“Intelliflo’s move into Open Banking represents a step forward in the way that people are able to access and interact with their finances and presents a huge opportunity for the adviser community to deliver better advice outcomes.”

Intelliflo is the largest player in the adviser practice management system sector and includes one of the best client portal services in the market, free as part of their core proposition. Its new Open Banking capabilities is of great benefit to Intelliflo’s customers and clients, but it also provides huge opportunity for the entire adviser community, by offering advisers a more holistic view and helping them to deliver good advice outcomes.

Open Banking services will allow people to view their month to month income and expenditure side by side with their long-term savings, which is a step forward in the way that people are able to access and interact with their finances. It has enormous potential to help people save more, especially when nudging and other behavioural finance techniques can be applied through these platforms.

Over one third of the IFA sector now has the capability to offer a highly functional client portal service that can provide details of the clients’ day to day finance via Open Banking, side by side with information on their long term savings.

This is a major problem for the banks, which have on the whole been slow to integrate savings and investment capabilities via Open Banking. Banks had hoped to use Open Banking and Open Finance to offer customers a holistic view of their finances, negating the need for a financial adviser and thereby grabbing large numbers of adviser clients.

However, advisers can now offer a far better experience to their client than they can get from their banks, which do not have access to long-term savings data. Increasingly, it is the apps that people use on their phones that indicate who they trust most. If advisers can use Open Banking services like this to deliver a better customer experience, it will further increase the pressure on traditional banks which are already under threat from challenger banks and other Fintechs.

Ironically, the Government’s failure to deliver on a pension dashboard – a direct consequence of a failure of political leadership and successive governments who have not dedicated the time or focus to this important initiative – has turned out to be a major benefit for advisers who use Open Banking to access such data and use it to inform and enhance conversations with their clients. At the current rate, pensions dashboards are still a good four years away. If only the government focused on introducing a simpler dashboard in the first instance, covering auto-enrolment, a solution could be delivered in months, not years.

This will put banks at a serious commercial disadvantage over the next few years, which by the same token provides a huge opportunity for adviser firms and especially those using Intelliflo.