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Barclays first to say advisers must pass long-term care exam

Firm claims other players are falling behind without CF8 qualification

Barclays Financial Planning is the first firm to require advisers to pass the Chartered Insurance Institute’s CF8 exam in long-term care before they can advise elderly clients.

Long-term care advice has been regulated by the FSA since October 2004 and the exam was brought in because it is perceived as a higher-risk advice area by the regulator.

But advisers have a two-year window from the time they start advising in which to take the exam and can advise elderly clients during this period.

Barclays says currently only 1 per cent of advisers operating in the industry hold this qualification and has given its advisers a deadline of November 1 to pass the qualification.

Commercial director Stephen Ingledew says: “We have taken the steps to enforce this qualification on all our financial planning managers and believe that other players in the industry are falling behind if they proclaim to compet-ently advise their elderly customers in particular without the background and the qualifications to give a full and detailed overview of this complex and sensitive area of financial expertise.”

Symponia managing director Janet Davies says: “It is absolutely brilliant that Barclays are doing this. We have said all our members must have CF8 before they advise elderly clients. It is a bit like passing your driving test and then thinking this qualifies you to drive a bus. The FSA has got to change the rules to make it compulsory for all advisers because it makes a mockery of the exam otherwise.”

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