FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below are some FAQs relevant to you. Additional FAQs relevant to client Account(s) are available here.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Scottish Widows Platform is based on newer technology than the Advance platform and is our strategic platform for the future. This will focus our investment, allowing us to react more quickly to market changes and ensuring you benefit from the latest technology.

Your clients’ ISAs, Investment Accounts and Retirement Accounts will be moved into the equivalent Scottish Widows Platform Accounts. If your client has a Cash Account it will be moved into a separate Scottish Widows Platform General Investment Account and labelled as ‘Cash’.

Absolutely, our priority remains to focus on delivering excellent customer service. We will continue to deliver support to you through your usual Business Development Managers and Platform Onboarding Consultants.

Your clients will see their Accounts moved to the Scottish Widows Platform unless you advise them otherwise. Their platform charges will remain the same on Scottish Widows Platform, but the yearly charge will apply on any cash held in any of the Accounts. The Scottish Widows Platform, like the Advance Portfolio, expects any cash held to be transient and not a long-term investment. The impact of this should be very minimal.

Charges will be accrued daily and deducted monthly from the cash held in the Account. It is important that you ensure that there is enough cash to cover the charges.

Yes, any Adviser charges set up on Advance Platform will move to the Scottish Widows Platform.

Please visit the microsite homepage, where we will regularly update the latest information relating to the move. We will also contact advisers and clients in advance to confirm the move date.

We have a dedicated client microsite with information for your clients about the move to the Scottish Widows Platform. You can access this here.

Yes there will be a trading and a transfer blackout period prior to the move. Please see the Service Information page for further information. We will update with the dates for these blackouts nearer the time of the move.

Yes, the client microsite can be found here.

Embark Group became part of the Lloyds Banking Group in 2022 and Lloyds decided to change the name of the Embark Platform to Scottish Widows Platform, it is the same technology just rebranded to use the well know name of Scottish Widows, which is also a part of Lloyds.

ACCESSING THE PLATFORM

Yes, these will be sent to you by email once your firm has signed our Terms of Business and we have set up the firm on the Scottish Widows Platform. If you already have access to the Scottish Widows Platform (as well as the Advance by Embark Platform) then your existing Scottish Widows Platform login credentials will enable you to see and transact on all your clients after the move.

You can find important documents and more about the Scottish Widows Platform and what it has to offer you and your clients on our Key Documents page. But if you still have questions, please contact your Business Development Manager. Alternatively you can contact us on 0330 024 2345 or by emailing service@scottishwidowsplatform.co.uk.

Please note, Advance by Embark Platform has now closed.

Whilst the Scottish Widows Platform is a digital platform we will not charge you for paper statements if you have requested them.

The Scottish Widows Platform is able to be accessed by most major browsers and devices.

Please get in touch with us or if there is another super user in your firm, they can set up your access to the platform.

If you haven’t previously received user credentials, you should receive them between 21-22 October. If you do not receive any credentials, please get in touch or speak to the super user in your firm as they will be able to set up access.

The Scottish Widows Platform is a different platform to the Advance by Embark Platform.

If you have been sent user credentials previously and you have not logged in, you can click the ‘Forgot my password’ link to reset your password. If you have not been sent user credentials, you will receive them during the migration. Please log in within 21 days to access your accounts. Alternatively, your super user can set you up.

MODEL PORTFOLIOS

We will ensure that all existing clients in a DFM Model Portfolio are moved onto the Scottish Widows Platform as part of the Model Portfolio. You should ensure that your agreement with the DFMs you use covers you for making recommendations into their Model Portfolios from Scottish Widows Platform as well as the Advance by Embark Platform.

DFM Model Portfolios have been moved to the platform and clients’ investments will remain in those model portfolios.

We will move any model portfolios to the Scottish Widows Platform that have assets under administration, and you will be able to continue to invest in them and rebalance them. You will be able to identify them on the Scottish Widows Platform as the word ‘Advance’ will be at the front of the model portfolio name.

Yes, they will still be available.

Adviser model portfolios will now rebalance on set dates defined when the model portfolio is set up, rather than based on the date the client invested in them.”

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR EXISTING AND NEW PLATFORM

Yes, after your clients’ Accounts move to the Scottish Widows Platform, historic documents and details of previous transactions will be available. It could take up to 3 weeks for all historic documents to be visible through the Scottish Widows Platform.

We will manage the move on your behalf so that it’s as easy as possible for you and your clients.

