FPA releases new video Statement of Advice toolkit for members

From

Benjamin Marshan

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has released a new video toolkit to guide members in creating a video Statement of Advice (SOA) that efficiently services clients while also complying with all the necessary regulations.

Called the Statement of Advice Project (SOAP) Box Set, the series of 14 videos are designed to equip financial planners with the required tools to provide an SOA via video format, covering topics such as the ease in which they can create a video of their advice meeting which can be provided as an SOA, as well as real-life examples of video SOAs covering various scenarios such as pre-retirement planning and life risk advice.

The SOAP Box Set is the result of an extensive consultation process between the FPA and members, consumers, regulators, lawyers, compliance experts, and technology providers to work on a paperless SOA aimed at reducing compliance costs, increasing efficiency, while also delivering advice that clients can better understand.

The series features discussions led by the FPA’s head of policy, strategy and innovation, Ben Marshan, and founder of The Cyber Collective Australia, Fraser Jack.

FPA chief executive Sarah Abood, says that she has seen first-hand the amount of work that goes into an SOA.

“A lot of what drives up the cost of financial advice is the amount of background work, information investigation and time spent by the financial planner on what is required to be included in the SOA,” Abood says.

“Not only that, the SOA ends up becoming a document that clients find difficult to read and ends up clouding the actual advice being given to them. Any efforts made to make advice more efficient and usable by clients is a critical step forward for the profession.

“Through the SOAP Box Set, Ben and Fraser have put in an incredible amount of work towards making this a reality, and speaks to their tireless passion in making advice more accessible and affordable for clients.”

Marshan says the SOA requirements came during a time when paper was the only option available to planners. With video conferencing now a normal part of daily life, he hopes the series will showcase alternative avenues of providing a compliant SOA under the current legislation.

“We are still seeing financial planners put together paper-based SOAs that stretch between 80 to 100 pages long,” Marshan says.

“The idea behind the Statement of Advice Project is to push the boundaries of finding the most effective way of providing advice to clients while also keeping within ASIC’s regulations.”

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