Fee disclosure a referral source: XPLAN

Red tape associated with FOFA compliance is not a problem for tech-savvy advisers and can be used as a referral source, according to a senior BDM at XPLAN parent company IRESS.

Reflecting on comments made by CBA-aligned firm Menico Tuck Parrish indicating a client backlash to the “morass of administration” facing advisers in becoming FOFA-compliant, IRESS senior business development manager Michael Kinens said the required paperwork can also have an upside for advice firms.

IRESS has begun receiving “reports of clients referring business off the back of the FDS”, Mr Kinens revealed, adding that “compliance only becomes a burden ... when it is addressed after the fact, or when the client experience is not well defined”.

Businesses struggling to meet the compliance requirements should consider adopting “paperless strategies”, Mr Kinens said, and making use of existing technologies such as eSignatures and the data feeds “both from the adviser's desktop to providers and back again”.

“The good news for advisers is that technology can reduce the FDS and opt-in effort to practically zero,” Mr Kinens said. “The industry needs to focus on developing solutions that reduce the administrative burden placed on advisers and their staff and now is a really great time for advisers to pause and carefully consider how they are using technology within their businesses.”

At the same time, Mr Kinens warned that the adoption of the latest technological trends has “hamstrung” some businesses which have not thought through the strategy properly, warning that a financial advice firm needs to be sure about the technological strategy it embarks upon in order to achieve results.

“The adoption of the right mobile strategy for clients will enhance the client experience and result in a more engaged client,” Mr Kinens said.

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