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Sofa aids members on switch to fees

Sofa is offering two new services to help members with technical questions and aid IFAs switching from commission to fees.

The Sofa technical advice resource, or Star, is an email service which allows members to buy units of advice to help them with technical financial planning issues.

Sofa says the arrangement is similar to a prepaid mobile phone account, where users are able to buy a minimum of six units with no expiry date consisting of up to 10 minutes of technical advice.

It is also offering a “fees toolkit” facility to help members convert from commission to fees.

The software, developed with Winterthur Life, enables advisers to determine an hourly rate and how much to charge clients on specific issues. It also produces the documentation to operate on a fees basis.

Sofa says that, as the financial services market becomes more orien ted towards fee-based advice, it is crucial to offer assistance to advisers wanting to make the switch.

The advice units cost £35 each and the fee software costs £300. IFAs can order the services now although the facilities will not go live until Feb ruary.

Sofa development director Clare Parkes says: “The services will provide invaluable tools to our professionally qualified members who are needing a bit of advice themselves. Provision of a technical advice facility came out tops in the survey we conducted to ask members what benefits they would like to see Sofa provide.”

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