OpinionAug 15 2013

Was the RDR bank advice exodus overstated?

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Well, away from banking sector the figures showed the number of individuals with an SPS working at specialist financial advice firms has grown by more than 1,200 from 20,453 at the end of December to 21,684. This is made up of 21,258 fully qualified advisers and 426 partly qualified.

We’ve been saying for a while that the evidence shows specialist financial advisers could be in demand post-RDR - and we’ve not been alone. Perhaps these figures show the word is out that the death of advice has, as it has been a number of times in the past, greatly exaggerated.

The number of advisers within stockbroking firms has grown from 2,043 to 2,267, while the number of discretionary investment managers has also grown from 1,435 to 1,784 at the end of July. In the nebulous ‘other’ category, the FCA said there was a slight drop from 2,269 advisers to 2,221.

At the end of 2012 the FCA had issued 122 RDR qualification waivers and it has only issued a further seven waivers in 2013, taking the total figure to 129.

According to Financial Services Authority rules, firms have to show evidence of “exceptional circumstances” such as a health issue with a medical opinion in order for a waiver to be granted.