One in five IFA firms spends the equivalent of more than one full working day a week chasing the progress of life and pensions cases, research suggests.
In addition, in 70% of the cases it is the IFA, and not an administrator, that is carrying out this task.
According to Sesame’s Provider Service Index, 18% of firms have to spend at least 10 hours every week checking cases.
The research also reveals 28% or respondents say their company sets aside between five and 10 hours for this task.
The overall average was 5.4 hours per adviser or administrator each week, a marginal improvement on the 5.9 hours identified in a similar study in 2005.
Sesame’s Provider Service Index found that 30% of adviser firms employ at least one person whose main role is to chase and check product providers.
For these adviser firms, 59% employ one person (69% in 2005) and 35% of firms employ two to three people (2005 – 24%).
Sesame says this that, in 70% of cases, it is the IFA that has to undertake this work, representing a “significant issue” for small adviser firms.
Stephen Young, sales and marketing director at Sesame, says: “Product provider service frequently tops the list whenever advisers are asked to identify the factors that most impact on the performance of their business.
“The issue is even greater for the majority of small firms, because advisers who have to get directly involved in chasing and checking on the progress of cases then have less time to work with clients, looking after their needs.
“That is why we are harnessing advisers’ views, in order to measure and analyse how product providers are performing on a regular basis.
“We will be sharing the detailed findings with providers, so that we can work together to help drive up service standards in the future.
“In an environment that is constantly evolving, higher service standards are crucial to advisers’ future success, as they strive to run efficient businesses and deliver a professional service to their clients.”
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