RDR pushing IFAs to use more platforms: survey
A significant proportion of advisers are revising their use of platforms in light of the FSA’s recent platform consultation paper, Holly Mackay has said.
The managing director of The Platforum, a consultancy, research and events provider for the platform sector, claimed 36 per cent of advisers were reconsidering their use of a secondary platform, to sit alongside a primary one, to meet standards for independent advice.
More than 3600 IFAs were surveyed for the Adviser Platform Guide, which will be released later this month, and 26 per cent of advisers polled used three platforms, 24 per cent used two and 18 per cent used a single platform.
An FSA paper earlier this year said advisers would find it difficult to use a single platform for all of the investment business of clients and still meet the standard for independent advice laid down in the retail distribution review.
Ms Mackay said: “Most adviser firms actually have client assets on three platforms, but this is often a result of acquisitions and decisions made a long time ago. We think some of this ‘legacy’ platform business is likely to shift in 2013 when re-registration becomes easier.
“Having historical platform positions is very different from making the active, tactical decision today to use more than one platform to suit different customer segments. It is this decision making, and revisiting platform use and adoption, which we see more of today.”
The research found that the Nucleus and Standard Life platforms were most popular, with 71 per cent of advisers using Nucleus as their primary platform, and 64 per cent of Standard Life users identifying it as their primary platform. The poll also revealed that 24 per cent of advisers reported they were either likely or very likely to change their primary platform in the next 12 months.
Ms Mackay added: “There is a growing opportunity for platforms positioning themselves as a secondary platform. Advisers we speak to have much clearer, and usually much simpler, requirements from a secondary platform.”
Scott Smith, owner of Cheshire-based Bluestone Independent Financial Advisers, said: “There is an attraction to using just one platform in the commonality, but I agree that in order to offer true independent advice you need to be using more than one platform.
“I use several different platforms for historic business, and two for current business.”