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Advisers need to get savvy with social media: Iress

Advisers using social media for business have seen an 11 per cent increase in clients in the past year, Sophie Hall, head of the intermediary division at Iress UK, has said.

Commenting on the launch of the FCA’s consultation on its approach to supervising financial promotions in social media, Ms Hall said: “Social media brings a global element to the world of financial advisers.”

The intermediary head of Iress, a supplier of wealth management, mortgage and financial markets systems, said the increasingly central role of social media has helped advisers learn skills such as best practice techniques.

The number of high net-worth individuals under the age of 40, whose use of social media is second nature, is growing, so it is a very good means for advisers to reach them, Ms Hall also said.

Philip Calvert, founder of the social network for advisers LifeTalk, said that there is still a large chunk of advisers who will not have anything to do with social media.

He said: “Many of them simply do not believe it has any part to play in an adviser’s business, and they will often use compliance as the reason why they cannot or will not take it forward. I encourage advisers to use social media to build trust, which is never likely to be of concern to their compliance people.”

With social media interconnected with mobile devices, Mr Calvert recommended that advisers put more effort into the mobile version of their website than the desktop version.

According to statistics quoted by Ms Hall, 47.7 per cent deemed mobile applications important for conducting transactions.

What next? The FCA consultation closes on 6 November.

Adviser View

Matthew Walne, director of Leicestershire-based Santorini Financial Planning, said: “Social media is an integral part of how we do business today, and has helped me raise my profile no end.

“Most advisers do not use it to promote financial services but to help consumers make better decisions. It is also used as a tool for discussion and a means for learning and sharing ideas among peers.

“I can understand why the FCA is worried, but it is looking at from the wrong angle. It would be great if the FCA could engage more with advisers on social media, especially Twitter.”