Adviser revenue fell in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the UK, new data from the Financial Conduct Authority has shown.
The FCA’s Retail Mediation Activities Return (RMAR) showed that reported adviser revenue fell by 1% to £4.4 billion last year – the first time it has fallen since 2016.
Meanwhile, the share of retail investment revenue accounted for by commission continued to fall, down from 16% in 2019 to 14% in 2020.
The watchdog said the reported number of retail investment adviser roles across all firms also fell slightly to 36,377 from 36,401 in 2019.
However, in contrast, the total number of advised clients grew to 3.54 million last year from 3.34 million the previous year.
Commenting on the increase in client numbers, Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “This is despite the fact that the pandemic made it difficult to meet and advisers new business efforts had to be rethought. This is a great endorsement of both the industry and the value of financial advice which will have helped many navigate what turned out to be a very turbulent year.”