Skandia has launched a guide to help advisers simplify due diligence when choosing a platform provider.
Advisers can compare up to three platforms using questions based on the FSA's recommendations for platform due diligence.
The free guide is available from Skandia's network of business consultants.
FSA guidelines say advisers must consider the suitability of both the platform and of a particular investment.
In its factsheet, Platforms: using fund supermarkets and wraps, the FSA says developments in the market require ongoing reviews to make sure a platform provider chosen initially remains the most appropriate option going forward.
The structure of Skandia's guide supports FSA advice on the nine key areas a financial adviser might consider when assessing the suitability of a platform:
- reputation of the platform provider
- terms and conditions
- range of funds and tax wrappers
- range of asset classes
- functionality, accessibility
- additional tools
- support services.
The guide offers adviser questions for each of the nine areas and contains pre-populated responses for Skandia Investment Solutions. Advisers can then pick and choose the most appropriate questions.
Peter Mann, chief development officer at Skandia, says: "The platform market is growing rapidly and there is huge competition between the different services. It is inevitable that not all platforms will survive and this will present a big problem for advisers if they have client assets on a defunct platform.
"Within this context it is becomingly increasingly important for advisers to ensure they have carried out thorough due diligence before using a platform and be able to demonstrate that they have done so.
"Platform suitability is ultimately about ensuring the best outcomes for clients and selecting a platform provider that will be able to support their business over the long term."
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