The FY22 financial year has seen 2,671 advisers leave the industry according to figures from Wealth Data.

At the start of the financial year there were 18,948 advisers on the ASIC Financial Adviser Register, which decreased to 16,277 by 30 June.

Wealth Data director Colin Williams said there were 126 who disappeared last week and most returned to new self-licenced AFSLs. The current number of advisers on the FAR is 16,406.

“A lot was driving it last year,” Williams says. “A lot were calling it quits because of the FASEA exam. They didn’t want to do the exam, so they just bailed.”

The end of FY21 saw a loss of 549 advisers. Much of the loss was attributed to the announcement of the ASIC levy being raised and advisers not wanting to pay the full annual fee if they were planning to leave in six months after the FASEA exam deadline.

The estimated FY22 ASIC levy was meant to be $3,138 per adviser plus a flat fee of $1,500 but was reduced to $1,142 with the $1,500 flat fee after Treasury intervened in August.

“We’ve got to be conscious of the fact there’s less advisers now,” Williams says. “With less advisers there’s going to be less movement. It definitely was far more volatile around the financial year and the end of December was volatile as well.”

A year of losses

The industry dropped below 18,000 advisers in January following the exam deadline exodus and fell below 17,000 in May.

At the start of the year the numbers dropped to 17,670 as the industry saw 847 adviser departures during December and the first half of January.

The end of January saw another 300-plus leave which was the deadline for advisers who didn’t complete the exam to come off the FAR.

“We didn’t really see the full effects of 31 December until the last few months because all these small licensees closing that were backdated to then as well,” Williams says.

The industry is still expected to see a sizable loss of advisers in October following the adviser exam extension.

Williams previously said almost 1,000 advisers on the FAR had yet to pass the exam and there is only sitting left before the deadline.