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Advisers 'tremendously upbeat' about year ahead

Advisers 'tremendously upbeat' about year ahead

The majority of advisers expect their client numbers to increase and their income to go up in the coming year amid an anticipated "spending boom".

According to a survey carried out by Quilter Financial Planning, 63 per cent of advisers believe they will have an influx of new fee paying clients, while 23 per cent believe that their client numbers will stay the same.

Accordingly, almost 80 per cent of advisers expect their level of net assets under management to increase over the next 12 months and 62 per cent expect their gross turnover to increase.

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About 5 per cent of respondents expect turnover to decrease ‘significantly’.

This latest survey is in line with Intelliflo research, which earlier this year found 48 per cent of advice firm employees reported an increase in the number of clients as one of the biggest changes they have observed in the past 12 months.

A third (38 per cent) of these advisers said the adoption of technology, such as video meeting platforms, allowed them to expand geographically and reach clients who lived further away.

Gemma Harle, managing director Quilter Financial Planning, said: “After a difficult year and a half the outlook is looking much brighter for the UK and the economy, so it's pleasing to see this now being reflected in advisers’ predictions for the future.

“Although the threat of variants still looms, the successful vaccine programme has revealed a future we had not dared to dream about just a few months ago.”

She added: “With many new and current clients sitting on significant lockdown savings, or potentially experiencing significant life changes due to redundancy or career change, there is a growing demand for advice to help ensure they make the right financial decisions at the right times.”

Quilter found that most advisers remained fairly confident that the outlook for the UK economy over the next year would encourage clients to seek financial advice and to make investments.

However, they were split on whether it would encourage clients to borrow money.

Still, the positive view on the UK economy was echoed among many advisers.

Thameside Financial Planning director Tom Kean told FTAdviser that he was also staying upbeat.

“Not only is the vaccine roll-out going better than anyone imagined, we have a relatively positive Brexit climate to work with that isn’t quite as doomsday as some had feared,” he said. 

“There is a palpable sense of relief and happiness at the moment - given all the bad news for the last 12 months or so - not to mention hordes of cash that needs looking after properly, that it seems improbable that anyone would see anything other than a positive year ahead. 

“The only setback is another setback in the virus; and inflation, but that is good for debt of course, so I’m tremendously upbeat at the moment, especially for the UK.”

Unique Financial Planning managing director Philip Martin also agreed with the general conclusions of the research.