Regular investing

If your clients have regular investing instructions in place, we will move these across for you. Their Direct Debits will continue being collected as before. However, there will be no direct debit collections in the first 10 working days after migration, these will all be collected on 3 November.

Making regular withdrawals

Any regular withdrawal instructions your clients have in place will also be moved over. However, there will be no regular withdrawals in the first 11 working days after migration, but these have all been paid early from Advance by Embark. The first regular withdrawals will be on 7 November and will revert to normal from 7 November.

Managing investment income

If your clients have provided us with an instruction to pay them investment income on a monthly basis, this will be moved across to the Scottish Widows Platform. There is greater flexibility on the Scottish Widows Platform in relation to taking investment income so clients may want to review their selection after the move.

Whilst the Portfolio charges will remain the same on Scottish Widows Platform, the yearly charge will apply to the whole portfolio value including any cash held in any of the Accounts. The Scottish Widows Platform, like the Advance Portfolio, is for wealth management so we would expect cash held to be transient and not as a long-term investment.  The impact of this change should therefore be very minimal.  Please use this opportunity to review any significant cash holdings with your clients.

The pension charge will remain at £75 a year but will now be deducted monthly rather than quarterly.

A final deduction of the pension charge will be taken on Advance before the move. This will be for the period since the last deduction up until the move.

Please view our key changes comparison table for further information.

 

All your current charges will remain the same.

Any remuneration due will be paid out as normal. Any remuneration accruals will be carried over to the Scottish Widows Platform and be deducted and paid from the Scottish Widows Platform.

You will be paid at the same frequency and on the same day or date as on Advance by Embark Platform unless you have already amended this on the Scottish Widows Platform. The only exception is if you are paid every other week from Advance. These payments will move to weekly on Scottish Widows Platform. A separate communication has been sent to you about payments across the migration period.

Yes all existing RIAR will continue to be paid. However, the name is changing to Regular Initial Adviser Charge.

Please see the Service information prior page to the move.

Please see the Service information prior page to the move.

Yes, your documents will be available to view once the move is completed. 2 years’ worth will be available, but it will take about 3 weeks to load them all. Historic adviser reports will not be available.

If the withdrawal is coming from a Retirement Account, as Scottish Widows Platform does not have a Cash Account these withdrawals will go to the GIA that will hold the cash from the Cash Account. Withdrawals from the GIA or ISA into the Cash Account will need to be switched off. You will be able to set up the withdrawal on Scottish Widows Platform to go directly to the client’s bank account.

Transfers that are inflight to Advance by Embark at the time of the migration we will complete on the Advance Platform after the migration. We will then transfer them onto the Scottish Widows Platform, however, the investment instructions will not migrate and the assets will be held in cash on the Scottish Widows Platform until you invest them. In addition, the adviser remuneration and any crystallisation instructions will also need to be submitted on the Scottish Widows Platform.

These will not transfer to Scottish Widows Platform but we will complete the transfer out on the Advance by Embark Platform to your new provider.

Scottish Widows Platform will collect Direct Debits in the same way and on the same date as the Advance by Embark Platform.  However, there may be some changes to Direct Debits collected around the time of the move. Please view our Service information prior to the move page for further information.

Scottish Widows Platform will make regular pension payments in the same way and on the same date as the Advance by Embark Platform.  However, there may be some changes to pension payments around the time of the move. Please view our Service information prior to the move page for further information.

Scottish Widows Platform will make regular withdrawals in the same way and on the same date as the Advance by Embark Platform.  However, there may be some changes to regular withdrawals around the time of the move. Please view our Service information prior to the move page for further information.

Any clients who held a Retirement Account on the Advance Platform before 4th November 2021 will have a protected retirement age of 55.

If a clients preference is for paper communications then we are sending them letters and if it is for electronic communications then we are sending them emails. During the migration communications we have discovered that a number of client email addresses have gone out of date, we have updated these clients to receive paper communications from us.

If we hold an email address for your client, we will default them to electronic communications as the Scottish Widows Platform works best when used in conjunction with the online outputs. If we don’t hold an email address for them then they will continue to receive paper communications. During the migration communications we have discovered that a number of client email addresses have gone out of date, we have updated these clients to receive paper communications from us.

Communications sent to your clients can be found on our key documents page.

The account will still migrate to Scottish Widows Platform and the Scottish Widows Platform team will work with the Executors to settle the claim. There is a change in process though and without a letter of authority from the Executors appointing you as their adviser, you will no longer be able to see the account. All remuneration is switched off on notification of a death on Scottish Widows Platform.

