IFAs must change with the times, says F&TRC
In five years’ time the idea of an IFA visiting a client’s home with a pen and paper and returning days later with a solution will be laughable, Ian McKenna has claimed.
Speaking at a True Potential conference in Birmingham, Mr McKenna, managing director of the Finance and Technology Research Centre, said the IFA sector must evolve with technology in the same way that the grocery retail and travel sectors have done.
He said advisers could look to supermarkets as an example as customers used to take a list to a grocer but now used self-service checkouts or order online.
Mr McKenna said the travel sector also set a good example, as holidaymakers can now book a trip and download boarding cards without speaking to anyone.
He said: “I believe in financial advice, but the way it is given has to change.
“We are facing an industrial revolution of advice. We need to give clients powerful tools that empower them.”
Mr McKenna said IFAs should embrace the use of smartphones and claimed that people aged 55 or more were one of the largest age groups to adopt this technology, creating a potential for retirement planing.
He said: “We still have about five years of the IFA model left but then advice will become more democratised.
“Advisers will have to evolve. Our children will laugh at the concept of getting financial advice from somebody sitting with a pad of paper and later returning with solutions.
“Advisers have to get away from the ‘leave it to me’ attitude and help clients understand products. Otherwise they will find someone else.”