No new licensees established

The number of advisers has fallen by 29 from 17,173 to 17,144, according to Wealth Data, a similar result to the previous week’s decrease of 24.

Data to 14 April was dominated by a large number of licensees closing, with 14 closing for a loss of 17 advisers. A total of 10 of these licensees belonged in the accounting - limited advice peer group.

Importantly, 10 adviser ‘resignations’ were backdated to December 2021, indicating many small licensees were still coming to terms with complying with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) requirements for updating the Financial Adviser Register (FAR) for their adviser movements.

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Colin Williams, founder of Wealth Data, said: “For the first time in a very long time, no new licensees were established this week.”

Sequoia was the only licensee owner to have net growth of more than one by gaining four advisers with three advisers coming across from Consultum. Meanwhile, 21 licensees had net growth of plus one including Count, AMP Group and Perpetual.

Bannister Consulting (Sira Group) fell a net of six with none of their advisers having been reappointed at this stage. Insignia dropped a net of four and YOC Holdings was down a net of three, falling to zero advisers.

A total of five groups were down by net of two, including Centrepoint and WT Financial Group. This week’s data showed a long tail of 31 licensee owners down one, including 12 licensees that went down from one to zero.

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So 53 less advisers in a fortnight.
I predict this figure will double per fortnight in a reasonably short time frame resulting in less than 12,000 advisers Australia wide by the end of next year or mid 2024.
This figure may well go as low as 10,000 only.
This is a direct result of the relentless discriminatory and targeted assault on Financial Advisers over an extended time frame.
It is essentially a destruction of the fabric of an industry orchestrated and supported by a negligent Govt.

Yet only 800 advisers are left to sit the final exam out of 17,254 on the Register. By the time those degree standards come around most will have stop whinging, got on with it and ticked that box too. There's no crime here. Maybe get over it.

Perhaps. However the story about advisers yet to pass the exam in today's MM indicated adviser numbers dropped from 17,563 at the end of 2021 to 17,173 now, with only 130 of that decline due to removal of advisers not passing the exam and not qualifying for the extension.

This implies 260 advisers left in the last 3 months even though they weren't required to by any FASEA rule.

FASEA is not the only reason for the steady decline in licensed advisers over recent years. It's not even the major reason. As suggested by Experienced, the reason for declining adviser numbers is the relentless discriminatory and targeted assault over an extended time frame.

If the rate of voluntary departures over the last 3 months is maintained that will be a loss of another 4,000 or so by end of 2025.
Subtract another 500 for those who will never pass the exam, and 1,000 for those who will never complete the education requirements, and you're left with about 12,000 then.

What are we meant to get over “ Old Bob” ??
A blatant , orchestrated attack on advisers over approx 8 years that has achieved absolutely nothing and resulted in the destruction of businesses, client relationships, families, self esteem and self confidence, public trust and in some cases, severe mental trauma and suicide ?
We just should “ get over “ that ??

Just because you have passed an exam doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on whether you intend to continue within the next 2-3 years at all.
I suggest that a large number of advisers who have passed the exam only did so to buy them some time to organise their affairs and commence proceedings to sell their business and exit the industry over an extended time frame rather than a rushed processs.
The numbers are going to fall rapidly over the next 2 years.

I have just read an article regarding the FSC and it’s newly appointed CEO Blake Briggs stating they NOW support the retention of risk insurance commissions ( at the current rate) and that he states the changes that have occurred in the delivery of financial advice in relation to the increase in quality and the
REDUCTION IN THE COST OF ADVICE!!!! ….has been a great outcome.
I don’t believe I have ever read such ridiculous statements in all my life.
This is simply wrong.
The FSC were complicit in the terrible negotiations regarding the LIF “ reforms”.
They had a conveniently close relationship and communication with Trowbridge and there were calls they deliberate went outside the Terms of Reference of the LIF working party to push for the abolition of risk commissions.
I have copies of FSC documents and media releases signed off by the FSC’s Andrew Bragg ( now Liberal Senator Bragg) clearly stating that insurance commissions were the root of poor quality advice and clearly stating the FSC’s preferred model was the elimination of insurance commissions in the longer term and even then advocating very very strongly that the initial commission payment should not exceed subsequent or renewal commission levels.
The FSC pushed and pushed for a massive reduction in commissions to a level only model or ideally none at all.
The FSC has been a divisive, destructive force which, in combination with Sally Loane’s close relationship with Kelly O’Dwyer sought to undermine financial adviser’s livelihood to appease their Life Insurance company members
Now, the irony of Blake Brigg’s statements are sickening at best and either completely delusional or uneducated as to the current state of the significantly increased cost of the provision of all advice including risk and investment advice.
What the FSC should be advocating is the winding back of the disastrous LIF outcome and recommend a return to an absolute min commission model of the previous Hybrid level of 80/20 and a one year responsibility period.
But no, the FSC reckon that everything is ok and the changes that were implemented are working well!!!!!
So Blake…..tell me why risk new business inflows are dying, policy holders are cancelling policies at a massive rate, there are massive exits of risk specialist advisers and advisers are having to charge advice fees in addition to the commission payment to simply cover their cost of providing advice, let alone make a profit.
The comments from the FSC are misinformed, misguided and negligent in relation to the real world.
Pathetic at best.

Don't worry, Michelle Levy will fix it by allowing the life insurance companies and super funds to flog their products directly to consumers, bypassing advisers. Problem solved. What could go wrong?

Too late Blake. Between commission reductions and clawbacks, regulatory persecution, massive premium hikes for existing clients, and withdrawal of decent quality IP products for new clients, professional insurance advice is dead.

Good luck trying to get consumers properly insured via advertising and call centres.

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