The number of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals in the UK has fallen from 915 in 2018 to 897 in 2019 – a drop of 18, according to figures published by the global CFP body the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).

However, there is some good news with the number of Certified Financial Planner professionals around the world up at the end of 2019 by 3.7% compared with a year earlier – to a record 188,104.

CFP Professional status is an alternative to the more widely used Chartered Financial Planner qualification which has about 7,000 holders in the UK.

The FPSB said global numbers were continue to grow with an average growth rate over the past five years of 3.6% per annum.

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) recently relaunched the CFP qualification in an effort to boost numbers and added a new pathway to Level 7 – making it the highest UK Financial Planning qualification.

CISI head of Financial Planning Jacqueline Lockie said: “The CISI launched a new CFP pathway in May 2019 which re-engineered the old CFP and split it out into two parts, namely a level 6 exam and a level 7 case study assessment.

“We have seen a significant amount of interest in the new pathway and have 65 people already booked for next week’s Level 6 exam and we expect that the majority of those people will continue on to the case study and on to become CFP professionals.  More are already booking for the September exam sitting as well.

“FPSB is committed to supporting members of the public in their efforts to identify and work with competent, ethical Financial Planners who put their clients’ interests first.”

“Additionally, there are nearly 200 others who have registered their interest in going through the new CFP pathway – interest is coming from across the wider profession including younger individuals, Financial Planners and wealth managers.”

The FPSB offers CFP certification in 27 territories around the world with the US recording the highest number of CFP professionals in 2019 at 86,378 – up 3,272 on the previous year – followed by Japan with 22,254 and China at 22,048. China is seeing rapid growth and numbers were up 2,000 on 2018.

Noel Maye, CEO of FPSB, said in Financial Planning Today: “Financial Planning Standards Board is pleased to see continued strong interest among financial advisers and Financial Planners in pursuing CFP certification, the global symbol of excellence in Financial Planning.”

“FPSB is committed to supporting members of the public in their efforts to identify and work with competent, ethical Financial Planners who put their clients’ interests first.”