Standard Life rolls out due diligence tool to help advisers

Standard Life has introduced a “bespoke” due diligence service for its wrap users to help advisers meet their regulatory obligations.

The service is available to both existing users and advisers considering the Standard Life Wrap platform.

Standard Life said the tool provides a “flexible approach” to due diligence in line with the varied individual requirements of each adviser business.

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The due diligence report can be dual-branded for adviser firms and meets the requirements of the regulator, Standard Life said.

In addition, Standard Life Wrap users will receive an updated generic version of the due diligence report annually. This documentation has been produced following analysis of over 70 examples of due diligence requests to the platform, Standard Life said.

This follows the regulator’s publication of its platform paper in April which revealed it will fall to advisers to conduct due diligence of the platforms they use to make sure they comply with regulations.

The Financial Conduct Authority said financial advisers will be responsible for ensuring the platforms they use comply with regulation, in a move that Mark Polson, the Lang Cat founder expert said will make intermediaries’ lives “quite a lot harder”.

Duncan Muir, head of adviser business development at Standard Life, said: “Due diligence is vital in shaping an adviser’s proposition as the questions asked of a platform determine the type of business the adviser wants to have.

“It has never been more important to make the right choice of platform as it is a long-term commitment. Our new bespoke service is designed to best support the adviser in this decision making process. Central to this is gathering the appropriate information about a provider’s ability to support their investment and service proposition.

“As we have implemented the changes required by PS13/1 well ahead of the deadline we can now support advisers as they build a successful, sustainable and financially strong business.”

Standard Life has plans to extend this due diligence service to other propositions.

Mr Muir said: “Due diligence isn’t about Standard Life giving an adviser firm a list of questions to ask, it is about us having a solution for their individual due diligence requirements.”