Monday, July 24, 2023
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Fears that Consumer Duty will push up fees

Nearly one in three financial advisers expect client fees to rise as a result of the FCA’s new Consumer Duty – with more directly-authorised Financial Planners concerned than network members.

The predictions are highlighted in new research by platform and wealth manager Quilter, from data gathered by personal finance consultancy Boring Money. 

The research revealed that 38% of directly-authorised Financial Planners are concerned they will need to increase their fees due to the Consumer Duty, compared to 22% of Planners who are part of a network.

It also showed that while more than half of advisers expect their fees to remain the same, just 9% expect fees to decrease as a result of Consumer Duty.

The research suggests that many advisers feel they have no choice but to increase fees to maintain profitability as 44% believed profitability could decline as a result of the Consumer Duty, while only 5% said that profitability of their firms would increase.

The FCA’s Consumer Duty will come into force on 31 July. It has prompted advice firms to review their fee models to ensure they represent fair value.

As part of the changes firms are expected to understand and clearly define their target markets to ensure fees are suitability structured for the services being offered. While for some this process will be a simple task, others will likely recognise a need for increased flexibility to meet the needs of their different customer segments.

Jenny Davidson, commercial proposition director at Quilter, said: “The implementation of the Consumer Duty has provided a useful reminder to advisers to evaluate their offerings and importantly price their services accordingly for different client segments.

“The fact that almost a third of advisers are saying that fees will likely increase may be a reflection of the costs associated with adapting to fulfil the requirements of the Duty, particularly where those costs are borne without a wider network support.”

She said many advisers were favouring a more flexible approach to fee models to tailor charges for the needs of individual clients or client segments. As a result tiered adviser charging models are growing in popularity as they allow advisers to tailor charges based on different customer segments.

• The research was conducted by Quilter in June in conjunction with Boring Money, surveying 339 Financial Planners.



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