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Dealer group execs blast FDS noise

Financial advisers are unnecessarily worried about the Future of Financial Advice's (FOFA’s) fee disclosure statement (FDS) requirement and should utilise available technological solutions, according to licensee executives.

Despite recent research indicating the implementation of FDSs – as required by FOFA – is causing advisers a serious headache, Custom Wealth Solutions founder and chief executive Chris Appleyard told the 13th annual Wraps, Platforms & Masterfunds conference that there is no cause for concern.

“All this noise around FDS is a fallacy, it’s ridiculous,” said Mr Appleyard, who also heads financial services software company CleverSuper. “Advisers are getting distracted from what they should be doing – which is sitting down with clients and adding value.

“Now that we have this requirement to have FDS, automate it, outsource it, lean on the technology and go back to what you’re meant to be doing.”

Addressing the same audience, IOOF general manager of distribution, Renato Mota, said that there are underlying reasons for the FDS concern.

“A lot of the noise around FDS is about symptom, not cause,” Mr Mota said. “The cause is the lack of value proposition and a lot of advisers are nervous about their value proposition – if they have one.”

The dealer group executives were responding to comments by Michael Kinens, senior BDM at software provider IRESS – the company behind XPLAN – that technology exists to automate FDSs.

“FDS can be dealt with – it might even be as simple as doing nothing differently to right now – but you will need to have all of the systems and processes in place such that all of those details can be automated,” Mr Kinens said.

Association of Financial Advisers board member Deborah Kent said that available technology notwithstanding, “it is FDS that advisers are struggling with”.