Nearly 51% of advisers see their ability to offer clients round-the-clock access to portfolio data as the most effective way to remain competitive in the current market, FE Evolution and experimentation: The Financial Advice Market in 2016 report found.
FE said the figure, based on a survey of 200 advisers in the UK, marks a “significant change” in the attitudes that advisers now have towards transparency and client access to information.
Adoption of web portals
Speaking to International Adviser, FE marketing director Mika-John Southworth revealed the findings are in stark contrast to a similar survey conducted 18 month ago where less than 20% of advisers said they would set up a web portal for their clients to view the progress of their investment choices.
“Anecdotally, couple of years ago advisers were reluctant to do this, saying ‘I don’t want to share too much information because I’m going to be swamped’.
“One of our customers is at the forefront of this, they’re halving their fees – from 1% to 0.5% - by using technology to stream-line the process and encourage self-service."
“Today it’s expected of advisers. There are a lot of small IFAs who are not particularly tech-savvy who are suddenly realising that for their business to succeed they’ve got to have this online presence and that’s quite a big change,” he said.
‘Semi self-service model’
Southworth added that an increasing number of advisers are now considering whether or not to adopt a “semi self-service model” by offering clients online services so they can conduct their own research into investments.
“One of our customers is at the forefront of this, they’re halving their fees – from 1% to 0.5% – by using technology to stream-line the process and encourage self-service.
“They’re actually doing a lot of the research with the client in the room. This is being driven by new advisers, those in their late thirties, who are reworking the business model,” he said.
The survey also shows that the majority (57%) of advisers have no immediate plans to offer digital advice, with only 10% saying they actually plan set up a robo advice service within the coming year. However, 16% cited a self-service robo portal as the best technological answer to remaining competitive.