Financial advisers can better serve their clients by incorporating the three 'Ts' - Technology, Training and Trust - into their professional practice.
This was highlighted in a speech by Mr Kee Rui Xiong, Executive Director, Corporate Finance & Disclosures Department, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the recent FPAS Global Conference.
On technology, Mr Kee touched on two areas: tools and social media.
The financial advisory (FA) industry is already adopting digital tools to enhance customer centricity in their advisory process. Two useful tools that have already gotten some traction are SGFinDex and compareFIRST.
Through SGFinDex, financial advisers can encourage their customers to retrieve their data on participating financial planning platforms such as MyMoneySense. SGFinDex can help to provide a holistic picture of a customer’s finances and speed up the fact-finding process, providing a good starting point for the financial planning conversation.
On compareFIRST, information on life insurance products that are offered by various insurers can be found in one place and is a complementary tool to SGFinDex that shows various types of life insurance products available that they can consider adding to their coverage.
As for social media, MAS requires financial institutions and financial advisers to ensure that their advertisements are presented in a clear manner and provide a fair and balanced view of products. Advertisements should not be false or misleading. Product advertisements also require approval by senior management.
The second ‘T’ is Training where financial advisers upskill themselves. He said financial advisers who explain how CPF schemes form the first line of defence in retirement planning can build trust with their customers. They show that they are serious about taking care of somebody’s holistic financial welfare, and are not simply keen to sell financial products. And MAS has worked with the CPF Board to support financial advisers’ training on CPF schemes. Going forward, the relevant training courses conducted by the CPF Board can be recognised as Core Continuing Professional Development hours.
The last and most important ‘T’ is Trust. Trust in the FA industry is integral, and is what helps differentiate FA reps against the sea of financial planning information out there, from books and websites, to blogs and “finfluencers.” He said the investment into building relationships and showing genuine care for the customer’s financial wellbeing can build trust and gain you a customer for life.