The number of registered financial advisers in Australia decreased 16% through the 12 months to June 2020 to reach 22,334, according to Rainmaker Information's Financial Adviser Report.
During the June quarter, 556 financial advisers registered with new licensees while 1,460 ceased registrations. This brings the total number of advisers joining new licensees for the 12 months to 3,997.
Further analysis of these results indicates that nearly 7,500 advisers ceased registrations with a licensee in the same time period. This number is down 14% from the previous 12-month period of June 2019.
"These movements continue to follow the trend that the financial advice industry has experienced since the release of recommendations from the Royal Commission," said Alex Dunnin, executive director of research at Rainmaker Information.
"This was followed by tighter education requirements and exams mandated by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority, while COVID-19 has no doubt impacted the industry as well."
"This is the seventh consecutive quarter of decreasing financial adviser numbers, bringing the size of the industry back to June 2016 numbers."
"Financial advisers aligned to banks continue to exit the industry in greater numbers, falling 25% in the 12 months to June."
Institutional or bank-aligned licensees account for 52% of advisers, down from 58% a year ago.
Non-institutionally owned licensees now hold 48% of advisers, up from 42% through the same period.
The five licensees with the largest number of new advisers are State Super Financial Services, Fortnum Private Wealth, Synchron, Lifespan Financial Planning and Interprac Financial Planning.