Your IndustryNov 19 2015

FCA admits potential flaws in adviser number data

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FCA admits potential flaws in adviser number data

The number of retail financial investment advisers is now 22,557 operating in the UK, according to data released by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Additionally, the FCA said the number of retail financial investment advisers at banks and building societies stood at 3,672, with those at discretionary investment managers standing at 1,944.

The regulator’s data shows there are 5,307 retail financial investment advice firms.

The number of financial adviser firms is 4504, while the number of banks and building societies able to offer retail financial investment advice is 43 and the amount of discretionary managers offering this service is 198.

The FCA caveated the data by saying that the figures are based on returns submitted to them by firms and are dependent on firms updating the information.

An FCA spokesman said: “We are planning to consult on bringing this data request within the RMAR, which we believe will lessen the potential for any weaknesses in the data.”

In the call for input into the Financial Advice Market Review, which was published last month, the FCA stated in 2007, two-thirds of retail investment products were sold with professional advice.

However, in recent years the FCA reported it had seen a decline in the number of financial advisers offering professional advice - from around 26,000 in 2011 to 24,000 in 2014.

Richard Freeman, chief executive of Intrinsic, part of Old Mutual Wealth, said the latest FCA statistics means there is one adviser for about every 2,300 UK adults.

He said: “In comparison, there are around 150,000 legal professionals and 330,000 members of accountancy bodies.

“We hope to further contribute to the increasing numbers and we are close to completing the acquisition of the Financial Adviser School, the UK’s leading facility dedicated to training the next generation of professional advisers.”