The survey of financial advice business owners and chief executives of wealth management firms by PIMFA showed huge rises in PI premiums.
Over a quarter (26%) of firms surveyed reported their premiums had increased by over 100% in the past five years.
Some firms reported having not been able to secure cover because their premiums had increased so dramatically, forcing them to keep higher capital reserves and potentially threatening to drive them out of business in breach of the Financial Conduct Authority’s own remit to maintain competitive markets and best outcomes for consumers.
Some PIMFA members surveyed said they felt they were being penalised twice due to rising Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levy payments.
Just under half (45%) of those surveyed reported increases in their levy bill of over 100% in the last five years.
More than four-fifths (82%) of members said that FSCS costs now accounted for at least 20% of their outgoings, excluding payroll and accommodation costs.
Tim Fassam, director of Government relations and policy at PIMFA, said: “PIMFA believes that the inability of advice firms to afford and, therefore secure comprehensive Professional Indemnity Insurance represents a genuine existential threat to the industry.
“Advisers are increasingly concerned about their ability to gain comprehensive cover, which not only harms their ability to operate in future, but also represents a barrier to new entrants into the market.
“We are particularly concerned about the absence of comprehensive cover for advisers. This only feeds into concerns we have about businesses failing as a result of claims, and falling onto the FSCS as a result.
“Whilst we understand that the provision of PII is a commercial decision, it is also clear that the increase in premiums over the preceding five years has ultimately been driven by the unintended consequences of policy decisions and concerns about supervision.
“Government, regulators and industry must work together to ensure that, policy is designed in a way that is predictable and allows a healthy and diverse market to thrive. If these aims were to be achieve it should follow that PII premiums fall to more manageable levels.”
PIMFA surveyed 84 financial advice business owners and wealth management chief executives.