Bank licensees bore the brunt of adviser departures in the first quarter of 2021 according to research house Adviser Ratings, continuing the trend of advisers steering away from institutional groups for their licensing needs.

369 advisers left the industry in Q1, representing a 1.78 per cent reduction in the total adviser pool. Thirty-seven new advisers entered ASIC’s adviser registry during the period, bringing the net total to 20,346 advisers at the end of March.

Tellingly, 124 of these advisers were from bank-owned licensees. This cohort represents a 10.4 per cent reduction in bank-owned advisers across the industry.

Furthering another recent trend, accountants providing SMSF advice under limited licenses left the industry at an accelerated pace as well; 5.3 per cent of limited licensees abandoned their registration, Adviser Ratings stated in its Q1 Musical Chairs report.

“A whopping 60 per cent of ceased licensees were limited licensees,” the report commented.

There are positives to grasp in the results; the 37 new advisers that joined the industry in Q1 is the most seen since 2019.

“However, new entries to the industry were once again dwarfed by the number of advisers exiting,” the report countered. “For every adviser who joined the industry in the last quarter (37), there were 10 who left (369).”


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