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Aviva: low interest rates are ‘biggest opportunity’ for advisers

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  • 15/05/2013
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Aviva: low interest rates are ‘biggest opportunity’ for advisers
In what now seems to be a positive climate for financial advisers, almost half see low interest rates as their biggest opportunity, according to the latest Aviva barometer.

The latest research, which questioned 982 advisers, found that almost half (44%) saw interest rates as the main opportunity, with smaller firms in particular looking to carry out additional reviews to help their clients retain their wealth.

Another opportunity for more than a quarter (28%) is the growth in workplace savings due to auto-enrolment.

Other perceived opportunities include the growth of the at-retirement market, and reduced competition following the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) as advisers leave the market and orphan their clients.

Similarly, four months after the implementation of the RDR, advisers are optimistic about the future, with 90% of those surveyed still intending to remain trading at the end of 2013.

However, there are ongoing concerns, and these are growing. Over half of advisers (52%) say they are worried about profitability compared with 47% a year ago.

Other concerns relate to costs and income. Paying for regulatory fees and professional indemnity costs worry 44% and 42% respectively, while new rules on legacy commission are a concern for 36%.

Another potential area of worry is meeting new capital adequacy requirements.

While 59% of advisers already meet the rules and 20% have plans in place to meet the requirements within the timescale set by the regulator, 7% so far have no plans in place to meet them and 1% believe they will not be able to meet the requirements within the timescale.

Some 13% say they do not know what the requirements are.

Intermediary director at Aviva, Andy Beswick, said: “Advisers are increasingly worried about the economic environment, which is not surprising considering recent news, such as the IMF downgrading the UK’s growth prospects.

“However, they are also looking at how to best support their clients with advice on how to handle this environment. Advisers told us that the current low interest rates increase the need for financial reviews. Also, post RDR more people will be in need of independent financial advice.”

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