Jeff Prestridge  

In the adviser's arsenal

Jeff Prestridge

Jeff Prestridge

Mutual benefit

To cut to the quick, he reiterated NS&I’s relationship with financial advisers and their clients. “We believe there is much in common between our two brands and much mutual benefit to be had from our association in driving better outcomes for consumers,” he said.

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He also took the opportunity to invite financial advice firms to participate in a tendering process. A contract that would reward the winner with the opportunity to advise those fortunate enough to win a £1million Premium Bond jackpot prize. Maybe the winner, who must have chartered status, will at some stage be advising one of my boys when Ernie shines favourably on them.

For all the glitz and consumed bubbles of the Personal Finance Society awards, there is no doubt that NS&I is upping its game with regards to financial planners.

As it admitted to me after the Roundhouse soiree, its servicing of financial advisers needs to improve. Too much of it is paper-based, involves overlong turnarounds and a new letter of authority from a client every time an adviser contacts then NS&I.

Come the new year, NS&I will be launching phone access for advice firms so they can obtain information  on clients’ holdings more readily. Also coming are indefinite letters of authority – with two yearly checks to ensure clients are happy to have them still in place.

Even better, online access to information on clients’ NS&I holdings is coming at some stage through www.nsandi-adviser.com. As is transactional access for advice firms.

Hallelujah I hear you shout. How appropriate given it is time for me to wish you a super Christmas and prosperous New Year. Thank you for reading and thank you for your comments throughout the year.

Jeff Prestridge is personal finance editor of the Mail on Sunday