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Survey reveals north-south divide for IFA's online business

19 November 2002  |  1981 views  |  0 Survey reveals north-south divide for IFA's online business

IFAs (independant financial advisors) north of the border carry out more business online than their southern counterparts, according to a survey by Origo, the technology standards body for the UK life industry.

Figures show that 61 per cent of IFAs based in the north of the country carry out more than a quarter of business online in comparison to only 20 per cent of southern IFAs.

Sandy Neilson, chief executive of Origo, says: "According to these statistics, the UK IFA industry still has a long way to go to if we are to move towards a paperless office."

The study found that the number of passwords IFAs have to remember to access extranets is high across the UK as a whole, with 40 per cent struggling with 15 or more passwords.

Origo earlier this year launched Unipass, billed as a standard digital certificate for every IFA in the UK. The service eliminates the need for multiple passwords by providing users with an online identity that allows them to access services with the use of a 'digital key'.

Robert Henderson of Direct Mortgages Glasgow, comments: "I carry out more than three-quarters of my business online and I have around 25 passwords that I need to remember to access all the different financial web sites. Multiple passwords are a headache to both IFAs and the providers and Unipass will resolve this issue."

Origo says Unipass, which is free to all IFAs, is currently being accepted by Prudential, Norwich Union and Skandia and is also being adopted by 14 other life companies, including Standard Life, AXA and Friends Provident, over the next six months.

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