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FCA reports increase in advice firm numbers

The number of financial advice firms in the UK has continued to creep upwards, latest FCA data shows.

Figures drawn from regulatory returns show 5,270 financial advice firms had at least one staff member advising on retail investments, with a total of 25,951 advisers recorded as at the end of November 2017.

As of December 2016, there were 5,218 advice firms in the market, and 25,611 advisers.

Investment managers also took on more advisers in 2017, swelling their ranks from 1,980  to 2,054.

The number of advisers at banks and building societies continued to decrease, however, from 3,525 to 3,374. 34 banks had at least one adviser as at the end of November last year, compared to 38 the December before.

The FCA notes that the 2017 numbers may nudge higher as some firms had yet to report when the data was collected in November.

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Similar data compiled by former adviser trade body Apfa showed that while adviser numbers did drop in the run up to the RDR, numbers have began to rebound.


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. And how many of the current crop of advisers are (FCA-assisted) phoenixers?

  2. Christopher Petrie 27th January 2018 at 8:54 am

    I recall in the run up to RDR, often commenting that “RDR was the friend of the IFA and the enemy of the banks”.

    This seems to have been exactly the case. I really never understood the logic of those who were against RDR or who claimed it would hurt IFAs. it weeded out some sharp practice and exposed the banks for what they always were.

  3. Nicholas Pleasure 29th January 2018 at 9:54 am

    Before the FCA gets too excited at it’s roaring success, we are talking about 52 extra firms across the entire UK.

    Also, although there are 52 extra firms, there are actually 660 fewer advisers at financial adviser firms.

    Therefore, I suspect that what we are seeing is firms leaving networks and becoming DA. A natural response to the heavy compliance requirements needed at networks who diamond encrust the FCAs gold-plated regulations, because the networks know that the FCA will concentrate on them (they have money) whilst turning a blind eye to the UCIS selling rogue small firm, which is costing us all a fortune.

  4. There should be some form of triage so all new firms and any AR’s going DA have to subscribe to a compliance service, have certain types, i.e. high risk UCIS, churning (sorry pension switches), checked and be reported back to FCA.

    There will be alot of firms going DA because they have used the network to learn good systems but there will be many that are leaving because they cant stand the heat.

  5. […] of all, most IFAs and financial planners are small businesses. This means you tend to have limited money and numbers of staff to engage in marketing programmes. […]

  6. […] to research by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), there were 5,270 financial advice firms and 25,951 financial advisers in the UK as at the […]

  7. […] Phil and other marketing experts have argued, with close to 26,000 financial advisers offering their services across the UK, you’re probably going to need to differentiate yourself to […]

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