An estimated 76% of SimplyBiz’s members are feeling optimistic about the future, with just 3% saying they have negative feelings about what lies ahead for their business post-pandemic.

Brokers mentioned potential challenges including professional indemnity insurance (PII) fees, administrative burdens, regulatory pressures.

The three opportunities which came up most often were building value for the future, increasing operational efficiencies and re-engaging existing clients.

Engaging new clients, utilising developing technology and intergenerational advice were also viewed as significant opportunities for advisers in the next 12 months.

Nearly all (93%) advisers will continue to offer digital engagement options to clients, alongside face-to-face meetings.

Meanwhile, 58% of respondents saw an increase in the size of their client-bank since the start of the pandemic, with just 5% reporting a decrease in size and 19% of advisers planning to exit the industry in the next three years.

More than half (55%) of respondents believe their clients will be more vulnerable than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, and 74% said they want to retain the choice to attend SimplyBiz events either face-to-face or virtually, with 55% saying they would also like the option of physical and virtual compliance visits.

Richard Ardron, marketing director of SimplyBiz, said: “The past 16 months have been tough for all of us, and it’s fantastic to see results of our survey demonstrating, once again, the resilience and ability to adapt which is so prevalent within the adviser community.

“Overall, the results revealed both that advisers were generally optimistic about the future, and that they have reason to be.

“With client banks growing, understanding of the importance of advice increasing and more channels of communication between clients and advisers now available, the future looks very positive for our sector.

“Our membership is generous enough to take the time to regularly let us know how they, and their clients, are feeling about key issues and what is most important to them.

“This insight is incredibly useful in helping us make sure we’re supporting our members when and where they need it most, and continually evolving the services we provide in order to deliver the first-class service our members deserve.”