All DBS members will have to sign up to Assureweb from April as part of the network's minimum technology requirements, plans first revealed by Money Marketing in August 2000.
DBS will also risk-rate firms from N2 for training and competence.
All communication between members and the network will be by email. The 3,000 DBS members will have to become registered users of the portal and the Assureweb extra-net. Registration is free.
DBS says this will bring financial savings, improve efficiency and give all members online access to information. It says it is taking the lead from the FSA by adopting a risk-based approach from November 30. The network will use criteria such as number of investment advisers, turnover and complaints to rank members high, medium high, medium low and low risk.
On top of a basic compliance cost based on turn-over to cover an annual and review visit, firms have to pay £500 for each additional visit required to sort out compliance issues.
DBS member Best Advice consultant Anthony Moss says: “Whether it is good or bad to have to use Assure-web is questionable but it is inevitable as big corporations adopt more technology. I am sure all firms will be keen to see what the risk assessment is based on.”
DBS spokeswoman Anna Scarfe says: “Members must register for Assureweb but do not have to use it although it has useful information for members. The risk rating is in line with the FSA's more adult approach to compliance.”