Planning software company Midwinter received responses from 330 advisers from predominantly mid-tier and boutique licensees, and found that many held hugely unfavourable views to FOFA changes.
“Just 18 per cent expected a positive impact on their quality of advice, while 30 per cent said it would have a negative effect and half (51 per cent) expected no change,” Midwinter managing director Julian Plummer told InvestorDaily.
“So 80 per cent of all respondents within the industry don’t think FOFA is a good thing, which is shocking,” he said.
And regardless of their objections over increased compliance via opt-in and fee disclosure statement (FDS) requirements, very few advisers thought that increased compliance would actually lead to an improved public perception of the industry.
“Only 30 per cent predicted a positive impact on the reputation of planners, with 43 per cent saying [it would have] no impact and 27 per cent expecting a negative effect on the reputation of planners,” Mr Plummer said.
Mr Plummer also said he was surprised by the divergence in the comments provided with survey responses, with many extremely negative.
“The comments were extremely negative. There was no middle ground, it was either ‘this is the worst thing to happen’ or ‘this is the best thing to happen,’” Mr Plummer said.
Just two per cent of advisers expected FOFA to fully achieve its objectives. Twenty nine per cent said it would partially achieve them, 50 per cent said ‘not at all’, while nine per cent said they weren’t even sure what the objectives of the reforms were.
The other key finding from the survey was that a concerning proportion of the industry is under-prepared for FOFA changes, as previously reported by InvestorDaily.