Australia's largest financial adviser network shrinks amid scandal

Pedro Gonçalves
clock • 1 min read

The ranks of Australia’s largest financial adviser network continue to deplete as AMP announces another dip in its number of authorised representatives amid scandal and the prospect of criminal charges.

The total number of AMP-aligned financial advisers currently sits at 3,123 across its licensees, down 7.3% from 3,370 in the first half of 2017.

The decline follows a similar trajectory last year, dropping 14% across the year. A statement accompanying the 2017 results described the reduction in adviser numbers as “deliberate”.

In 2012, prior to the introduction of the FOFA reforms, AMP had 4,276 financial advisers, Australian media outlet IFA reported.

AMP may face criminal charges following potential breaches of the ASIC Act and Corporations Act identified by the royal commission.

It emerged that AMP had misled the corporate regulator on multiple occasions about a widespread practice of charging many customers fees for services they were not, and could not be, receiving.

An investor document to the ASX also reveals trouble for the company’s stable of advice licensees, many of whom have been referenced or tarnished by testimony before the royal commission.

A statement from chairman David Murray did not reference the declining adviser force, instead mentioning the financial advice and SMSF businesses as being contributors to “revenue growth”.

AMP’s first-half net profit has plunged 74% from $445 million to A$115 million on massive compensation and legal costs related to its fee-for-no-service scandal.