The number of bank and building society advisers continued to plummet in the second half of last year as financial advisers remained flat, the latest FCA figures reveal.
Figures released by the FCA today show the number of financial advisers rose by 1 per cent between 31 July and 10 January, from 21,684 to 21,881. This is likely to reflect more advisers achieving QCF level four during the year.
But the number of bank and building society advisers fell by 23 per cent over the same period, going from 4,604 to 3,556. This is on top of a fall of 4 per cent between the end of December to the end of July, and represents less than half the 8,658 bank and building society advisers operating as at the end of 2011.
The latest figures, as at 10 January, show the number of discretionary investment managers has stayed flat at 1,787, compared to 1,784 as at the end of July.
Over the same period the number of stockbroking firms has fallen 16 per cent from 2,267 to 1,906.
In total, the number of advisers fell from 32,690 to 31,220 between 31 July and 10 January.
FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley says: “The biggest concern pre RDR was about adviser numbers, rather than the number of people getting advice. That has now changed.
“Overall adviser numbers are certainly down from six months prior to the RDR – there has been a fall of 11 per cent since summer 2012 – but that is almost entirely accounted for by the decline in banks and building society numbers.
“Numbers in the adviser space are relatively flat. Generally, IFAs would say the RDR has been a net benefit for them.”