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Bendigo Wealth and Provisio team up to help financial planners meet challenges of FoFA


Bendigo Wealth has teamed up with Provisio Technologies to build a scaled-advice capability that will drive down the cost of financial advice. The new offering will help make advice far more accessible to the wider public, in particular, the four out of five Australians who have never previously sought financial advice.

The process has been driven by demand for low cost financial advice, as confirmed by the uptake of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's new low cost Super offering, SmartStart Superô.

The initiative now gives the Bank the ability to offer advice on a larger scale. Branch-based planners are currently restricted in the number of clients they can see due to greater demand and a steadily growing branch network.

Bendigo Wealth has utilised Provisio's technology to make the delivery of financial advice more efficient, dramatically reducing the cost for consumers and making life easier for financial planners.

"Australians want advice, they say they need advice, but until now, there has been a real gap between what people say they need, and what they are prepared to pay for. We're determined to close the advice gap," said Head of Wealth Markets at Bendigo Wealth, Alexandra Tullio.

"There is a growing trend seen across sectors, where face-to-face customer service is being complemented by readily accessible, consumer-driven online sales catering to a 24/7 market.

"The phone-based advice component is part of a tiered advice model that will meet a greater range of consumer advice needs. Just as high-speed internet is revolutionising tele-medicine, Provisio is helping us revolutionise the delivery of financial advice.

"Whether our customers prefer to contact us over the phone, or face to face, we can support and assist them", Ms Tullio said.

"Bendigo Wealth has built a solution that will make financial advice accessible to many more Australians, and more importantly, will allow customers to access advice in a way that suits their personal circumstances, regardless of their working hours or whether they require 'piece by piece' or full advice.

"We recognise that FoFA and MySuper have their challenges, but we are determined to ensure the best outcome for consumers at the end of the legislative process, currently being driven by Bill Shorten, Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation.

"There is significant interest in our low-cost product, SmartStart SuperTM , demonstrated by high call volumes, as well as customers walking into branches and asking for the product, so we're making it easier for people to apply and speak with a consultant.

"Financial advice can now be provided in just 20 minutes, compared with the traditional model which can take days. This technology gives Bendigo Wealth the ability to offer advice on a larger scale at a time when branch-based planners are restricted in the number of clients they can physically see. In short, it's a win-win for planners and their clients," Ms Tullio concluded.

Fast Facts for consumers

  • Allows delivery of scaled advice via a phone-based team.
  • Simplifies the advice process, reduces cost and increases access to advice for many more Australians.
  • Allows Bendigo Wealth the ability to offer advice on a larger scale when Branch-based planners are restricted in the number of clients they can see and the growing number of Bendigo Bank branches they can service.
  • Bendigo Wealth has utilized the technology to make the delivery of financial advice more efficient thus dramatically reducing the cost for consumers.
  • Particularly suited to Generation Y and X who rarely go into an actual bank branch
  • The phone based advice model is part of a tiered advice model which will cater for a greater range of consumer advice needs.
  • Ability to produce a scaled advice document within 20 minutes.
  • Bendigo and Independent Financial Planners (IFAs) have the ability to market to clients and fulfil their needs after a short conversation.
  • Bendigo Wealth will provide customers with clear options in terms of how they want to do business with us: i.e. over the phone, online, face to face and eventually self serve.
  • Provisio will revolutionise the provision of financial advice, particularly for those in regional, remote or indigenous communities.

Fast Facts for planners

  • Low cost solution to existing clients in a market that has significant margin squeeze.
  • Ability to service C and D clients for retention and provide additional revenue stream.
  • Helps advisers to increase the value of their business by better understanding the type of clients they may have.
  • Advisers are keen to learn about solutions and products that will enable them to engage new and existing customers in a cost effective manner whilst still being able to generate revenue.
  • Bendigo Wealth's solution addresses key FoFA issues such as accessibility and will work to make advice far easier to obtain while helping independent and Bendigo Financial Planners meet the challenge of FOFA reforms.
  • FoFA and the overall regulatory environment have forced the industry to think again about how to offer advice in the future and how they service the 'tail-end' of their businesses.
  • Provides low cost, low margin solutions to the IFA market: scaled advice and low cost super.
  • Enables advisers to clean up their business and potentially get ready for sale or succession.
  • Provides cross-sell opportunity for advisers.
  • Provides the ability to offer pro bono or low cost work to younger or clients just starting out on the investment journey, in an environment which makes it more and more difficult to service low balance customers.
  • Low cost, scaled advice capability.

For further information, please call Simon Disney, Media Manager, Bendigo Wealth on 0408 161 466 or Cameron O'Sullivan, Provisio, on 0414 571 632