Lack of automation lets customers down, says Skandia

AutomationSkandia, which operates one of the UK’s largest fund platforms, has criticised fund providers for failing to be able to automate re-registration of funds when investors switch between platforms. Skandia, which is part of Old Mutual Wealth with £74.5 billion (€88 billion) under management, says it has no choice but to adopt manual processes for a large number of transactions and adds that providers without electronic processes are letting investors down. An in specie re-registration occurs when a financial adviser switches a fund from one platform provider to another without the need to sell and repurchase it, meaning the fund is never out of the market. Michael Barrett, platform marketing manager at Skandia, says a lack of automation still prevails across the industry. “The re-registration process is only ever as strong as the weakest link in the chain and as a consequence anyone who cannot support electronic re-registration is letting advisers and their customers down. We continue to lobby hard for other providers, fund managers and administrators to adopt the new technology for the benefit of all investors.” He says Skandia has taken interim steps to speed up the “onerous manual process”, including hiring 40 staff and writing to other platforms who are failing to provide ISINs – international securities identification numbers - on their valuation responses. David Geale, the Financial Conduct Authority’s head of investment policy, last week raised concern over some platforms' ability to get to grips with automated re-registration. ©2013 funds europe

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