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Mark Battersby

HK financial services secretary ups the pressure to lower MPF fees

From Asia Oct 25 2012 BY: Mark Battersby , Editor , International Adviser

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Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Ceajer Chan Ka-keung has called on the mandatory provident fund scheme providers to cut fees further.

The report, in the Hong Kong Standard, quoted Chan as saying "We will keep a close track of the market, including the change in the fund expense ratios [FERs] of MPF funds."

He added that he strongly believed there was room for further reduction in MPF management fees as the number of MPF funds increases.

Hong Kong’s Consumer Council is also reported to have said that local people pay the highest average management fee, of 1.74%, compared with people in other developed economies, though fees have fallen since 2008 when the figure was 2.1%.

One of the MPF providers, Bank of East Asia (Trustees) is already lining up with lower fees than the average MPF fund. It is to launch next week a new MPF scheme, comprising 10 funds, with fees ranging from 0.6% to 0.99% pa of the net asset value.

The introduction on 1 November of Employee Choice Accounts will enable Hong Kong workers, all of whom participate in the Special Administrative Region’s Mandatory Provident Fund scheme, to begin to be allowed to choose which MPF provider they use.

The idea is that by enabling investors to choose their MPF provider, pressure will be brought to bear on pressure on those MPF providers who over-charge, in addition to forcing them in some cases to improve their investment performance.
 

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