Intelliflo: Scottish independence a disaster for advisers

The adviser software specialist conducted a survey with Scotland-based advisers, revealing that 54% would expect a ‘yes’ vote to have an adverse effect on their business.

On the flipside a third (34%) believe it wouldn’t impact their business, while one in 10 (12%) believe it would be positive.

Nick Eatock, chief executive of Intelliflo, said: “Advisers who think a positive vote for Scottish independence will leave them with business pretty much as normal could be in for a massive shock post 18 September if the vote is ‘yes’.

“Financial arrangements will be a hot topic for everyone who has savings, investments, pensions and mortgages and advisers will be in the front line of dealing with this.”

Few Scottish advisers support independence, as three-quarters (76%) said they would be voting ‘no’, 13% said ‘yes’, while one in 10 were undecided.

Intelliflo has produced a Scottish independence guide for advisers, highlighting the impact that a ‘yes’ vote might have north and south of the Scottish border.

When asked about their concerns, most (57%) Scottish advisers cited administrative changes made to existing clients’ financial arrangements, while 53% said understanding the impact of independence on their clients.

A quarter (24%) have major concerns about balancing the amount of work that would be required while still running a profitable business while the same number (24%) worry about handling compliance issues around selling new business.

If independence was voted through, three-quarters (74%) would like to see the British pound as the currency, nearly one in five (18%) would prefer a new Scottish currency while just under one in 10 (9%) would choose an alternative option, such as the euro.

Nick Eatock added: “Although it would be at least 18 months before any major changes came into play following a ‘yes’ vote, clients will be looking to advisers to provide them with scenarios that might impact their financial arrangements from day one of the vote being positive.

“It’s clear that preparation and planning ahead of September are extremely important if advisers are to manage clients’ expectations. At Intelliflo we’re already looking at what systems we could put in place to help our customers deal with issues such as compliance for example.

“For advisers, not being prepared could present two major risks to business: one is reputational and the other is having a situation where unplanned and unpaid for time is spent reacting to clients in a panic about what to do. Both could prove to be very costly to business in the short to medium term.”