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IFA quits network Financial Ltd to tweet freely

by Michelle Abrego on Feb 25, 2013 at 10:00

IFA quits network Financial Ltd to tweet freely

Loughborough-based adviser Matthew Walne has won the right to tweet freely after leaving network Financial Ltd to become directly authorised.

Walne (pictured), managing director of Santorini Financial Planning, said he had made the move due to his concerns over the national and network model, but added that Financial Ltd’s social media policy was also an issue.

‘It didn’t really understand [social media], so it has a carpet ban [except for LinkedIn], which is a bit short-sighted,’ he said.

Walne said the process of becoming directly authorised was useful to the business, as he focused on processes, data recovery and business continuity.

33 comments so far. Why not have your say?

John D

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:13

Some networks are more up to speed on this than others.

I heard of one company's Compliance Dept who do allow their members to use twitter - but only after receiving pre-approval for every tweet (turnaround time 7-10 working days).

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DEREK BRADLEY

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:30

The use of social media is not a fad or a craze but a second industrial revolution that is dramatically altering the way in which we communicate and do business.

The use of social media is now an embedded and accepted method of marketing and communicating in sectors from fast cars to face creams but seems to be in its infancy in the UK advisory market place.

Whenever we talk about social media with a group of advisers there is often a great deal of scepticism although that is now reducing.

I believe this is due to a couple of factors. Firstly, most financial advisers have not considered social media for their business and secondly, many do not know how to do it if they did!

The reach of social media is growing every day. A major survey found that it is growing a lot faster than you think. It found out that:

37.4 million UK adults use Face book on a regular basis

32.1 million UK adults use YouTube regularly

15.5 million adults are on Twitter

7.9 million UK adults are on Linkedin

Source: Umpf Blog 2011

There is a misconception that age has an effect on social media usage, however the survey found that more than half of all pensionable UK adults were on Face book, with more than a third also using YouTube on a regular basis. For me, this smashes the myth that social media is only for generation X and only the preserve of the young!

This fact alone should make every advisory business take note. We all know of the massive potential in the "at retirement" and "third age" markets, could social media be a tactic to use to maximise these opportunities? If you want to get involved in Social media then, here are five questions you should consider:

http://www.panaceaadviser.com/main/st7449.htm

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The Rumpo Kid

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:33

Can't see why Financial Ltd would have a carpet ban. What's wrong with a good old blanket ban?

What next - rugs, lino, wodden flooring?

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Jonathan Kirby

Feb 25, 2013 at 11:09

@ Derek Bradley

Beware statistics. Given there are only about 48 million adults in the UK in the first place I doubt whether 80% are regular users of Face Book.

There will be an awful lot like me who 'tried it once and didn't like it'.

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DEREK BRADLEY

Feb 25, 2013 at 11:20

@Jonathan Kirby I agree on statistics, always difficult, but, the UK population is estimated to have reached about 63.2 million in 2011, four million more than recorded in the 2001 census. So this is just under 60%. Source-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20757480

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Phil Calvert

Feb 25, 2013 at 11:45

Well done Matthew. It's extraordinary in this day and age that some networks (and nationals) still have a problem with Social Media.

After all, Social Media is not exactly new. There are some financial advisers who have been using Social Media tools and sites since 1998.

The fact that some firms will allow use of LinkedIn and not others is even more bizarre, and just goes to show that they don't understand it all.

If the less up-to-date Networks and Nationals haven't yet spent time learning what Social Media really is, and all the different ways that it can help their members/partners, then they aren't doing their job as support organisations.

Phil

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Adam Smith

Feb 25, 2013 at 11:45

Seems to me that Financial do understand one thing about social media - that they're eminently capoable of being non-real time financial promotions which, as the authorised person, Financial have to exercise control over.

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Compliance Doctor

Feb 25, 2013 at 12:08

As a Compliance Consultant for many years, I am fully aware that financial services have shied away from social media because of the financial promotions rules, but this doesn't have to be the case if used properly. I am active in Social Media and am the guest speaker on a webinar on the subject on Tuesday afternoon (http://profundcom.net/events/event/social-media-and-email-compliance-issues-for-financial-services/). A properly managed and created social media marketing campaign can bring in huge rewards and as a professional, LinkedIn is a big part of that. Seize this in the early stages and you could have a huge advantage over your peer group.

We run sessions for people to understand LinkedIn Profile Optimisation and Social Media (http://www.leewerrell.co.uk/lets-talk-social-media.html) generally and provide advice in designing, creating and implementing social media marketing campaigns for all firms.

