Unipass is to introduce charges of up to £100,000 for IFA portals and product providers using its digital certificate system this year.
Standards body Origo, which runs Unipass, is introducing the charges to cover future costs. Until now, providers have acted as sponsors for the system, paying £50,000 each annually to cover the running costs.
But Origo managing director Paul Pettitt says the group has decided it wants to “introduce a more equitable system” for charging, although he acknowledged that smaller players may have difficulty covering the unforeseen cost.
Fees will be calculated according to turnover, with portals paying from a couple of thousand pounds up to just over £100,000 depending on their size. Three portals are currently sig-ned up to Unipass – Cofunds, Webline and IFA Engine.
It is believed that portals as big as The Exchange, which is in discussions with Origo, could pay in around £100,000 to be part of the service.
Webline managing director Paul Holland says: “It is a difficult job to find a commercial model that the portals will support. Even though, for large firms, £100,000 is maybe not a big consideration, those costs will have to be borne by somebody and this will eventually affect the subscriber.”