Hybrid advice – models mixing human and robo-advice – will lead to more advisers attaining higher qualifications, a poll has suggested.
According to a survey at The London Institute of Banking & Finance's webinar last week, 42 per cent of advisers said they believed that hybrid advice would result in more advisers developing their knowledge and skills to a level 6 qualification.
This was because advisers will be increasingly focussed on complex advice that requires a human element, allowing technology to help progress clients’ more straightforward advice requirements.
The in-webinar poll of nearly 260 attendees was one of three during the webinar, with other polls showing that 45 per cent of advisers were with firms already heading down the hybrid route.
The vast majority of advisers were likely to implement hybrid advice in the next three to five years, it found, with 52 per cent of advisers saying it was very likely or somewhat likely (39 per cent) that their company would implement a hybrid advice model.
Nick Hall, head of advice at Wealth Wizards, said: “The poll results are very encouraging and reflect the level of traction that hybrid advice is gaining in the financial advice market.
“Hybrid advice blends the human touch with digitisation and automation, to create an advice experience the customer would want and expect from their advice firm, particularly following the pandemic where familiarity with digital has increased significantly.”
He added: “It’s clear that both advisers and their clients are already on an advancing technological journey and the pandemic has pressed the accelerator on that change.”
Hall said there were four main benefits for clients in delivering advice through a hybrid model.
One benefit he highlighted was better engagement with the client - using techniques such as chat bots to help clients through the fact find and onboarding process.
Others were more choice to help narrow the advice gap, multi-channel approach and consistency.
He said: “Where hybrid advice can deliver for financial advice firms is in taking on the heavy lifting of the advice process, allowing financial advisers to focus on the client relationship and the elements of advice that need human contact.
“This makes use of customers self-serving and the automation of advice processes, letting the financial adviser talk to the customer when they want to and when needed.”
Speaking at the webinar, Hall said the financial adviser was at the heart of the advice process and technology should be used to make advisers’ lives easier.
“It’s looking at the end-to-end process and seeing where technology can take on some of the heavy lifting – we’ve seen end-to-end processes in advice firms that take 35-50 hours to complete. Technology can cut that right down to sub-10 hrs.”
For instance, he said, the onboarding should be a digital process, not “a long-winded one” for the customer to start engaging with the adviser.