Financial adviser numbers in Australia fell below 20,000 for the first financial year since 2015, according to Rainmaker Information's latest Financial Adviser Report.
At the end of last financial year, there were 19,382 financial advisers operating in Australia. Since 2018, almost 9,000 advisers have left the industry, a 30 per cent decline, Rainmaker Information (publisher of this website) found.
During the last financial year the number of Australian Financial Services Licensees (AFSLs) fell 10 per cent to 1,907. Advisers that are part of a bank-owned licensee fell 39.6 per cent in the same period.
The larger AFSLs are seeing the biggest reduction in their numbers with advisers working for AFSLs with just one or two advisers actually growing by 0.6 per cent over the last financial year. Financial advisers at AFSLs with more than 500 advisers saw a 60.2 per cent drop in numbers during the same time frame.
"This adviser exodus has been associated with the massive disruption now befalling the financial advice sector," executive director of research and compliance at Rainmaker Information, Alex Dunnin said.
"The regulatory disruption that Australia's financial advice sector is facing is due in large part to the huge push by government, regulators and other stakeholders to improve the quality of financial advice."
"We are yet to see the evidence, however, of how all these regulatory changes have improved the outcomes for those who seek financial advice," Dunnin said.