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‘Add me to the statistics’: Advisers planning to exit industry in 2026

A number of financial advisers have revealed they are planning to exit the industry in four years’ time due to a current requirement for the sector.

As The Advisers Association chief executive Neil Macdonald wrote in an opinion column for ifa, existing advisers with no degree must have an approved degree or another qualification by 1 January 2026.

Mr Macdonald wrote that unless the requirement is addressed, the industry will see a “mass exodus of financial advisers that will make the current stream of exits look like a trickle in percentage terms”.

The article has received overwhelming feedback, with a number of comments coming from advisers who said they are indeed planning to exit by January 2026 due to the requirement.

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“As it stands, I’ll be amongst the cohort reaching for the exit door handle on New Year’s Eve, 2025 even though I have no wish to, and my clients would all prefer I wasn’t,” Wayne Leggett commented.

Malcolm Bell commented: “How well said is that – I am one such adviser who will not want to leave the industry good health permitting but will have to start planning my exit in the next two years – some reassurance that this will not be necessary would be a welcome message from the regulators that the [clients’] interest is being considered and acknowledgement given to those who have created the very valuable advise industry we have today.”

Another commenter claimed to be 60 years old and a certified financial planner for 20 years and despite meeting the requirements, still needs to complete six more subjects “to be worthy to remain in the business”.

“That’s not happening as I value my personal time and the time needed to look after my existing clients too much,” the comment read.

“Add me to the statistics of those reluctantly leaving on 31st December 2025.”

While the majority of feedback was in support of Mr Macdonald’s viewpoints, there were some who disagreed.

One commenter, JJ, wrote: “No [I] don’t agree. Our industry was and is plagued with problems and raising the minimum education standard to that of any other normal profession is the obvious choice. Stop hanging onto the past we must improve this industry to stay relevant.”

Another wrote: “There is a very big difference between someone who doesn’t have a relevant degree and someone who can’t be bothered obtaining one.”

Mr Macdonald’s column came after it was revealed in September that the total number of advisers in Australia has dropped below 19,000.

In October, ASIC said that transition plans for FASEA to be wound up and responsibilities passed to the regulator in support of the recently passed Better Advice Bill will be announced imminently.

‘Add me to the statistics’: Advisers planning to exit industry in 2026
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Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths

Neil is the Deputy Editor of the wealth titles, including ifa and InvestorDaily.

Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.

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