IFAs questioned by PIMS for its latest annual survey on the state of the industry have put cost controls top of the agenda for this year - ahead even of profitability
The result comes as practitioners look to ensure their futures in the face of new regulatory and market demands.
Despite the changes, most of the 69 panelists who answered, out of the 286 approached, feel confident they will be able to grow their businesses in the next year or two.
Nearly a third of respondents say the value of their businesses has gone up in the past year, compared with fewer than one-in-seven who felt he same this time last year.
Respondents are almost evenly split over whether fees will take over from commission, and are generally cautious about the hedge fund and equity release sectors.
However, there is wide agreement on the sorts of improvements IFAs would like to see take place involving providers, with just 5% of those surveyed stating providers maintained the proper level of contact with clients when it comes to developing new products.
Fully a third of respondents feel providers are out of touch with clients’ needs.
Most feel the so-called pensions savings gap will be closed by government action – including longer working lives, forced savings and tax incentives – however it does not necessarily follow that insurance companies are best placed to provide pensions.
Two-thirds of those questioned say insurers would not be the best pension providers post pension simplification.
Another longer-term issue is wraps, with a clear majority expecting to use wraps for a “high proportion” of their business in future, and nearly four-in-10 expecting more than 50% of their business will be done this way within three years.IFAonline
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