However, in the UK the number of CFP professionals fell from 915 in 2018 to 897 in 2019 - a drop of 18, figures published today by the global CFP body, the Financial Planning Standards Board, show.
UK CFP numbers have declined steadily in recent years from a peak of just over 1,000. Numbers have dropped by 38 in the past two years.
Last year the UK slipped from 17th place globally in terms of CFP numbers to 18th out of 27 territories.
The FPSB said global numbers were continuing to grow with an average growth rate over the past five years of 3.6% per annum.
In the UK CFP Professional designation is run by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment which took over management of the designation when it merged with the Institute of Financial Planning in 2015.
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 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.
"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.
Australia has 5,523 Certified Financial Planners and Hong Kong 4,377.
Noel Maye, CEO of FPSB, said: ”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.”
The top seven bodies with strongest CFP professional growth in 2019 were:
- Planejar, FPSB’s affiliate organisation in Brazil, saw double-digit growth (17%) for a year-end total of 4,674 CFP professionals.
- Japan Association for Financial Planners, offering CFP certification for 28 years, had net growth of 623 for a year-end total of 22,254 CFP professionals.
- FPSB’s CFP certification programme in India increased the number of CFP professionals in India by 26%, adding 402 new CFP professionals for a year-end total of 1,915.
- Financial Planning Association of Taiwan, experienced the third highest rate of growth (19%) through 296 net new CFP professionals, resulting in a total of 1,836 by year-end.
- FPSB Indonesia, ended the year with 1,932 CFP professionals, a net gain of 203.
• Story updated 1.10 pm / 26.02.20 to include CISI comment.