3 ETF Providers Sign IA’s Statement Of Principles

Vanguard, BlackRock and HSBC join 22 asset managers to sign the Investment Association’s promise to put investors first

Editor, etf.com Europe
Reviewed by: Rachael Revesz
Edited by: Rachael Revesz

ETF providers Vanguard, BlackRock and HSBC have joined 22 other asset managers to sign the Investment Association’s Statement of Principles as a promise to always put their clients first in an attempt to regain trust with consumers in financial services.

The IA, previously called the Investment Management Association, compiled a list of 10 points which encourages its signatories to make all costs and charges transparent, to take care of clients’ money as they would their own, and to only develop and offer funds that are designed to add value for clients and to help them meet their objectives.

The list of signatories includes three ETF providers and passive index tracker Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM). The majority of participants are active houses, which may include passive funds as part of their investment portfolios.

Vanguard, BlackRock and LGIM have all cut passive index tracker fees in the last month. However, certain activities like stock lending have not always been as transparent. Both HSBC and iShares - the ETF arm of BlackRock - failed to disclose recent changes in their policy to investors.

Helena Morrissey, chair of the Investment Association, said in a statement today: "The industry is being asked to deliver lifelong financial well-being. We can only do that if clients can trust us to put their interests first and ahead of our own.”

Daniel Godfrey, IA chief executive, added that all asset managers on the list manage between £50 million and £750 billion.

"I am hugely encouraged that the Principles have got off to such a strong start,” he said.

The Statement of Principles is below:

1 - Always put their clients' interests first and ahead of their own

2 - Take care of clients' money as diligently as they would their own

3 - Only develop, offer and maintain funds and services designed to add value for clients and help them achieve their financial goals

4 - Maintain and apply the investment and operational expertise needed to meet the objectives agreed with clients

5 - Make all costs and charges transparent and understandable

6 - Disclose to investors the source and value of any other material benefit they receive as a consequence of their role as investment manager

7 - Ensure regular, timely and clear lines of communication with clients

8 - Set out clearly their approach to the stewardship of client assets and interests

9 - Maintain a corporate culture that sustains these principles

10 - Work with industry colleagues and stakeholders to develop and maintain guidance on industry best practice


Rachael Revesz joined etf.com in August 2013 as staff writer. Previously an investment reporter at Citywire, she has a background in writing content for retail financial advisors and has covered a wide range of subjects in finance. Revesz studied journalism at PMA Media, which has since merged with the Press Association. She also holds a B.A. in modern languages from Durham University, as well as CF1 and CF2 financial planning certificates from the CII.