Recent data analysed by financial services software and consultancy provider Altus reveals a sharp increase in the number of financial services providers now adopting electronic transfers. Between April and September 2020, 60 new providers started supporting electronic transfers, up from 360.
During the same period, the volume of transfers and asset re-registrations completed electronically increased by a third when compared to the same period last year. Whilst some of this increase can be attributed to the increase in the number of participants, data indicates that there was an increase in transfer activity particularly during June, July, and September.
Commenting on these changes, Howard Finnegan, Product Sales Director at Altus said: “We analyse electronic transfer data on an on-going basis, and this is by far the most impressive increase we have witnessed, particularly with Wealth Managers and Fund Managers.
Financial services providers have had to make some considerable operational adjustments in order to deliver for their clients during the UK lockdown. Using electronic transfers has allowed them to take the paper out of the transfer process reducing the health risks and processing challenges when employees have had to work remotely”.
Sam Handfield-Jones, Head at SECCL, added: “The growing adoption of electronic transfer systems is great to see – and long overdue. We still see too many providers insisting on manual transfers that simply take too long, creating understandable frustration for clients and advisers alike. The benefits of adoption are plain to see right across the value chain, and we’re adamant that automation will soon be the price for entry in our sector, not an optional extra.”
This increasing trend is set to continue over the next six months as some significant providers are readying themselves to support electronic transfers. With the FCA mandating the support of share class conversions as part of its “Making Transfers Simpler” Policy Statement (PS 19/29), it is anticipated that the number of providers supporting electronic transfers is set to continue for the foreseeable future.