The official register of regulated persons and firms, which could soon remove details of the majority of advisers, received more than 70 million views in the last two years, Professional Adviser has learned.
In response to a freedom of information request, the regulator said the official register had received 70.6 million views between November 2015 and November 2017, with 61.4 million of them unique page views.
In response to a previous freedom of information request submitted by Professional Adviser, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed all CF30 certified workers, which includes all financial advisers, will no longer be "approved" under its senior manager and certification regime proposals.
This means they will no longer appear on the FCA register unless they are pre-approved as a senior manager - those who are "the most senior people in a firm with the greatest potential to cause harm or impact upon market integrity".
The watchdog noted in its proposals it had received "preliminary concerns" those performing certification functions would not appear on its register.
Former FCA technical specialist turned consultant Rory Percival previously told Professional Adviser the proposals would mean consumers had "one less step to protect themselves".
"For the person on the street receiving advice, or who maybe had concerns about their adviser, they would no longer be able to check the authorised status of that adviser," he explained. "This may widen the scope for unauthorised advisers and scammers."
Advisers take issue
Many advisers have also taken issue with the fact they and many others in their profession could be removed the register.
IFS Wealth and Pensions director Ricky Chan said: "The FCA is simply delegating its own duties to avoid potential bad press for it in future. The register is already quite useless as the average Joe cannot really understand it."
Rowley Turton IFA Scott Gallacher said the register was a useful tool for firms, as well as potential clients, to check advisers' permissions and histories.
He added: "It's an extremely backward step. At the end of the day we've had clients come to us and check the register - the company and me as an adviser.
"How would you check a person is actually authorised without ringing that company separately? I can't imagine any financial adviser will think this is a good idea."
'Greater reason' for market pullback
Can be rewarding
Former Jelf MD to join in January
Bigger impact than Lifetime ISA