View more on these topics

Virtual Net offering free services to new members

Internet-based IFA network Virtual Net is offering new members network services free for four months to mark its first birthday.

Members joining from September 1 will pay no network charges until January 2004 although they will have to pay the £99 joining fee.

The network is aiming to attract 150 new members. They will get compliance, training and online commission payment services free but will have to pay for third-party expenses such as PI and FSA fees.

Virtual Net&#39s 150 members will continue to pay fees for the same services but the group plans to offer them additional bonuses over the next six months.

The network was launched in September 2002 with the support of strategic partner Legal & General and aims to undercut existing network models by offering IFAs support services at a lower cost online.

Chief executive Junior Sobowale believes that too many networks are still charging high fees for poor, slow services. He says: “To be in a position to be able to offer free network charges to the IFA community proves that our business model is working, delivering IFA support services on the internet at a very low cost price.”

Financial Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna says: “I am cynical about this. What exactly are they saying they can do using the internet that other networks are not already doing?

“The benchmark for me would be what they are doing relative to Positive Solutions, which can already offer advisers five stages of the advice process online.”

Recommended

Pru slammed for &#39turning client against IFAs&#39

A Bristol IFA has accused Prudential of turning clients against IFAs and channelling them into its own “advice centre”. IFA Dave Harris says he has been left without commission but carrying liability for advice he gave to a client on getting an enhanced/ill-health annuity for his vesting Pru retirement annuity plan. Harris says he advised […]

DWS sets up fettered Fof and corporate bond fund

DWS Investments is offering a fettered fund of funds and a corporate bond fund seeking the best-value debt worldwide as part of its bid to break into the top 10 UK investment companies. The managed distribution Fof, to be run by managed portfolio fund manager Jonathan Arthur, will invest in DWS&#39 flagship funds, with a […]

Base rate stays at 3.5 per cent

The MPC has decided to keep the base rate at 3.5 per cent for the second month in a row. The decision was widely expected by the market. But The Woolwich economist George Johns says: “We would not yet rule out a further cut in rates before the end of the year, particularly if the […]

The late Mike Wilson

The late Mike Wilson, the former Govett sales director, will be remembered in the way he would have wanted at the Wicked Bar, 4 Tooley Street, London SE1. Mike handled his disease, multiple systems atrophy, with great spirit and a positive outlook right to the end, when he was cared for at The Martlet Hospice, […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment