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Exchange has big lead as top portal for IFAs

The Exchange overwhelmingly remains IFAs&#39 favourite portal, with 70 per cent saying they use it most, according to a survey by IBM and 1st Software.

Misys&#39s AssureWeb is the second favourite, cited by 11.5 per cent of those surveyed. Synaptic Systems-run IFAonline is the choice of 3.3 per cent.

The survey concluded that IFAs value what portals offer but want them to do more, with the most beneficial attributes being comparative quotes, followed by policy valuations, product valuations, fund switching and commission tracking.

The survey also shows that IFAs value individual providers&#39 extranets but complain that they all use different systems and require different passwords, reinforcing the importance of portals.

Over half the respondents use three or more portals, with the majority using them weekly or more often.

IFAs would be prepared to pay an average of £30 a month for all the present portal functions plus all the other functions that they would like a portal to deliver.

The most frequently used extranets are Norwich Union, Standard Life, Skandia and Legal & General.

IBM surveyed 58 IFAs from the very biggest firms and banks to sole traders.

Life and pensions solu-tions manager Jerry Seabridge says: “The general reaction to electronic trading is a positive one. A start has been made but IFAs feel that it is time to take it to the next stage. Electronic trading is clearly the way for the industry to make cost savings.

“IFAs see value in individual extranets but do not like having to deal with individual passwords and different functionality.”

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