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Any 'fund only' DIY ISA platforms?

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Morning all,

Mrs RC and I are looking at moving our existing cash ISAs into funds (specifically Vanguard LS). The fly in the ointment is that she currently works for a bank that is very restrictive in terms of allowing employees to have brokerage accounts. The main sticking point is around accounts that allow share dealing - funds on the other hand are broadly ok.

So... does anyone know of any platforms that are designed for funds only? Halifax seems to be out - shares, funds and ETFs all tradeable there. Pity as that looked like a good low cost solution...

thanks
RC
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  • westy22
    westy22 Posts: 1,105 Forumite
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    ratechaser wrote: »
    Morning all,

    Mrs RC and I are looking at moving our existing cash ISAs into funds (specifically Vanguard LS). The fly in the ointment is that she currently works for a bank that is very restrictive in terms of allowing employees to have brokerage accounts. The main sticking point is around accounts that allow share dealing - funds on the other hand are broadly ok.

    So... does anyone know of any platforms that are designed for funds only? Halifax seems to be out - shares, funds and ETFs all tradeable there. Pity as that looked like a good low cost solution...

    thanks
    RC

    Try Fidelity FundsNetwork - join them via Cavendish Online in order to reduce platform costs. http://www.cavendishonline.co.uk
    Old dog but always delighted to learn new tricks!
  • colsten
    colsten Posts: 17,597 Forumite
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    I doubt any employer can lawfully prevent their employees from dealing in shares.

    Are you sure you understood the limitation correctly? Even banks offer the option of shares in any S&S ISAs they offer. Can you post the text of the restriction(s) on here?

    http://monevator.com/compare-uk-cheapest-online-brokers/
  • greenglide
    greenglide Posts: 3,301 Forumite
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    Are they actually allowed to do that these days? I know that they used to, my brother used to work for Barclays bank at a high level years ago and they were quite stringent in those days.

    It is normal for the platforms to do both both share dealing and funds. Some do limit what you can do in different account types though. Fidelity, for instance, separate their ISA for funds investments from the share dealing accounts. Is that sufficient?
  • bowlhead99
    bowlhead99 Posts: 12,295 Forumite
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    ratechaser wrote: »
    The fly in the ointment is that she works for a bank that is very restrictive in terms of allowing employees to have brokerage accounts. The main sticking point is around accounts that allow share dealing - funds on the other hand are broadly OK
    With the growth of the DIY investment market in recent years a great many people with "normal" retirement plans will have access to an investment vehicle (S&S ISA or SIPP) which has brokerage features and allows you to trade on an exchange.

    However if you do not intend to make use of that "unwanted feature" that comes free with the cheapest fund platform for your needs, and you offer to provide them all statements on a periodic basis to demonstrate that you have not made use of those services at all, then you might well find yourself OK.

    So one course of action may be to stick the money in a fund (which is permitted) with your provider of choice, and then disclose that you have it (if required) and ask them what they propose you do to avoid cashing in your (permitted) fund investment, given you do not need or want the brokerage facility but are struggling to find a rival provider who lets you keep your fund for the same cost.

    I imagine the response might be that it's fine to keep or add to that fund but don't you dare go using any brokerage services within your account without explicit permission, on pain of death.
  • ratechaser
    ratechaser Posts: 1,674 Forumite
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    Westy - thanks, Cavendish may well work then... let's see what the chaps in Compliance think...

    Colsten, Greenglide and Bowlhead... sadly, it's always been very restrictive in banking, and it's just got worse since 2008. Even when I started out 20 years ago, you had to make sure that compliance got copies of any trade confirmations on your accounts. Since then, there have been a raft of restrictions added around minimum holding periods for stocks (because in our position, we should never 'trade', only 'invest'...), advance permission needed for transactions, blanket bans on trading whole asset classes or industry sectors that could conflict with peoples specific roles (pretty much any front office or analyst role would get caught there...). There was a point where FX was considered too big a market to manipulate, and therefore was free for bankers to trade. Guess what happened post the LIBOR scandal... yep, that's now heavily restricted as well.

    Anyway, it has got to the point where employers prescribe the accounts you can have (if any), And generally they are not the cheapest to run because they need additional controls built in. Whether that's legally enforceable or not - I have no idea if there has ever been a test case. But I doubt many people would want to risk their jobs in the current market testing that out! It's certainly made very clear in codes of conduct that not only must bankers avoid conflicts of interest, they must be very visible in being seen to avoid those conflicts. And that's one reason why the poor sods in back office roles also get caught up in this...

    RC
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 116,684 Forumite
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    They cant enforce it on retail banking but I believe restrictions can still be made on investment banking.

    Most platforms are making the move to all assets now that unbundling is complete (finished this month). So, she needs to keep this under review as she could find herself on a broker platform in the future without realising.

    Another option is the L&G multi-index funds. They can be bought off platform direct from L&G. Often cheaper than on-platform (depending on the platform). Depending on the equity content, the L&G funds may be more attractive than the VLS.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • ratechaser
    ratechaser Posts: 1,674 Forumite
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    Thanks dunstonh - comment about unbundling makes perfect sense as I did think there used to be a lot more fund only options available. I think she may well have to go with whatever prescribed account her bank wants, even if not cheap...

    I did start looking at L&G per your suggestion, but it's not clear to me that there is any ISA wrapper option with a direct holding?
  • adspence
    adspence Posts: 30 Forumite
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    I had similar compliance demands by my company too, but they seemed happy with my SIPP and ISA provider provided they send our compliance dept contract notes (which I presume Trustnet Direct are doing though I don't see them), and I send a quarterly transaction statement.

    I can't trade shares directly (generally have to do that internally)...or I might be able to but it isn't worth the hoopla of getting trade pre-clearance. Unit Trusts and OEIC Funds are fine, not sure about ETFs, haven't tried or asked.

    It's normally just a simple matter of asking them and discussing your platform of choice so they can check on them.

    Hopefully your wife's compliance dept will be as compliant :)
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 116,684 Forumite
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    I did start looking at L&G per your suggestion, but it's not clear to me that there is any ISA wrapper option with a direct holding?

    There is an ISA with them
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • ratechaser
    ratechaser Posts: 1,674 Forumite
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    dunstonh wrote: »
    There is an ISA with them

    Sorry, I should have been clearer. I was able to find an L&G ISA option, but the list of funds available within it is pretty limited, and doesn't include the multi-index series. There are some mixed asset funds, but only D class and with management fees to match!
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