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Advice provision fails cost-benefit analysis: MetLife

The costs of providing advice outweighs the return, according to two-thirds of advisers who took part in a recent MetLife study.

In addition, 52 per cent of the 101 financial advisers who took part in the online survey warned that regulatory barriers and the risk of providing advice are the main reasons preventing them helping mass market savers.

Meanwhile, a poll involving 1,027 consumers found that one in three savers believe the cost of advice is too high, and 31 per cent believe they do not need advice.

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This applies to older and younger savers with 50 per cent of over-65s believing they do not need advice and 28 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 saying they do not know how to access advice.

MetLife said that reforms of the FSCS levy for advisers and streamlining the Fos would help reduce costs for advisers, also recommending reasonable and proportionate time limits on Fos claims.

Dominic Grinstead, managing director at MetLife UK, said: “The lighter touch model would be equally robust in terms of ensuring that the best possible outcomes are achieved for customers, but crucially it would be designed to be appropriate for the needs that the mass market are more likely to face.

“Consumers have varying needs and for those with less sophisticated investment needs, a simpler advice model may be more appropriate. This in turn, would benefit from a proportional, lighter touch regulatory framework, which would reduce costs and make advice more easily accessible.

Adviser view

Commenting on the sentiment that the cost of providing advice outweighed the return, Lee Clarkson, managing director at Spires Independent based in Staffordshire, said: “It depends on the level of assets you are advising on. I did struggle when the RDR came into force in the brave new world of fixed fees.”