Age may pose problem for retail advice industry, finds FSA report

A report comissioned by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) designed to estimate the size of the retail investment adviser population has warned that ageing could be a challenge.

The report, carried out by RS Consulting, found that the demographic profile of the industry “poses, potentially, a challenge to the development of the retail advice industry in future years”.

“The industry is particularly mature in years with more than one in three (37%) of all RIAs [retail investment advisers], and a higher percentage in smaller IFA firms, over 50 years old (although this may be somewhat offset by a tendency for some to work beyond normal retirement age),” it found.

“By comparison, 27% of the total UK employed labour force fall into the same group.”

The report found that just 4% of the RIA population “could be described as young, recent entrants”, the majority of whom are employed by larger firms.

The report found that banks and building societies had a “significantly younger profile than the rest as they have a smaller proportion of RIAs with more than 20 years’ experience and a greater proportion with less than two years’ experience”.

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