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Superclean? What about Superclear?

So details are thin, but Standard Life’s announcement on Superclean will no doubt create lots of headlines and blogs and comments.

On the whole driving down cost of fund management to benefit customers is a good thing. I suspect Superclean will become clean pretty quickly. However it can’t be the end game. We have AMCs, TERs, OCs, performance fees, exit penalties, turnover ratios, and I’m sure a bunch of other stuff. And that’s just funds.

This from the same industry who ponders why the saving ratio is poor, retirement provision is too low, consumer confidence in financial services is poor.

The debate on Superclean seems to fundamentally miss the point for me, particularly when the benefit to the average investor is small and largely opaque. Just look at platform statements as a customer and tell me how you can work out the discounts you get, or the value your platform gives you or your customer.

The end game must be clarity for the customer. And it needs to be consistent. You need to be Superclean in all you do, if you place high stock on it. You can’t pick and choose the areas you want to be clean on.

When we have as much debate on Superclear then I think we will look back on these Superclean debates as pretty internal and not truly focused on our customers.

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