Share value slumps as wealth manager comes under increasing pressure from regulators
Wealth management firm St James’s Place is facing increasing pressure over the amount it charges its customers for its services.
The Gloucestershire business has seen its share value slide by 30 per cent as a result of the ongoing issues and was forced to release a stock market statement this morning.
The business is coming under increasing pressure from regulators over its fee structure as a result of the introduction of new consumer duty regulations.
Any changes to the way the firm operates is expected to cost millions as it will mean changes to its software and operating systems.
St James Place said earlier this year that the total funds under administration rose to £157.6bn.
However its profits fell to £161.7m from £208.2m in the previous 12 months.
This morning’s statement said: “St. James’s Place notes recent media speculation regarding its fees and charges structures for clients.
“As disclosed in our half-year report and accounts published on 27 July 2023, we continue to build on the work completed for Consumer Duty.
“This programme includes an assessment of our fees and charging models to ensure we operate with a simple and scalable charging platform for the long term.
“Whilst the evaluation has not yet been completed and therefore no decision has been made, we are confident that all the options under consideration will ensure value for clients and a strong, secure, and sustainable business for all stakeholders. We naturally continue to engage with all of our primary regulators during this process.
“We will update the market as any decisions are made.”
St James’s Place is the now the UK’s largest wealth manager but it has come under increasing pressure over the charges it imposes for advice and for early withdrawal from savings schemes.
The pressure increased after the Financial Conduct Authority introduced its new rules this summer. The rules are designed to ensure companies are acting in the best interests of their customers.
The FCA has said it cannot comment on its dealings with individual firms.