Bestinvest announces new Isa platform fees


Bestinvest is the latest investment platform to announce new fees, though its pricing structure appears to be more expensive than some high profile rivals.

It will charge Isa clients an admin charge of 0.4% a year on portfolios worth up to £250,000, from 1 March 2014.

This makes it more expensive than Fidelity, which is charging 0.35% to clients with portfolios worth up to £250,000, and Barclays, which is also charging 0.35% to clients with £500,000 or less to put away.

However, Bestinvest's fee comes in cheaper than Hargreaves Lansdown's, the biggest platform in the UK, which recently announced fees of 0.45% for holdings of up to £250,000.

All the fund platform providers announcing new charges in recent weeks have been negotiating discounts on the annual management charge (AMC) levied by fund providers on their funds.

While Bestinvest has not disclosed the average AMC it has negotiated across all funds, it says people investing in its Premier Selection of recommended funds will pay 0.66%.

This is higher than the 0.64% average AMC promised by Fidelity and the 0.65% promised by Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) – although both of the latter groups are promising deals on a select group of recommended funds.

Bestinvest will charge Sipp investors 0.3% a year, or 0.2% if they put away more than £250,000 (the same rate Isa investors will pay on portfolios worth more than £250,000).

The platform will keep its flat-rate dealing fee on shares of £7.50 and rebate all commissions to clients not invested in clean shares. BestInvest also said it will levy no extra charges for people holding other types of investment such as investment trusts, exchange-traded funds or shares, unlike some rivals.


Holly Mackay, managing director of platform research group The Platforum, said Bestinvest's pricing model "feels like a response to its nemesis, Hargreaves Lansdown."

She added: "Presumably not blind to sophisticated investors' outrage with the Hargreaves decision to levy separate and additional fees on investment trusts, the Bestinvest structure is very clear that no additional costs are levied depending on what sort of investment you hold. Take that!"

However, she added: "This isn't just about price. Bestinvest also offers useful guidance and support for the less confident investor who may have been left stranded by the retail banks' withdrawal from the advice market. No longer content to float like a butterfly and play second fiddle to the big guys, this revised pricing structure has the potential to sting like a bee."

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