Platforms should come under the same whole of market regulatory scope as investment products post-RDR, according to advisers.
Over half (54%) of 226 IFA surveyed by Scottish Widows in December think the FSA should adopt a level-playing field approach to industry regulation. This would include the same focus on transparency for platforms as areas such as adviser charging.
Those polled think advisers should offer more than one platform in order to provide a truly independent service. A third of intermediaries using platforms (31%) currently use two, with 28% using three or more and a further 31% using just one platform.
"It is clear from the research advisers agree there is a need to retain optionality and not design their operating model around a single platform," says head of distribution development at Scottish Widows Robert Kerr.
"It is unlikely intermediaries using wrap platforms will want to have more than a few adopted within their business models. However, getting the best deal for clients and offering a true independent service will mean reviewing the whole market and in particular reviewing the costs associated with the many propositions available," he says.
Despite the Scottish Widows survey pointing to the importance advisers attach to multiple platforms, research conducted in December by CWC Research concluded nearly 80% of adviser firms prefer a single platform.
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