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Advisers spend a month a year chasing providers

Advisers spend an average of 32 days a year chasing and checking information from providers, according to Sesame’s latest provider service index.

Thirty-four per cent of respondents say their firm has to set aside between five and 10 hours every week to check the progress of life and pension cases while 14 per cent have to spend more than 10 hours a week.

The overall average was 5.4 hours per adviser or administrator each week – a marginal improvement on the 5.5 hours that was identified in last year’s study.

The index shows that 30 per cent of advice firms employ at least one person whose main role is to chase and check product providers.

For these adviser firms, 67 per cent employ one person and a quarter of firms employ two to three people.

This means that in 70 per cent of cases, it is the adviser who has to undertake this work, representing a signi- ficant issue for small adviser firms, says Sesame.

Sales and marketing director Stephen Young says the quality of service can mean the difference between advisers making or losing money on the business they are writing.

He says: “The issue is even greater for smaller IFA firms, as advisers who have to get directly involved in chasing and checking on the progress of cases have less time to spend with clients.

“In an increasingly tough economic and regulatory environment, higher service standards are crucial to the future success of advisers.”

Master Adviser IFA Roy McLoughlin says: “Chasing and checking provider inf- ormation is the bane of my life. So much time is spent on administration, normally dealing with mistakes, that it is taking valuable time away from the process of giving advice.”

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