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&#39International standards are inevitable&#39

The creation of an internationally accepted standard of financial advice is inevitable, claims the organisation leading the charge in the UK.

The Institute of Financial Planning says the movement towards the standard is in its preliminary stages but saysit has the support of prominent groups such as the British Standards Institute.

Chief executive Nick Cann claims once the kitemark is implemented in three to five years, the FSA will recognise it as the standard for financial planning.

The IFP has also announ-ced it is trying to boost its own numbers with ambitious plans to double its 1,000 membership within three years. This is despite the fact it took nearly 12 years to reach the 1,000 mark.

One of the key requirements of members is that they must be willing to charge fees, something many IFAs are adverse to.

Both Cann and outgoing president Tony Sellon say the challenge is to sell the benefits of IFP membership and the best way to do this is to push the concept of the fin-ancial planner as opposed to the adviser.

Cann says: “If there is a future in this business, it has to be in fee-based financial planning.”

Outgoing IFP president and Morestead Financial Services owner Sellon says: “Lots of people describe themselves as financial planners without actually knowing what financial planning is. It is more than the selling of products, it is a holistic way of looking at the provision of financial planning.”

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