In financial services we trust
The progressive are now looking beyond the retail distribution review and towards shaping the future of financial planning. There is evidence of progress as more buy into the need for higher standards, an improved client experience and a desire to engage more widely with consumers.
Shane Mullins is managing director of accredited financial planning firm Fiscal Engineers. Having invested time and money into research on the subject, he approached the IFP among others to discuss the launch of a Question of Trust campaign.
The campaign aims to restore trust to the centre of all business conduct in the financial services sector. It will highlight to consumers that their security and peace of mind is the key objective rather than pushing products or generating commission.
Chief executives of financial services organisations will be contacted so the issues can be explained and suggestions made as to some of the things they need to think about to help improve client relationships.
The campaign is officially supported by the IFP, Transact, Credit Action and Nottingham University. The intention is to grow this campaign as more become aware of it and are able to offer tangible support.
One of the goals will be to establish an index so that appropriate measures can underpin the relationships that organisations have with their clients.
Client feedback and engagement will lead to a more formal assessment of the ongoing progress that the profession and its constituent parts are making.
At a time when there is increased Government focus on our sector, this provides us with a platform to engage more effectively with key stakeholders.
The legal world has the Chambers UK Legal 500 and it is a key goal of the accredited financial planning firms register to establish a directory of quality businesses that present themselves in a similar way.
All advisory firms need to put their heads above the parapet this year. Apart from meeting ongoing regulatory requirements, decisions have to be taken about which accredited body to align with for the individual statements of professional standing.
It will be important to consider what else that organisation can do to help fulfil ongoing professional requirements and create and develop a community in which the individual and business can flourish.
This next step is not just about qualifications, it is an opportunity to create a profession of which we can all be proud - one that can change lives and drive positive consumer outcomes at a time when so many other areas of society and commerce are struggling.
Shane Mullins will be speaking at the IFP conference on February 23.
Nick Cann is chief executive of the Institute of Financial Planning