NS&I is looking to improve its relationships with advisers as it plans a raft of measures to improve how easy it is for IFAs to see their clients’ investments with the state-owned savings bank.
In response to adviser frustrations that they cannot easily access valuations, maturity dates or other information on client investments with NS&I, the 150-year-old business currently has a number of projects in train, Money Marketing has learned.
The first involves giving access to advisers by phone, which is set to be launched in January. Currently, advisers must send a letter of authority from the client, and could have to wait two or three weeks for valuations.
NS&I head of intermediary relationship Andrew Pike admits the situation is “not very 2017.”
Pike says: “We have been going through a massive modernisation programme…We have deliberately prioritised the end customer. That was definitely the right thing to do, but we have now got to the stage where we can now turn our attention to third parties, and that is first and foremost financial advice firms.”
Early next year, clients will also be able to sign indefinite letters of authority, so for every piece of replacement or top up business through an adviser they will not need to sign a new letter. The client will still have to confirm every two years that they want the authority to stand, but the letter will be indefinite for the IFA.
Access that will allow advisers to transact on behalf of clients will come after that point, either through platforms or through NS&I’s adviser website or both.