More than 1700 financial advisers have dropped off the ASIC Financial Adviser Register in less than six months.
As of this month, there are 27,108 active financial advisers in Australia, Rainmaker analysis of latest ASIC FAR data shows. At its height in January 2019, there were 28,863 advisers registered with ASIC.
The figures show about 1755 financial advisers have dropped off the register in the months since.
The significant decline is likely a combination of natural attrition and also multitude of reforms impacting the industry at present such as education standards and changes to advice remuneration.
For context, Rainmaker data shows in the three years to December 2018 about 7000 new advisers registered. The lion share of these went to smaller, boutique, non-aligned, non-institutional licensees.
The data demonstrates the increasingly fragmented nature of Australia's financial advice landscape; smaller groups are the fastest growing while bigger groups contract or exit wealth entirely.
For example, AMP and its associated advice groups shed more than 630 financial advisers in the three years to December 2018. Its flagship licensee, AMP Financial Planning, lost 287 advisers.
At the same time, Westpac and its aligned dealer groups shed about 450 advisers. This, before its announcement to exit personal advice and sell advisers to Viridian Advisory.
Over the same period, the likes of Synchron, Capstone and Akambo and Infocus made gains.
Among the bigger players, ClearView, IOOF, TAL and State Plus also gained ground.
The fastest growing advice group in the three years to December 2018 was the National Tax and Accountants Association, also known as SMSF Advisers Network.
Over the three year period, the licensee went from just 11 advisers to more than 1080. The rapid and significant increase led ASIC to impose licence conditions on the AFSL earlier this year.
At the time, Rainmaker analysis showed many that had joined had done so from Count Financial, CPA Australia Advice and SMSF Advice.
By Jamie Williamson
17 June 2019