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Advisers blame complex regulation for long working hours

One in four advisers are working upwards of 50 hours a week and cite complex regulatory and compliance requirements as the catalyst, Prudential research shows.

The 2018 Adviser Barometer surveyed 200 financial advisers across the UK and shows just 14 per cent worked more than 50 hours a week last year.

Thirty-two per cent of respondents to last year’s survey said they were working harder to meet compliance requirements, rising to 44 per cent for 2018.

A total 30 per cent said regulatory requirements meant longer working hours, up from 26 per cent in 2017.

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Two-thirds of advisers are also spending up to 30 hours a month on non-fee earning activities, including CPD.

Prudential figures show 49 per cent of advisers class themselves as doing just the minimum amount of CPD.

Advisers did respond positively to digital technologies and robo-advice in this year’s Barometer with 56 per cent believing robo solutions will help grow their business.

Prudential director of special business support Vince Smith-Hughes says: “Obviously there are still concerns with robo, but most advisers have started to come around to the idea and that is a huge shift for the market.”

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A total 75 per cent of advisers say robo is a credible solution, up from 17 per cent two years ago.

Prudential business development manager Kirsty Anderson says: “Advisers are increasingly dealing with a wide range of other important issues in addition to the main job of providing advice. Views [on robo] are now changing rapidly as advisers recognise how to adapt and integrate technology to complement the value of bespoke advice.”

Nearly half (49 per cent) of respondents say their firm plans to offer robo solutions alongside traditional offerings within a year.

Consultancy firm AKG communications director Matt Ward says: “Robo is less of a threat and more of an opportunity and if advisers can drive costs down and service more clients, then robo really is a good thing.”

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Robos should still be careful in judging the appropriate mood of the market when developing solutions, Ward adds.

He says: “There are different fortunes for different offerings and it’s a difficult time to put new things out on the table because of costs and regulatory complexity. Propositions need to be watertight and it’s not a time for false testing. This is the time for iron cast offerings.”

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Nicholas Pleasure 15th November 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Robo is a big risk. We know that no matter how many warnings you put on your site, the customer can claim that they didn’t understand them or see them and the FOS may well agree. It’s happened before.

  2. The Regulators’ Compliance Code was a central part of the Government’s better regulation agenda. Its aim was to embed a risk-based, proportionate and targeted approach to regulatory inspection and enforcement among the regulators it applies to [including the FSA/FCA].

    The expectation of its creators was that, as regulators integrated the Code’s standards into their regulatory culture and processes, they would become more efficient and effective in their work. The idea was that they would be able to use their resources in a way that would get the most value out of the effort that they make, whilst delivering significant benefits to low risk and compliant businesses through better-focused inspection activity, increased use of advice for businesses, and lower compliance costs.

    What became of those worthy aspirations we wonder?

  3. “Regulation”

    It is the plastic bag over the head.

  4. Somebody at the FCA was recently quoted as having said that, if stacked, its rule book would be about six feet deep. How many pages is that? Rather more, I suspect, than the traditional estimate of 10,000.

    In light of FCA’s ever-ongoing issuance of yet more rules (not to mention guidance), just how many pages is it these days and how many of them are in respect of the FCA’s expectations of how regulated intermediaries are supposed to operate?

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