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Charter marks a major milestone

The IFA sector has been placed on a par with accountants and lawyers with chartered status granted by the Privy Council, says the Chartered Insurance Institute.

The CII is hailing the news that it can now award the title of Chartered Financial Planner as possibly the industry’s most significant milestone ever. It says the new qualification will act not only as a target for individual advisers but should also be seen as a coup for the industry as it is now on an equal footing with other chartered professions.

Non-chartered advisers will also benefit from the halo effect of the qualification, says the CII.

But rival body the Institute of Financial Planning says the requirements to entry – which demand at least three years study – are too high for most IFAs. The CII anticipates that around 1,000 advisers will qualify in the first year.

CII deputy director general Bob Bullivant says: “This qualification is wider than just a professional exam. This is offering financial services the equi- valent of an internationally recognised kitemark, confirming professional standards.”

IFP chief executive Nick Cann says: “This might be a bridge too far for some IFAs although we will endeavour to work with this. Those with too much knowledge often have no link with their clients.”

Grant Thornton private client services financial planning national director Ann Bristow says: “The IFP’s certificate and the chartered qualification are two entirely different things and could bring public confusion, so the titles probably need sorting out.”

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