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Back-office systems must make switching easier

The principles behind the FSA’s new compulsory re-registration rules should be extended to back-office technology providers, according to technology firm EGL.

Consultant Eddie George says firms have “unacceptable” data transfer systems.

He says: “The principles of re-registration should be applied to back-office systems. A lot of the systems available in the market have unacceptably bad levels of data transfer and it is a barrier to exit.

“The charges associated with trying to store and retrieve data from back-office software providers are unacceptable and customers often do not get all the data back that they need.”

George admits this would be tough to achieve because a lot of back-office systems use old technology. He says: “A lot of these systems are fairly old legacy systems and it is not easy for them to provide a clean extract of data.”

Plum Software managing director Ann Dempster says: “I support this concept but it would be difficult to get a consensus across the industry because data transfer is not easy.

“Advisers should make sure they contractually own the data they enter into backoffice software rather than the software provider because that can cause problems.”

Astute Wealth Management director Andy McLaughlin says: “Advisers should not have to pay to get their data back. This information should be passed to departing advisers free of charge.”

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