The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been contacted by 41 adviser firms since March regarding fear of firm financial difficulty, a freedom of information request submitted by Professional Adviser has revealed.

Between March and July, 27 adviser firms reached out to the regulator on an individual basis to notify the FCA they felt they were falling into financial difficulty.

May proved to be the trickiest month, with 14 firms reaching out individually, while July was the smoothest, with just one firm contacting the FCA.

In March and April three firms contacted the FCA about financial difficulties each month, and in June six firms got in touch with the regulator.

At the start of the government-imposed lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the FCA put out a notice that said firms should contact the regulator if they were concerned about their finances, such as not being able to meet capital requirements or repay debts.

Elsewhere, a further 14 adviser firms told they regulator they were in financial difficulty in response to the FCA’s coronavirus financial resilience survey, which was issued in early June.

More generally 170 FCA-regulated firms have been in touch with the FCA to say they were facing financial hardship.

Some 13,000 regulated firms from 15 portfolios, including advisers and wealth managers, were issued with the FCA’s ‘financial resilience’ survey in June.

The survey was mandatory and contained 10 questions about the financial resilience of firms, including questions on government schemes, loans and the furlough scheme.

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