Financial advisers are reducing face-to-face time with their clients and resorting to telephone and screen-based consultations as they seek to deal with the implications of COVID-19.
Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) general manager, Policy and Professionalism, Phil Anderson, said that advisers were facing one of their busiest periods as they sought to assist clients through a period of extreme market volatility linked to the coronavirus but were in many instances doing so remotely.
This was confirmed by former dealer group head and AdviceIQ director, Paul Harding-Davis, who said that in many instances the decision not to initiate face-to-face contact was being made by the client, rather than the adviser.
Harding-Davis said that, in the circumstances, telephone or screen-based contact with clients was recognised as serving the interests of both.
Anderson said that in circumstances where many advisers were operating in a small business environment, it was inevitable that some would choose to work from home rather than risk travelling on public transport.
“But the reality is that advisers are finding themselves very busy at the moment reassuring clients and helping them navigate the current period of volatility,” he said. “In the circumstances, a lot of that work is being conducted at a distance.”