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Corporate platforms should not be used to “flog products”

The Platforum predicts significant growth in the corporate platform space but warns propositions should not be developed simply to “flog” products.

In its first corporate platform guide, published this week, the platform consultancy says the next six months will be important in developing the shape of the corporate market as new entrants arrive and existing platforms tweak their offerings in advance of auto-enrolment and the looming RDR deadline.

The report says: “We sincerely hope that providers learn from their adviser platform cousins and do not simply develop corporate platforms as a way to flog more products, that singular vision is limited and not helpful to anyone.”

Scottish Widows, Standard Life, Fidelity, Legal & General, Mercer, Wealth at Work and Hargreaves Lansdown are all present in the corporate platform space with Friends Life and Aviva set to launch in 2012.

Last month, Aegon soft-launched its employee benefits platform, Aegon Retirement Choices while Zurich is set to launch its corporate platform before the end of the year.

The Platforum defines a corporate platform as an online service for employees which brings together a minimum of a pension, a corporate Isa and financial education tools.

The Platforum head of employee platforms Tina Harris says: “As the market develops and integration improves, today’s corporate platforms will expand and could include flexible benefits at one end and investment platforms at the other, these three building blocks in aggregate will create the ultimate employee platform.”

In June, The Platforum managing director Holly Mackay said total assets held on corporate platforms could dwarf assets on adviser platforms within the next five years.

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