Advisers have called on self-invested personal pension providers to enhance their technology in order to speed up applications and make it easier to receive real time information.
Research from iPensions Group, published today (October 13), found 71 per cent of advisers believed speeding up applications through the use of electronic signatures and digital due diligence should be a priority for Sipp providers.
Almost two out of three (64 per cent) advisers wanted providers to use digital portals for all transactions and a quarter (26 per cent) wanted to see more investment in analytical tools.
iPensions had polled 104 advisers "specialising in Sipps" during July and August.
It found that technology had become so ingrained in an adviser's day to day life that more than half focused on tech capacity when choosing which Sipp provider they would use for their clients.
Efficient administration however remained the most important factor for advisers and clients with 84 per cent rating it as very important.
Sandra Roberson, group chief executive officer at iPensions, said: “Providers need to make it as easy as possible for advisers when recommending Sipps.
“Investing in technology will deliver returns as it is clearly a major factor for clients when choosing who to trust with their money.
“Simple steps such as faster applications and digital portals are increasingly a basic factor for clients.”
Ricky Chan, director and chartered financial planner at IFS Wealth and Pensions, said he wants to see more providers integrate their systems with advisers’ back office systems saying they were often not compatible.
Mr Chan said: “Getting information and evaluations from providers which fit advisers’ back office systems is often a bugbear.
“Platforms are often not able to provide real time information which fits with the back office system an adviser is using therefore advisers need to then use the provider's own portals which can be a bit of a pain.”
Earlier this year (July 2020), Dentons integrated Intelliflo’s Intelligent Office in order to address this issue and make it easier for advisers to evaluate their clients’ portfolios.
Intelligent Office enables advisers to build their own business management system and manage the entire advice process using a single software.
Mr Chan said use of technology had certainly improved since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and he expects this to continue over the coming months and years.
Mr Chan added: “Even before the pandemic there was a growing requirement from advisers for providers to accept electronic applications and signatures, as well as letters of authority, to make life easier.
“Although some providers still want hard copies many are now looking to move electronically as they realise it is an important move going forward as both clients and advisers remain at home.”
Other providers have also launched digital Sipps in the past year as more clients looked for digital solutions.
Last month, iPensions launched the Platform Sipp to help advisers consolidate their clients’ pensions into the wrapper.