It’s been five months since the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry ended its hearings into financial advice. Although nobody is sure exactly how the hearings will shake up the advice industry, it’s a safe bet that significant change is coming.

The Royal Commission’s recommendations will come on top of education and professional standards reforms the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) is introducing over the next few years, and together these factors will shape the future of the advice industry for decades to come.

At CoreData, we’ve analysed ASIC’s financial adviser register to see what change, if any has already reared its head in the movements of registered advisers. Although the Royal Commission is written about as the key catalyst for change, the data shows that industry trends were set long before tythe inquiry was even considered.

Is the industry growing?

2018 has been a momentous year in many respects: the North Korean leader and US president attend a summit together for the first time; and we marked a century since the end of WWI. Although not quite as momentous an event, a downwards trend in the number of advisers in the industry was confirmed.

Until the second half of 2015 the net change in the number of registered financial advisers remained fairly consistent. From then on however, the net change in advisers has varied considerably and there’s been a net loss in advisers for each six-month period in the past 18 months. This is a remarkable shift, suggesting that the number of advisers working in the industry is in decline, at least for the short to medium term.