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PriceWatch to become full analysis tool

Skandia is to develop its PriceWatch platform into a full analysis tool using an independent consultant following concerns among rival platforms over its impartiality and scope.

Four out of five rival platforms featured on the PriceWatch – Cofunds, Nucleus, Transact and Standard Life – have raised their concerns with Money Marketing about the tool’s narrow focus on price and over the sharing of pricing information.

Cofunds marketing and proposition director Alistair Conway says: “Even if the information is compiled by an independent consultant, this will still be a Skandia promotion but we are pleased that Skandia has realised that advisers are not just interested in price.”

Nucleus chief executive officer David Ferguson says: “PriceWatch does not compare apples with apples as it pitches full wraps alongside fund supermarkets.”

Standard Life head of communications Mark Polson says: “PriceWatch is a nice marketing ploy but it does not compare all our funds, take account of all discount structures or compare choice of tax wrapper.

“We, like other platforms, are not willing to open our books to Skandia.”

Transact sales and marketing director Malcolm Murray warns against platforms trying to compete solely on price. He says: “If a platform is not profitable, it does not matter who is backing you, they are not going to tolerate losses in this market for very long.”

Skandia head of proposition marketing Peter Jordan says: “PriceWatch was designed as a tool specifically for comparing charging structures. Other platforms may be uncomfortable about the level of transparency this brings.

“We are developing this into a full due diligence tool over the next four months using an independent party to collate a whole host of other information about functionality, technology and adding further platforms to the comparison.”

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