Advisers are ‘broadly positive' about the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) compared to a year ago, according to the latest Adviser Barometer from Aviva.
More than half of advisers (55%) reported no significant change in the number of active clients they are servicing post RDR, with a further 28% seeing an increase in their active client base.
Most (52%) of these say this is largely due to new clients looking for advice for the first time, as well as taking on former clients of IFAs who have exited the market (29%).
Almost two thirds (62%) of advisers claim not to have lost any clients as a result of adviser charging, and a further 28% report only a very small loss.
This is a very different scene to six months ago when only 39% thought their client base would not be affected at all.
There have been minimal changes in the type of advice model an adviser chooses to operate - 83% have assumed an independent model and there is still a relatively small number (13%) opting to offer restricted advice.
Almost all advisers (94%) are satisfied with their choices, having no plans to change their model in the next 12 months. This figure is up from 84% in March 2013.
The research also found most of the adviser community (46%) continues to service clients with less than £50,000 investible assets.
However, when asked what they do to service their smaller clients, two in five (38%) say they tailor their service depending on their clients' needs and willingness to pay, but one in five admits to servicing clients at a loss (22%) and a similar number (22%) have not yet decided how to deal with them.
Advisers admitted they still worry about how much income they will be able to retain as profit (48%), although this concern has fallen (down from 52%, Mar'13).
Andy Beswick, intermediary director at Aviva, said: "There is a sense of emerging stability from our latest barometer findings. Advisers seem to be more optimistic about the reality of RDR compared to their predictions a year ago. Naturally some advisers have left the market, but this has presented those remaining in business with more opportunities.
"Obviously advisers still have their concerns and we've seen a shift in these over the last year, but they are still actively supporting the mass market and looking for new ways to boost revenues. Advisers are continuing to develop their propositions to customers and work on how they can advise them on a profitable basis."
Thursday 12 March
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