AIFA today launches a platforms guide to help members conduct "robust" due diligence on wraps and platforms.
The free 'Platforms and your business' document has been designed to help advisers take a "more informed approach" to the adoption of platforms and wraps.
Produced in partnership with Standard Life and drawn together by a practitioner steering group, the report provides step-by-step guidance on how to select the right provider for clients.
It will provide IFA firms with a "breakwater" to guard against future regulatory requirements, AIFA says.
Bath-based IFA Money Wise was today fined almost £20,000 by the FSA for compliance failings on investment advice given to 519 customers using platforms, in the first fine for platform advice.
"Recent announcements from the FSA are a clear wake-up call that firms must be able to robustly evidence the rationale for how and why they select platforms," outgoing AIFA director general Chris Cummings (pictured) says.
"By following the decision-making process and rationale set out in the guide, IFA firms will have a robust due diligence process."
Launch of the 38-page guide comes amid a climate of regulatory uncertainty surrounding the use of platforms. According to research from NMG, almost half (46%) of IFA firms cite a fear of future regulation as one of the main barriers to platform adoption.
Standard Life head of trading Mark Polson says: "In our conversations with advisers about platforms, we know just what a difficult decision-making process it can be.
"The use of platforms in our profession is still relatively new and has attracted regulatory scrutiny.
"The important issue is adopting a platform strategy that is right for clients, and being able to demonstrate that, as a business, business owners took a robust approach in making the decision."
The eight-person practitioner steering group included Polson, Nucleus Financial CEO David Ferguson, 2plan managing director Chris Davies.
The guide is available to AIFA members only.
To aid regulatory reporting
Three year strategic review
Impact on markets
Has run Cautious Managed fund since 2011
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