Adviser firms spend on average 24 hours each over the course of a year on RMAR reporting, according to new research from the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA).
The trade body says the figures, produced by NMG Consulting, expose the extent to which these reporting requirements placed upon advisers by the FCA are affecting their workload.
Chris Hannant, policy director at APFA, said: “Twenty-four hours roughly equates to three days’ work a year per firm. That is not an inconsequential amount of time. Based on a conservative estimate of half of adviser hours being chargeable, this equates to a total cost for the industry of over £10 million every year.
“We’re concerned about the time advisers spend complying with these requirements, especially given the impact the wider economic environment and the RDR are already having on adviser revenues. Spending this much time on reporting is yet another drain on resources.
“We’re also alarmed about an amendment made to the FCA Handbook at the end of April, meaning a change to the data required from 1 May 2013 onwards. We have flagged this concern with the FCA, because if the data required is different from that needed in the run up to May, advisers cannot possibly be expected to deliver it with such short notice and little warning.
“We want to see the FCA make the requirements they demand of advisers more streamlined, but we also want the purpose of the reporting to be made crystal clear. We support a drive towards greater transparency, but this will not be achieved by the unthinking collection or publication of more and more data with no clear aim. We need to be sure that what the FCA is asking advisers to provide is used by the FCA, especially given the time it takes to compile the information.”