November 20, 2019 / 10:54 AM / 8 months ago

British watchdog fines Henderson $2.45 mln over unfair fees

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Britain's financial markets regulator has fined Henderson Investment Funds (HIFL), now part of Janus Henderson, 1.9 million pounds ($2.45 million) for not treating more than 4,500 retail investors fairly.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said HIFL's appointed investment manager decided to reduce the level of active management of the Henderson Japan Enhanced Equity Fund and Henderson North American Enhanced Equity Fund in 2011.

But although the funds' institutional clients were offered free management of their assets, retail clients continued to pay the same level of fee for five years, the FCA said on Wednesday.

"The FCA requires firms to treat all its customers fairly, not just some customers. In this case, retail investors paid fees for active investment management they did not receive," said Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA.

"For retail clients, the Japan and North American Funds were in effect operating as "closet trackers" as the fees charged to them were inappropriate given the diminished level of active management," he added.

$1 = 0.7747 pounds Reporting by Simon Jessop, editing by Kirstin Ridley

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