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UK financial adviser numbers stabilise

The number of British financial advisers has stabilised after plummeting in recent years, according to new figures released by the Association of Professional Financial Advisers.

Between 2009 and 2013, the number of practising advisers in the UK fell dramatically from 27,080 to 22,168 amid significant regulatory change and political scrutiny.

However, in the 12 months to December 2014, the number of advisers grew by 6 per cent to 23,640, and there was also a “small rise” in the number of firms, despite substantial M&A activity.

"Two years after the Retail Distribution Review [RDR] was implemented, the year to 2014 saw an increase in the number of advisers but it is still lower than before RDR,” said AFPA director general Chris Hannant.

“The number of firms in the market has remained stable despite the number of mergers and acquisitions. Turnover increased by 13 per cent and profits before tax rose by 5.3 per cent.”

The report also found that the “proportion of product sales on a non-advised basis” is on the rise, up from 50 per cent to 67 per cent.