Over 80% of UK independent financial advisors (IFA) are processing new business electronically, but the majority have yet to maximise the benefits of automation, according to a survey conducted by IFA portal operator The Exchange.
Approximately 92% of those submitting business electronically are collecting data on traditional paper application forms and re-entering it at a later stage into office-based computers, says The Exchange. Only eight per cent of the sample of 500 IFAs are entering data directly into a PC while with the client.
David Child, managing director, The Exchange says the research indicates that IFAs are not yet fully comfortable with using a full electronic sales process. He cites regulatory and audit concerns, as well as workflow and client comfort as restraints on the uptake of automation.
He says: "We are working closely with...IFAs and providers to ensure that our service fits the way they want to work and delivers practical benefits to their business, such as enhanced commission where available, faster payments and error reduction on application forms."
The Exchange has also launched a free step-by-step guide that uses a combination of text and illustrated images to demonstrate to IFAs how to submit new business applications electronically to providers.