THE securities regulator will push ahead with a review of investment platforms that collectively house more than $100 billion of superannuation savings.
The review is likely to boost rules protecting investors that have savings sitting on platforms, giving them the same rights as though they directly owned the products.
It could also pave the way to make it easier for fund managers to have investment products listed on an investment platform, a move that could pressure returns of platform providers.
Used by financial planners, investment platforms are the link, or "hub", in the chain between the consumer and underlying fund product. With the market dominated by the big banks, platforms offer benefits to financial planners, given they can easily manage the investment portfolios of clients.
The issue of control of the platform market became a sticking point with the competition regulator when NAB attempted its $14 billion move on AXA Asia Pacific. This ultimately forced NAB to shelve its bid for the wealth manager.
Financial advisers usually use two platforms to manage client funds, but sometimes three. At least 50 per cent of advisers use Commonwealth Bank-owned First Choice, followed by 30 per cent that use Westpac's BT Wrap. Among the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's proposals, platform operators would be required to meet standards on corporate structures and compliance issues.