Hargreaves joins ABI as it opens doors to platforms

Hargreaves Lansdown, the investment platform and advisory firm, is joining the ABI with a view to strengthening its representation with government, regulators and other stakeholders.

The firm is joining as the ABI’s first platform member. It is not able to join the ABI as a full member because it is not an insurer. The ABI says it wants to reach out to more platform providers to join it as platform members.

The ABI says platform members should be welcomed because of the organisation’s work on long term savings initiatives that touch the wider sector beyond its existing membership, including platforms. Initiatives such as the pensions dashboard and work on improving transfers and re-registration impact platform providers as well as insurers, it says.

As Hargreaves Lansdown is not an insurance company, technically it cannot become a full member of the ABI. The company will hold Platform Membership, which in practical terms operates on a similar basis to full membership.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of policy Tom McPhail says: “Hargreaves Lansdown’s business has been built around putting the interests of our clients first, and helping people to save and invest with confidence. We want to speak up on behalf of investors, to make sure government and regulatory policy helps people to plan for their future. The ABI has modernised and developed a strong ethos of building policy around the interests of investors, and is now looking to extend its representation to support platform providers such as Hargreaves Lansdown, as well as its traditional insurance company membership. Working with the ABI will give us greater scope to promote our clients’ interests.”

ABI chair Andy Briggs says: “The ABI Board is delighted to welcome Hargreaves Lansdown as the first ABI Platform Member. Platforms are an increasingly important part of the market and reflect the way technology is changing long term saving and the way customers save. The market is strongest when it speaks with one voice and this new category of membership reflects the growing importance of ABI policy work in the platform area.”

ABI director of policy, long term savings and protection Yvonne Braun says: “The ABI already has significant platform membership via the insurer-owned platforms and is now opening up ABI Platform Membership. ABI Platform Members and their customers will benefit from the ABI robustly representing their interests to policymakers and regulators. This has never been more important as the long term savings market continues to undergo profound change.”