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Chartered Mark

Feb 25, 2013 at 13:13

How many supposed very clever people have fallen foul of the use of the social media.

This is just another future gold mine for the ambulance chasers when the client has a gripe in the future.

The FSA, or whatever alpabet soup of letters comes down the pike in the future will be using the tweets and facebook splurge to batter the unwary in the future.

You can put as many disclaimers on the thing as you like, but in the history of IFAs being sued, the client always has recourse to the "But I'm a thicky" defence.

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Chartered Mark

Feb 25, 2013 at 13:20

Also, not wishing to diss the reporting on this, but why use the Twitter headline, as the reason for going direct then in the second paragraph say that it was not the main reason.

I suspect that you would lead with the headline "Hitler had a very funny moustache" and then drop in, way down the article, that just by the way, he also started a war that cost 50 million lives.

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Compliance Doctor

Feb 25, 2013 at 13:54

I can understand you reticence Chartered Mark, and as a Chartered Compliance Consultant I would never encourage my clients to try and be clever, just smart. There are rules and the rules are quite stringent and restrictive. However, as a Specialist medical consultant would work with a GP on solving an issue, by working with someone who understands compliance in this area thoroughly and can present rules backed reasons for doing things a certain way, would surely make more sense than ignoring the Social Media opportunity (as a lot of advisers are) and continue to work in the 20th Century methods of low ROI and massive effort.

The choice is yours at the end of the day, however the Social Media tools are now in place to run a fully compliant campaign now and into the future with evidence of what, when, who, why and how. There are drawbacks in some of the Social Media platforms when used for business, but these can be addressed quite easily.

Matthew and I spoke about this issue a long time ago and I am afraid that I am with Philip and Derek here; if you truly understood how Social Media worked you would know that there is up to 10% responses and 500% Return on Investment per campaign. Compared to around 1.7% responses with traditional methods and an ROI that is rarely measured and usually not clearly understood, this is exciting news. Having a social media strategy in place is the need of the hour for any business today, helping to build a foundation towards better handling of the social media platforms in the right manner to suit the individual business and its values, and also helps to achieve the unique objectives and ensure maximum ROI.

At a course we held two weeks ago, two people from the same company said that they spent a fortune getting their website designed 10 years ago and it has never generated a single lead. How have they promoted it? They didn't know they had to.

Many of the tools you need to use are free. My advice to anybody in any industry is start to use the tools available today as the last on the bus (if there is space) may find standing room only.

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Jonathan Kirby

Feb 25, 2013 at 14:32

What does surprise me is how some companies seem to get away with a complete flouting of the rules which we all have to abide by.

How can SJP take whole page ad's in the National Trust magazine that don't even mention their status or that they are authorised and regulated by the FSA, etc.

They don't say they are independent of course, but the inference is there through the access to leading fund managers line.

Its no wonder they take so many people in.

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DEREK BRADLEY

Feb 25, 2013 at 16:50

We are currently running an exclusive testing opportunity for a very small number of advisory firms to use our new social media content service on a free one month trial basis before we launch the service.

Each package has been awarded on a first come, first served basis.

This post trail has demonstrated that what we are doing will present fantastic value for advisers.

I have just 3 spaces left, e mail your interest to contact@panaceaadviser.com if you would like to know more and take this offer up.

All you need to do qualify is agree to use the content package and let us write a case study about you.

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marc via mobile

Feb 25, 2013 at 18:40

Th the rumpo kid makes a valid point. The fsa and financial will probably ban carpet. Carpet is a key part of my business plan. Blanket less so. Blanket ban fine carpet ban is too far.

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Yorkiebar

Feb 25, 2013 at 19:48

Possible Data Protection implications: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/smallfirms/resources/factsheets/pdfs/data_security.pdf

FSA Guidance:

http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/doing/regulated/promo/pdf/new_media.pdf

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Matthew Walne

Feb 25, 2013 at 19:56

Not quite sure why everyone assumes that using social media is for financial promotions, far from it in fact. Just goes to show that not even the Networks are struggling with the whole concept!

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Yorkiebar

Feb 25, 2013 at 20:09

Is it exempt of not exempt from FSA Rules requirements as a FP?

The attached succinct guide paints the picture as to what is expected. No doubt further reviews will occur to monitor activity and the FCA will be more Proactive (OBR) and less reactive.

FSA Principle for Business 7: Communications with clients: A firm must pay due regard to the information needs of its clients, and communicate information to them in a way which is clear, fair and not misleading.

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Matthew Walne

Feb 25, 2013 at 20:21

@yorkiebar you are referring to financial promotions, the use of social media for engagement is not a financial promotion! I am well ware of what the rules are and what constitutes a financial promotion or image advertising

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Compliance Doctor

Feb 25, 2013 at 20:30

Totally agree Matthew.

