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Chapters plans January roll out of online simplified advice

Advisory firm Chapters Financial has launched a mass market simplified advice service, which is targeting 15,000 clients by the end of next year with an offering that starts at £299 for a full financial review.

The Guildford-based firm previously started up the Advice Made Simple website in 2006, followed by the Plan My Pension site, but earlier this spring began work on a new site to take advantages of progressing technology, according to director Keith Churchouse.

Back in October Mr Churchouse told FTAdviser sister title Financial Adviser the new offering, Said So, was planned for launch in December. The saidso.co.uk website was put live on Friday (19 December) and the service will now be rolled out to clients from the end of January.

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Mr Churchouse told FTAdviser today that the move to launch the website was somewhat fortuitous, given the Financial Conduct Authority’s push to close the advice gap and the free guidance service to be offered once the at-retirement reforms come in next April.

Said So takes potential customers through an interactive questionnaire to assess their understanding and tolerance of risk, as well as aspects of financial planning.

It then gives a 20-page financial planning report, including a summary of situation, assets and recommendations for £299, delivered within 10 working days. Customers can then pay £159 if they want the firm to implement the recommendations and £129 per review.

Mr Churchouse hopes that the service will reach 15,000 consumers by the end of next year, when a great distribution model through a larger provider may be needed to continue growth.

“I’m looking at this from an age perspective, 30-40 year olds communicate almost solely online, so this system is aimed at that growing mass affluent market that is no longer serviced by banks or financial advisers.

“Their needs are not too complicated yet, but Said So will help bridge the gap left by RDR, giving proper financial advice without the need for a phonecall or a face-to-face meeting.”

He added that there will be no minimum requirements for people using the service.

peter.walker@ft.com