Few advisers have lost clients as a result of changes to how they are paid, according to a survey suggesting a happier intermediary sector than this time a year ago.
Less than 10% of advisers said they had lost clients in the process of transitioning to a fee-based remuneration model, which equated to less than 15% of their client base, according to the results of a poll of more than 200 advisers by Fidelity Worldwide Investment and FundsNetwork.
Moreover, 35% of advisers said that the move to fees had no impact on their clients, who were happy to switch, while even among the quarter of advisers who stated their clients were happier with the original commission arrangement, the customers still agreed to move across.
Changes to the way advisers are paid for their services were introduced on 31 December 2012 following the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).
Two thirds of advisers are optimistic about their prospects over the next 12 months, with only 10% expecting business to decline. This is in stark contrast to a pre-RDR survey from Fidelity, which suggested more than 40% of advisers believed the RDR would impact them negatively.
Jon Everill, head of advisory services at FundsNetwork, said: "It's encouraging to see such positivity in the market, especially following such negativity in the run up to the RDR. I'm convinced that consumers will begin to feel more confident as the effects of professionalism and the more positive markets continue to influence their sentiment."
However, advisers believe the benefits of RDR are yet to materialise in the minds of consumers.
The survey suggested that just 37% of advisers believe that consumers will have access to better quality advice, 60% of advisers feel that their clients still do not understand the RDR or why changes have been made, and more than three quarters of advisers feel there has been no change in terms of their clients' confidence towards the financial services industry.
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