Chief executive Nick Cann told delegates at the Focus Solutions RDIP briefing last week that the figure was discussed at a recent FSA working group on adviser qualifications.
He said it includes IFAs, tied and multi-tied advisers and the FSA will stick by its 2012 deadline for advisers to achieve level-four qualifications, despite calls to extend the time limit.
However, he added: “The FSA will watch what those 85,000 are doing and how well they are achieving the deadline. It will look to see whether good firms are being forced out of business closer to the deadline. That is the only reason the regulator would consider changing the deadline.
“Remember, the FSA wants to lose a few people from the industry as part of this process too.”
Highclere Financial Service partner Alan Lakey says: “A lot of people will fail the exams the first time. Will they have to stop trading until they pass their final exams? We need clarity on this issue.”