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IF delays launch as it fears coping with the demand

Intelligent Finance has postponed its launch by a month because it fears

its systems would not be able to cope with the expected demand for the

service

Despite the delay, IF has given IFAs personal assur-ances that they will

not be exposed to the risk of the system failing.

Halifax&#39s telenet bank was due to go live this month but was forced to

postpone amid fears that demand would exceed the capacity of its systems.

It is now due to start in August.

The delay is a serious embarrassment to IF as, in the run-up to its

launch, chief executive Jim Spowart repeatedly referred to glitches at

rivals Cahoot and Egg which marred their launches.

IF has already signed up 16,000 independent advisers and has had 15,000

online registrations from individuals.

The problems have cost IF £2m in national press ads explaining the

delay and apologising for it.

The bank is drafting in experts from the US and Germany to ensure the

system is failsafe.

Head of sales Ian Jeffery says: “We could have launched but this would

have compromised our service levels to IFAs. Advisers have my personal

assurance that we will not launch unless the system can run at well over

capacity.

“I have insisted I will look at the system to check IFAs are not exposed

to the danger of the system failing.”

IF has also hit back at national press criticism which called into

question IFA commission on credit card and personal loan business.

The bank got a media bashing for the planned payments. One newspaper

advised readers: “If your IFA suggests you move your current account to IF

and you take his advice, he will be paid £25 by IF and all you&#39ll get

is a tenner.”

Jeffery says: “We were disgusted. For those needing advice, we think it is

right for professional advisers to receive commission.”

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