BT boss eyes SMSF sector

BT Financial Group is in the process of developing a “comprehensive SMSF solution” as part of the roll-out of its new investment administration platform, according to the group’s chief executive.

Delivering a market update presentation released on Thursday last week, BT chief executive Brad Cooper noted that SMSFs are attracting a lot of attention in the financial services industry at present.

“There are many players seeking to tap this segment, but few have the scale to cost-effectively develop a comprehensive SMSF solution,” he said.

BT’s new investment platform, which has been in the works for the last two years, has been “developed and designed” with the SMSF sector in mind, said Mr Cooper.

“The new platform will more closely integrate banking and wealth. This will include single sign-on, mobile access, and increased straight-through processing,” he said.

“In turn, it will open up the platform to a wider investor base, part SMSFs, and allow us to compete strongly with other market offerings,” said Mr Cooper.

With the SMSF market estimated to control around $500 billion in assets, BT sees the sector as a “significant opportunity”, he said.

“The new platform will also be configured to allow controlled access to other stakeholders, including accountants, planners, lawyers, all of who can be approved to access elements of the platform to better support our investors – who in turn also could be their customers,” said Mr Cooper.

While the current BT platform is “efficient by industry standards”, the firm is “still not yet tapping the benefits that new technologies can bring”, he said.

“With the new system we will further remove manual transactions, reduce the number of registries, and materially enhance functionality and simplicity,” said Mr Cooper.

“BT Wrap, for example, was built 13 years ago – so moving to a modern technology architecture will reduce much of the duplication and complexity built up over those years,” he said.

“The new platform will also be far more flexible, allowing us to better respond to customer needs and potential future changes to regulation,” said Mr Cooper.

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