The statistics were highlighted at the body’s annual general meeting in London.
• Membership increased for the seventh consecutive year from 37,732 at the end of 2017 to 38,635 individuals at the end of the 2018 and more than 23,800 Statements of Professional Standing certificates were issued.
• Turnover increased by £357,000 to £9.19m as a result of membership revenue increasing.
• New initiatives were also launched with the introduction of the third pro-bono programme and Discover Fortunes which aims to provide every school in the UK with a Financial Education Ambassador using gamification to engage 15-16-year olds in the basics of Financial Planning.
The PFS says that “given some of the challenges stemming from pension freedoms” the PFS also set up a Pension Advice Taskforce made up of a pan-profession committee including the Money Advice Service, Pension Wise, TPAS and professional indemnity insurers, with both the FCA and TPR as observers.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “I am delighted with the continuing evolution of both the profession and the PFS during 2018 and the growth in membership, and attendees at our professional development events is testament to a more vibrant and confident professional sector.
“While, as a nation, we continue to face a backdrop of uncertain economic issues including Brexit, renewed economic slowdown, market volatility, government reforms and political chaos, the value and need for financial planning is becoming all the more acknowledged.
“Demand for professional advice has never been more evident, especially against the background of pension freedoms, increased national longevity and a prolonged period of low interest rates for investors.
“The uptake of our Pension Transfer Gold Standard for consumers, aligned to an advice ‘good practice’ code has seen more than 1,200 firms sign-up following this first cross-sector collaboration which included financial advisers, PI insurers, consumer bodies, pension providers and scheme trustees, working together with a common objective to deliver better consumer outcomes and ultimately address some of the concerns highlighted by the British Steel review and a small minority who risk impacting the reputation of the majority.
“Membership of the PFS, and Chartered status in particular, remains a clear indicator of professionalism and commitment to enhancing the visibility and value of a trustworthy profession that can evidence and deliver the best financial planning solutions for their clients.”
He added: “The PFS will continue to evolve its own role and purpose as a modern relevant and inclusive professional body for the benefit of members and the wider public we serve.
“Engagement with regulator’s, Government and PI insurers will remain a core focus of our role on issues affecting members and their clients.”