The Personal Finance Society survey asked members to identify the greatest challenges they face to profitability this year.
The key challenges named were:
• Nearly half were concerned about fewer new clients “knocking on their virtual doors”
• Rising regulatory cost and the impact of a hardening Professional Indemnity Insurance market
• Updating IT processes to cope with the ‘new normal’
The survey of 70 PFS members was carried out in November and highlighted the biggest worry as a potential decline in new clients finding advisers and planners online. Many advisers fear that with remote working now the norm for many finding new business will be harder as client referrals become more difficult.
Adapting to greater remote working was also identified as the “second biggest operational challenge” facing financial advisers in 2021.
Just one in five advisers cited fraud risk as the greatest challenge they faced this year.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “Financial advisers have had to adapt to the new normal created by measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 at lightning speed.
“The pace of change shows no sign of slowing down in 2021 and will bring new business risks but also many opportunities to continue to rethink old ways of working, drive greater efficiencies and develop new methods of engaging with clients.
“The Personal Finance Society will continue to support members with the sharing of practitioner ‘good practice’ of ways to continue to safely deliver their vital services to the public in the year ahead.”