This page provides our latest analysis of the intermediary sector based on data drawn from the Retail Mediation Activities Return (RMAR) for 2020.
Firms that provide advice on, or arrange, mortgages, insurance policies or retail investment products for consumers must send us information about their activities on the RMAR.
We use this information to help us supervise the activities of these intermediary firms and inform our other regulatory functions. We have published data from the RMAR since 2016. This analysis gives an update on firms in the retail intermediary sector based on data for 2020.
The data on this page reflects returns submitted to us by firms for periods ending within 2020. Firms have different reporting cycles, so the extent to which their data covers the coronavirus (COVID-19) affected period from March 2020 will vary from firm to firm.
In our analysis we categorise firms based on their main type of regulated business activity (eg financial advisers, insurance intermediaries, mortgage brokers). In this year’s publication we have changed the internal methodology used to categorise firms. Some firms may have changed category due to this, so care should be taken when comparing to previous years’ data at the category level.
- Compared to 2019, reported revenue earned from retail investment intermediation fell by 1% to £4.4 billion and reported revenue from mortgage broking fell by 4.2% to £1.22 billion as shown in Figures 1 and 2.
- In contrast, revenue from non-investment insurance distribution rose by 1.2% to £18.62 billion as shown in Figure 3.
- The share of retail investment revenue accounted for by commission continues to fall – down from 16% in 2019 to 14% in 2020. For non-investment insurance distribution and mortgage broking, commission remains the primary source of revenue, accounting for 84% (83% in 2019) and 78% (77% in 2019) respectively as shown in Figures 1 to 3.
- The reported number of retail investment adviser posts across all firms fell slightly to 36,377 from 36,401 in 2019. Posts at financial adviser firms accounted for 76% (27,501) of these. Within these, firms with over 50 advisers accounted for 49% of all adviser posts in 2020, up from 47% in 2019.
- For firms providing retail investment advice, those providing independent advice accounted for 61% of revenue earned from adviser charges (up from 59% in 2019) and those providing restricted advice accounted for 39%. The share of revenue from adviser charges accounted for by ongoing advice services increased to 74% from 70% in 2019 and the share accounted for by initial/one-off advice services fell to 26%. This continues a trend seen in recent years.
Trends in revenue 2016-2020
The data on this page is available under the terms of the Open Government Licence.