The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will monitor platform complaints data after firms received nearly 16,000 complaints about service over the last financial year.
'Operational issues with platforms' were highlighted by the regulator in its annual report and financial statements for the year ending 31 March 2018.
'If consumers are unable to access the platform they have invested through then they will not be receiving the service they reasonably expect and are paying for. Recent complaints data tell us that firms received 15,834 complaints about their platform service, caused by general administrative or customer service problems,' the FCA said.
'We will monitor trends in the number of complaints to identify how many customers could be harmed this way.'
Several high-profile platforms have experienced customer problems over the last year. Aviva clients have been faced with a raft of difficulties since the platform upgraded to new FNZ technology. Users of Aegon's Cofunds platform have also experienced difficulties accessing their accounts since a technology change in May this year. Royal London-owned Ascentric has also been unable to pay income to some clients after a technology move.
Earlier this week New Model Adviser® revealed that the FCA is looking at the issues surrounding third-party platform technology providers and issues caused by upgrades.
‘I think generally the FCA is very keen to understand the root cause of tech problems and we are very keen to ensure consumers are treated right when these problems arise,' said FCA director of competition Mark Starks.
‘But we are still at a fairly early stage of exploring what kind of regulatory tools we have to stop this stuff happening.’