Sesame Bankhall to boost protection service

Sesame Bankhall to boost protection service

Advisers using Bankhall can expect service enhancements to the protection proposition and a greater focus on protection across 2017, Stephen Gazard has said.

The managing director of Sesame Bankhall Group said protection was "the foundation that underpins everything" in the advice process, but warned this aspect has been left by the wayside in recent years.

As a result, he said Sesame Bankhall Group had been working to boost the protection support services and information to Bankhall's users this year.

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Among developments include rolling out CI Expert - the information service launched by Care Matters' Alan Lakey - as well as bringing in enhancements to iPipeline for Bankhall users. 

Additionally, Mr Gazard said Bankhall would continue to explore industry "hot topics around pension freedoms, efficient investment and protection through our professional development days".

He said these seminars would be enhanced with a focus on communication in the digital age, effective business planning and suitability.

Bankhall is also embarking on a series of new Business Principals Forums, which Mr Gazard and the senior management team will host during the afternoon of each professional development day.

When asked why there was such a focus in 2017 on protection, Mr Gazard said advisers had a "moral obligation to discuss protection and it is a dereliction of duty not to do so".

With his background as a financial planner, Mr Gazard said: "Financial advisers always used to discuss this, but since 1996 or so, more advisers moved into the wealth management space, and became stock pickers or selectors of funds."

Although he said he believed the Retail Distribution Review and the focus on what whole-of-market means has brought some "advisers in the wealth space back to protection", he believes there is still a disparity in the market.

This means some mortgage brokers have focused on the mortgage and left the protection element to someone else - or tacked on at the end of the process - while wealth managers have focused on investments and pensions to the detriment of protecting the income that makes up those savings.

According to Mr Gazard: "The danger is that protection advice is either looked down on, or it becomes an additional 'nice to have' - like buying a pair of shoes and getting to the counter and being asked if you'd like to buy shoe polish.

"We want to encourage advisers and mortgage brokers to talk more about protection as part of the whole process, not as an add-on."

He commented it was likely that either market forces or regulation would act to ensure the disparity between wealth advice and protection advice was "brought to an even keel".

Mr Gazard added:  It's important as an organisation that we get ahead of the game. We believe there is a moral obligation to look after the protection side of clients' finances, and Sesame and Bankhall will look to support this in 2017."