An executive who has developed a new software package for Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) has secured a £350,000 investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by Enterprise Ventures.
Paul Alkins was formerly Operations Director of the Co-operative Bank’s IFA business. His software, Deposit Sense, allows IFAs to generate a new source of commission by managing their clients’ bank accounts.
Deposit Sense enables IFAs to compare interest rates and select and manage accounts. The program is much more sophisticated than price comparison websites and can also take account of the need to spread larger sums across multiple banking providers to take advantage of government guarantees which are limited to £85,000 per person with any one bank. Every customer receives their own secure personal access to monitor their accounts and maintain the performance and protection of their savings portfolio.
Trials carried out with IFAs have shown that typically clients can improve interest yields and ensure better protection of their customers’ savings. IFAs purchase a license with Deposit Sense to offer the system to their customers and in return can charge the customer a fee. Mr Alkins will use the investment to market the software and secure orders from IFA firms.
Richard Young of Enterprise Ventures, which manages The North West Fund for Venture Capital, said: “IFAs normally manage only investments in funds but in the current market, many clients are keeping large sums in bank and building societies. Managing these deposits is very time-consuming for clients. Deposit Sense allows IFAs to do this very efficiently on their behalf and to improve returns. At the same time it gives IFAs a new source of income at a time when new legislation and market changes may be affecting their traditional income sources.”
The North West Fund for Venture Capital is part of the £155m North West Fund, financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.