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Tech providers lagging on OFA support

Technology providers may not be doing enough to provide advisers with support and functionality to deal with changes to ongoing fee arrangements, a new report has revealed.

Investment Trends’ Adviser Technology Needs Report showed that just 38 per cent of advisers were using their planning software to manage client fee consents, while even less – 25 per cent – were using their platform to do this.

Meanwhile, compliance obligations topped the list of challenges advisers were facing in the workplace, with two out of three citing this as their biggest issue in the report, which surveyed more than 700 advisers.

Additionally, around 30 per cent of advisers had specifically referred to administration of FDS and opt-in provisions as their biggest headache.

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“There is opportunity for both platforms and software providers to better support advisers in handling their compliance obligations, not just with back-office tasks, but with client-facing tasks such as client consent for ongoing fees,” Investment Trends senior analyst Bailey Hao said.

“While advisers appreciate help through greater automation, technology providers must also recognise that they seek assistance in communicating and engaging with their clients.”

Documenting ongoing service agreements was cited as the second-most burdensome compliance activity for advisers, with 49 per cent citing this, compared to 52 per cent who said file notes were the most difficult piece of admin.

In the planning software space, AdviserLogic was ranked the best for overall satisfaction and value for money, while Xplan was best rated in the financial plan production category for both simple and comprehensive plans.

In the platform space, advisers were generally satisfied with their platform provider’s range of investments – with 84 per cent rating this as very good – and online transaction capabilities, with 80 per cent giving this service top marks.

However the reporting capabilities of platforms left something to be desired, with just 65 per cent of advisers saying they were happy with their platform’s practice management reporting tools while only 63 per cent gave their platform’s tax optimisation tools a very good score.

Tech providers lagging on OFA support
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