You may see some changes when the deductions are made from the clients accounts. This will be more noticeable if you are paid more frequently than monthly. The deductions from each header account will all take place on the same day (based on the date money is first matched in the header account). This makes it much easier to plan around deductions from the account as ongoing platform charges, the pension charge and adviser remuneration are all deducted at the same time. In the Advance Platform each sub account has its own deduction day. This may mean however that some deductions in the first few weeks move about, some will be deducted earlier (less than a month since the previous deduction) and some will be deducted later. After the first month things will be back to normal.

 

Yes. If the Network or Adviser Model Portfolio is already set up on the Scottish Widows Platform and the name, assets and allocations are identical, clients will migrate into the existing model portfolio. If the model portfolio is not set up on Scottish Widows Platform it will be created as part of the migration and the word ‘Advance’ will be added to the start of the model name. This is to help people distinguish between models that migrated and models that were created on Scottish Widows Platform, especially where there are two models that have the same name but the asset allocation is different so they didn’t merge.

 

Yes, the existing policies will remain in force until the term ends. Scottish Widows Platform will make arrangements with Zurich to settle any claims in the event of your client’s death.

All individual and joint accounts opened in the last 12 months qualify for Accidental Death Benefit on the death of the first account holder.

For customers that selected Zurich Investment Life Cover, this stays in force for 5 years from the original opening of your Advance Portfolio.

The T&Cs and Key Features Documents for both products can be viewed in the Client Literature Library here.

The migration will be done as an asset transfer and so there will be no CGT implications for your client.

However, where Scottish Widows Platform holds a cheaper share class of the same fund, a Discretionary Manager may choose to rebalance model portfolios into the cheaper share class which will improve the overall cost position for the client. However, this could give rise to a CGT gain or loss, as sells and buys within a model portfolio of the same asset are not exempt from CGT under the 30 day rule.

BACK OFFICE INTEGRATION

These will cease at point of migration. However, we have built Bulk Valuation and Bulk Transaction History integration capability on the Scottish Widows Platform and have wide coverage across the key industry back office software suppliers.

The services and software suppliers we are connected with are;

  • Bulk valuations with intelliflo, IRESS, Sprint, Openwork Concert, Wealthcraft, Benchmark Capital/Enable, Dynamic Planer and AdviserCloud. We have recently added Moneyinfo, Fairstone and Synaptic to this service as well.
  • Bulk Transaction History with IRESS and a number of others in the pipeline.
  • This gives us >98% of market valuation coverage and we are happy to discuss any connections you may require that are not yet covered.

For information and support on how to update your client records within your back office software, please refer to the information in the responses to the questions below.

The Scottish Widows Platform is already integrated for bulk valuations with intelliflo office. We have been pro-actively working with intelliflo on a plan to help onboard adviser firms to this existing services in parallel with the migration activity. You can view the instructions here.

If you are not currently using the service on the Scottish Widows Platform with intelliflo office, please follow the instruction steps 1–2.

If you are already a firm registered on the Scottish Widows Platform and have the intelliflo office valuations app in place, please follow the instruction step 3.

The Scottish Widows Platform is already integrated for bulk valuations with Iress. The Scottish Widows Platform integration with Iress also contains transactional data. We have been pro-actively working with Iress on a plan to help onboard adviser firms to these existing services in parallel with the migration activity.  You can view the instructions here.

The Scottish Widows Platform will provide remuneration statements via EDI. If you are receiving EDI files now from the Advance Platform you’re set up with we mapped across to your firm record on the Scottish Widows Platform. We have worked with Truecommerce to ensure this can happen without the need for intervention from you.

The Scottish Widows Platform is integrated with a number of key industry back office software suppliers, as detailed below;

  • Bulk valuations with Sprint, Openwork Concert, Wealthcraft, Benchmark Capital/Enable, Dynamic Planner and AdviserCloud. We have recently added Moneyinfo, Fairstone and Synaptic to this service as well.
  • Bulk Transaction History with IRESS and a number of others in the pipeline.

If the software supplier you use is not listed, please let us know and we will be happy to look into creating an integration with them.

To request you be turned on for the services available, you need to send an email to Scottish Widows Service Desk. The following info is required:

  • Firm Name:
  • Firm FCA Number:
  • Software supplier: Dynamic Planner, Benchmark, Wealthcraft, etc, etc
  • Service: Bulk valuations

After the migration, you will also be able to run a ‘Client by Adviser’ report. This report will show all you clients and will contain their Scottish Widows account numbers and, where applicable, their old Advance by Embark Platform account numbers. We have been working many of the back offices on how we can support with updating your client records.

