"This signals to financial advisers and clients that we will remain nimble and at the forefront of technological change."
BT has launched its Evolution brand campaign, marking the next growth phase of the only wealth management business owned by one of the big four Australian banks, as well as a turning point for the advice industry.
Rachael Dickinson, BT’s head of marketing, said just over 20 years ago Westpac acquired BT, then around a decade later the transformative contemporary platform, BT Panorama, was launched.
"At every opportunity and in the face of challenges, BT has adapted to remain a market leader, and be the investment platform of choice for many financial advisers and their clients," she said.
“We are excited about what’s next. Our new brand campaign signals to financial advisers and clients that we will remain nimble and at the forefront of technological change; we’re here to support them, and invest in the platform with the backing of Westpac.”
BT’s primary target market, the financial advice industry, has itself undergone a transformative change, with sweeping regulatory changes and operational challenges seeing many financial advisers leave the industry in recent years.
The total number of advisers in Australia declined to approximately 16,000 in 2022, from a high of around 26,000 in 2019.
Impending legislation based on the recommendations of the Quality of Advice Review is expected to provide greater certainty for Australia’s financial advisers, and the industry is showing signs of stability.
For the first time in more than three years, the number of financial advisers in Australia increased in early 2023. Demand for financial advice is expected to increase as Australia’s population is ageing.
The number of Australians entering retirement is growing rapidly, and with fewer working Australians able to fund support for these retirees, more Australians will need to explore options for self-funding for their retirement, which may encourage them to seek financial advice.
Dickinson said the advice industry is at a turning point. The advice practices that have remained resilient through constant change have evolved, with many making the most of platform technology to thrive.
"BT Panorama is continually being updated, based on advisers’ feedback, to help them manage their compliance obligations and serve their clients more efficiently," she said.
Recent enhancements to BT Panorama include: the ability to make service requests through a digital form and then track the progress online; a simpler process for linking investors’ external bank accounts with their BT Panorama accounts; and the ability to request Centrelink schedules online.
Investors can now also provide digital consent for a range of actions, including investment transactions, corporate actions and adding or updating advice fees.