Number of Reps, Brokerages Declined in 2021, Finra Finds

Number of Reps, Brokerages Declined in 2021, Finra Finds

Posted on May 3rd, 2022

The number of broker-dealers and dually registered brokerage firms has declined since 2012, while firms' aggregate revenues and the number of registered investment advisor firms have steadily increased, according to the new 2022 Finra Industry Snapshot.

The report also said aggregate broker-dealer revenue accelerated in 2021 to $398,564, up from $362,953 in 2020.


The number of broker-dealer only firms fell from 3,545 in 2021 to 2,914 in 2021, while dual registered broker-dealer and investment advisor firms declined from 744 to 490 in the same period, Finra found.

As a result of pricing pressures, regulatory costs and competition from a variety of sources sparking a consolidation of the broker-dealer industry, the total number of Finra-registered firms declined from 4,284 to 3,394 between 2012 and 2021.

At the same time, however, the number of investment advisor firms registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or states experienced significant increases, growing from 31,420 firms in 2012 to 35,063 in 2021.

As for the number of Finra-registered professionals providing financial services to investors, the number of registered representatives overall declined from 669,794 in 2012 to 612,457 in 2021, Finra reported in the study.

During the same time period, dual registered representatives inched up to 307,590 and investment advisors hit 77,468 in 2021.

This year’s edition of the snapshot added new data about special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), customer margin debt and other areas.

“The securities industry is highly dynamic, and as it evolves, we continue to add new data sets to the FINRA Industry Snapshot to provide visibility into those changes,” Finra Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Jonathan Sokobin said in a statement.

On the customer margin front, the debt balances investors use to make securities trades continued to climb in 2021, with balances soaring above the $900 billion mark, up from approximately $580 billion in 2020, Finra found.

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