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Brokers debated regulatory fees and falling adviser numbers in April – Cherry

  • 23/05/2024
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Brokers debated regulatory fees and falling adviser numbers in April – Cherry
The topics of fees and levies paid to the regulator and the number of advisers in the sector were among the most discussed on the Cherry forum in April.

A debate on the forum was sparked by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposing to increase fees paid to the regulator by advisers by 9.2%.

Advisers discussed their concerns around the lack of transparency in how the regulator spends money raised from intermediaries, and it was suggested that the FCA finds ways to operate more cost-effectively. 

Some participants questioned the justification for the increase. 

Advisers also spoke about the prediction there would be fewer advisers in the sector next year and beyond. 

The discussion turned to whether artificial intelligence (AI) would take over part of the advice process and lead to this, while others pointed to the ageing demographic of advisers as well as the need to attract younger professionals to the sector. 

Conversely, one broker believed there was no need to worry, as they said they had heard similar predictions “for decades”, but the broker market share continued to grow as the value of advice became more apparent. 

Donna Hopton, director at Cherry, said: “The Cherry forum is a trusted area for brokers to discuss their concerns with peers, so it’s unsurprising that an emotive topic like regulator fees provoked such a response. While advisers recognise the importance of regulation, it’s understandable that they want to feel their fees are being used properly, and currently this seems to be in doubt. 

“Many intermediaries are also keenly aware of the challenges the advice industry faces in the years ahead, particularly in dealing with new technology and bringing in younger advisers. Nobody understands the importance of proper advice better than brokers, but there are concerns that it will become more difficult to reach a wide proportion of consumers in the future.” 

She added: “Cherry allows advisers to be heard, and we are heartened to see so many new users coming onboard.”

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