Industry experts believe service standards will become a key differentiator among providers post-RDR, with advisers dismissing certain firms on the grounds of poor service.
At a recent Money Marketing roundtable on adviser compensation, Aviva RDR implementation manager Ross Anderson said getting service right becomes even more important with the loss of commission.
He said: “Providers are trying to get this right because if we do, we get costs down, which means better prices to the end customer. We also do not get the problem of advisers calling up to be compensated for provider mistakes. Getting the service right will be the hygiene factor across the board.”
Institute of Financial Planning chief executive Nick Cann said: “Ultimately, firms will live and die by their service. Companies need to start to evidence they are dealing with complaints head on.”
Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid said the focus on service may have implications for some of the distribution deals being agreed ahead of the RDR.
Reid said: “Inevitably, one or two of those companies on restricted panels will not receive what they consider to be their share of their business and one of the things that will be cited is service. And if advisers can evidence poor service, there will be some interesting commercial disputes at that point.”
IFA Centre managing director Gill Cardy said: “Back when I was advising, if I was deciding who to do business with based on service I would have ended looking like a tied adviser.”
She said providers would pay attention if enough advisers chose to deselect providers based on service.