Advice after coronavirus: platforms face the 'new normal'


Firms which think they are returning to the "old normal" in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis will be "out of business pretty quickly", Andy Bell has warned.

In the third in a series of podcasts examining what the advice profession will look like after the coronavirus pandemic, Andy Bell, chief executive of AJ Bell, and Mark Polson, principal at the Lang Cat, discussed the future of the platform market.

Platforms are going to face big demand to keep up the changes they have made during the pandemic, the experts predicted.

Mr Polson said: "Lots of platforms have done sterling work on de-papering their processes in a situation where you really don’t want lots of paper flying around.

"They have gone a long way very fast to go towards as paperless as it is reasonable to be."

But some firms have said they may revert back to their old ways once the crisis has calmed. Mr Polson said: "I say, good luck with that. Adviser firms will not want to see platforms resign away from the way they are now."

Mr Bell agreed. He said: "Anyone who thinks they’re going back to the old normal is going to be out of business very quickly.

"I think there is a new normal and people need to adapt."

Mr Bell thought there were "lots of good things" coming out of the crisis and businesses would be "foolish" not to embrace them.

He added: "Most businesses which are forward-thinking, certainly in the platform and advice sector, will adapt the good and some of the bad will be a distant memory."

Mr Polson and Mr Bell also discussed how the pandemic had changed advisers' expectations of their platforms, whether the consolidation trend within the market will continue and what a successful platform will look like in the future.

To listen to the full podcast click play on the video above or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or Acast.


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