Alliance Trust platform belatedly joins auto re-reg club

Alliance Trust’s platform business is set to ramp up its challenge to traditional platform providers after announcing that it has finally joined the automated re-registration club and has launched a solution with technology firm Altus.

Alliance Trust Savings earlier revealed it was on the road to automated re-registration in July when it signed a deal with Altus and simultaneously signed up to Tex, an agreement of re-registration standards put together by the Tax-Incentivised Savings Association.

Previously the the beginning of June, the firm’s head of platforms Garry McLuckie (pictured) had said ATS would go live with a fully automated re-reg solution in “early summer”, subject to “the usual IT caveats”.

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At the time Mr McLuckie hit out at the big four platforms over the length of time they take to process manual transfer requests, intimating that they were prioritising “simpler” transfers as outflows increased in the wake of new platform rules which many believe will favour cheaper alternatives or more bespoke wrap rivals.

He said: “It is taking a very very long time to get any money transferred and I would even say it is taking months. Clearly clients get frustrated with people they are moving the business to, but actually it’s the one who is transferring it’s fault.

“There is so much money flowing out that they are choosing to prioritise automated over manual.”

A spokesman for FundsNetwork had dismissed the suggestion, stating simply that manual processes were complex and that it was “disappointing” many peers did not have automated solutions in place.

“It is disappointing that there are still platforms and providers that do not have automation in place today which, as a result, is causing poor consumer outcomes.

“FundsNetwork is not prioritising automated re-registration over manual, but naturally where automation for all parties exists the receiving platform will see quicker results.”

Alliance Trust said in a statement that as automated re-reg became more widespread transfers would take between five and six working days to transfer on average and this would remove a barrier to advisers moving clients’ assets.

It added that later this year, Altus will be expanding its ‘Gateway’ service so that re-registration of pension assets can also be facilitated.

Elaine Maddison, proposition and service director, said: “Clients and advisers will now be able to assess the market and choose a platform that best suits their needs without the worry of being out of the market if they decide to transfer.”

Earlier this year ATS revealed it is seeing surging adviser business after broadening its previously exclusive direct model.

In February the firm told FTAdviser it was on track to double its 2012 intermediated sales total in the first three months of 2013 alone as adviser assets raced along to £500m, with the firm targeting £3.5bn in advised assets within three years.