On November 18, 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority launched its market study into asset management by publishing the Terms of Reference for the study. The FCA announced its intention to conduct the study in its 2015/2016 business plan following feedback it received during the wholesale sector competition review. The Terms of Reference state that the FCA will investigate three core areas: (i) how asset managers compete to deliver value; (ii) are asset managers willing and able to control costs and quality along the value chain; and (iii) how investment consultants affect competition for institutional asset management. The FCA will also be looking at whether there are any barriers to innovation that prevent investors from obtaining better results. The Terms of Reference are not being formally consulted on but the FCA will accept comments received by December 18, 2015 on them and the issues raised. An interim report is expected to be published in summer 2016 setting out preliminary conclusions and possibly remedies to address any identified issues. The final report is expected in early 2017.
The Terms of Reference are available at: http://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/market-studies/ms15-02-1.pdf.