Amongst the research put out by Ernst & Young last week, two figures stood out: three plus a half and 3,000.
Its review of the financial services industry is the first real attempt to quantify the impact of the RDR and it shows the advice sector is being hit harder than all but the most pessimistic predictions had estimated.
In addition to the thousands of advisers who have already left the industry, the Ernst & Young report predicts a further 3,000 advisers will leave the industry by the end of the year.
If this is in any way accurate, this is worrying indeed.
The other figure that stands out from Ernst & Young’s analysis is the general trend for firms to use a 3 per cent initial 0.5 per cent ongoing charge for their advice.
As this is a mirror image of the commission structures used by most providers before the RDR has been cited by E&Y as strong evidence that many advisers did not have a fully coherent charging structure in place by 1 January and having to complete it on the go this year.
The lack of variation between pre- and post-RDR charges is, according to E&Y, evidence that many businesses have failed to properly understand the costs of them doing business.
If its analysis is correct, a further drop in adviser numbers is likely, as changing to a fee structure that clients will accept is considerably harder without knowing what level of charges the business needs in order to remain profitable.
Hopefully, the E&Y prediction will prove to be false but time is running out for advisers to get to grips with the practicalities of the RDR.
The results of the FCA Practitioner Panel survey into attitudes towards to the regulator should come as no surprise.
If anything the fact that only 37 per cent of respondents think the FSA was ineffective suggests the survey respondents were firmly at the optimistic and forgiving end of the industry.
The problems faced by smaller firms are many. Excessive levels of regulation and increased regulatory costs are two big problems but other more practical issues, such as regulatory staff not being able to answer advisers queries, are also a source of frustration.
The FCA has made the right noises in its response to the survey, but it needs to back its words with action and prove it can make it easier for financial advisers to run their businesses.