Advisers blame complex regulation for long working hours

By Hope William-Smith

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Nov 21, 2018

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.

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.”

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.”

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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John 8 months ago