AJ Bell has launched an online due diligence hub to help advisers select suitable investment platforms, featuring independent commentary from FinalytiQ, the lang cat, Platforum and Defaqto.
The hub, which is free to use, will offer advisers a factsheet compiled by AJ Bell, based on Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance and questions the provider said it was commonly being asked by advisers.
Research firm FinalytiQ also provided a link to its advised platform report, which analysed the financial performance of 26 advised platforms, among other material.
The provider said it had created the hub in response to the regulatory focus on platform due diligence, as set out in the FCA's thematic review TR 16/1 in February last year.
In the paper the FCA raised concerns that "many firms demonstrated inconsistent and insufficient" research processes for choosing a platform.
AJ Bell said an estimated £19m in combined pre-tax losses made by platforms in 2015 also prompted concerns over due diligence when looking into the profitability and financial stability of platforms.
It also pointed to a "flurry of platform migrations" and the challenges brought by it, saying this emphasised the need for advisers to have a robust due diligence process.
The lang cat conducted research in September that showed more than half of the almost £400bn of total assets under administration sitting on platforms stood to be affected by recent acquisition and re-platforming announcements. It said this underlined the extent of the uncertainty facing advisers and their clients.
AJ Bell marketing director Billy Mackay (pictured) said: "Platform due diligence has become something of a minefield over the past few years and unfortunately there is no single formula that can be used to navigate the process."
"In light of the amount of assets in transition, it is no surprise that more advisers are at least considering a due diligence review."
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