The financial advice revolution is here. How digital advice is enhancing, not replacing the financial adviser

Retail Financial Services

06 October 2022

AdviceBank and Brand Distribution of Retail Financial ServicesDigitalFinancial adviserHybridRetail Financial Services

Expert: Chet Velani Facilitator: Chris Shaw


  1. Guidance, self-service digital advice and hybrid digital advice is now here to stay and can deliver much needed change within the industry
  2. Adviser involvement in providing advice can be reduced significantly from current levels with the use of digital advice – opportunity to improve efficiency for adviser firms and driving down cost to the consumer
  3. Firms that can demonstrate an “omni-channel” offering (guidance, self-serve digital and hybrid digital) will have a competitive advantage in the future


There was much discussion and interest about broadening the customer base and “democratising advice”, particularly at key life stages such as retirement.

This discussion followed two paths: firstly lower costs could be used as a mechanism for supporting more individuals within the advice gap, by reducing the cost of advice, or improving margins by increasing the efficiency of giving advice. Secondly, this was balanced by the current accepted reality that there is more profit to be made by focusing attention on the wealthier clients we currently service, rather than looking towards the advice gap.

The current, traditional advice works well because a person is involved to outline and present conclusions. The room shared concerns that it will prove difficult to get people to see that they need/would benefit from advice. Would customers engage in a digital journey? Evidence suggests that individuals still value the human input.

To operate effectively in the omni-channel space, firms will have to address differing personality types and offer customer journeys to suit these differences. Much more work appears to be necessary in this area to ensure that it feels “personal” and engaging to the customer.

It was suggested that each stage could lead into full blown advice (and added profit margin).

Any digital solution will require ongoing monitoring via MI and data to improve engagement and success rates.

Key takeaways:

  • There is concern about the issue of satisfying the Regulator and demonstrating a solid business case internally for the additional spend and deviation from tried and tested, highly-profitable customer journeys
  • What are the key messages to government, regulator, action-orientated conclusions that Owen James or one of our associates could collate on our behalf? These are the next steps
  • Against the backdrop of such a low percentage of adults receiving advice there was concern shared by all that we have a problem which needs to be addressed, which also presents a fantastic opportunity for adviser firms
  • Hybrid-digital is a great starting point but we need to approach with caution as outcomes are still largely unproven at scale and firms would be concerned about reputational risk