Study reveals IFAs ‘awareness deficit’ of alternative finance players
Research and advisory company Intelligent Partnership has published key findings from its survey of the alternative finance space, revealing an endemic lack of awareness about the sector amongst Independent Financial Advisers.
Just 7 per cent of the advisers surveyed realised that the numerous parts of the alternative finance sector are now regulated. Only 13 per cent were aware that several peer-to-peer lender platforms were now using provision funds to safeguard their investors against losses.
With the new Innovative Finance ISAs fast approaching, there is a pressing need to comprehensively expand the advisory community’s awareness of the alternative finance industry: IFAs control huge swathes of ISA capital that could benefit substantially from the high returns that have consistently been delivered by peer-to-peer lenders.
However, with 27 per cent of alternative finance platforms having no plan in place for marketing to IFAs, the survey concludes that the onus is squarely on the fintech sector to instil a greater level of understanding in the advisory community.
Intelligent Partnership’s MD, Guy Tolhurst, said:
“When we asked platforms what they thought the biggest barriers that prevent advisers from investing in the sector were, the vast majority said that it was a lack of education and awareness – so the alternative finance industry knows that they have to do much more to successfully reach out to the adviser community.”
IP’s Research Director, Daniel Kiernan, said that an IFA considering a P2P allocation would be looking at the platform’s track record, especially its longevity and its meaningful performance data.
The FCA is currently considering whether its suitability rules for giving advice should apply to those advising on investing via P2P platforms.