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Advisers working 14 hour days to meet demand

Advisers working 14 hour days to meet demand

Significant numbers of advisers are working overtime because of demand for their services, research by Prudential has found.

The research found 27 per cent of advisers are working longer hours, some more than two hours extra each day, compared with a year ago.

One in 25 advisers are working more than 70 hours each week, meaning they are working an average of a 14-hour day.

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Vince Smith-Hughes, director of specialist business support at Prudential, said: “The reason people are working longer is because of the demand for advice at the moment.

“I think we might see an expansion of the advice market. Demand is exceeding supply.

“On the basis that nature abhors a vacuum, something will come in and fill that.

“We will start to see different models coming in. It could be different models within the same firm.”

Meanwhile one in five advisers say they are working fewer hours than a year ago, with 12 per cent working less than 30 hours each week.

Paul Harrison, head of business consultancy at Prudential said advisers would only benefit from this if they were charging their clients by the hour, which many do not.

He predicted that more advisers would start charging by the hour, compared to a percentage fee, because of the issues this raises.

Mr Harrison said: “If a client is thinking about retiring or taking money out of their funds and you are charging 0.5 per cent of a fund that’s reducing, then as a business owner potentially your business income is going to reduce and you may be providing the same service every year.”

Prudential’s research found the average hourly fee for financial adviser is £157 – though this varies depending on the area of the advice, with tax planning proving particularly expensive at £167 an hour.

Mortgage advice proves to be cheapest at £143 an hour.

Martin Dodd, a financial adviser with Wolverhampton-based Midlands Investment Agency, said: "I would say I am working longer hours. Over the past 10 years we have had to work longer hours to achieve the same level of work.

"Compliance is there for all the right reasons but the complexity of delivering advice means it takes longer."

He added that he was sceptical about moving to an hourly rate because it might give clients the impressions advisers will "run the clock" and charge them more.