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IFAs in steady switch to electronic business

IFAs will transact at least £2.8bn worth of business a year electronically within five years, according to research from The Exchange.

It questioned 350 firms on their attitudes to technology and the results show that 46 per cent believe more than half their business will be transacted electronically in five years and 42 per cent say 21-50 per cent of their business will be in that time.

But 70 per cent say they do not believe they are getting the most from their systems, with 42 per cent saying this is due to a lack of expertise or training of the people using them.

The majority of IFAs feel their use of technology will increase as a result of FSA consultations and reviews. Ninety-nine per cent, say they think it is important to have modern technology to deal with changes to the regulatory regime.

The Exchange PR manager Charlie Musson says: “It is clear from these findings that in five years time our industry will be operating dramatically differently. The results support the view that electronic new business processing is set to become the norm in the industry, just as electronic quotes have over a 10-year period.”

Barclays Financial Planning commercial director Alan Keegan says: “Rekeying information is a major impediment to IFAs – that is what has been holding everyone back. Successful use of technology to achieve The Exchange figure over the next five years will depend on integrating systems and on the ability of IFAs to upgrade to capitalise on the opportunities on offer.”

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