If you user AdviserCloud, contact their support team for help with using the Client by Adviser report to update your records.

If you use Dynamic Planner, please following the instructions provided our Dynamic Planner Guide.

If you use Benchmark (Enable), all you need to do is send an email to our Migration Support, requesting that your ‘Clients by Adviser’ report be sent directly to Benchmark Capital. Post the migration weekend, Scottish Widows Platform will run the ‘Clients by Adviser’ report for your firm and send it on. The report will be password protected. The people at Benchmark Capital will then ensure client records within Enable are updated on your behalf.

YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE SCOTTISH WIDOWS PLATFORM

The Scottish Widows Platform is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to self-serve. Scottish Widows provides a series of handy guides to using the service, which is backed up by a team of skilled people including the Business Development Managers and Platform Onboarding Consultants  as well as a phone-based service team.  These are the people that you already know from using the Advance Platform, they will continue to support you on Scottish Widows Platform. Live webchat is available while you are online too, giving you instant access to support during business hours.

Yes you will still enjoy same support from the Business Development Manager and Platform Onboarding Consultants.

The Scottish Widows Platform contact details can be found here. We also offer live chat on the platform.

Our new Scottish Widows Platform contact details can be found here.

If you have any problem receiving or reading digital communications like email or on-screen literature, please let us know.

You can access our complaints procedure here.

TOOLS ON THE PLATFORM

An exciting new range of tools are being provided by FE and EV.

You will have access to a new Portfolio Report so that you can continue to provide reporting to your customers.

You will have access to a new integrated CGT calculator providing you with an improved experience.

PENSION RELIEF AT SOURCE (PRAS)

If you do not complete the step to declare PRAS entitlement for the new pension scheme then on transfer any regular contributions paid by the individual will not include PRAS.

SIGNING UP TO THE SCOTTISH WIDOWS PLATFORM

Signing up is easy. Your Advance Platform Firm Administrator will have received an email via DocuSign. They can then arrange for the Firm Principal to sign and return the Terms of Business electronically.

If your firm doesn’t sign up to the Scottish Widows Terms of Business we will still move your clients’ Accounts to the Scottish Widows Platform. However, you will be unable to access their Accounts from day one and this will affect your ability to support your clients. Signing up is straightforward. Your firm will receive a DocuSign email enabling you to accept and sign your new Terms of Business.

If your Firm Administrator’s email address is incorrect you will need to send an email to termsofbusiness@escottishwidowsplatform.co.uk and we will arrange to send the DocuSign email to the correct email address to allow your firm to sign up. You should also ensure that the email address is updated on the Advance by Embark Platform so that they will receive their login credentials after the move to Scottish Widows Platform.

You can contact us via the Terms of Business email mailbox on termsofbusiness@scottishwidowsplatform.co.uk or telephone us on 0330 024 2345 for further help.

You can contact us via the Terms of Business email mailbox on termsofbusiness@scottishwidowsplatform.co.uk or telephone us on 0330 024 2345 for further help.

No, if you already have an Account with the Scottish Widows Platform you will not need to sign up again.

A main contact in your firm will have received an email via DocuSign titled ‘Embark Platform – Terms of Business’.

Please note, if we have not sent the DocuSign email to the correct email address within your firm you can forward it onto the correct person by:

  • Clicking on ‘Review Document’ within the email.
  • In the dropdown, click on ‘Other Actions’ and select ‘Assign to Someone Else’.
  • Enter the details of the correct person and click ‘Assign to Someone Else’.

If no one in your business has received this email please contact termsofbusiness@scottishwidowsplatform.co.uk for further help.

You can contact us via the Terms of Business email mailbox on termsofbusiness@scottishwidowsplatform.co.uk or telephone us on 0330 024 2345.

If the Terms of Business were signed before February 2023 then you will have received your user credentials to log into the platform in February. The email came from Embark Platform as it was before the rebrand to Scottish Widows Platform.

If the Terms of Business was signed after February 2023 but before July 2023, user credentials were issued in the first week of August.

If you have signed the Terms of Business more recently then you will receive your user credentials very soon, but no later than the migration weekend.

 

You will see details of all your clients under your one login.

Once you are set up on the Scottish Widows Platform you can onboard your clients to the Scottish Widows Platform.

If you haven’t already received your login credentials to the Scottish Widows Platform, please contact us on 0330 024 2345.