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Standard Life testing self-direct platform for advisers

Standard Life is testing a self-serve platform which it says will see advisers retain a relationship with the client.

The platform will use Standard’s wrap technology to offer an execution-only platform targeted at low-value clients who cannot afford a full advised service.

Advisers would receive an introducer fee for referring business to the platform, though Standard says advisers will retain the client relationship.

Advisers will also be able to white-label the service, with Standard providing telephone-based support for clients looking to transact.

One option is for clients using the self-direct platform to see an adviser at least once every three years.

Standard Life head of business solutions Innes Miller says: “Our focus is firmly on supporting the provision of high quality advice. 

“However, we are aware some advisers are looking to build their bank of prospective clients with simpler needs, often in competition with the growing number of direct platform offers. We are looking at bringing different services and support together to help advisers attract and retain prospective clients in a light touch service offering.”

Miller adds: “Options being discussed with advisers include providing an enhanced self-service capability for simple transactions, supported by high quality regular client communication to prompt clients to seek full advice at the point they have more complex needs.   

“We are still at the very early stages of talking to advisers to understand their requirements.  We will not take any proposition to market unless we are convinced that sufficient demand exists from advisers.”

Atkinson Bolton Consulting director Simon Gibson says: “I can see how this might appeal to advisers that have looked at the profitability of certain client relationships and feel they they cannot a provide full service based on the value of assets.” 

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