Although there are still many IFAs who do not complete business electronically, Legal & General's la...
Although there are still many IFAs who do not complete business electronically, Legal & General's latest figures for sales of protection policies suggests full integration of all IFAs into an online business environment is not just wishful thinking.
Some 60% of L&G's protection business coming through IFAs is now submitted online, and although the company doesn't have a specific target for growing that share in the next 12 months, it is adamant that the online way of doing business is the future.
"60% is fantastic," a spokesman says.
"IFAs still have a wide choice of how they do business, whether online or not, when looking across the whole industry. However, we have found in our case that by offering a choice of methods for doing online business that it meets the different needs of IFAs."
L&G's offerings enable IFAs to do business directly from the desktop, or, alternatively, by capturing data in the field for download at a later time.
The company says it has just logged more than 250,000 online applications.
In associated developments, there are some who believe the next couple of years could see big developments in the use of online services linking IFAs and providers.
Software and hardware developers are pushing increasing numbers of products that are able to capture data in the field for processing at a later time.
Standards organisations such as Origo are moving to an implementation stage, which should see processing costs fall as systems start to interact more efficiently.
Information technology is also repeatedly being praised by regulators and others as the cost-cutter that is supposed to enable IFAs to live with lower rates of commission or fees, while providing services to a wider segment of the population.
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