Perhaps some participants can get a few cliches in as well as black art witchcraft tactics of scaremongery?

Surely the idea here is to move forward and embrace technology whilst remaining compliant; not waving the regulatory handbook and decree "thou shalt not blog!"

Advisers have had 25 years of fairly prescriptive rules administered by compliance departments of people that either don't have sufficient time to get on top of everything because the have to do their day job, or they are full time compliance, but don't keep up with the changes. They then try to rule by aged and outdated rules and don't quite yet understand that compliance is a support function to the business and not a controller of it. Lets work together and find workable and compliant solutions instead of reasons why not.

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Joker via mobile

Feb 25, 2013 at 20:35

Would love to comment but compliance doesn't allow!

Bale scores again

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Yorkiebar

Feb 25, 2013 at 20:51

Principles for Business 7 is not just for Financial Promotions.

As you are aware of the rules then fine as any comeback will be your responsibility where Directly Authorised and not that of the Networks. Totally agree that technology should be embraced whilst remaining compliant, Compliance Departments have a responsibility to ensure they are up to date & meeting latest regulatory requirements - its in their interest to do so. Those that I have seen do aim to be as helpful as possible to both protect and to assist with marketing an advisers valuable services.

In the past I have seen such activity which bridges the boundaries and then other firms which have found a workable and compliant solution embracing ethics, values and TCF outcomes.

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Nathan Jones via mobile

Feb 25, 2013 at 21:33

@ Jonathan Kirkby - FYI you don't have to disclose your regulatory status in a financial promotion as far as I am aware. If you do, then any service not regulated must also be disclosed. In no way supporting what any firm does, but purely pointing this out.

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Mr Jones via mobile

Feb 25, 2013 at 22:56

I can think of far better reasons Financial. They are rude, slow, don't know who pays their wages and have no idea about financial advice. They are the ultimate business prevention department.

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Jonathan Kirby

Feb 26, 2013 at 09:25

@ Mr Jones

As a member of Financial I am not sure I would agree with your comments.

We previously had experience of other Networks and even allowing for tightening regulation and accordingly systems I would rather deal with Financial any day!

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Compliance Doctor

Feb 26, 2013 at 09:42

To explore the Social Media phenomenon why not download our Free PDF from here http://goo.gl/7yswG - No charge - no obligation - just facts and stats!

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Matthew Walne

Feb 26, 2013 at 10:49

@Jonathan Kirby I have to say I'm inclined to agree with @Mr Jones. There are a lot leaving by the sounds of it, mainly due to the huge fee increases coming in from April

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DEREK BRADLEY

Feb 26, 2013 at 11:07

@Jonathan Kirby & @Mr Jones What are the fee levels, would be interesting to know. Clearly, there must come a tipping point for network firms when DA looks irresistible.. But the more that leave, the more those left have to pay- bit like the FSCS levies

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Missed Point

Feb 26, 2013 at 11:31

I would have thought the general idea was for an Adviser to spend his/her day tending to their clients rather than sitting glued to a smartphone busily composing the next tweet?

Or do Adviser Charges run to 'playing on the internet' nowadays??

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Jonathan Kirby

Feb 26, 2013 at 13:00

@Derek Bradley

Financial's fees vary according to turnover and level of risk.

Happily, although we did have a jump last year, this year's increase has been more modest.

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DEREK BRADLEY

Feb 26, 2013 at 13:14

@Jonathan Kirby Thanks, typically are these say 20% of gross income or higher?

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Jonathan Kirby

Feb 26, 2013 at 13:28

@ Derek Bradley

I have never worked them out in percentage terms as it gets a bit complex with different income sources. Apart from occasional demands from the FSCS on top, we will be paying about £9k this year to include everything else.

It does get more expensive if you have more than one adviser. I used to have an authorised assistant when we were directly authorised by IBRC but couldn't afford one now.

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Jonathan Kirby

Feb 26, 2013 at 13:30

@ Derek Bradley

PS - have a look on the website Financial.ltd.uk under our services.

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Mr Jones via mobile

Feb 26, 2013 at 22:26

@ J Kirby...you must have had a better experience but to me they are simply 'cheapest is best' morons. Their report templates demonstrate how little they understand advice and how real people interact with clients. They are so overly paranoid about protecting themselves against ANY possible complaint that their reports are jibberish. They also believe a fact find should mirror exactly what is outlined in the report.

I would advise anyone that doesn't simply recommend the cheapest tracker funds to steer well clear.

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