Data reveal 145 adviser firms lost in first RDR year

The number of authorised firms in the advisory sector has dropped by 33 in the past two months taking the net decline over the first full year since the Retail Distribution Review to just less than 150 firms, data from Matrix Solutions has revealed.

The data analysis firm released figures that showed the total number of advisory firms had fallen by 145 to 23,778 since December 2012.

The statistics also revealed that 5,250 registered individuals had quit the industry since the implementation of RDR. There were 128,164 registered individuals. The number of CF30s also decreased by 5,253 to 103,358 in the past 13 months.

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Ian Beaumont, chief operating officer for Matrix Solutions, said the sharp drop of adviser numbers since RDR had “slowly started to turn around”.

He added: “Moving into 2014, it will be interesting to see whether the number of authorised firms continues to fluctuate or starts to level off.”

Tony Catt, compliance officer at East Sussex-based Anthony Catt, said: “The reason for the immediate drop off at the beginning of 2013 was advisers’ failure to meet new qualifications, but many slowly regained authorisation throughout the year.

“It will be interesting to see which school of thought will prevail most this year - whether to join a network, go on your own or get compliance support through the likes of True Potential. The last option strikes me as the most sensible, as it also allows advisers to retain their independence, a status which gives them great pride.”