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80% of IFAs see the internet as an opportunity

Nearly eight out of 10 IFAs view the internet as an opportunity, not a threat, according to new research for BT.

The survey by Prodata of 50 IFAs, 10 financial service providers and 200 consumers found that 94 per cent of IFAs have had no negative effects from internet-based entrants. Only 2 per cent say they have lost customers. But 15 per cent are worried about losing personal contact with customers.

IFAs say the main competition is between one another and from high-street mortgage providers rather than new direct methods, including the internet. But providers are convinced that e-business will hit intermediaries, claiming consumers see them as expensive.

BT believes this increased consumer awareness and use of the internet will weed out “technophobic” intermediaries who are slow to exploit e-business or who are seen by customers as expensive.

BT Finance Ind ustry Solutions head of marketing Steve Rathborne says: “The research demonstrates the power and influence of the internet. IFAs must buy into new technology if they are to keep their position. Those who do will reap the benefits and cope with price transparency and the widespread availability of information offered by the internet.”

Berry Birch & Noble dir ector Hazel Montague says: “The internet is very important and has a key part to play in our market. Our strategy is to combine the internet with face-to-face advice to give our customers a choice.”


Govt slammed over &#39shoddy&#39 seller&#39s packs

Len ders claim the Government&#39s compulsory seller&#39s packs are shoddily designed, badly tested and likely to disrupt the market. The packs, designed to speed up the housebuying process for people selling their homes, came under attack during the Council of Mortgage Lenders&#39 conference this week. CML director general Mich ael Coogan claimed the pilot trial […]

Kensington appoints new manager

Kensington has appointed Charles Morley as its new national accounts manager. His role will be to strengthen and develop Kensington&#39s links with high profile lenders and to increase its profile within the IFA market. Morley was previously at Tilney Investment Management, Mortgage Express and the National & Provincial Building Society where he was involved in […]

Pep shake-up adds flavour

The latest changes in the Pep and Isa rules are highly sign ificant for anyone involved in the savings industry. A collective vote of thanks should go to the 12 industry bodies and consumer groups, as well as the 23 IFAs and Isa pro viders, which lobbied the Treasury earlier this year in a coherent […]

Darling appoints new Opra chairman

Social Security Secretary, Alistair Darling has appointed Harriet Maunsell OBE (57) as new Opra chairman from 1 April 2001. She replaces John Hayes CBE who retires on 31 March. Maunsell has been a member of Opra since 1997 and was deputy chair of the Occupational Pensions Board for five years. She was a partner with […]


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