Advisers see clients question fees amid inflation pressure

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Advisers see clients question fees amid inflation pressure

“We are looking to support the industry by providing insights and an independent view on issues driving compensation costs,” it said. 

“We also now publish our first forecast for the following financial year levy in November to help firms prepare, and currently we expect the 2023/24 levy to be around 20 per cent lower than this year.”

Most adviser comments focused on the uncertainty of future costs, which often have to be passed onto clients with increased fees.  

One comment, which Panacea said was typical of the majority, stated: “Stress and sleepless nights from [a] governing body who just wants to kick us in these difficult times. I honestly couldn’t remember the last time the FCA helped advisers.”

“Ridiculously high cost is threatening my business,” one said. “If the FCA did its job correctly the payments from the FSCS would be dramatically reduced saving firms a small fortune”.

Another said: “It does not help having to carry a greater reserve and it causes sleepless nights due to the randomness of a very high potential hit against the firm which is unpredictable. 

“It means that we have to spend more on IT and compliance to try and mitigate.”

Box-ticking exercise

Elsewhere in the survey, 96 per cent of advisers said their firm pays all its regulatory fees on time, with only 1 per cent saying they did not.

Some of those that said they did not pay on time commented that they have had to take loans to cover the fees. 

Advisers also said they believe that the FCA fee consultations are a box ticking exercise (79 per cent), with no advisers believing it to be a genuine exercise. 

Panacea Advisers said this is “very worrying”, with not one single respondent thinking consultations were a genuine attempt at seeking out opinions and views that would be listened to.

 As a small DA firm we try to keep our own morale up, but external factors outside of our control impact upon it. Anonymous adviser

One adviser said: “Whilst it would be nice to think we complete these things on a regular basis for a purpose because of the way we keep our accounts and deal with our income, the results the FCA get from us are almost meaningless unless they look over an entire year which I am fairly certain they do not”. 

Another adviser said: “For most FCA consultations they have already made up their minds before consultation even takes place”.

Speaking to FTAdviser, an FCA spokesperson said: “We take all feedback we receive into account, for example the annual survey undertaken by our practitioner panels. We recognise that to meet our objectives we impose a burden on firms.