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Concern over the rush to platforms

Investment Quorum has warned that some IFAs may be tempted to jump on the platform bandwagon to increase their margins in the market turmoil.

Speaking at a Money Marketing wrap and platform round table, Investment Quorum chief executive officer Lee Robertson said: “There is a danger that so many people are rushing on to a platform without restructuring their business and client proposition. Some are perhaps using platforms unscrupulously to load fees and, in the current climate, there is going to be a big temptation to do that. The regulator is right to look at this.”

However, Finance and Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna said there are too many advisers with no back-office system, making it very difficult for them to segment their client base and tailor their proposition to individuals.

He said: “I do not know how they meet treating customers fairly requirements.”

Fidelity Fundsnetwork head David Dalton Brown added that IFAs could harness platform technology to make their proposition viable for lower-net-worth clients: “The word guidance for some IFAs is something they should look at because cert- ain segments of their customer base could use online guidance.

“You might be able to develop those customers using online tools and when they do have a certain level of assets where we can offer face-to-face support they are there.”

Cofunds marketing and proposition director Alistair Conway said: “The key is for the adviser to work out what their customer base looks like and then the platform can form a hub for their business.”

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