July 26, 2017 / 9:11 AM / 2 years ago

Pensions body says backs competition review of investment consultants

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association said on Wednesday it would support an investigation into the investment consultancy industry by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Britain’s markets watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, said in November it was considering referring the industry to the CMA amid concerns over conflicts of interest and value for money.

While the three biggest consultants suggested changes to the way they work in an effort to prevent that happening, the FCA last month said it was inclined to reject them and would consult further before making a decision in September.

Caroline Escott, who leads on investment policy at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said while consultants could add value for institutional investors, the changes proposed did not go far enough.

“A Competition and Markets Authority investigation could probe competition issues in greater depth and recommend far-reaching solutions,” she said in a statement.

“We would therefore support a referral to the CMA and hope such a step would ensure a market which works in the best interests of pension schemes and their members.”

Reporting by Simon Jessop. Editing by Andrew MacAskill

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