Product providers will be allowed to give direct support, including cash, to help IFAs with technology for their businesses.
The rule change extends provision of reasonable indirect benefits to include information technology support.
Providers will be able offer IFAs cash or help towards developing software or computer facilities.
The provision will be at the FSA's discretion and it will judge on a case-by-case basis what constitutes reasonable support.
Financial Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna says: “This is a significant opportunity for providers to assist advisers in developing their businesses. It will be interesting to see which providers take advantage of this rule change and it will be a good indication of who is making a solid commitment to technology provision.”
Barclays Financial Planning commercial director Alan Keegan says: “It is a good thing for IFAs but it could send IFAs towards certain providers who will find it much easier to put business in their direction. What the industry needs is more access to platforms operated by multiple providers.”