Almost 50% of small to medium IFAs feel providers no longer care about them, according to research from a new online community portal.
The research ‘Voice of the IFA’, from the free internet portal Panacea, shows 55% of small to medium directly regulated IFAs feel unsupported by providers, while 49% of IFAs don’t think providers care about them anymore.
In addition, many of the 100 advisers surveyed believe providers have little interest or appreciation of smaller IFA businesses. A total of 39% say their relationship with providers is weaker than three years ago, while 7% believe it is virtually non-existent.
As 41% of smaller adviser firms admit they do not believe providers communicate effectively with them, the report highlights areas where providers can improve their relationship with IFAs.
The findings show 66% of advisers want better communication and 65% want providers to offer understanding of problems, while 63% would like to see good marketing and research support.
In addition, 62% of respondents would like more training and continued professional development, while just over half (52%) want providers to offer help with technology, 35% would prefer organised networking opportunities and just 27% want more commission.
Derek Bradley, a former IFA and chief executive of Panacea, says the Portal has been designed specifically for smaller IFAs with the aim of bringing them closer to providers.
It claims “for a long time, communication between smaller IFA firms and providers has become increasingly remote due to a continued focus by product providers upon networks and larger national IFA firms in search of volume business at a low distribution cost”.
The free new service, designed by IFAs, will offer advisers the chance to be part of an interactive community of both IFAs and providers so they can communicate easily, share information and address any issues or concerns in real time.
Currently the service has signed up 10 providers; Norwich Union, AXA, Aegon, Bright Grey, Liverpool Victoria, Seven IM, Alliance & Leicester, Abbey, Scottish Life and Zopa, although Panacea says more will follow over the next few weeks.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Nyree Stewart on 020 7034 2681 or email [email protected]IFAonline
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