The number of mortgage advice firms fell by nearly 10 per cent last year, according to FSA figures.
In December 2010, there were 4,364 firms whose primary business was giving mortgage advice but this fell to 3,937 by December 2011.
The number peaked at 8,509 in December 2007, 53.7 per cent higher than in December last year.
The number of directly authorised mortgage firms fell by 12.4 per cent from 1,726 in December 2010 to 1,512 in 2011 while the number of appointed representative firms fell by 8 per cent from 2,628 to 2,425.
The number of firms that provide financial advice as their main regulated activity fell by 0.4 per cent over the same period, from 13,791 to 13,732. Since its peak in September 2009, the number of financial advice firms in operation has fallen by 7.4 per cent from 14,837.
In total, the number of DA financial advice firms rose by 1.1 per cent, from 5,084 in December 2010 to 5,142 last year and the number of AR firms fell by1.3 per cent from 8,707 to 8,590.
Coreco director Andrew Montlake says: “The market is tough. Regulatory costs, the MMR and lenders’ lack of lending all take their toll.”