Digital SOAs are the future of advice, says FPA

Statements of advice that are produced digitally will become critical to improving the advice experience for clients, according to FPA chief executive Dante De Gori.

At the FPA Congress in Melbourne yesterday, the advice body presented the findings of research conducted by its Future of the Statement of Advice Working Group.

The working group included FPA members, regulators, compliance experts, lawyers, licensees, content and digital media specialists, and advice technology specialists.

It said that there are no legal or regulatory barriers to members creating and delivering advice digitally. The FPA subsequently concluded that modes of communication such as video, audio, imagery, infographics, graphs and quizzes are effective ways to deliver advice.

FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said the best client outcomes can be reached by adopting technology to deliver advice in a smarter, safer and more efficient way.

“The future of financial advice delivery will be one where every client is given their own individual, tailored experience based on their unique communication and behavioural preferences,” Mr De Gori said.

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“It will harness the power of appropriate digital technology solutions to make the experience a meaningful and more engaging one for the client. It’s about prioritising what’s best for the client, rather simply ticking compliance and legal requirements.”

FPA head of policy and standards Ben Marshan said its approach has been to review the SOA with fresh eyes, reassess its purpose and look into what the next decade of advice delivery could be for consumers and how it can be improved.

“As part of this, we explored how technology can be harnessed to improve the advice experience and progress the evolution of the SOA,” Mr Marshan said.

“Numerous consumer behavioural finance research reports identify that the long-form, text-heavy way that SOAs are provided to clients does not match up with the way that a large majority of people best digest and understand complex information.

“In fact, according to the Social Science Research Network, 65 per cent of people are visual learners. Therefore this presents a huge challenge for consumers who are expected to comprehend long written and often complex documents. For example, consumers are far more likely to remember a call to action after watching a video, compared to reading it in text format.”

Digital SOAs are the future of advice, says FPA
Dante De Gori
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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