Hargreaves Lansdown has announced today (8 September) that it is joining the Association of British Insurers.
Tom McPhail, head of policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, said as the Bristol-based business is not an insurance company, technically it cannot become a full member of the ABI so will hold platform membership.
In practical terms he said this operates on a similar basis to full membership.
Mr McPhail said: “Hargreaves Lansdown’s business has been built around putting the interests of our clients first, and helping people to save and invest with confidence. We want to speak up on behalf of investors, to make sure government and regulatory policy helps people to plan for their future.
"The ABI has modernised and developed a strong ethos of building policy around the interests of investors, and is now looking to extend its representation to support platform providers such as Hargreaves Lansdown, as well as its traditional insurance company membership. Working with the ABI will give us greater scope to promote our clients’ interests.”
Andy Briggs, chairman of the ABI, said: “The ABI board is delighted to welcome Hargreaves Lansdown as the first ABI platform member.
"Platforms are an increasingly important part of the market and reflect the way technology is changing long term saving and the way customers save. The market is strongest when it speaks with one voice and this new category of membership reflects the growing importance of ABI policy work in the platform area.”
Yvonne Braun, director of policy, long term savings and protection at the ABI, said: "The ABI already has significant platform membership via the insurer-owned platforms and is now opening up ABI platform membership.
"ABI platform members and their customers will benefit from the ABI robustly representing their interests to policymakers and regulators. This has never been more important as the long term savings market continues to undergo profound change."
The ABI is increasingly working on long term savings initiatives that touch the wider sector beyond its existing membership, including platforms.
This includes initiatives such as the pensions dashboard and work on improving transfers and re-registration.
According to the trade body platforms are an increasingly important part of the long term savings industry, which is why the ABI has established a platform working group.
The group consists of senior representatives of platforms owned by ABI members and is open to other platforms joining as ABI platform members.