Facing large changes; the RDR, HMRC’s RTI (real time information) and the ABI’s new Code of Conduct
As the FSA’s new regulations, across multiple sectors of the financial advisers industry, come into effect over the next twelve to eighteen months there is great importance in software products not only helping advisers and brokers to comply with these changes but also brings a more efficient method to dealing with clients and administration.
Move towards new business systems
Financial advisers need to move towards new business systems in an effort to reduce costs and provide a more streamlined advice method which allows for fee charging, direct to the client. Many companies will be looking to their software providers to be making these changes and not only increasing the types of business they cover, but also streamlining the administration side of companies.
We have taken heed of this and not only broadened our software offering to increase our possible clients and the possible offering for our clients but we have also undertaken partnerships which offer increased efficiency at the administration level and will help with business models. Our recent integration of a commercial insurance partner and an automated payments system are allowing our systems to be used by across multiple sectors, and help advisers reduce costs.
Constantly changing and upgrading
From our interaction with clients, much of the industry recognises the need to be fluid with their technology, it is a field that is constantly changing and upgrading, but key to this understanding is a concentration on the substance of the package not just getting the newest shiny hardware to play with. Clients are looking to be wooed by in-depth cost effective businesses not the ability to use the latest gadget.
Our latest upgrade has seen the introduction of an automated payment function, allowing on the spot financial checks to speed up processing times, another move to remove extra administration and to provide a more efficient product. These types of improvements are necessary for many financial advisers with the pending regulations forcing them to address their current charging methods for both clients and financial institutions.
Streamline services where possible
The automated payment system allows all users to access on-the-spot financial authorisation for clients. This improves the speed at which advice, and administration of client accounts, can be moved along the process to their purchase. Advisers need to streamline services where possible with the changes resulting from RDR meaning charges and processes will have to be clear as possible for the clients, and any reduction in processing times will only help with the transparency of charges.
Many advisers are already recognising the need for a more efficient service and are integrating web based systems for clients to access and amend their policies and information. These types of systems also allow for easier renewals with minimal administration costs for both the advisers and customers. Increasing the knowledge and participation of the customers can only help with the client experience offered by advisers, which has great importance with the changes RDR will bring in. Client experience is key for advisers in the future, a measurable service needs to be given when costs are being spelt out to the clients, rather than hidden in commissions or paid by the insurers.
Large scale in-house upgrades
Financial advisers are facing large changes with not only RDR but changes across the industry with HMRC’s RTI (real time information) and the ABI’s new Code of Conduct, which will undoubtedly have knock on effects. There are many ways in which advisers can use these changes to bring about large scale in-house upgrades, and not be caught out by the new rules. But, the end results will improve the customer experience and the key is to ensure it is not to the detriment of the financial adviser industry or to advisers business models.
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