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FSA stats show large drop in adviser numbers
by Annabelle Williams on Feb 14, 2013 at 14:55
The number of advisers has fallen by 11.5% since summer 2011, according to the data from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
A further 2,000 advisers said they were planning to quit the market as of summer 2012 and almost 2,000 more were uncertain about their future.
Many within the industry had expected the number of retail investment advisers (RIAs) to fall with the implementation of the retail distribution review (RDR), as advisers retire or quit the market rather than meet the regulator’s demands, but few tried to pin a figure on the drop.
The FSA’s latest “adviser readiness” report shows the number of RIAs fell to 35,899 last summer from the same time in 2011.
The figures will do little to assuage fears that ordinary retail customers will have restricted access to financial advice now the RDR is in force. Many banks have raised the threshold at which they are willing to provide advice, and others have made large numbers of advisers redundant as they look to exit the retail advice market entirely.
Of the 35,899 retail advisers in the market, 58% were working for independent financial advice companies, while a further 19% were part of banks or building societies.
However, those that said they would stay in the retail advice market were appropriately qualified, with 93% holding the right documents.
The FSA said a more detailed report would be published soon.
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