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Compliance tip of the week: Bringing suitability reports bang up to date

Phil Young

I have been working on creating a new way of delivering suitability reports. The aim is to strip out the waffle, with much of the blurb hosted elsewhere rather than obscuring the personalised content.

Rules require the report to be delivered in a “durable medium”, which opens up a number of options. For example, many firms are now issuing them by email. I see no reason why this cannot include audio and video format too. Content like this has become as accessible as a pdf.

Whatever medium you choose, it is important to consider two things:

1.     Can clients read the content now and in future years? MP3 is established as standard format for audio, others are not. Powerpoint could be used but you would need to consider whether it was sufficiently accessible.

2.     Are you physically transferring the content to the reader? If it is hosted on your website it can be modified and updated, which means in the event of a complaint the complainant will not have a record of the content at the point of advice. By all means link to updates for technical information but issue a copy of the content at the time.

The world might not yet be ready for innovation in this area, but it’s more than possible and useful to acknowledge that the rules already allow for it.

Phil Young is managing director at Threesixty 

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