Adviser satisfaction with investment bonds on the up

12 August 2020

How satisfied are financial advisers with the service they receive from their investment bond providers? We asked them as part of our latest investment bond service survey.

Our latest survey measured the importance of seven categories of service - provider strength and brand, new business administration, existing business administration, administration staff, product design and management, reporting and online services. We asked about advisers’ preferred providers of onshore and international investment bonds, as well as how satisfied they were with their preferred providers.  We then identified where expectations were being met by cross-matching ranked importance to ranked satisfaction.

Step change in the importance of service categories

In terms of importance, 2019 saw a step change when provider strength and brand moved up from fourth into second place while product design and management maintained third place. New business administration remains the most important category for advisers.

Year on year, satisfaction scores have increased by an average of two percentage points and positively, five out of the seven categories have scored higher this year with the other two remaining at 2018 levels. Interestingly, online services saw the greatest uplift but despite this, it was still the category that advisers were least satisfied with.

Who are the preferred providers?

The most used provider of onshore bonds is Prudential with 55% of advisers supporting the firm in the past 12 months. The nearest rival, Aviva Life & Pensions, received 33% support. On average, advisers are recommending 2.1 onshore bond providers compared to 2.0 in 2018.

When it comes to international bonds, the table of most used providers is led by Prudential International (Ireland), followed by Canada Life International (Isle of Man). These two also top the table of preferred providers, with Canada Life International (IoM) first and Prudential International (Ire) second.

Increased interest in restricted architecture bonds

We asked respondents which types of investment bonds they had recommended in the last 12 months. Last year the results indicated that open architecture was the more favoured option, however, this year, there was more interest in restricted architecture onshore bonds.

“The survey highlighted changes in what advisers are finding more important when it comes to service. It’s encouraging to see that several of the categories measured have continued to score well when it comes to satisfaction. Last year, provider strength and brand fell below expectations, however, this year it was the category that providers were most satisfied with” David Cartwright, Head of Insight and Consulting for Wealth and Protection says.

“This years’ survey shows that providers are listening and continuing to make improvements. But advisers have continued to set the bar high and are generally less tolerant of any underperformance in service and support” he adds.

Want to learn more?

For more details, including the individual satisfaction scores, download our 2020 Investment bond service review for free here.

About Service Ratings

We use the results of the survey to rate providers Gold or Silver based on their overall satisfaction score. These Service Ratings help advisers in choosing the appropriate provider partners for them as they are based on the feedback we receive. They are available to view and use within Defaqto Engage, our end-to-end financial planning solution.

You can learn more about Defaqto Engage, our end-to-end financial planning software, and request a demonstration, here.

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