Risk adviser sentiment improves

Risk advisers will enter 2014 feeling more positive than they have for two years, according to the Zurich Risk Adviser Sentiment Index.

Research conducted by Beaton Research and Consulting on behalf of Zurich Australia found advisers felt more optimistic in four out of five areas driving the index.

Compared to December 2012, advisers are currently feeling considerably more optimistic about the long-term viability of their practices, with almost 95 per cent of respondents indicating positive sentiment about the future.

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Other areas which saw improvement in sentiment are current and immediate future sales volumes, and overall consumer demand for life insurance advice.

However, nearly half of the respondents felt negative about the current regulatory environment.

General manager retail for Zurich's Life and Investments business Philip Kewin said 2013 would be seen as a year of fatigue — the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reform fatigue, election fatigue and interest rate fatigue.

"Whilst the bedding down of FOFA and other regulatory issues is still causing angst for some, I think there is a strong sense that the new Government will bring with it a degree of stability and certainty for our industry, which is reflected in more than 90 per cent of advisers feeling positive about the viability of their business over the longer term," Kewin said.

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