The Investment Association (IA) will enable savers and financial advisers to compare more than 530 ETFs within its sector data.
From 19 April, ETFs from relevant sectors will be included by the IA from eleven issuers: Amundi, BlackRock, Fidelity International, First Trust, Franklin Templeton, HSBC Asset Management, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Legal & General Investment Management, Lyxor, Vanguard and Xtrackers.
IA sectors are used by platforms and financial advisors and allow savers to divide the open-ended fund market into groups of similar products.
The addition of more 530 ETFs will increase the number of strategies featured across the IA’s 52 sector categories to a total of 4,100.
The organisation added that the inclusion of ETFs in its sector data is also leading to broader changes. For instance, the company said its global bond sector would have increased in size by 50% (129 ETFs) but will instead be replaced by 14 new bond sectors as of 19 April. The IA said this will enable savers and professionals to easily compare bond products based on bond type, credit type and currency focus.
Jonathan Lipkin, director for policy, strategy and research at the IA, said: “ETFs are a rapidly growing part of the UK fund market. Their inclusion in the IA sector framework recognises this, helping savers and their advisers to make comparisons and choose funds to meet their long-term financial goals.”
Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at AJ Bell, added: "The inclusion of ETFs in the Investment Association sectors may sound like an arcane technical development, but it marks another step into the mainstream for ETF investing in the UK.
"It will bump up the visibility and comparability of ETFs, and provide a further competitive challenge to active funds and index trackers."
Joe Parkin, head of banks and digital channels in the UK at BlackRock, continued, saying the ability to make like-for-like comparisons of ETFs in the UK will be a huge benefit to retail investors and advisers as they select appropriate products for their objectives.
"We expect that the UK is entering a period of accelerated growth for indexing across wealth portfolios and that current levels of 10-20% within the portfolios of financial advisors, traditional wealth managers and private banks are expected to double in the next four years." Parkin noted.