Platforms  

Platforms that are behind paperless times revealed

"Our aim instead is to strike a balance between doing what is appropriate to safeguard clients while making processes as smooth as possible."

A spokesman for Standard Life Aberdeen said: "Standard Life platforms (Wrap and Elevate) have been developed to facilitate an efficient and effective service that puts the adviser in  control of the client experience, with a range of robust security  and fraud prevention controls embedded as part of this.

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"We use our expertise to minimise the risk, whilst developing our platforms to deliver both a secure and strong adviser and client experience."

Rohan Sivajoti, director of Postcard Planning and founding member of NextGen Planners, said: "The old-world inefficiency of platforms demanding printed application forms and wet signatures adds significantly to the time and money advisers spend performing what should be simple actions, not to mention the time the client has to wait to get their money into the market.

"Yet the technology, legality and processes already exist to make these actions fully digital. With straight through processing, everyone wins: the platform, advisers and most importantly – clients.

"Surprisingly, it is not always the old guard life companies that are the worst offenders; some of the 'new age' platforms are the furthest behind. If we want to be seen as a forward-thinking profession, advisers need all platforms to catch up."

Yesterday (26 March) Fundscape reported when looking at pure retail advised business, stripping out direct-to-consumer, institutional and workplace savings, Standard Life Aberdeen was the fastest growing platform in 2017 in terms of total assets, gross sales and net sales.

Under this categorization, the Standard Life Aberdeen platform has assets of £54bn and saw net sales of £7bn.

In terms of net sales it is followed by Aviva, which saw £5.7bn, Old Mutual with £4.4bn, Transact which saw £3.1bn and AJ Bell, which saw £3bn.

Aviva's presence among the top spots in many of these categories comes after weeks of bad news about the company's platform following its upgrade in mid-January.

damian.fantato@ft.com