The research, which analysed the top selling 100 funds on their platform in the year ending March 2013 and compared them to those in the year ending March 2016, found that the average annual fee has fallen from 1.32% in 2013, just before RDR was introduced, to 1.03% – representing a fall of 22%.
Interestingly, the average fee of the top-10 best selling funds only fell by 7%, from 1.18% to 1.01%, suggesting popular funds see less urgency to reduce fees to improve their attractiveness to investors.
Under the RDR, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) banned rebate payments from platforms.
Nick Curry, director at rplan, said: “The greater transparency brought about by the RDR has certainly been a factor in fees being more competitive.” However, the rise of cheap index-trackers in the past couple of years has most probably also played a role.
Despite the reduction in fees Curry called for greater clarity around platform charges, citing the Andrew Hagger Report, commissioned by rplan in March 2015 which found that charges can vary by a factor of three on portfolios worth up to £30,000.
He said: “Charges should be expressed in both percentage terms and pounds and pence – that way investors can see exactly what the impact is of the fees they are paying.”
The news comes a week after the FCA’s ‘sunset clause’ deadline which allowed platforms to continue to make legacy payments until 6 April 2016.