The scale of financial adviser exits from the industry - largely as a result of changes brought in following the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) - has been underlined by figures suggesting there are some 4,600 fewer advisers today than there were in October last year.
The number of regulated financial advisers has declined from 30,249 to 25,604 in the period between November 2012 and February this year, according to figures put together by research firm Matrix Solutions.
Advisers have either left the industry altogether or have stayed on in unregulated capacities, perhaps by offering what Matrix called a "zero advice" model.
The rate of exits expectedly accelerated towards the end of 2012 ahead of the imminent arrival of new rules on minimum qualifications and remuneration methods on 31 December.
Some 1,303 left in November/December, according to Matrix Solutions, while a total of 1,890 exited in December/January. A further 1,452 departed in the January/February period, it said.
Matrix said it collates its figures from data gathered over the last 20 years in financial services cross-referenced monthly against the Financial Services Authority's register.
It said it also uses a telephone research team of 15 staff as well as ad hoc data sets from trade bodies.
Matrix also collated data on the advisory firms that lost the most personnel over the period:
- Lighthouse Advisory Services - 159 advisers;
- Sesame - 155 advisers;
- Intrinsic Financial Planning - 113 advisers;
- Positive Solutions - 105 advisers;
- The Royal Bank of Scotland - 104 advisers.
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