Updated: Top fund providers failing customers with out-of-date fact sheet information

~ Instinct Studios research reveals 92% of funds factsheets contain performance data that’s at least a month and a half out of date ~

~ Leading providers failing the FCA’s transparency test ~

Updated: London, 23 January 2015 Instinct Studios, a FinTech company that creates smarter digital customer experiences, has released research which reveals that 92% of fund factsheets from some the UK’s largest funds contain one year performance data that’s at least a month and a half out of date. The results come despite the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) pushing for greater transparency and for customer information to be clear, fair and not misleading.

Fund factsheets are a vital tool for investors conducting research and finding out where their money is currently invested. Analysis of fund factsheet PDFs downloaded from fund group websites in January 2015 reveals that most providers last updated their factsheet information in November last year. Only two funds, JPM Liquidity Funds Euro Liquidity and CF Woodford Equity Income offered information as of 31 December 2014.

Many of the downloadable factsheets included in the research provided potentially misleading performance data, where the latest one year performance figure was significantly lower than that stated in the factsheet pdf:

  • M&G Global Dividend: 5.3% (factsheet) vs 2.3% (latest figure as at 13/01/15)
  • BlackRock UK Equity Tracker: 3.7% vs 0.53%
  • Artemis Income: 6.9% vs 3.32%
  • M&G Recovery: -5.3% vs -11.76%
  • Halifax UK Growth: 2.3% vs -0.19%
  • Legal & General UK Index Trust: 3.37% vs 0.17%

On the flip side, in some cases the 1 year performance figure was actually lower than the latest data would suggest:

  • BlackRock Global Allocation A2: 3.8% (factsheet) vs 8.72% (latest figure as at 13/01/15)
  • First State Asia Pacific Leaders: 19.6% vs 25.12%
  • Aberdeen Global Emerging Markets Equity: 2.18% vs 8.19%
  • Fidelity America: 18.5% vs 24.97%

Majid Shabir, founder at Instinct Studios commented: “In today’s digital world, making information available that could be months out of date is a regulatory time bomb waiting to explode. The industry’s record on delivering accurate and timely factsheet information is pretty poor and these results bear that out. With financial advisers leaving factsheets with their clients and customers downloading them direct from providers, many investors will be unable to make informed decisions. Clearly that’s something has to change and quickly.”

He added: “We’re in the digital age, so customers are right to demand real-time and up-to-date information and they expect it to be presented in a way that’s user-friendly, insightful and offers an immersive digital experience. And with these expectations already being met in many other industries, why should the financial services sector be any different? Undoubtedly, the factsheet in its current form has had its day and now investment providers need to step up to invest in better alternatives.”

Graham Bentley, managing director at investment consultants, gbi2 added: ”Recent digital advances are opening up opportunities for fund groups to completely rethink the delivery of investment information. This means out of date information is now unacceptable and will not be tolerated by customers or the regulator for much longer.”

The Instinct research looked at a selection of the largest funds available to UK investors – based on funds under management (Source: Morningstar). Factsheet PDFs were downloaded from each fund group’s own website on 13 January 2015 and current performance data was taken from Morningstar on 14 January 2015.

Instinct will shortly launch a new investment information visualisation service, which aims to help investors make sense of financial data – anytime, anywhere, any device.

Notes to editor:

The full list of funds covered in the research:

Fund Last updated ISIN Factsheet 1yr performance Current 1yr performance
M&G Optimal Income 30 November 2014 GB00B1H05155 5.2% 4.3%
Templeton Global Bond 30 November 2014 LU0229943369 8.95% 8.72%
Templeton Global Total Return 30 November  2014 LU0274552982 7.81% 7.56%
Standard Global Absolute Return 30 November 2014 GB00B28S0093 5.9% 4.43%
Blackrock Global Allocation A2 30 November 2014 LU0072462426 3.8% 8.72%
Invesco Perpetual High Income 28 November 2014 income share class 12.04% 11.36%
Newton Real Return 30 November 2014 GB0001642635 not shown 1.19%
M&G Global Dividend 30 November 2014 GB00B39R2L79 5.3% 2.33%
JPM Liquidity Funds Euro Liquidity 31 December 2014 LU0070177232 0.0% 0.04%
Templeton Asian Growth 30 November 2014 LU0229940183 13.90% 15.83%
BlackRock UK Equity Tracker 30 November 2014 GB00B08HD810 3.7% 0.53%
First State Asia Pacific Leaders 30 November 2014 GB0033874214 19.6% 25.12%
Blackrock Consensus 85 30 November 2014 GB00B08HD927 7.25% 6.62%
Artemis Income 28 November 2014 GB0006572464 6.9% 3.32%
Invesco Perpetual Income 28 November 2014 GB0033053827 11.4% 10.63%
Invesco Perpetual Corporate Bond 28 November 2014 GB0033028779 5.15% 5.21%
Aberdeen Global Emerging Markets Equity 30 November 2014 LU0132412106 2.18% 8.19%
M&G Recovery 30 November 2014 GB0031289217 -5.3% -11.76%
Halifax UK Growth 30 November 2014 GB0031826596 2.3% -0.19%
Legal & General UK Index Trust 30 November 2014 GB0005141709 3.37% 0.17%
Fidelity America 30 November 2014 LU0048573561 18.5% 24.97%
Jupiter Merlin Income 30 November 2014 GB0003629374 not shown 4.32%
AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities 28 November 2014 GB0003501581 0.4% -1.6%
Newton Global Higher Income 30 November 2014 GB00B0MY6T00 not shown 12.08%
CF Woodford Equity Income 31 December 2014 GB00BLRZQ513 N/A N/A

About Instinct Studios

Instinct Studios is a new FinTech company that creates smarter customer experiences to simplify the world of financial services across web, mobile and touch-enabled devices. By making processes effortless and complex data meaningful, it helps customers make clear and informed financial decisions. It blends design and technology expertise with a deep understanding of financial services to help organisations create the best digital experience for its customers.