The UK has over 200 fund managers and 300 distributors trading in mutual funds with a market value of over £1.15tn.

Despite efforts over the last 20 years to improve automation, much of the process remains manual, with limited integration and a lack of common standards.

The Fund Trading and Settlement (FTS) initiative has been created to address this opportunity, working with a group of cross industry firms to identify potential solutions that could transform fund distribution. The 5 major industry associations—The Association of British Insurers, The Investment Association, TISA, Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice, and UK Platform Group—have united with over 21 major financial services firms to engage in a review process.

The group recognises that solutions may come from a range of different areas—through existing providers already operating in the UK, suppliers offering services in other markets, and/or though considering emerging technology, such as Blockchain. FTS is seeking to options that can deliver key objectives.

FTS is looking at solutions that include:

  • Increasing operational efficiency
  • Increasing standardisation
  • Delivering an improved consumer experience
  • Reducing costs and risk

FTS also recognises that there may be opportunities that go further, driving even greater benefits. The process being undertaken, therefore, will seek to understand potential solutions that may provide benefits to the distribution of UK mutual funds.