Data from the FCA’s register has shown that 29,600 investment advisers and 27,631 mortgage advisers are currently registered with the FCA with only 8,895 advisers registered to provide both types of advice.
The analysis was carried out by Autus, a firm which specialises in business-to-business products and services to help financial services firms better identify and target potential customers.
The analysis showed the move towards consolidation in the sector and highlighted that the number of active financial services firms listed on the register has shrunk marginally in the past six months by 1.1 per cent to 80,825 firms.
However, at the same time the number of unique individuals listed on the register grew by 3,000 in the past six months to 227,974.
The report stated: “The number of firms has reduced slightly while the number of individuals has increased in the last six months suggesting a consolidation towards larger firms.
“This period has seen challenges presented by both the stock market performance and the start of a slowdown in the mortgage market, so it is encouraging to see the number of people employed continuing to rise.”
Looking at the financial advice sector specifically, the analysis looked at the top 30 largest firms by number of advisers.
On top was St. James’s Place, but its gain was narrowed by Openwork who increased its adviser numbers by 28 in the past six months, while SJP decreased its adviser headcount by eight.
From July to December 2022, True Potential saw the biggest increase in adviser headcount adding 90 new advisers to its ranks.
Evident in the analysis was the fact that many of the top firms have less advisers now than they did six months ago.
In particular, Quilter experienced a significant reduction but the firm has previously said this is a purposeful strategy in order to focus on more productive advisers.
St. James's Place
The On-Line Partnership
2 Plan Wealth Management
Scottish Widows Schroder Personal Wealth
Fairstone Financial Management
The analysis noted that since the FCA directory began operating in December 2020, Autus has been able to track changes in adviser headcounts over time.
It highlighted that St. James’s Place saw an increase in the second half of 2021 but numbers have fallen slightly since then.
“The impact of the pandemic on their academy will certainly have had a negative effect on bringing new advisers on stream,” the report said.
Furthermore, it noted: “The number of advisers at SJP has dropped slightly over the last six months while the number of registered individuals has increased, suggesting an increase in the number of head office roles.”