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Two thirds of advisers to carry out extra due diligence post FCA platform paper


Approximately two-thirds of advisers say they will carry out further platform due diligence following the FCA’s paper PS13/1, according to a Skandia survey.

Of those, 44 per cent say this work is already well under way. Only 13 per cent of advisers ruled out further due diligence work this year.
Some 43 per cent of advisers identified charges as the most important area to consider when conducting platform due diligence. Second is platform functionality, identified by 16 per cent of advisers, and third is the reputation and financial standing of the platform itself (13 per cent). 
Areas deemed to be of less critical importance to advisers include range of funds (seven per cent), range of asset classes (four per cent), accessibility (one per cent) and additional tools (one per cent).
The FCA platform paper PS13/1 has raised the bar with regard to advisers due diligence obligations. From April 2014, advisers will be required to satisfy themselves that a platform service provider has met the requirements set out within the paper, and does not present its products with any bias.
Michael Barrett, platform marketing manager at Skandia, says: “There is now an increased onus on advisers to assess platform capabilities as a result of the recent platform paper. Despite the requirements of PS13/1 not coming into play until next year, it is already clear that advisers are including this now in any due diligence assessments being made, in addition to the nine factors the FCA already require to be considered.
“The good news is that there are a number of external tools and consultancy services available to advisers to help them with the task.
“Skandia addressed the key due diligence points in December 2012 as part of the launch of our unbundled platform. All new business is written in a manner which is compliant today, 2014 and 2016.”

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