A financial aggregation service claiming to herald a "revolution" in client data-gathering has launched amid a surge of FSA fines for failing to comply with the "know your client" rule.
Sammedia's Moneyinfo provides an aggregated and updated view of a client's entire financial life - from banks, credit cards, mortgages, loans and portfolio valuations - promising to transform an IFA's fact- finding process from one of "guess-finding" to a real-time set of figures.
The service, says the company, allows advisers to react to changes in client circumstances and demonstrate a more accurate "know your client" process than traditional fact-finding processes relying on manual, less accurate methods.
Sammedia CEO Mike Free (pictured) says it will help advisers demonstrate they are giving suitable advice at the very time the regulatory microscope falls on their activities.
"I think this could be a revolution in how advisers handle data," he says. "The ramifications of engaging with clients on such a frequent basis are huge."
"Our new Moneyinfo service provides a much higher degree of confidence for advisers to gather facts about their clients as the clients complete much of the important data themselves and update on a regular basis.
"It replaces all the ‘guess-finding' with real data analysed directly from clients' policies and vitally also includes important bank and credit card accounts as well as their existing portfolios."
Launch of the portal - which claims to be the first European aggregation service of its kind - comes amid a raft of FSA fines relating to inadequate gathering of client information.
"There are many reasons why regulatory failings by advisers are on the increase but a common theme we have seen across the industry is firms fail to adequately demonstrate they know their client in enough detail to show their advice was suitable," adds Free.
This year, the FSA has issued total fines of £66.4m compared to a total for the whole of last year of just £35m. A growing proportion of these fines, says Sammedia, result from unsuitable advice given to clients and infringements of the "know your client" and TCF principles.
Last month, the FSA censured The Garrison Finance Centre for geared trading endowment policy advice failings. The regulator said it failed to demonstrate "why its recommendations were suitable as it did not gather/or document adequate information to support its recommendations".
This followed a £21,000 fine dished out to Gateshead IFA for pension switching advice failings for failing record sufficient information on clients.
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