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As the tax-year-end approached, platform activity warmed up and there were high hopes that the momentum would carry through into the second quarter and beyond. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The second quarter of the year spectacularly failed to deliver on the sales front, but stock-market performance gave platform assets a reprieve (and therefore revenues). The FTSE All-World Index was up 3.2% for the quarter, although the FTSE 100 fell by 1.3%. As a result, platform assets were back over the £900bn* mark for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2021 (when we were still feeling optimistic about the future).

2022 was a tough year for platforms and the final quarter of the year was no exception. Investor sentiment has been battered by a seemingly endless succession of bad news including the squeeze on living standards brought on by inflation, higher taxes, energy prices and the war in Ukraine. All this means customers and new flows are hard to come by and business levels are down. Stock market volatility meant most platforms closed the year with lower assets than they started with.

Platforms have become an integral part of many an adviser's working life, and the industry...

As we frantically approach the end of March, deadlines are in sight – Brexit (although...