UK independent financial advisers (IFAs) are being hit by substantial losses due to IT systems failing them, according to new figures from market analyst Datamonitor.
The firm says that a large IFA employing advisers with in-house IT support can lose up to £48,000 of business in lost adviser time per year as a result of failing IT.
The same IFA could also potentially lose £84,000 in lost business if they rely on telephone call-out, rather than inhouse support.
The report also says the loss is most keenly felt among IFAs that rely on a DIY approach to their IT. These are typically the small IFAs and sole traders that form the bulk of the IFA market, who lose one working week per adviser per year due to IT problems.
"The results of the survey shatter the myth of IFAs being 'technophobes'. On the contrary, the level of technology in the average IFA office in the UK is in-fact very high. However, IFAs are still suffering a great deal of lost adviser time as a result of IT failing them," said Mark Tucker, financial services analyst at Datamonitor and author of the study.
According to Datamonitor, IFAs that have in-house IT support lose on average 16 hours of adviser time per adviser per year. This figure is 28 hours for those with telephone call out support.
IFAs that take the DIY approach lose on average 36 adviser hours, equivalent to one working week, per adviser per year.
IFAs that submit business electronically expect the average amount of business they submit on-line to more than double from 19 per cent in 2004 to 44 per cent in 2006.