The number of mortgage advice firms fell by nearly 10% last year, according to figures from the Financial Services Authority.
In December 2010, there were 4,364 firms whose primary business was giving mortgage advice but this fell to 3,937 by December 2011.
Mortgage advice firms peaked at 8,509 in December 2007, 53.7% higher than in December last year.
The number of directly authorised mortgage firms fell by 12.4% – from 1,726 in December 2010 to 1,512 in 2011 – while there was an 8% fall in appointed representative firms from 2,628 to 2,425.
Figures for companies that provide financial advice as their main regulated activity declined by 0.4% during the same period – from 13,791 to 13,732.
Since its peak in September 2009, the number of financial advice firms in operation has fallen by 7.4% from 14,837.
In total, there was a rise of 1.1% in DA financial advice firms – from 5,084 in December 2010 to 5,142 last year – while the number of AR firms dropped by 1.3% from 8,707 to 8,590.
Andrew Montlake, director of Coreco Group, says: “The market is tough. Regulatory costs, the Mortgage Market Review and lenders’ lack of lending have all taken their toll.”