The cost of professional indemnity insurance (PII) premiums for financial adviser firms increased by 17% in 2019, according to the latest FCA figures.
Its data shows that the total spent increased from £94.4m in 2018 to £110.3m, with the average PII premium paid per advice firm reaching 2.3% of their average revenue, up from 2% in 2018.
Additionally, the smallest firms are paying a higher proportion of their revenue; 2.3% for mortgage brokers, 4.4% for financial advisers and 5.5% for insurance intermediaries.
The ‘£101 to £500k’ band increased from 2.2% in 2018 to 2.8% in 2019. Whilst this represents an increase of 27%, the FCA says "this does not represent a significant change in the burden it places on firms".
These increases are likely to reflect the changes in the Financial Ombudsman Service’s award limit, which increased from £150,000 to £350,000 in April 2019.
Elsewhere, the data shows that revenue earned by intermediary firms increased in 2019 compared to 2018. Revenue earned by mortgage, retail investment and non-investment insurance firms increased by 8.5%, 0.7% and 1% respectively in 2019. However, these are smaller increases than in previous years.
Total reported revenue earned from the mediation of regulated mortgages was £1.28bn in 2019, up 8.5% from £1.18bn in 2018. This includes £88m earned from second charge mortgage business - a 31% increase on 2018 (£67m).
Commission continues to be the main source of revenue for mortgage mediation, accounting for 77% of revenue earned in 2019, but down from 79% in 2018.
94% of financial adviser firms reported making a profit in 2019 with total pre-tax profits down to £808m from £872m in 2018.
Average pre-tax profits fell across all firm sizes, except firms with one adviser which made an average total revenue of £208,000 in 2019, up just over 1% from £205,000 in 2018.
Revenue and profit declined the most for those firms with over 50 advisers when compared with 2018.