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Speirs & Jeffrey cuts small wealth clients as regulation bites

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Speirs & Jeffrey cuts small wealth clients as regulation bites

Speirs & Jeffrey has withdrawn investment services for clients with portfolios below £70,000 and raised its minimum charge, citing rising regulatory costs.

The Glasgow-based stockbroker and investment manager has written to clients affected, asking them to make alternative arrangements by the end of June. Clients who received the letter will have their management fees waived for 2017.

A helpline is available for those who wish to discuss the various options available to them.

Speirs & Jeffrey chief executive Russell Crichton said: ‘In common with many other firms across the wealth management industry, we have found that the costs of servicing a client properly have risen significantly in recent years. This now means that our fixed costs of servicing smaller client portfolios are an issue.’

The company has also raised its minimum charge from £200 to £400 per year. It charges clients 0.2% per annum on the first £2 million. Meanwhile, its commission structure remains unchanged at 0.5% between £70,000 and £220,000, with charges negotiable above this level.

‘We are anxious charges should remain fair and reasonable and regrettably we feel that for smaller portfolios we may no longer be an appropriate home,’ Crichton added.

Speirs & Jeffrey is one of several companies that continue to offer investment management to clients with portfolios below £100,000.

The business is also not alone in raising its investment levels and minimum charge. Last year, Charles Stanley increased its annual management fee for managed accounts from £600 to £850. The group has no official minimum for wealth management.

Previously, Brewin Dolphin withdrew bespoke investment services for clients with less than £150,000 saying it was no longer economic to provide the service. These clients are now offered a choice of six risk-rated portfolios through its online proposition, BrewinsDirect.

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