Aviva’s June ‘Hot Issues Tracker’

Aviva quarterly intermediary ‘Hot Issues Tracker’ – research findings:

Today Aviva releases the findings of its first ‘Hot Issues Tracker’, a quarterly survey that identifies the issues and concerns of the UK’s financial advisers.  Aviva asked IFAs about their ‘hot issues’ under the new coalition Government, and the findings highlighted that changes to regulation and tax are their top concerns.

Regulation

  • Over a quarter (28%) of IFAs chose regulation as an area that they would most like support on from the new coalition Government.
  • While intermediaries want support in this area, 25% believe there will be increasing regulatory issues to deal with over the next 12 months and 18% predict it will be harder to operate as a small business due to cost / administrative increases.

Tax

  • The new Government will be making changes to tax rules (58%) and closing tax loopholes (37%), according to IFAs.
  • Advisers believe tax changes will have the biggest impact on their customer base with:

Ø       65% believing they will need to provide advice on increased taxation

Ø       52% predicting changes to pension rules

Ø       28% feeling changes to tax loopholes would consume their time

Ø       13% predicting an increase in the inheritance tax threshold.

 

Retail Distribution Review (RDR)

  • 85% of IFAs believe consumer access to financial advice will be substantially reduced after 2012.
  • 58% of IFAs say they would be interested in offering a streamlined advice service alongside their existing advisory offering.

 

Other findings

  • Three quarters (75%) of intermediaries believe that dealing with the UK’s deficit as quickly as possible should be the most important issue on the Government’s agenda.
  • IFAs would also like to see support for small businesses (9%) and tackling unemployment (6%).
  • Intermediaries with 6 – 10 years of experience (perhaps with ambitions to start their own firm) are most likely to believe that the Government should be supporting small businesses.
  • Nearly one third of sole trader IFAs (28%) fear that the coalition Government will make it harder for them to operate as a small business as cost / administration increases affect their bottom line.
  • This worry is also shared by those in the healthcare (28%) and general insurance (28%) sectors.
  • However, 19% don’t believe that the new Government will affect the intermediary sector over the next 12 months.  Older intermediaries (65+) are least likely to believe they will see a difference over the next year (53%).
  • General insurance intermediaries are least likely to believe that the coalition government will affect the IFA business sector.  Those who advise on employee benefits are most likely to believe that a coalition government will affect this business sector.

Simon Badley, director of intermediary at Aviva, comments:

“Regulation and tax are top of mind for most of the UK’s intermediaries and who can blame them?  With a new coalition Government and a deficit to combat, there are going to be significant changes to the regulatory architecture, as well as the cuts and changes announced in yesterday’s budget to contend with. These are likely to have a significant impact on how consumers manage their financial affairs.

“We know consumers are watching the news with interest – knowing that any changes will affect the spare cash they have to spend, save and invest. For many, the changes announced in the Budget are likely to act as a catalyst, prompting them to review their financial affairs and seek advice.  Financial services providers and advisers are well placed to help consumers as they review their financial situation.

“At Aviva, we’re working hard to provide advisers with tools, support and help with qualifications so they can continue to provide their clients with up-to-date advice in these times of change.  Our ‘Hot Issues Tracker’ helps us understand the concerns of the UK’s IFAs and focus on providing them with support where they need it most.”

Aviva press office:

Jess Geoghegan – 01904 684128 / 07800 695673 / jess.geoghegan@aviva.co.uk

The Wriglesworth Consultancy:

Katie De Pelet / Lee Blackwell / Emma Beresford – 0207 427 1400.

Methodology:

  • Main body of research is based on a survey of 228 financial advisers between 4 and 10 June by YouGov.
  • RDR research is based on survey of 102 financial advisers between May and June by Aviva.
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