The move by ANZ to have more planners branch-based, and CBA’s plan to shift advisers from Whittaker Macnaught to a larger AFSL, are not only beneficial for the big banks but also to independents and independently owned firms that play it wisely.
The shifts will be a way of creating one-stop-shops for the larger institutions, according to MGF Consulting Group management advisor Max Franchitto. “It comes back to this duty of care and FoFA legislation that’s going to come about. Banks are going to want to have a closer watch on what their advisers are doing or saying.”
The moves have been on the cards for some time and are pretty obvious, says Franchitto, but smaller, boutique firms will also be able to take advantage of the situation.
“The smart adviser should play hard on their ability to say ‘we’re independent’ to a certain degree – That’s a dangerous thing to say anyway because you’ve got to be careful how you promote your independence.”
The small firms will be able to set themselves further apart in a few ways:
Gettingmore personalised and customise the service. “Nobody goes out to see customers any more,” says Franchitto. Try having a financial planning strategy in their boardroom, instead of yours.
Being available. Don’t worry too much about a client being high-maintenance.
Promoting the perceived independence of not residing in a bank branch, and the choice of APLs
Increasing your knowledge. The more knowledgeable you are, the more people rely on you and the more they want to stay close to you.
“I’m not saying a bank adviser won’t have knowledge, but if you have in-depth knowledge rather than a passive knowledge, then people tend to gravitate to you more and you tend to hold on to them more.”
Finally, Franchitto argues that all the changes coming about by FoFA are not as negative as they are being made out to be. “If you’re running a clean, tidy business then it should not be a major hassle. Even conceding that there might be a little bit more administrative work and a bit more paperwork involved. For those who run a good tidy business and know how to advise their clients, it’ll actually be a change for the best.”
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