Advisers optimistic about COVID-19 resilience

Advisers are optimistic about the resilience of their business in light of COVID-19, according to research from Royal London.

Feedback from 96 advisers in April showed that more than two thirds (67%) said they expect to see business return to usual within three months of the “end of COVID-19”.

The mutual insurer’s research also showed that nearly four in ten (37%) expect this to take only one month, while only 10% expect this to take more than six months.

While new business demand has dipped, Royal London reported that advisers are spending more time speaking to their current clients. Six in ten advisers indicated they had seen inbound contact from clients increase by 25%, with demand for reassurance on investments, information on furlough, self-employment and payment deferrals.

The high levels of adviser confidence were also evident in research that the mutual insurer carried out with NMG before the pandemic. Responses from 426 advisers showed that while nearly half (48%) had been approached to either sell or merge their business in the last two years, just 17% were actively considering it – with the majority of smaller firms planning to stay independent.

Tenet Group operations director, Helen Ball, agreed that many advisers favoured independence, and suggested: “The findings of this research back up Tenet’s belief that the majority of advisers value their independence and the ongoing provision of independent advice for their customers.

“Being part of the Tenet network gives principals the option of a future exit, retiring from the industry in the knowledge that their clients will continue to receive quality independent advice, rather than sell them into a restricted model, with clients receiving a very different proposition.”

Royal London Intermediary distribution director, Tom Dunbar, added: “Seeing advisers keeping calm and staying resilient in the face of COVID-19 is good news for the industry. While many will face challenges in the months ahead, it’s clear that the marketplace for impartial advice remains buoyant with advisers looking for opportunities such as within the protection market.”

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