In a poll of 281 respondents, just 15% of advisers said all customer conversations were recorded, with 3% recording most calls and 2% taping a small proportion.
According to broker firms, this lack of protection means advisers could be placing their business at risk to fraudulent activity.
Matt Lowndes, managing director at Coreco, said the firm records and listens in to calls for staff training purposes but focuses its advice remit on face-to-face conversations.
“We do 80-85% of our meetings face-to-face which is something we’ve tried to push on purpose as people can hide behind the telephone and you don’t get the same customer rapport,” said Lowndes.
“You have to think about the purpose of recording conversations, are you doing it for client servicing or are you just doing it to cover yourself if something goes wrong. While we do a lot of initial chats on the phone, the purpose of that is to always get the client in front of us and understand their needs.”
Director at London and Country, Pat Bunton, said taping calls was crucial to the business, being a telephony-based channel.
“It gives us an accurate record of everything that was said to a customer and in the event of there being any form of dispute it means we’ve got a record of exactly what was said,” said Bunton. “It also acts as a deterrent for advisers against saying anything improper.”
Bunton explained that depending on the advice model of a firm, having such infrastructure in place can be invaluable.
“Being predominantly telephone-based, the advantages far outweigh the cost for us but that will be an individual decision based on varying business models,” he added.
But Matthew Fleming-Duffy, director of Cherry Finance, said he did not see a great benefit in recording customer calls, but noted that for larger firms it would prove more valuable.
“You’ve only got to phone up the Money Advice Service to get an idea of the robotic service it gives to consumers, it doesn’t give the type of advice where you can chat to someone, while things could be misinterpreted if you listen back.
“When you get down to the stage of assessing fraudulent behaviour, you almost have to ignore who the individual is to a certain extent and look at what evidence you have to support everything. I do think the larger firms there is a completely different problem and recorded conversations make a lot more sense.”