Chartered Insurance Institute  

PFS president warns advisers lack plans for their own retirement

“The pandemic created a fundamental shift in how technology is used, in business and by society,” she said. “We must continue to embrace technology – both to meet our clients’ needs as well as deliver efficiencies.”

In the past, it was often felt that clients only wanted to meet face-to-face but that had changed, she said.

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However while more clients are more comfortable with virtual delivery, she emphasised there was still a need for face-to-face interaction. 

“As challenges such as downward pressure on fees, increased regulatory scrutiny and professional indemnity insurance costs continued in 2021, our profession showed we are clearly capable of taking action to minimise these pressures while remaining focussed on our future sustainability,” she added.

“At the same time, the pandemic has heightened society’s awareness around the need for financial confidence, and more individuals than ever are seeking advice.”

In order to meet the demand for the profession’s services, she said the PFS needed to be doing as much as it could to promote careers in financial planning. 

“As early feedback to the Shaping the Future Together consultation and my ongoing conversations with fellow financial planning professionals show, attracting and retaining the next generation of financial advisers is vital. 

“This is particularly important if we are to bridge the advice gap that is likely to widen as more professionals retire over the next decade.”

The PFS power panel

Furthermore, Lord touched on the “traditional client”, often described as the baby boomer, and said they were now looking for a human driven but technology-enabled experience.

“They want to access information through technology, but they still truly value human interaction,” she added. “By contrast, we are starting to see that the next generation of clients is looking for a technology-driven but human-enabled service.

“Financial planning professionals are working hard to get that balance right – harnessing technology to meet the business and client needs without losing the personal touch.”

Building the skills needed to strike the right balance between technology and personal interaction was an area the PFS Power panel was working on.

The panel consists of experienced financial planners who help shape the PFS Power CPD programme and assists with the creation of good practice videos, webinars, events, podcasts and articles for the profession.

“There’s no denying that the future of our profession is one that embraces technology to support the client journey,” she added.

“Faced with changing client needs and technology advances we must get even better at providing a ‘human and tech-enabled service’ in the year ahead.”