The number of financial advisers operating in the UK has risen slightly in the first half of the year, according to figures from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
In July 2013 there were 32,690 retail investment advisers working in the UK.
This is within the range predicted by independent researchers commissioned by the FCA's predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, in 2012.
The numbers within each adviser category are broken down into:
Financial advisers - 21,684
Bank and building society advisers - 4,604
Stockbrokers - 2,267
Discretionary investment managers -1,784
Others - 2,221
Waivers - 129
The figure for financial advisers compares with a reduction in advisers to 20,453 as of December 2012, according to the FCA's figures.
The total number of advisers has risen from 31,132 since December 2012, the last time the numbers were officially counted. The FCA believes the increase is attributable to advisers re-entering the market.
The FCA's figures are at odds with those researched by the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA).
Figures published by APFA suggested the total number of financial advice firms - defined as all firms that conduct financial advice as their main regulated activity - registered with the FSA as at 30 September 2012 was 14,189, an increase of 3% since September 2011.
The number of individual advisers - defined as CF30 staff within firms that have an FSA primary category ‘Financial Adviser' - was 23,665.
The FCA said six months after the introduction of the Retial Distibution Review (RDR) 97% of advisers have the appropriate level of qualification, with the final 3% being recent entrants who are still studying within the timescales permitted by the rules.
This stands in contrast to 2010 when less than half of all advisers were qualified to today's standard of QCF Level 4, the FCA said.