The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) has "intensified the competitive environment", according to wealth manager Brewin Dolphin, as it announces profit before tax for the year to September was 4% down on the previous year.
Pre-tax profits were £28.6m, down from £29.9m for the year ended September 2012, which Brewin attributed to "significant restructuring costs" and provisions for onerous contracts - where the costs involved with fulfilling the terms and conditions of the contract are higher than the amount of economic benefit received.
It was also impacted by a £1.1m additional Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levy.
Brewin views personal financial services as a growth market with good long term prospects and increasing demand as society becomes more self-reliant in areas such as retirement provision and long term care as well as savings in general.
In addition the policy responses to the 2008 downturn have benefited those invested in risk assets such as equities and property and this has helped to create a higher number of investors, it said.
Total managed and advised funds with Brewin were £28.2bn for the period, up by 8.9% from a year ago.
Discretionary funds grew by £3.1bn in the year, a 17% increase, as a result of continuing good net inflows of £1.1bn and higher market levels, the wealth manager said.
Discretionary funds now make up 76% of total managed and advised funds at Brewin, which the firm said represents good progress towards its target of 80% by 2016.
Total income grew by 9% to £283.7m, up from £260.4m last year, of which £11.7m came from financial planning, an increase of 26%.
Fees grew by 25% to £150m, which Brewin said was as a result of the growth in discretionary services.
During 2014 Brewin said it will introduce an enhanced investment process, aimed at improving the client experience around a consistent structure which will be supported by new technology to underpin the change.
Brewin chief executive David Nicol said: "Our priorities are clear. They are to reinforce our high standard of service to clients and ensure an improved return to shareholders.
"Discretionary Investment Management is currently the core of our business model and our mission is to provide a compelling and consistent offering, relevant to all our clients.
"Over the past decade we have evolved from a stockbroker into a private client investment manager. Our evolution must continue as we strive to become the leading provider of personal discretionary wealth management in the UK."
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