Cost-cutting measures saved IFA Park Row from an operating loss that may have approached £9m in 2008, results suggest.
The distribution arm of Royal Liver Group suffered an operating loss of £5.8m last year, but it says combined branch and central costs were reduced from £11.2m in 2007 to £7.9m last year, saving £3.3m.
In its annual results to 31 December 2008, the mutual society says a marked drop in demand for financial advice contributed to the loss.
It says had turnover held up at or close to 2007 levels, the group would have been able to report a "healthy" operating profit.
Branch costs fell from £4.1m in 2007 to £2.1m in 2008, it says, while central costs fell from £7.1m to £5.8m over the same period.
"Our distribution units have been at the sharp end of the recession with clients looking for safe harbours for their investments," Steve Burnett, Royal Liver Group chief executive says.
"The demand for advice has been dramatically reduced which has resulted in losses for us in these areas."
However, despite losing a number of advisers in 2007 and 2008, the IFA says it is now embarking on an adviser recruitment drive.
Elsewhere, Royal Liver says Progress, its protection proposition, boosted its market share above 5% last year.
It says the first half of 2008 saw business volumes reach record levels, before these were pegged back as the recession took hold.
"Mutuality remains our bedrock and we are confident that our values will put us in a strong position to emerge from the downturn with renewed vigour, in a much changed market that has lost trust in financial institutions that are solely focused on shareholder returns," Burnett adds.
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