Advice market turnover passes £3bn mark


Turnover in the advice sector increased 6.5 per cent in 2016 according to Apfa data.

Revenue generated on regulated retail investment business by financial advisers rose from £2.75bn in 2015 to just over £3bn last year.

An increase in fee income from £1.8bn to £2.2bn offset a £58m drop in net commission.

Average revenue per firm, per year, rose from £522,758 to £562,664.

The average adviser brought in £115,290 in revenue in 2015, increasing to £121,481 in 2016.

Pre-tax profits in the sector were down 6.7 per cent, but still topped £779m. The average adviser takes a 17 per cent profit margin on revenue.

Apfa director general Chris Hannant says: “The margins in the sector remain thin. Looking forward, Apfa remains concerned about access to advice with the growing need people have for help. While we welcomed the aims of the Financial Advice Market Review, we believe that its recommendations fell short of the radical reform that the regulatory and policy environment requires.”

The figures do suggest that more advisers are holding back profits, as retained profits in the sector doubled from £61m to £127m.

There were a total of 14,054 advice firms in the market as at December 2016, slightly lower than the 14,491 in December 2015.

However, the number of staff advising within those firms increased to 24,761 from 23,864.

39 per cent are directly authorised and 61 per cent are appointed representatives.

The proportion of advised sales compared to non-advised crept up in 2015/16, Apfa says, from around 52 per cent to around 56 per cent.

According to data cited from consultancy NMG by Apfa, the total number of clients that advice firms have on their books post-RDR has fallen from 213 in the first quarter of 2014 to 166 in the final quarter of 2016 in the latest figures.