BT Select looks past AFS to FDS

With the recent bedding down of six AFS Group practices complete, fee disclosure statement (FDS) requirements are the biggest issue BT Select is dealing with right now.

Speaking with ifa, BT Select managing director Phil Butterworth said of all the changes included in the upcoming Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms, the FDS requirement was the one taking the most work to prepare for.

“It’s about getting the right data into the FSD efficiently. Everyone has the data somewhere, it’s about how do you get it in there,” he said.

“The largest amount of work that then resides back with the practices is that client data matching on all the fees, making sure their original client value proposition is contained in the FDS and the relevant financial details are matching that. That is a key plank of work and has probably absorbed most of the focus.”

Mr Butterworth said the key message BT Select is getting from its practices is that their priorities are around efficiency issues, how to understand the compliance framework better and ensure what they are doing at a client level is mirroring compliance standards.

Mr Butterworth also said the group’s growth target is on track, having gone from 10 practices licensed under Magnitude around a year ago to more than 50 now following the recruitment of six practices from the now-defunct AFS Group.

Those six practices have been bedded down for around six weeks and the group will not be taking on any others, according to Mr Butterworth.

He said the option for practices that joined to retain independence was a key part of the offer because BT Select allows practices to remain self-licensed. Seven or eight of its practices are currently self-licensed, he added.

“You can make a real difference in these businesses by pulling in some of the capability from the broader BT group to some of these IFAs (independent financial advisers),” he said.

“So our message is stay IFA, stay independent but leverage off us to grow and become more efficient.”

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