Advisers must embrace technology to make their processes more efficient and lower the cost of advice, according to the Association of Professional Financial Advisers.
In a report published today as part of a series to mark Apfa’s 15th anniversary, the trade body argues online solutions have a key part to play in closing the advice gap.
Apfa director general Chris Hannant says: “The advice gap we’ve seen post-RDR makes it even more vital that the industry finds ways to make financial advice cheaper and more efficient.
“Embracing technology is a way for advisers to make sure their clients have the access they expect to the information about their current investments, and their future options.
“Customers are becoming more and familiar with technology and the profession needs to adapt and use it to deliver efficient, high-quality services that are as affordable as possible.”
In an article published as part of the report, Wealth Wizards chief executive Andrew Firth says decision trees have set back the progress of automated advice significantly.
He says: “Unfortunately the idea that complex financial advice questions could be resolved with a yes or no answer was not only simple but simplistic, and the resulting advice outcomes were correspondingly crude and in many cases plain wrong.
“The decision tree idea seems to finally have run its course and several UK companies are working on much more sophisticated algorithms that can drive out successful outcomes for client pension and investment problems.”
Wealth Wizards, formerly known as Wake up your Wealth, launched an independent online pensions advice service at the end of 2012.
In February, FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said advice can be given online with no human interaction.