In September 2012, the Financial Markets Authority issued an online survey to all Authorised Financial Advisers (AFAs). The purpose of the survey was to ‘take the temperature’ of the AFA population and give AFAs an opportunity to tell us, on an anonymous basis, how the regime has impacted them 18 months on from its implementation. We also wanted to obtain some credible and quantitative data on aspects such as services offered by advisers, years in the industry, and changes to business models since the implementation of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FA Act) and adviser remuneration.
The questionnaire was not intended to be a comprehensive survey of the effectiveness of the regime. However we achieved a high response rate, with over 900 of the 2000 AFAs completing the questionnaire. Due to the volume and extent of responses, we sought the assistance of an external consultant to place an ‘independent lens’ across the responses and help distil the key messages.
We have set out below key findings from the survey, our response and how we would like to take some of these findings forward with industry. We have also included the report of our independent consultant which provides a fresh perspective on some of the themes.