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&#39Moaners prevent move toward professionalism&#39

IFAs should make a stand against the Victor Meldrews of the industry and follow the example set by the Americans and Australians to establish a new professional model, says Institute of Financial Planning president Simon Williamson.

Speaking at the annual IFP conference in Telford last week, Williamson criticised IFAs he referred to as moaners who want to be part of a new profession but refuse to take further qualifications.

Pointing to advances made in Australia, where over the past decade the relevant representative bodies have co-operated to develop an increasingly professional industry which now attracts school and university leavers and the respect of the public, Williamson said the UK needs to pay heed.

He said: “We must be prepared to make a stand against the old school. For too long we have been putting up with the Victor Meldrews in the financial planning industry. If the moaners want to make things better, they should get off their bottoms to change things. I am surprised how many want to be part of a new profession but refuse to do a tap about qualifications.

“The Aussies are questioning why it is taking us so long in this country to get organised. We are in regular contact with the other bodies in the industry and I have great respect for the other presidents but I believe that they have a problem – baggage.”

Charlwood Leigh director Grant Hughes says: “Why would anyone want to bother getting qualifications which can be up to degree standard when we only get 1 per cent commission? That is not enough to keep us alive. I am all for getting qualifications but they have to let us earn as much as professionals like accountants.”

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