Regulator reveals 5% rise in financial adviser numbers

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The number of financial advisers has increased by 5 per cent over the past year to 22,557.

Figures from the FCA show this compares with 21,496 independent and restricted advisers operating in the market in October 2014.

The number of advisers relates to 4,504 financial advice firms.

The number of advisers at banks and building societies has also increased over the past year, reversing a steep decline since the RDR.

There are currently 3,672 advisers at banks and building societies, up by 15 per cent from 3,182 last October.

The number of bank and building society advisers fell by 11 per cent last year, on top of a 23 per cent fall between July 2013 and January 2014.

And there are 1,944 advisers at discretionary investment managers, up by 14 per cent from 1,698 a year ago.

The total number of individual retail financial investment advisers has fallen slightly, however, from 31,153 last year to 30,600. The total also includes stock brokers.

The figures are based on returns submitted to the FCA by firms and are dependent on firms updating the information.

The FCA says it plans to consult on bringing this data request within the retail mediation activities return, which it says will reduce the potential for any “weaknesses” in the data.