Advisers believe the factor most likely to deter consumers from paying fees after 2012 is that they previously believed the advice element was free, according to Aviva.
The provider's latest 'Hot Issues Tracker', which surveyed 266 advisers, found 64% of respondents say this will be the main reason for an anticipated drop in business volumes from 1 January 2013.
Almost six in ten (58%) believe customers will see advice as too expensive, while 55% believe prospective clients will struggle to see the value for money provided by their adviser.
The report also suggests 38% of advisers expect a wealthier client base post-RDR, with 22% believing they will be older.
Meanwhile, when asked what clients most value from their adviser, respondents said personal relationships (83%), face-to-face contact (73%) and recommending appropriate products (59%).
Simon Badley, director of intermediary at Aviva, says: "With the numerous political and economic changes that we've seen over the last year, customers value advisers who are prepared to go the extra mile and provide sympathetic and understanding advice.
"This will become increasingly important in the run up to RDR as customers adapt to the idea of paying explicitly for the advice they receive.
"As fees become more transparent, advisers recognise the challenges they will face communicating the value of their services to clients, both new and existing."
Asked about negative perceptions of the industry among consumers, 51% listed the belief financial advice is never truly independent while 46% said it is the difficulty in distinguishing between advisers.
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