Preset criteria allow compliance officers to apply (orenforce, if required) standards across their organisation. For example:
- Contract features which must be recommended to a client (e.g. PPI on personal pensions).
- Other conditions which contracts must meet (e.g. a minimum financial strength rating).
- Ranking criteria which advisers must use when creating league tables (again, financial strength is a common choice).
- Contracts which are not allowed to be recommended (for reasons other than the above), and which the compliance officer wants to manually exclude from all research.
In other words, compliance officers set up default filtering, manual exclusions of contracts, and/or ranking criteria, and these are then used as defaults for all new research which advisers conduct.
Compliance officers define presets in the same way that normal research is conducted, using all the normal filtering and manual exclusions of contracts, and the policy can then be distributed instantly across the firm and takes effect for all new research which is conducted.
WARNING! Preset Criteria should NOT be regarded as a once-only exercise. We strongly recommend that Presets are reviewed regularly, as the criteria that you set may become more or less relevant over time. To assist with this, there is an automatic alert that prompts you to review your presets if any of the features, sectors, conditions or stats that you selected have been removed as part of a Synaptic data update. This facility does NOT alert you if new features, sectors, conditions or stats become available.
Locking preset criteria
If compliance officers don’t lock their preset criteria then the following happens:
- All the preset filtering etc. is automatically pre-populated into new research which advisers carry out.
- Advisers are allowed to change the presets – e.g. to remove filtering which the compliance officer has set.
- However, all suitability reports and Quick Reports will then include a section identifying the changes which the adviser has made – the areas in which the adviser has gone “off-panel”.
If the compliance officer does lock the presets then advisers cannot change any preset filtering, ranking, or manual exclusion of contracts in their research. They can add additional filtering, but they can’t undo the policy which the compliance officer has put in place.
Marking advisers as “trusted”
There is an exception to the locking described above.Individual advisers can be given the permission “Allow this user to changepreset criteria, even when they’re locked” (via the User List). If this is switched on then the effect is as follows:
- The adviser is allowed to turn off any filtering etc. which has been preset by the compliance officer.
- However, all suitability reports and Quick Reports will still include the section indicating the changes which the adviser has made, so there is still an audit trail for the compliance officer.
Panels and multi-ties
As is no doubt obvious, presets are a good way for compliance officers to implement panels within the system. Presets allow a panel to be specified in either or both of two ways:
- The compliance officer enters the criteria for their panel in the form of filtering. Contracts which don’t meet the requirements or the panel are automatically filtered out.
- And/or, the compliance officer manually excludes contracts which are not on the panel.
Similarly, multi-ties can be implemented on the system simply by creating presets which exclude all contracts from the providers which are not required. In other words, the data within the system remains whole-of-market, but the presets hide anything outside the panel.
N.B. Synaptic’s administrators can also implement multi-ties for a customer simply by removing everything except the required providers. Contracts from other providers are then entirely removed from the system (as opposed to merely being hidden).
Multiple presets for each product type
Firms can create multiple presets for each product type. For example, there can be one set of presets which implements a low-risk model portfolio by filtering on the cautious-managed, property and cash sectors, and another set which implements a high-risk portfolio by filtering on the Far East, commodities etc.
When the adviser starts research into the product type theycan choose either of the model portfolios – but they have to choose one of them.
Personal preset criteria
Finally, it’s also possible for individual users to create personal presets, rather than a policy which applies to an entire firm. This works in much the same way, but is intended simply to allow individuals to setup the default filtering etc. which they use for particular product types. In other words, it is designed for time-saving rather than compliance.
Preset criteria for the whole firm always take precedence over any personal presets which a user has created for a type of product.