Aviva launches investment platform
Insurance company Aviva has launched an investment platform for private investors.
Investors can now open a general investment account, Isa or Sipp with Aviva and access a limited range of educational tools. The platform is currently in a state of 'soft launch', which effectively means it is open for business but not courting a huge amount of publicity while Aviva tests how it performs 'in the wild'.
The Aviva Consumer Platform carries no set-up charges, and no exit charges if you decide to move your investment to a different platform.
Investors will pay 0.4% for the first £50,000 invested, 0.35% for the next £200,000 (£50,001-£250,000), 0.25% for the next £250,000 (£250,001-£500,000) and 0% on anything over £500,000. Equity trades cost £7.50 a go. Fund charges will apply on top of this.
Steven Nelson, researcher at platform specialist the Lang Cat, points out that Aviva's platform stacks up well on the lower end of the investment scale, coming out relatively inexpensive for Isa portfolios up to £50,000. Above that it begins to lose its competitive edge to the likes of Interactive Investor and Halifax Share Dealing.
"All in all, from a cost point of view there's little to disagree with here. A relatively simple charging structure - although we'd prefer fewer tiers - with no extra costs for drawdown or transferring out gets a thumbs up," Nelson says.
"We do find the fact that the entry charge for a D2C Isa with Aviva is 60% higher than that on its adviser platform - 0.25% compared to 0.4% - a bit weird."
Aviva is the latest entrant in an increasingly competitive platform market, having planned its entry for around a year.
This article was written for our sister website Money Observer
Like a self-select ISA but for pensions, self-invested personal pension is a registered pension plan that gives you a flexible and tax-efficient method of preparing for your retirement. It gives you all sorts of options on how you put money in, how you invest it and how it’s paid out and offers a greater number of investment opportunities than if the fund was managed by a pension company. SIPPs are very flexible and allow investments such as quoted and unquoted shares, investment funds, cash deposits, commercial property and intangible property (i.e. copyrights, royalties, patents or carbon offsets). Not permitted are loans to members or people or companies connected to the SIPP holder, tangible moveable property (with the exception of tradable gold) and residential property.
Invidivual Savings Accounts were introduced on 6 April 1999 to replace personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs) with one plan that covered both stockmarket and savings products, the returns from which are tax-exempt. The ISA is not in itself an investment product. Rather, it’s a tax-free “wrapper” in which you place investments and savings up to a specified annual allowance where the returns (capital growth, dividends, interest) are tax-exempt (you don’t have to declare ISAs and their contents on your tax return). However, any dividends are taxed within the investment, and that can’t be reclaimed.