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Internet-based selling increases, but advisers may lose out to supermarkets

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  • 08/05/2002
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Technology-based mortgage advisers are, in some cases, handling three times as much mortgage busines...

Technology-based mortgage advisers are, in some cases, handling three times as much mortgage business as they did last year, an Intelligent Finance (IF) roadshow has revealed.

A handful of brokers and IFAs were included on an IF video to endorse the use of technology. Among them, Derek Pollard, sales director at Moneyquest, said the change to his company’s working practices now means they process 300 mortgages a month, compared with the maximum 100 mortgages they previously handled.

The brokers said the most prominent changes contributing to this boost in business is the switch from face-to-face business and travelling to see clients, to dealing with advice over the telephone, operating from a permanent office and clients completing applications online.

According to the survey, only 15% of an adviser’s time is spent dealing with the client because other elements take up too much time. The findings show how IFAs’ time is broken down:

l 25% ‘ administration

l 25% ‘ compliance

l 20% ‘ travelling

l 15% ‘ gathering information

l 15% ‘ seeing the client

Mark Curran, head of e-commerce at IF, said supermarkets were picking up a large amount of financial services business due to the technology behind supermarket loyalty cards can tell whether there is, for example, a new baby in the family simply by reading the weekly shopping list.

Advisers are thought to be losing out on vital life assurance business because supermarkets such as Tesco send an email to the client to congratulate them on the birth, at the same time recommending they buy products online such as life insurance.

Curran added: ‘Advisers are missing sales opportunities because companies such as supermarkets have the upper hand and know clients’ lifestyle and habits before they do. Clients are more comfortable contacting a business on their own schedule, not on that of the IFA.’

Julie Henderson is editor of IFAonline


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