Royal & SunAlliance is offering a discount on the initial charge for Isas sold through its website ...
Royal & SunAlliance is offering a discount on the initial charge for Isas sold through its website service.
The group has been working on plans to upgrade the site and recently added the online transaction capability as well as more detailed information for intermediaries.
Online Isa transactions originally started with its European fund, the group's most popular product over the last two to three years. The company has just added its Eurotech and Portfolio Fund Isas to the service. Royal & SunAlliance cannot offer Oeics online at the moment but is intending to do so later.
Peter Marshall, communications manager at Royal & Sun Alliance, said the company's internet presence will be strengthened by the speed of information it offers.
He said: "At present most providers' sites do not offer added features to IFAs, such as updating their investment outlook on a regular basis. With so many providers vying to get a loyal user base, it will be vital to increase the amount of timely information available to them." The group is actively recruiting web staff who will update the outlooks on a monthly basis.
The service will also connect to Autif's EMX platform, which will launch on 12 June. EMX will enable internet dealing by IFAs, who will also be able to check client holdings and portfolio valuations.
Marshall said the site will be much more up-to-date by the summer and IFAs will soon be able to set up links for direct access to the group from their own websites.
The IFA portion of the site features a guide to funds, performance updates and an investment outlook for the UK, overseas and gilts and bonds markets. At present the outlook is updated quarterly. Marshall said: "Ultimately, we are looking to provide a real-time service to users, providing up-to-the-minute prices and performance indicators."
The addition of the Eurotech fund to the Isa service, follows the launch of the fund on 10 April. Eurotech, which has raised more than £11m since then, aims to capitalise on the rapid growth the sector promises despite recent turbulence.
Marshall said the fund was ignoring the US market as the group feels it has reached saturation. Instead it will concentrate on Europe, which should benefit from strong growth as it attempts to catch up with the US in terms of internet use and penetration.
Although there is vast potential for mobile and wireless developments in the US, Marshall said it will be European companies that benefit.
He said: "Vodafone has already bought AirTouch and component makers like Nokia and Ericsson will benefit from already having the infrastructure to penetrate the US market."