§ Mrs. Iris Robinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people are registered in Northern Ireland to provide independent financial advice; how many companies provide independent financial advice in Northern Ireland; how many people are employed in the independent financial advice sector in Northern Ireland; how many companies provide financial advice in Northern Ireland; and how many employees work in the financial advice sector in Northern Ireland. 
§ Ruth Kelly
I have been asked to reply.
The Financial Services Authority (the FSA) tell me there are approximately 100 firms of independent financial advisers based in Northern Ireland, plus 29 authorised professional firms (lawyers or accountants which are directly regulated by the FSA).
There are also a number of professional firms who may give financial advice who are regulated by the designated professional bodies, such as the Law Society of Northern Ireland, rather than by the FSA.
In addition, many firms based elsewhere in the United Kingdom provide financial advice, whether or not independent, in Northern Ireland. The FSA do not have detailed employment data of the type sought.