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Distributors ‘cautiously optimistic’ post-RDR despite retail sales dip

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Distribution firms are reporting positive post-RDR business volumes despite data which shows a slight dip in retail sales as the industry marks 100 days of the RDR.

Early figures from financial services data firm Matrix Solutions show total retail sales through adviser platforms fell two per cent in the first two months of 2013 compared to the same period last year from £5.38bn to £5.26bn.

The drop in sales widened to 4 per cent for sales by financial advisers and wealth managers, which fell from £5.21bn to £4.99bn, while sales by advisers fell by 8 per cent from £4.18bn to £3.84bn.

Business volumes at Intrinsic are up 30 per cent in Q1 compared to the same period in 2012 while Tenet has seen an average 22 per cent increase.

These figures do not strip out mortgages and protection business. In Partnership has seen an 11 per cent rise in investments and pensions business.

Outgoing Tenet group distribution and development director Keith Richards says part of the uplift in Q1 sales figures is due to the impact of gender neuralisation which has spilled over from the end of 2012.

He says: “It is fair to say the positive start is in part due to a carry-over from 2012 and we expect business volumes to level off over the next few months. Q1 2013 feels more like Q5 2012.”

Intrinsic finance director Simon Brunt says: “Although we believe it is still too early to properly assess the impact of the RDR, we have seen extremely positive business results in Q1 which are well ahead of our expectations.”

In Partnership joint deputy chief executive Gordon McNeill says: “We are cautiously optimistic on business this year.

“Transactions are holding up but it is still too early to say whether people are seeing a decline in revenue. I expect little fallout from the advisers that have made it this far.”

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