Clients unsatisfied with adviser technical skills

The financial services regulatory environment is affecting attitudes towards financial advisers, including their perceived technical ability, according to a Lifeplan client feedback index.

The Lifeplan ICFS Financial Advice Satisfaction Index indicates financial advisers’ clients have become “significantly” less happy with the technical ability of their adviser over the last six months.

Since the previous survey in October 2012, perceptions of financial advisers’ technical ability have decreased by four per cent, according to Lifeplan.

A likely reason for the decline in perceived technical ability is the ongoing regulatory change affecting the financial planning sector, said Matt Walsh, head of Lifeplan.

“Clients have been exposed to the significant changes taking place in financial planning, such as the impact of FOFA requirements including fee for service, which can easily be misinterpreted as critical of financial planners.

Walsh added clients could still be “unfairly” blaming their adviser because they have missed out on recent market gains.

However, performance is up 11.6 per cent and trust and reliability increased by five per cent. Lifeplan stated the perceptions of performance helped pull the overall index up by 3.1 per cent.

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