The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Wednesday announced the terms of reference for its planned asset management industry study, which aims to examine the impact of competition in the sector, and whether it’s working well to ensure that investors receive value for their money.
Given the £6.6 trillion ($13.28 trillion) size of the market, and the long-term nature of investments, “even a small improvement in the effectiveness of competition could be of substantial benefit for investors,” the FCA says in a statement.
The FCA study will aim to understand exactly how asset managers compete to deliver value, the extent to which they are driven to control costs and enhance quality, and how investment consultants affect competition for institutional asset management services.
In each of these areas, the regulator is interested in understanding “whether there are any barriers to innovation or technological advances which may be preventing new ways of doing business that could benefit investors,” the FCA says.
The FCA is aiming to publish an interim report in the summer of 2016, and plans to issue its final report in early 2017.
“If we conclude that competition is not working well, we may intervene to promote effective competition. We can do this through rule-making, introducing firm specific remedies or enforcement action, publishing general guidance or proposing enhanced industry self-regulation,” the FCA says.