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Financial Planning

AMP trims platform fees

AMP Australia is reducing fees on its platforms, in a bid to attract more clients.

Its flagship MyNorth wrap reduced administration fees by up to 22% effective May 1 for balances above $250,000. Administration fee caps for individuals are reducing by $400 and for families by $500 per year.

AMP North will be next from June 1, followed by Summit on August 1 -- bringing their fees largely in line with MyNorth's.

The three platforms together hold about 90% of AMP's platform clients.

The remaining are in iAccess and Generation platforms, which will also be reviewed in the second half of the year.

AMP Australia chief executive Scott Hartley said the fee cuts are in response to AMP's intent to "compete strongly and transparently" across its wealth product range, and to the practice of competitor platforms using rate cards to attract advisers.

"The fee reductions we have announced across our platforms should be seen by clients and financial advisers as a signal of AMP's intent to compete strongly and transparently across our wealth product range," Hartley, who was previously Sunsuper's chief executive, said.

He joined AMP last year, after AMP Australia chief executive Alex Wade resigned following a report in the AFR that he sent explicit photos to a female colleague.

"These are highly competitive and transparent fees, which we have introduced as a response to the use of advice licensee or advice practice rate cards by many in the industry, which we see as distorting the system and creating member equity issues in the super and pension wrap products," Hartley said.

"We are not going to play that opaque game as it creates inequity for financial advisers and their clients and is arguably breaching legal obligations to treat members fairly."

AMP's platforms had $63.7 billion in total assets under management at FY20, up slightly from $62.6 billion the previous financial year. The platforms business saw net inflows of $114 million in FY20, an increase from net outflows of $33 million in the previous financial year.

However, the AUM-based revenue margin for the platform business came down from 61bps to 56bps in the two years.

AMP said the margin drop of 5bps came from clients moving towards the lower-margin North platform (4bps impact) and grandfathered commissions coming off (1bps).

Today's announcement did not ascribe a margin or revenue impact from the fee changes.

"The changes are immaterial and do not impact our market guidance," an AMP spokesperson said in a statement.

AMP's North platform saw $400 million less in inflows in the three months to March compared to the same time last year, as financial adviser activity fell. North's cash inflows for first quarter were $3.6 billion, compared to $4 billion in 2020 March quarter.

Read more: AMP AustraliaMyNorthScott HartleySunsuper