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Advisers push for transparency on platform AUA reporting

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Advisers are calling for greater transparency in the way other platforms report their assets under administration figures after Skandia decided to overhaul its platform reporting. 

Skandia announced last week that it has stripped out legacy business from its AUA figures and will only report new business figures on its retail, advised assets, prompting its reported AUA to drop from over £44bn in Q1 to £26.36bn in Q2.

Skandia’s decision has prompted calls for rival platforms to follow suit and create a common standard of reporting AUA.

Some platforms include other assets within their AUA figures, such as institutional business, direct to consumer assets, pension books, or internal transfers of assets from the wider group to the platform.

Cofunds, which includes institutional and D2C business as part of its AUA, says it has no plans to change the way it reports. FundsNetwork, which includes D2C business and its pension book, was unavailable for comment.

Pilot Financial Planning director Ian Thomas says it would be useful to have a breakdown of platform AUA based on whether the business is institutional, direct or advised, and how much of the assets relate to new business or internal transfers.

He says: “People are basing their due diligence on the success of asset growth and the future viability of platforms, and it is very difficult to get a clear picture to make that judgement if platforms are being as opaque as they are about their data.”

The Platforum managing director Holly Mackay says: “I have no issue with reporting a larger AUA across lots of channels – but why hide the breakdown? Similarly, a very disappointing few are prepared to report net sales. If your business model is based around championing improved customer and adviser outcomes offered by non-legacy, modern businesses then practice what you preach.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Perhaps Holly needs to show the integrity demonstrated by Janet Walford when she couldn’t obtain honest statistics.

    The firms were excluded from the tables and a note to the effect that they were uncooperative was included.

    That should concentrate minds.

  2. Ah but that’d be biting the hand…….

  3. I’ve never been afraid of taking a chunk out of any hand that deserves it, as most platforms will testify!

    I do think transparency is important and we note in our quarterly research that Alliance Trust, Ascentric, Cofunds, Elevate, Nucleus and Skandia are the only groups who will disclose net sales.

    I hope we’ll change disclosure by highlighting the issue – just this morning I’ve had an email from Fidelity confirming that they will disclose net sales moving forward. Slowly slowly catchy monkey…..

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