An IFA comparison website giving advisers detailed data on other firms in their area - including client profiles and charging structures - has launched.
Developed by Glasgow-based software company WorkLoad, MyTouchstone claims to be a unique website helping advisers keep tabs on other local firms to see how they are preparing for the RDR.
The website, which is free for advisers, examines how the move away from commission will impact IFAs and allows users to view adviser charges in their postal area.
Key features include information on the number of firms closing, merging and starting up in the area, how many IFAs are upsizing or downsizing and the amount clients invest.
Furthermore, it provides data on the areas in which clients live and how to track new business levels.
The website marks a new direction for the Scottish company after serving the product provider market.
Its launch has been received with a degree of scepticism by some figures in the industry, with one adviser fearing the site could be used as a data bank for product providers.
But Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says it is a powerful tool which will prove useful for IFAs in a changing market.
Bamford says: "I only had to enter my FSA number and had access to a detailed breakdown on local firms."
In the Guildford post code area where his firm Informed Choice is based, MyTouchstone reveals: there are 165 IFA firms with 174 branches; nine firms are increasing adviser numbers and 23 reducing them; and adviser numbers as a whole decreased 0.6% last quarter.
"This is interesting data," adds Bamford. "It provides information on the number of clients sourcing IFA advice, for example, and we can use this data as a benchmark to compare with other IFAs."
WorkLoad managing director Mark Hamill says: "Many IFAs are uncertain about what the RDR will do to their market and the clients that depend upon it. MyTouchstone will remove much of that uncertainty."
"Some advisers will leave the sector, but there will still be lots of opportunity for those who choose to remain. MyTouchstone will show these advisers where these opportunities lie, and how to best position their businesses for the future."
To register with MyTouchstone click here
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