Opinion  

An old fashioned recipe

Financial Adviser

A survey by the FCA has revealed what the average IFA looks like.

It makes for interesting - if at points rather introspective - reading.

We now know that 42 per cent of revenue relating to regulated advice comes via investments.

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And that a further fifth of adviser regulated-advice revenue relates to pensions; 16 per cent of that is retirement income with the remainder from other advice areas, protection products, mortgages, and general insurance.

The survey was more enlightening when it came to how advisers deal with their clients.

For example the issue of insistent clients is a revealing one.

The newer the client the less likely an adviser would be to give advice on defined benefit to defined contribution pension transfers and also on safeguarded benefits.

So could we assume you - advisers - feel slightly less comfortable with new clients?

Possibly. Because looking at the use of technology it would appear advisers are still more comfortable dealing with their clients face to face.

Familiarity, it would appear, breeds confidence.

In fact only 15 per cent of firms used technology to a significant degree for providing customers with tools to aid decision-making and transacting, while 46 per cent of firms said they did not use technology at all for these purposes.

So while robo-advice may be making the headlines, the fact is advisers remain more comfortable doing business the old fashioned way.

It will be interesting to see what this bodes for the future. Anyone born in the last four decades may appreciate face to face advice, but will they see it as a luxury?

This is the generation whose national insurance payments are propping up the state pensions system and helping sub the nation’s collective care home bill.

When it comes to most decisions the ability to simply ‘press a button’ is a prized one. Keeping the screen swiping generation engaged is the next challenge to face the ‘average’ IFA.