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Client ownership fears over aggregation portal

An industry project for online aggregation standards must guarantee IFAs&#39 ownership of their clients or face rejection, providers are being warned.

IFAs welcome simplifying the standards but are meeting providers in Edinburgh next month to ensure that the blueprint for an aggregated portal service for group business does not restrict their ability to control client data.

The e-commerce proposal, created by software house Simple 2 for Standard Life, Norwich Union, Scottish Equitable and Friends Provident, paves the way for web-based portals accessible by IFAs, providers and clients to group information from different providers on a single site.

Thompson Online Benefits managing director Michael Whitfield says: “Providers are saying that IFAs need some data but not all but this could give the provider control over the client. On the other hand, this could simplify and streamline business for IFAs. I do not believe providers will bite the hand that feeds them.”

Scottish Equitable sales actuarial director John Quinlivan says: “If IFAs and providers both hold all the data, there is a doubling of costs and this is inefficient. We will make sure that access and rights of ownership of clients are guaranteed to IFAs&#39 satisfaction.”

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