While major international banks and insurance companies wrestle with national and international regulation, Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) find themselves facing similar challenges but without the staff numbers to tackle the problems.
With regulations changing constantly, keeping abreast of changes is a problem for most companies. Software for IFAs is one of the few ways that most firms can make any progress in the face of new rulebooks, often involving the use of personal data.
The cost of regulation changes is a major concern for the industry. Complying with new rules costs the industry billions of pounds and that filters down to even the smallest companies. New technology, increasingly crucial to any advisor, can reduce costs but also has an impact on bottom line profits. Industry experts suggest that unless governments change their approach to regulation, innovation may be held back for IFAs.
Software for IFAs, such as that provided by https://www.intelliflo.com/, helps with solutions in this challenging world, but the added burdens of employment law, advertising services and managing an office environment with its own human resources issues makes running a company in the financial services industry challenging.
In the UK, the issue of Brexit is set to cause more problems. A poll conducted by the Financial Times suggests red tape is set to pose threats to client portfolios. A poll suggests almost half of advisors believe Brexit is their biggest concern and many more believe that ongoing regulation could prove difficult as the UK leaves the European Union. Although some new regulations have been accommodated by the industry, there are serious doubts about what is to come.
The markets are sure to adjust, but moves by regulators to protect their markets remain an issue for advisors. Complex regulation means that even small advice companies will need to find free time, or employ more staff, to refashion their business models and offices.
Compliance, legislation and new regulations are causing problems in the advisory sphere, although one argument is that it is forcing it to be more professional.
One result is that the costs may be passed onto customers in an increasingly competitive world. This is certainly the case if firms are compelled to employ consultants rather than deal with issues themselves.
Just as clients pay for lawyers or accountants, advisor fees may have to rise.