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UK sees surge in IFA new clients

A survey has found a vast majority of UK independent financial advisers (IFAs) have received new clients since the implementation of the FOFA-like Retail Distribution Review (RDR) in January.

According the survey of 223 British IFAs by financial services consumer rating website VouchedFor, 97 per cent of respondents have taken on new clients since the introduction of the new rules, which saw restrictions on conflicted remuneration and product commissions among other reforms.

Of those new clients, 40 per cent were not only new to the business but new to financial advice, the survey revealed.

A further 81 per cent of respondents said they had not lost a single client, while only 10 per cent recorded a client in business year-on-year from 2012.

VouchedFor founder Adam Price said the findings fly in the face of suggestions that DIY investing is booming in the UK at the expense of the professional advice industry, since the RDR implementation date.

“In actual fact, the IFA market is growing and the effects of fee transparency have on the whole been very positive,” he told the Financial Times.

“Providing clients with information about fees from the outset undoubtedly helps to demystify what, for many, is a very complicated market.

“With the pending bank advice service closures about to create an unprecedented influx of new clients looking for advice, savvy IFAs can use their new transparent status to attract new business.”

The survey follows a number of recent closures of UK bank retail advice offerings, with 450 job cuts announced by AXA UK and similar department closures by the NAB-owned Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks.