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Retail distribution reform fails to affect client base

The research firm’s Adviser Fees and Business Models report showed that most advisers have actually seen their client base increase in the past year, with two-thirds expecting to welcome more numbers through the door.

The data showed that the average financial adviser in the UK now has 240 clients, a slight increase on 228 clients in 2013.

While there was concern that the RDR would cause clients to refuse to pay up-front (or pay hourly fees or just not employ an adviser), 66 per cent of firms actually said they expect to take on more work in the next year, with 24 per cent expecting their client base to increase by more than 10 per cent.

Three quarters said they expected their client numbers to rise over the next three years, with almost half, 4 per cent, anticipating that their client base would grow by more than 10 per cent.

The research predicted that the increased Isa allowance and pension reforms, such as the removal of the need to take an annuity, had led to more people seeking advice.

It said: “One of the concerns RDR stirred up was the anticipated loss in client numbers. This was because of having to explain to clients the new ‘costs’ for advice services, charges that were to be billed to them directly.

“By shifting the cost burden on to clients, many feared that client numbers would fall as a result.

“CoreData survey results show that average client numbers per adviser have actually increased over 2013 to this year, and advisers expect client numbers to continue to grow over the next five years.”