A new report has found financial services is Australia's largest industry and holds $2.6 trillion in funds under management, highlighting the importance of financial advisers.
According to joint research by the Financial Services Council and UBS Asset Management, in the 12 months to 30 September 2015, the industry added $141 billion to the economy, or $5,881 for every Australian.
The industry exceeded all mining activities by $532 million, manufacturing by more than $40 million and health care and social assistance sectors by more than $35 million, the FSC UBS State of the Industry report says.
Further, it states there are now 23,309 financial advisers in the industry operating through 1,336 AFSLs.
The report places financial corporations at the centre of the industry, showing the vast majority of investment dollars flows through banks, superannuation funds and life companies, rather than directly from households.
"This in turn emphasises the significance of the role of financial advisers who, in helping their clients achieve their financial goals, help their clients select which superannuation funds, life insurance providers and investment managers are best suited to the client or the client's circumstances," the report says.
"The reliance of Australian households on the financial services sector to protect their incomes and retirements, and grow their savings is clearly profound."
UBS head Bryce Doherty said the report also highlights an opportunity for financial services firms to increase exports of services, which form currently only 3.5 per cent of the $2.6 trillion in FUM.
The important role remains for the industry to provide "clarity and simplicity for all Australians' futures", Mr Doherty said.
"Australia has world-class fund managers who understand the need for the industry to continue to develop innovative, flexible and transparent products that help Australians fulfil their current and future financial needs.
"Alarmingly, recent surveys have indicated that over half of non-retired Australians consider it is likely that they will not have enough money for a secure and dignified retirement," he said.
"It is essential that the finance industry works with government to provide clarity and incentives for Australians to ensure the number of future retirees requiring taxpayer support is reduced to a minimum."
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