Contract Enquiry Update

Recently we have been working hard behind the scenes to make contract enquiry/policy valuation services more reliable and not have to depend upon too many machine configurable settings to be able to make a connection with Product Providers and Platforms.

The latest release of JCS includes the following changes for users of contract enquiry/policy valuations:

  • Unipass certificates no longer need to be selected each and every time from MS Windows, as this is handled internally within JCS. You will still need to select the Unipass certificate from External Connections in JCS, and some connections that did not need this to be set in External Connections previously, may need it now, but you will be prompted the first time you use the connection.
  • Machine level settings for SSL/TLS, and which versions need to be enabled are no longer required for JCS. This is now all handled internally within JCS on a per connection basis, customised for each Provider to provide the maximum level of security that is offered.
  • Machine level settings to allow for non standard SSL redirects are no longer required, as this is all handled internally within JCS. An example is connections with Scottish Widows which previously required special configuration.
  • Support for the highest TLS v1.2 level encryption on machines that do not support this within Windows, or have it disabled, as it now handles this internally.
  • The ability in the future to integrate with Platforms and Provider interfaces that we were not able to before. Watch this space.

 

As part of this upgrade process, JCS has also moved Contract Enquiry services with Aviva and Friends Life, from their original messaging platforms to their new combined messaging platform, which is more reliable, has access to a wider range of products, uses industry standard fund codes, and the fund names are now human friendly names rather than internal codes, for example "Aviva Pensions Newton Multi-Asset Growth S2" instead of "NOP AvNewtM-AGro2".

These will all be moved over to the new service automatically when you install the latest version of JCS, but you may need to add your Unipass certificate to the Aviva connection in External Connections.

You should also find that if you have any old Friends Provident pensions or bonds, these can be valued using the new Aviva service as well.

As always, if you encounter any issues, please contact our Technical Support who will assist you.

 

 
JCS Update Notice
 
JCS is in need of a behind the scenes refresh, and we aim to complete this refresh before the end of 2018. You will find more details below, but the important thing to note is that from sometime after September 2018, JCS will no longer be supported on some of the older operating systems, and will be blocked from installing on these systems. The operating systems that we are discontinuing support for are Windows XP (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (unless it is patched to service pack 1 or greater).

We believe that this will affect only a very small number of our clients, but hope that this gives you enough notice to move away from these operating systems if required.

Our plan is to update the database runtimes that JCS uses, to the latest versions from Microsoft. The current database runtimes have proven both effective and reliable for the last 8 years, but it is now time to put them out to pasture. We hope to make the transition as seamless and easy for our users as possible, and you should not notice any significant impact on your use of the software.

Look out for further news in the coming months, but in the meantime, please ensure that if you are affected by the changes in minimum requirements, you put together an upgrade plan.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our technical support at; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sticky Notes

Client notes have long been a feature of JCS. They can be linked to clients or specific cases, you can have as many as you like and, for many users, are an invaluable tool for recording notes from meetings, to-do lists, or general reminders.

The Notes window is easily accessed but sometimes you need something much more visible, which cannot be missed. Several users have requested a way to make reminders appear in JCS. This might be a simple check list that can stay on screen as you work, or a big bold red flag which shouts something you absolutely must not forget, such as essential policy reviews or sensitive client issues.

Sticky Notes provide a way of doing just that. Any standard Client/Case Note can be converted into a Sticky Note. You’ll see they’ve been inspired by Windows Sticky Notes, but in JCS these handy reminders will pop up just when you need them – either when the client’s Fact Find, or a particular policy page is opened. They’ll then remain on your screen, unmissable, until the policy page or client is closed.

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Aviva Platform Migration 

Over the coming weekend, Aviva will be migrating their Aviva Platform Investments to a new platform. Full details of the migration can be found on the Aviva Platform migration hub here, but the areas of impact for users of JCS will be as follows:

  • Client references and account numbers will be changing
  • Bulk valuation files will no longer be available from the Aviva for Advisers website
  • Minor changes to the electronic remuneration messages for adviser charges

Full details of each change, and how they affect your handling of Aviva Wrap policies in JCS are listed below.

Client references and account numbers

After the migration, all accounts will be allocated a new product reference to replace the account number previously used. This new reference will take the form of the wrapper id followed by a sub policy id. Example AV1234567-001.

All active Aviva Platform policies in JCS should be updated to reflect the new policy number, and Aviva will be providing a report to assist in this exercise. From the 22nd January 2018, you will be able to  download this report from the Aviva for Advisers website at http://www.aviva-for-advisers.co.uk/adviser/site/public/ and access the report from Platform Services > Business Reporting > Client by Adviser > Generate

If you have a small number of policies and wish to manually update the information in JCS, please contact tech support to obtain a document for all the steps concerned to ensure that there will be no issues with Contract Enquiry Valuations or Electronic Remuneration processing.

If you have a larger number of policies, we have a tool available in the latest version of JCS that will assist in bulk transforming all Aviva Wrap policies. Please contact tech support, and they will guide you through the process. 

We recommend that you perform one of these processes as early as possible to minimise any issues that may occur with electronic processing of adviser charges.

