Investments 

What advisers want from their platform

What advisers want from their platform

Ease of new business administration is the service most valued by advisers using a platform, according to data from Defaqto.

The data, published today (February 20), ranked categories based on importance and satisfaction ratings from advisers and found while advisers thought new business admin was important, 79 per cent were satisfied with the service they received in this area.

Existing business administration, which was ranked second most important, received a 78 per cent approval rating from advisers, down 3 per cent on 2017.

Online services and ebusiness as well as pension freedom servicing also ranked highly and both were down 2 per cent in satisfaction ratings.

The data also showed advisers' use of platforms has continued to rise with 64 per cent more advisers putting all their business on platforms in 2018 than in 2016, 18 per cent in 2018 compared with 11 per cent in 2016. 

The number of advisers switching providers had also increased however, from 10 per cent in 2016 to a quarter of advisers in 2018, signalling a change in the way advisers were willing to act on the service they received.

The Financial Conduct Authority had acknowledged a "burdensome" task of switching platforms in its interim report of the platform market study in July, saying it wanted to tackle barriers to switching platforms.

This became particularly pertinent in the wake of major servicing issues across a number of big providers last year, after replatforming efforts ran into trouble.

David Cartwright, head of insight and consulting for wealth at Defaqto, said: "The platform community has faced significant challenges throughout 2018 such as regulatory adherence, the influence of technology and market disruptors challenging cost competitiveness.

"Despite continued mergers and acquisitions, re-platforming exercises and increasing levels of functionality, the survey results indicate that a number of platforms still fall short when it comes to the levels of service advisers expect.

"With a fall in satisfaction from advisers, it’s important for providers to take note and ensure they are responding accordingly."

Defaqto had asked financial advisers about their views on the service they receive from more than 200 providers covering DFMs, protection insurers, platform, pension and bond providers.

Product providers were then rated Gold, Silver or Bronze based on their overall satisfaction score, which is detailed below.

Satisfaction category

Importance

2018

2017

Change

New business administration

1

79%

80%

-1%

Existing business administration

2

78%

81%

-3%

Online services and ebusiness

3

75%

77%

-2%

Pension freedom servicing

4

66%

68%

-2%

Provider’s staff

5

74%

74%

-

Reporting

6

69%

70%

-1%

Platform design and Management

7

72%

73%

-1%

Technical assistance

8

68%

67%

+1%

Transition and implementation

9

70%

72%

-2%

Adviser charge administration

10

72%

76%

-4%

Platform provider strength and brand

11

74%

75%

-1%

david.thorpe@ft.com