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How platforms compare: Ease of use/administration

Streamlining the processes to transfer data and navigate a platform could make or break a deal for advisers

The results shows that generally, advisers find their platforms easy to use in terms of navigation, transferring data, ability to re-register and turnaround times on applications.

Although there are some negative responses on the ease of transferring data to and from planning software, this has improved significantly when compared with 2011’s results.

True Potential gets the highest rating in this area, with 74 per cent of advisers that use the company rating it good or very good. Last year the highest positive ratings were for Transact with 50 per cent.

Transact is again the most successful platform overall, coming top in three of the four areas looked at and coming second for ease of transferring data.

Novia again makes the top five in all categories, while Nucleus appears in three of the four areas but fails to feature in the top five for ease of transferring data to and from the platform.

Skandia, Aviva Wrap and Ascentric all feature in two of the top fives. True Potential is the top rated platform for ease of transferring data, but this is the only category it appears in. Standard Life Wrap and Elevate both feature in one category each.

Elevate, although in the top five ranking for ability to re-register assets on and off platforms, is significantly behind the other four, with only 59 per cent of advisers rating it good or very good.

Transferring data to and from platforms and re-registering has always been a bugbear for advisers. Although the figures show significant improvement, advisers still think it should be a main focus for the future.

Yellowtail Financial Planning director Dennis Hall believes it is down to providers to invest in technology to make the process easier. “We have still got the issue with re-registration. It is going to cost them some money,” he says.

While the top five companies score reasonably well for ease of use, there is substantial room for improvement in the rest of the industry.

Chapters Financial managing director Keith Churchouse says: “One provider we are using, to do an Isa we are now on five application forms – it is slightly laughable that they have not been able to amalgamate these into one document.

“Another platform is offering exactly the same facility but with two forms. That demonstrates one’s inability to deal with the changes and one’s ability to get on with it. The purpose of the RDR is to help improve access to financial services, it is not to stop us doing business.”

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