Bulk Valuation Files

In the past, JCS has been able to make use of a Back Office Valuation Report from the Aviva for Advisers website to update the value of policies. This report will no longer be available after the migration. To this end, we have been working hard to implement direct electronic integration with the Aviva Platform to access the real time contract enquiry valuation service. We aim to have this in place as soon as possible after the migration. Access will be via the usual JCS Contract Enquiry Connections using your Unipass digital certificate.

Electronic Remuneration Messages 

If you are currently receiving electronic statements for adviser charges on the Aviva Platform, these will change slightly from Monday 22nd. For starters, all references will be using the new product reference rather than the legacy account number, so it is important that these are updated in JCS prior to processing any new statements. There will also be some extra information in the message about the legacy account number, so it is important to make sure you are on the latest version of JCS to ensure that all parts of the message are read correctly.

As always, if you need assistance, guidance or help in this area please contact our Technical Support team.

 

MiFID II

 

The recent release of JCS software, 27.004.07, on 3rd Jan 2018 includes some important updates for MiFID II requirements. We will also be planning further updates in this area to help you in the future.
What's in this release:

Storage of Legal Entity Identifiers

This has been added to both personal and business clients, even though in reality it will only ever be used for business clients. It is likely that in a future release, the field for personal clients will be changed to be Natural Person Identifier. For UK nationals this will normally be their National Insurance Number, but for other nationalities the appropriate identifier should be used as set out in guidance from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). Available here.

New Tradable Instruments Structured Deposits

MiFID II applies certain requirements for selling or advising on structured deposits, and the FCA have created a new investment type for structured deposits, which firms must add to their FCA permissions if they are to carry out regulated activities on these products. To enable handling these products in JCS, we have added a new product type, Structured Deposit Plan. There is currently no extra reporting added around this new product, as we have not identified a requirement for that yet. However, they can be reported on and broken down in the usual way to allow general reporting of new and existing business etc should this be called upon by the FCA or your PI insurer.

Peer to Peer Loans

While we were adding Structured Deposits, we decided to also include Peer to Peer Loans as a new product type as well. This is not a direct requirement of MiFID II, however recent clarifications by the FCA, showed that Peer to Peer products should be treated as Retail Investments for RMAR purposes. If you have already recorded a number of plans of this type in JCS as another product type, please speak to us, as we may be able to help change the product type in your data for you.

Other new features: MiFID II aside, we have also added support for obtaining electronic valuations of policies on the Aegon platform, namely the ARC SIPP and the One Retirement Plan, and improved the Personnel Import functionality. The reduction of the MPAA to 4,000 and support for Property and Trading Allowances have also been added once again, now that legislation has finally been approved from the first budget of the year.

Other areas of MiFID II:

10% Reporting Rule

Our current view for the 10% reporting rule is that this responsibility sits with the DFM or Platform for managed portfolios. However, we are keeping this under review.

Additional Requirements for Suitability Reports and Ex-Ante Costs and Charges

JCS has never provided suitability reports directly. However, most firms create document templates that pull in bookmarked information about the client/policy, and then allow the adviser/paraplanner to add in any other required sections manually. This is largely taken from Provider literature, and we have been told that providers will be updating their own documents to include enough information to cover the ex-ante cost disclosure as well. If we can assist in this area at all by adding extra bookmarks, or data fields to JCS that can be bookmarked to make these templates easier to produce please let us know. We can perform industry research, but our most valuable information source is our clients. As each firm uses different suitability templates, we can offer assistance on an individual basis, with any improvements benefitting all users. Again, any feedback you have in this area would be of great value.

Additional Requirements for Periodic Ex-Post Costs and Charges Disclosure

The European Working Group last year issued a European MiFID Template (EMT) which had an aim to allow information exchange between fund managers, platforms and advisers allowing the charges information to bubble up through the supply chain. We were watching this keenly as this seemed to be the only sensible way of collecting this data. However, to our knowledge, this has failed to materialise at the adviser level, and we are not aware of any providers intending to supply charges information electronically for the time being. Instead they will be supplying a pdf or paper copy of their costs and charges. This will leave each adviser firm to rekey all of this information manually before adding their own charges and supplying this to their clients.

We do understand that some platforms will be providing firms with costs reporting, however this only works provided all adviser charges are raised through the platform. We, along with the other back office suppliers are pressing for providers to produce this information electronically as soon as possible. Due to the regular ex-post reporting not being compulsory until 3rd April 2019, the industry standards body is not starting on this until quarter 1 2018. We are watching developments in this area closely. Ad-hoc Ex-Post reporting is required for transactions starting 3rd January 2018, and for the time being this will have to be a manual process for firms as everyone gets to grips with the requirements. The 3rd April 2019 deadline comes from the requirement that the longest reporting period is year 1 (to 2nd January 2019) and reports have to be produced within 3 months.

The industry body TISA issued a document detailing the approach in December 2017 (available here), but if you have any further insight in this area, we would love to hear from you. In the meantime, we are actively pushing for standards bodies and providers to get involved with regular ex-post reporting before it is too late, and because all of the data for this reporting must come from the providers/platforms, there is very little we can do until we start seeing what they will output.