BT Panorama’s recently launched digital advice consent tool, which allows practitioners to adhere to some of their compliance obligations while providing advice remotely, has enjoyed a spike in use among financial planners, a strategy executive has said.
“The service enables an adviser to send an ROA, a record of advice, to their client digitally and also receive the client’s authority to proceed through the same digital interface. That’s really come to the fore now because of the coronavirus crisis,” BT Financial Group SMSF strategy national manager Neil Sparks told selfmanagedsuper.
“Obviously people don’t want to meet face-to-face and they don’t want to be sending documents through the post, but they want to be able to make timely decisions around their investments and so on.
“So we are actually seeing a significant increase in the use of digital consent – in fact, it’s up about 80 per cent since the start of January this year.”
Sparks said the release of the facility has proven particularly timely given the social isolation imposed on the general public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I describe it as being contactless and compliant. Contactless is everything at the moment and this is a way that the adviser can continue to operate their business, delivering strategic advice for their client in a contactless and compliant way,” he said.
He pointed out the feature is for the delivery of an ROA and not a statement of advice (SOA), meaning there is no issue regarding approval procedures.
“It’s an ROA and not an SOA, meaning it’s additional advice given under the statement of advice, which traditionally would have had a wet signature authority to proceed,” he noted.
“This is effectively a digital ROA and client consent through the mobile app is auditable and unalterable so it is legally compliant and can’t be fraudulently converted.”
BT Panorama has also experienced a significant increase in the popularity of its mobile app among among SMSF clients, with usage more than tripling in the back half of 2019.