UK – R&M Consultants have released the results of its first survey of trustee and depositary banks – which shows that HSBC is the top choice of investment managers.

R&M surveyed investment managers of the UK’s 200 billion-pound (291.25 billion-euro) authorised funds market, asking them to assess their service provider in 20 different categories.

There are only eight trustee and depositary banks which serve the authorised funds market, and HSBC was voted as top provider, with overall performance of 5.78 out of seven.

Says R&M: “HSBC has never performed well in the R&M global custody survey, but its major client base is obviously happy with the service they receive in this area of trustee/depositary_services.” The clients surveyed had 16.5 billion pounds (24.03 billion euros) with HSBC in 152 funds.

Closely following HSBC was the Bank of New York, with the National Australia Bank’s Clydesdale in third place.

In the last two places came State Street and Citibank respectively. According to R&M, State Street’s weakest area is compliance monitoring, while Citibank is weak in experience/knowledge of personnel and interpretation of the regulations under the section ‘technical advice’.

J P Morgan, which ranked fifth, is the largest of all the trustees, in terms of assets under administration. Its asset coverage is almost one third of the survey and more than a quarter of the total market.

RBS Trustees, which ranked fourth, was the only trustee arm no longer associated with a global custody business, since selling it to the Bank of New York. “It proves that it is possible to provide a trustee and depositary service without it being linked to custody,” says R&M.

Brown Brothers Harriman, the eighth provider, did not have sufficient responses to qualify for entry in the survey, serving only two clients.

The different categories of the survey covered compliance monitoring, audit, documentation, technical advice, and other issues such as supporting clients with new issues and overall value for money.