The rate of advisers switching their clients onto new investments platforms has peaked for a third consecutive year as the fallout from the Hayne royal commission and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to challenge relationships.

New data from researcher Investment Trends reveals that 29 per cent of financial advisers say they stopped placing new business on a platform in the past year – the third consecutive year of rising switching activity.

“Platform relationships are being challenged by the twin headwinds of the Royal Commission and the global pandemic,” said Investment Trends’ research director, Recep Peker.

The 29 per cent figure figure is a new high, and Peker says the signs are that advisers are also broadening the range of platforms they use.

“The average planner uses 2.6 platforms each, reversing the consolidation seen in the last two years (up from 2.3 in 2018 and 2.1 in 2019),” he reveals.

The figure is a reflection of how important the platform space is to advisers in the current market, Peker believes.

“In the face of pandemic-induced market volatility, financial advisers are relying heavily on platforms for high quality service and support, with minimised service disruptions,” said Peker.

Planners were generally quote happy with the support provided by their investment platform through the pandemic, he continues, with 77 per cent rating it as ‘good’ or ‘adequate’. Not everyone is happy with the service they are receiving, however, with 23 per cent saying they were ‘dissatisfied’.