ASIC chair James Shipton insists the regulator is concerned by the number of financial advisers leaving the industry and how COVID-19 could amplify the issue, as it is revealed almost 1000 left since the pandemic hit.
The ASIC Financial Adviser Register has dropped by 1488 advisers since the start of this year, according to Rainmaker analysis.
Since COVID-19 hit, in less than three months from 27 February 2020 to 21 May 2020, the number of registered advisers dropped by 916.
These numbers only show the drop in the total number of advisers registered. There have been new entrants during the same period, so the true number of advisers to leave in the industry is likely even higher.
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"This is a question that was confronting us before the pandemic and is being effected by the pandemic itself," Shipton said.
"It's always been our desire to have a healthy, functioning and effective financial advice industry in this country."
He said that ASIC wants to work with the advice industry to achieve positive outcomes for consumers.
"We want to work with industry, we want to work with policy makers, we want to work with the government to make sure that is the ultimate result," Shipton said.
"But we also need to ensure it is of the highest quality and highest standard - that is absolutely crucial.
He said the regulator wants to see the financial advice industry pull through COVID-19.
"We've adapted and responded to the immediate challenges by providing some relief to financial advisers so Australians can get access for some of the critical questions that are now before them," Shipton said.
"I think as we work through and endure, the industry, policy makers and regulators need to work together to see how we can shape the financial advice sector to future proof it so it can be beneficial to Australians and the broader economy.
Read our full COVID-19 news coverage and analysis here.