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Banks expected to set their own exams to ward off poaching

Raising minimum qualification requirements for the sales advice channel to QCA level four will not provide a good source of recruits to the advice sector, says Money Portal head of distribution strategy Alan Easter.

He told the RDR round table that banks will develop their own QCA level four qualifications covering only their own products to stop IFA firms poaching their salesforces.

Easter said: “If the benchmark is set at QCA level four, Barclays can create its own exam on Barclays’ products and services. It is not going to put its staff through the general qualification because IFAs will nick them. Our recruitment pool has always been banks and tied agents. This will build in a further barrier via regulation. If the minimum qualification for everyone is the CII diploma, consumers will have a fixed point of reference.”

Technology & Technical founder Kim North said this is already happening in banks. She said: “This is not the future. Banks are walking into the ifs School of Finance, telling it what they want in the exam and the exam is ready to go three months later.”

North said the advice market should be driven by competency, not qualifications. She said: “I know advisers who are chartered and certified and cannot give advice because they do not understand products and do not listen to people. Just because you have high qualifications does not mean that you are good at your job.”

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