Georgina Clarke, partner quantative research at NMG, presenting research to trade body Protect, said: "Over time we have seen the proportion of advisers that use Extranets fluctuate quite a bit. There was a big increase in 2010 but it has dropped back a bit now."
The market analyst's IFA census survey - protection report found the use of provider extranets is higher among those IFAs doing more protection business, with 86% usage for protection specialists and 76% amongst general IFAs.
The top reasons given for not using extranets are that ‘admin staff do this' (29%), it was not a productive use of their time (29%) and they preferred to use a portal (22%).
"Amongst the non users we are seeing fewer with intentions to use extranet sites, so that does suggest that we are getting to the saturation point," said Clarke.
"This finding goes alongside the increased use of para planners over the last few years, allowing a lot of advisers to use their time more efficiently in generating new business."
Speed and user friendliness were targeted for improvement as things that would increase adviser usage of extranets.
In a list of most highly rated sites, L&G and Aviva stand out at the top.
"They are such big players in the market that they have got quite advanced capacity and have more resources to put in in order to improve these systems," commented Clarke.
Bright Grey 12%
Friends life 10%
However for new business sales support Bright Grey come to the fore.
"Bright Grey came out near the top for a lot of areas in service. This is an area that some of the larger providers tend to be a bit weaker in," said Clarke.
Bright Grey was rated top for new business sales support by 22% of advisers polled while L&G and Aviva were next most highly rated, with 14% and 13% respectively.
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