Demand for full service advice appears to be defying the expectations of many and rising post-Retail Distribution Review, with Unbiased.co.uk reporting a 9 per cent year-on-year increase in searches through its ‘find an adviser’ tool for ‘whole of market’ in the first four months of 2013.
Unbiased said the surge in demand was also reflected in a rise in website traffic of 12 per cent year on year. The top three areas consumers were interested in advice on were pensions, investments and tax planning, it added.
The website, which lists details of over 15,000 whole of market advisers, deals with an average of 450,000 consumer searches per year.
In 2012, advisers with an enhanced profile on the unbiased.co.uk ‘find an adviser’ search received an average of at least four leads per year, with the average annual lead value exceeding £7,400 per adviser listed with an enhanced profile, the website states.
Karen Barrett, chief executive of Unbiased.co.uk, highlighted that there has been much debate regarding the question of consumers being priced out of the market or losing interest in the advice process as a result of the recent regulatory changes.
She said: “We have worked hard to prove that advice remains just as valuable and important in 2013 as it was in years prior to that. Seeing an increase in consumer searches and website traffic is a clear sign that people are engaging with the advice process and that consumers are recognising value in the advice offered.
“Advice has never been free and the new regulatory environment has definitely created a more level playing field between bank advisers offering advice and the advisers we list on our site. We’re now seeing people actively shopping around, comparing advice offerings and costs, to find the best adviser for their circumstances and needs.
“Advisers in return are fine-tuning their propositions to appeal to the type of clients that are right for their business.”