Is it worth putting your staff’s lives at risk?
Wealth firms draft their staff into the boardroom to stuff envelopes with 10% drop letters.
IT Consultancy firm, Cyan Wealth Solutions, slams the FCA as remiss for going against government advice and forcing firms to risk staff lives to comply with the rules.
Headlines like this make good copy and the pressure has prompted the FCA to act quickly. The latest note from the FCA to CEOs makes reassuring reading that the FCA, like the government, are responding quickly and flexibly to the difficult circumstances we are all facing.
Dear CEO Letter to firms providing services to retail investors about coronavirus
The key point Is that the FCA will not take action against a firm if the firm has issued at least one notification to retail clients within the current reporting period and subsequently provides general updates through its website, other public channels (such as social media) etc.
We can all be glad that it avoids further headlines, like the ridiculous situation James Hay found themselves in, recently -
The James Hay investor who received two notifications in short succession said the requirement to send the notifications seemed ‘pointless’ when advice for investors is generally not to sell out at the bottom, as being presented with figures about how much money they have lost will inevitably cause concern.
This kind of news does nothing but harm to our industry.
Whilst the FCA note is helpful there is one part of the notice that firms should be wary of.
Client identify verification needs to continue but firms have flexibility within our rules to accept scanned documentation sent by email, preferably as a PDF.
Our previous article made reference to the current issues with email security -
In a recent podcast, Ian Mckenna, director at the Finance and Technology Research Centre, likened sending an email to putting the information on a postcard and sending it through the post.
It seems remiss of the FCA not to take note of GDPR in the communication which clearly states firms should be taking account of the state-of-the-art with regards to protecting client personal data. Emailing a copy of a client's passport seems very at odds with this.
Are you missing a golden opportunity?
The 10% drop rule creates a situation where clients may panic over short-term performance but is a golden opportunity to communicate clearly, sensibly and in a reassuring way.
Sending your communications digitally gives you the opportunity to accompany the reporting with educational content, particularly videos which can portray your empathy and stewardship in the current environment.
Book a 1-2-1 demo here.
“But my clients do not use technology”
We hear this often but most of your clients have a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. At best there might be the odd client who has no technology and refuses to use anything like online banking, amazon or email but we are confident it's less than 1% of your client base and probably a lot less given the need to communicate with family and friends at this time.
As an aside, we find most older clients love talking to their grandchildren on facetime and WhatsApp via their tablet PCs. It’s often inertia that prevents change, but we are now in an environment forcing everybody to think differently.
What do you do about the few clients who haven't got an email address?
These very clients who may not have previously had email addresses may have one now due to the need to register for online shopping and other services. You do not know until you ask.
Your team’s time can be better spent contacting clients to gather updated contact information and introducing a better way to communicate with them. If they do not have an email address, help them set one up. Any client right now will be more receptive to change than ever before.
Best practise is to give your clients an app on their phone and tablet and PC so they can communicate with you securely and for you to meet your regulatory requirements.
It's so easy to do. Even now with your staff at working from home you can have an app live within days and your staff on hand to aid adoption remotely.
Book a 1-2-1 demo here.
We can implement you a secure portal to communicate with your clients and share and sign paperwork. It provides a shared audit trail of all your client communications with nothing stored on your client's devices. It's much safer than email and you can see when your clients received the communication and when they've read it.
Your clients and prospects can send you information and documents such as passports copies by taking a picture on their phone sending it to you securely without it ever touching email.
Automate the delivery of all your reporting.
moneyinfo is designed to be as easy to use as WhatsApp and your clients can communicate with you on their smartphones, tablets and PCs, whatever's convenient to them.
It can deliver your MIFID Reporting in seconds and no-one ever needs to go into the office to stuff envelopes again.
It's a great message to your clients, that you're open and ready for business and evolving to handle new challenges.
Contact us and we'll show you how you can change the way you communicate to deliver a better client experience and a more efficient, safer business for all concerned.
Business Development Director,
Book a 1-2-1 demo here.
03303 600 300