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Companies start lining up to commit to improved transfers and re-registration via STAR

22 November 2018

The first seven companies are set to join STAR, a joint venture launched to help deliver the framework and methods used to deploy the Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) framework.

The companies, including Standard life, Aviva, Aegon, Fidelity, Old Mutual, Janus Henderson and DST Funds, with others in the pipeline, have registered their interest in STAR, which is being run by not-for-profits Criterion and TeX, and is due to start signing companies in January 2019.

Caroline Mansley, managing director Criterion, said STAR was looking to have 50 companies signed up by Q2 2019 and 200 within two years of launch. She estimates there are around 5,000 investment, savings and pensions companies in the UK who would benefit from joining STAR.

STAR will use the framework to improve transfers and re-registration across pensions, cash, ISA, GIA and trusts. Its remit is to:

• Define the process covered by the framework

• Specify good practice targets from each of those processes

• Measure performance against targets across the industry.

For consumers, this is intended to lead to a more consistent, reliable transfer experience and greater certainty and speed for transfers, while also increasing competition and showing which firms are committed to improving their processes for consumers.

Mansley said companies participating in the framework will be demonstrating to regulators and wider stakeholders their commitment to good practice and to the continued development of industry standards.

In addition, STAR will run an accreditation system – indicated by a purple logo for joining STAR and then bronze through to gold – which will show consumer which companies are committed to improving their processes and giving them better control of their money.

Mansley added that reaching gold standard would not mean companies could sit on their laurels as there would be scope for further driving improvement in transfer and re-registration processes over the longer term. “It is important the industry continually improves as best practice is redefined and supported by developments in technology.”

Published performance

Mansley said STAR will publish a list of the firms which have chosen to participate and collect and publish performance of companies when executing transfers, aimed at providing regulators and customers with clear evidence of “how firms are behaving”. This is intended to help drive up commitment to the TRIG framework across the industry, thereby improving the transfer and re-registration experience for consumers.

Mansley added that participants in STAR would also “benefit from greater certainty in dealing with counterparties, leading to fewer queries and lower administration costs.”

David Moffat, TeX Chair, added: “We are confident that with governance, process and targets in place, and the measurement and publication of participant performance, we will see a strong commitment from across the industry to adopt the framework.”

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