The last week of the financial year saw 549 advisers exit the industry, with losses dominated by accounting-based advisers as many believed paying additional fees outweighed the benefits of providing personal financial advice, according to Wealth Data.
The firm’s director, Colin Williams, said additional fees levied by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) was one of the key reasons accounting groups called ‘time on their foray into advice’ along with the need to pass the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam.
Williams also said that the data released overnight on 30 June, 2021, was unlikely to have captured all the movement as licensees had up to 30 days to report changes in their adviser numbers.
“Given lockdowns and the need for licensees to work through the changes in what has been a busy week, we may see additional losses in next week's reporting as licensees catch up,” Williams said.
Following that, AMP Financial Planning regained its top spot as the single largest biggest financial group in Australia, a status the group once lost at the start of the year to SMSF Adviser Network (SAN), owned by National Tax and Accountants Association (NTAA).
This week SAN led the losses in adviser numbers recording a departure of 91 roles, and was followed by IOOF (-45), Easton Group (-32), AMP (-30) and Synchron (-27).
At the same time, IOOF managed to remain the largest license owner with 1,437 advisers ahead of AMP Group which stood at 1,367, and NTAA with 669 adviser roles.
Looking at the financial year as a whole, the size of the industry dropped by almost 11% with a loss of 2,364 roles.
As far as peer groups were concerned, the investment advice group sector with advisory firms focusing on portfolio advice held up the best with a 2.2% drop in adviser roles, while the financial planning sector which includes firms with a focus on holistic advice was down by almost 10%.
At the same time, accounting-limited advice groups that mainly had a focus on limited self-managed super funds (SMSF) advice posted the highest fall in adviser roles at 23%.
This week also saw 24 licensees owners post growth with a total increase of 32 roles, 19 licensees closed which led to a total loss of 51 advisers, and two new licensees commenced out of IOOF-owned Lonsdale with a total of six advisers.