Adviser numbers increase despite new regulations

 
Michael Bow
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THE CITY regulator yesterday revealed an increase in the number of financial advisers re-entering the advisory market, knocking back suggestions adviser numbers would contract following the introduction of tougher rules.

The Financial Conduct Authority said there were 32,690 retail investment advisers working in the UK at the end of July, up from 31,132 at the turn of the year.

New regulations in the form of the Retail Distribution Review now force customers to pay advisers for advice, which was previously paid via commission.

Despite predictions that the number of advisers would fall yesterday’s figures suggest the opposite. “(The) figures show that those looking for financial advice still have plenty of options open to them,” FCA director of supervision Clive Adamson said.

“What’s more, by establishing standards across the industry we are helping to build confidence by reassuring consumers and raising the profile of the adviser profession.”

The FCA also said that six months after the introduction of the new rules, 97 per cent of advisers had the appropriate level of qualification with the rest still studying for it.