Origo, the eCommerce standards and services body for the financial services industry, today announced that Aegon and LV= have become the latest product providers to join its industry wide Agency Administration service.
Launched in mid 2009, Origo's free-to-use Agency Administration service now encompasses 13 of the industry's leading product providers and is an online, one-stop shop for advisers to create and submit requests for changes to agency arrangements to multiple providers. The secure electronic service reduces advisers costs, saves them time and provides confirmation that their requests have been completed.
Paul Pettitt, managing director of Origo, commented: "We're delighted to welcome Aegon and LV= to Origo's Agency Administration service as we recognise the value of collaboration to deliver cost saving services to the industry and advisers in particular".
In March, the Agency Administration service was further improved to include submission of Letters of Authority (LoA). One generic form can now be used to inform product providers of a client's new servicing adviser, or to request information on a client's policies - providing a simple solution to a key adviser administration issue, so saving time and costs ahead of RDR.
Stuart Hale, head of eCommerce promotion & adoption for Aegon, commented "As we approach RDR, Aegon is committed to support advisers in reducing costs and improving efficiency, joining Origo's Agency Administration service demonstrates this continued commitment."
Advisers are now able to manage many of their day-to-day Agency related changes through the Agency Administration service including: Change of Address, Change of Bank Account, Request for Additional Agencies, Request for Agency Closures, Maintain Service Provider and Panel Membership, Transfer of Business, Novations - and now LoA.
John Perks, LV= retirement solutions director, commented: "Joining Origo's Agency Administration service demonstrates our commitment to advisers, and putting top quality service at the heart of our business."
Separately, The time taken up in administration to bring a new client into the business can be both costl costly and frustrating for advisers, with Letters of Authority (LoA) causing particular issues.
However, help is now at hand. Origo, the eCommerce standards and services body for the financial services industry, has introduced a new generic LoA as part of its free-to-use Agency Administration service. Launched in March, the generic form can now be used to inform providers of a client's new servicing adviser, or to request information on a client's policies.
With 12 of the main product providers in the UK signed up to accept this generic LoA, advisers now have a real opportunity to reduce a significant amount of their new client administration - something that is going to be very important post-RDR.
Given the cost of administering an LoA, (which is estimated by some advisers at £500, and can rise as high as £1200 to process for some clients), a generic LoA form to contact providers is going to help advisers vastly reduce administrative costs. It's estimated that the overall cost to the industry could be around £10m per annum, simply by assessing the actual cost of processing LoA's. Add into the equation the cost of the lost opportunity for advisers to be generating new business and the real cost could exceed £100m.
A signature-less option is also available which advisers can complete online, and once an online declaration is accepted, the LoA can be submitted to multiple product providers. This helps to further reduce costs and speeds up the whole process.
"Advisers are reviewing their business models as we approach the RDR deadline, to see where they can reduce administration costs for new business" said Paul Pettitt, managing director of Origo. "I'm very pleased that Origo can help with a simple industry solution designed to better manage Letters of Authority."
Paul continued "As more providers choose to go paperless, the signature-less option looks set to reduce adviser administration costs further still, so advisers can spend more of their time with clients, and less time on administration."