreaves’ because 70 per cent of customers own shares and bonds in addition to funds.