Advisers are spending three working days a years meeting regulatory reporting requirements at a total industry cost of over £10m a year, research from Apfa suggests.
NMG Consulting has produced the figures based on an average £165 hourly adviser fee, and assuming that half the time spent on regulatory reporting could otherwise have been charged to clients.
The research shows advisers spend 24 hours each year on completing their retail mediation activities return.
Apfa says it is concerned about how much time advisers have to spend in complying with reporting requirements, given the impact of the RDR and the wider economic environment on adviser revenues.
Policy director Chris Hannant says: “Spending this much time on reporting is yet another drain on resources.
“We want to see the Financial Conduct Authority make the requirements they demand of advisers more streamlined, but we also want the purpose of the reporting to be made crystal clear.
“We support a drive towards greater transparency, but this will not be achieved by the unthinking collection or publication of more and more data with no clear aim. We need to be sure that what the FCA is asking advisers to provide is used by the FCA, especially given the time it takes to compile the information.”
The trade body is also awaiting clarification from the regulator over a change in wording in the FCA’s handbook which could mean advisers having to compile different sets of data than they first thought.
Advisers were originally told they would have to supply the FCA with the number of transactions they charged to clients as a one-off fee, but now the regulator appears to want the total monetary amount collected in one-off fees.
Hannant adds: “We are alarmed about the amendment made at the end of April, meaning a change to the data required from 1 May onwards.
“We have flagged this concern with the FCA, because if the data required is different from that needed in the run-up to May advisers cannot possibly be expected to deliver it with such short notice and little warning.”
Advisers submitting their RMAR after 30 June will have to complete new sections K and L, which requires firms to send the FCA additional information on initial and ongoing advice charges, whether advice is independent or restricted, and how advice is paid for.
The FCA plans to use this information to monitor how firms are implementing adviser charging.