There is no reason why financial services shouldn't be ‘sexy' in a post-Retail Distribution Review (RDR) world, according to Rory Percival technical specialist at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Percival, who was speaking at a breakfast roundtable this morning, said that it was impossible to predict how this new era of financial services, inaugurated by RDR, would settle, and that there was no reason why the industry shouldn't be ‘sexy' and offer products and services that consumers desire.
"For example, when I was younger, a telephone was used simply to call people. Now phones are desirable items used for a great deal more than that. Who could have predicted the way that market would change? We might well see a similar change in financial services."
The conversation was prompted by research on post-RDR business models from technology specialist, eValue, which highlighted the importance of multi-channel services, and the use of technology in the creation of sustainable business models.
However, Bruce Moss strategic director and founder of eValue FE said that one of the problems advisory firms have when trying to make services ‘desirable' is that the they are not tangible.
He said one way of getting around this problem was the use of ‘games' with consumers to demonstrate possible outcomes from different approaches to investment. "This helps people visualise financial services and can make them more desirable," he said.
One shift that has already been well documented is the development in e-commerce or direct to consumer financial services.
However, Dave Lamb managing director of St James' Place, warned that this should not be viewed as 'a utopia'.
He said: "Consumers use these sites because they are free, but they are normally backed by restricted providers ultimately selling their own products, consumers might not be aware that the advice they get is biased here."
From Wednesday 20 May
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