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Technical problems

I notice from the Money Marketing issue of June 6 publication that you have had a technology exhibition in Manchester, where I lived and worked for some 30 years.

In 1992, MM ran a one and only award competition for the use of IT within financial services and I was lucky enough to win it.

Advisers have been continually encouraged to gear up to technology but I am afraid that, like so much else in the world, there seems to be more spin than substance to all this. Let us give a few examples:

The great majority of life offices are still not able to accept or indeed send emails from all their departments and branches as their firewalls will not permit it and even those that can are invariably unable to send or receive attachments, which make their use of email very rudimentary.

The Exchange, being one of the so-called leaders in the technology drive, cannot even get their system to work properly with the latest Windows XP, nor are they able to support the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader. Those of us that do have the latest version five have to download older editions to satisfy this particular technology leader.

Online term insurance applications – all very well if you are doing a vanilla flavour but do not go for a high sum assured and certainly do not try a trust. What use a term insurance contract is without a trust or life of another I have yet to discover but such is the progress of technology.

Electronic signatures – forget it. All that submissions are achieving is to ensure that some of the more moronic instances of life office admin are circumvented by IFAs doing their job for them.

I admit that there are some honourable and notable exceptions but I am merely talking about the overall average. I also accept that there are many advisers whose equipment software and computer literacy leave an awful lot to be desired but it is no good the industry pointing the finger as that is just the pot calling the kettle black.

Harry Katz

Norwest Consultants,



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