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Vanguard gets green light to offer investment advice in UK

Vanguard Group Inc. is set to ramp up competition in the British wealth management sector after obtaining regulatory approval to provide investment advice in the U.K.

The U.S. fund manager received permission from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority to begin offering retail investment advice in Britain, the Financial Times reported.

Vanguard said its plans to offer financial advice in the U.K. are in the initial stages and did not provide a precise time frame for when it will introduce a direct-to-consumer advisory product in the market, according to the report.

In the past seven years, Vanguard has been the fastest-growing fund manager globally due to its low-cost passive fund options, the report noted. In 2017, the group launched an online service selling its funds directly to British investors, and in October 2018, it set up a new team in London that focuses on researching exchange-traded funds.

Earlier in January, the group's U.K.-based direct-to-consumer business attracted some 80,000 retail clients with $2.3 billion under management, the FT said.