The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has expressed concern over the effects of "poorly planned" platform migrations on customer service and adviser availability.
In a 'Dear CEO' letter sent today, the financial watchdog's director of supervision for life insurance and financial advice Debbie Gupta said that "insufficient investment, processes and resources for technology" could lead to "business continuity issues," with services to customers and advisers being unavailable or restricted.
"Poorly planned and executed technology migrations and upgrade programmes exacerbate this issue," she said.
"Change programmes should be adequately planned, thoroughly tested, with clear responsibilities defined up-front between your firm and any third parties to ensure quick resolution of any issues."
The FCA has said it expects accountable people under the senior managers and certification regime (SM&CR) to be responsible for "operational resilience, prioritising plans and investment choices based on their wider potential impact".
SM&CR was extended to solo-regulated firms from 9 December last year. The regulator said it expects firms to ensure there is "clear accountability" within senior management and for individuals to have a "clear understanding" of their roles.
Last week (29 January), Old Mutual Wealth (OMW) head of proposition and marketing Jeremy Mugridge told Professional Adviser they were not "leaving anything to chance" as it prepares for its re-platforming.
OMW revealed the initial migration of assets onto its newly-built, FNZ-powered technology will commence the weekend of 22 February.
Both Aviva and Aegon struggled after they migrated client assets onto new technology. Since the launch of its new FNZ-powered platform in 2018, advisers on the Aviva platform suffered a litany of issues as problems continued to crop up.
Likewise, some 400,000 advised Cofunds clients were shifted onto the new Aegon platform in May 2018, but many had a turbulent time as the company struggled to get to grips with the re-platforming issues.
First re-platforming phase
Advisers can transfer assets themselves
Launching end of March
For any pension scheme
Strong investor demand
FCA ready to take action
Risk-mapped or risk-targeted?
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