Advisers predict more growth in the industry

Advisers are increasingly optimistic about the future of the industry with growing numbers predicting expansion and happy to recommend financial advice as a career, new research from Prudential has revealed.

In its 2018 Adviser Barometer, the firm found more than two out of five (41%) advisers and firms expect the number of employed financial advisers across the industry to increase in the coming year, with 79% happy to recommend financial advice as a career.

The findings showed a tremendous shift from 2016 when Prudential conducted its first survey. Two years ago just 11% of advisers were predicting growth in adviser numbers, with only 44% claiming they would recommend advice as a career.

Furthermore, the number of advisers who would recommend financial advice as a career has grown by 9% since 2017, while 38% of advisers expected growth in the sector.

However, there are concerns in relation to where the new recruits are going to come from, with only 40% of advisers believing there are enough new advisers coming into the profession, compared with 48% in 2017.

Despite this, advisers claim there is plenty of work for new advisers, with 25% of those questioned claiming to work 50 hours per week, compared with just 14% last year. According to the research from Prudential, the increase in working hours is due to a combination of business growth along with compliance and regulation.

Nearly half of advisers (48%) say business growth has resulted in longer hours, while 44% blame increasing compliance requirements, and 30% said the impact of tax and regulatory changes are the cause.

Commenting, Prudential director of specialist business support Vince Smith-Hughes said: “Demand for advice is growing and that is reflected in the increasing optimism about the future from advisers and the hours they work. The numbers happy to recommend advice as a career is a great story to tell for the industry but there are concerns. Key among these concerns are around where new recruits will come from.

"However, the recent demand for advice shows a vibrant profession, with some advisers running dedicated graduate programs while others are naturally transitioning paraplanners across to advising.”

According to the barometer, 81% of advisers felt that schools and universities needed to do more to promote financial advice as a career, and more than three out of four (77%) want providers to develop their own recruitment programmes.

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