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Survey finds IFA portals will continue to play major role

Most IFAs will stay independent after depolarisation, according to technology solutions provider Focus Solutions.

Eighty-two per cent of 840 IFAs questioned by Focus in August said they will stay independent and are ready to take on the new distribution challenge set by the FSA. Only 17 per cent of IFAs will adopt a combined independent and multitied structure.

The results indicate that 87 per cent of IFAs intend to continue using their existing portals for getting comparative quotes and placing electronic business rather than looking for a portal or extranet built for the multi-tie sector.

Seventy-two per cent believe that existing IFA portals will continue to operate and 15 per cent say they will use the IFA portals as a mechanism for creating provider panels.

Advisers think that technology will play a more crucial role within their businesses in the future, with 90 per cent saying e-commerce will become more important.

Market propositions director Nigel Smith says: “IFAs are keen to embrace the new technology solutions that providers introduce into the market to manage the new distribution structures. We also expect the majority of tied agents to form multi-tie organisations, so providers need to be developing new solutions now in readiness for depolarisation to ensure all their distribution channels have time to integrate new services into their business process.”

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