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NS&I courts adviser business by improving access

General-Business-Handshake-Hire-Appointment-700x450.jpgNS&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.

NS&I will also be drawing up a terms of business agreement to create a closer relationship between NS&I and the advice firms that work with it. This is scheduled to be released in January too.
Online access for advisers will also be live from September, allowing advisers to view communications with clients, maturity dates, valuations, premium bond wins and other business with NS&I.

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.

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

    • Agreed, but it soudns like they’ve just chanegd the authority from being needed once a year to once every two years, not truly indefinate which still makes it a pain in the proverbial. Bearing in mind consuerm can only open Premium Bonds on-line or by phone, it makes it mroe difficult to help those clients who are not so computer literate (or are afraid of it)as there is no longer a paper option.
      I don’t advise people to put money in Premium Bonds, but nor do I disuade them and after discussing it and making sure they are aware of what theya re doing, if they need help, then I will do so as part of the service with no additional charge. It would be useful if there was a box to appoint from day one a registered adviser/firm (we have individual and firm FCA numebrs after all)when applying on-line rather than having ton resort to a snail mail paper authority which has to be renewed by annually now.

  1. NS&I is a shambles. They will not enter into any form of communication with you concerning YOUR client once they have activated the client’s account. Their stock answer after they have banked the client’s money is that they do not enter into discussion with third parties, which is infuriating when you need information.
    Because of this attitude we now completely refuse to deal with NS&I. If the client wants NS&I products, we explain the attitude they take towards advisers and if they still wish to proceed we ask them to deal direct.
    One interesting fact is that NS&I take a completely different stance with solicitors, deputies, and trustees, who are still in effect third parties, they provide them with whatever information they request – no questions asked.

  2. Seems strange really, baring in mind the governments and the FCA’s massive drive to show “value” for money from providers not only advisers !

    And a big area for clients is for their adviser to get quick, reliable, and accurate information on said policies.

    Perhaps people need to look inward more than they look out ?

    BTW who uses the phone these days for values ? its all a bit 1990 !

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