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CII looks to toughen up criteria for chartered firms

New guidance proposes making chartered individuals more prominent in advice process.

Firms could be required to employ more chartered individuals in order to qualify as a corporate chartered firm, under proposed guidance published by the Chartered Insurance Institute this week.

The CII has published a consultation paper to determine future standards after announcing in June it was carrying out a review to ensure standards meet customers’ expectations.

In addition to consulting on existing criteria the CII is proposing that chartered individuals must be ‘prominent’ in the advice process.

Firms must demonstrate this through one of the following means: at least half of the firm’s advisers must be chartered individuals; a chartered individual must ’triage’ all new customers; or a chartered individual must sign off all advice before it is issued.

Since announcing the review in June, the CII has conducted research among stakeholders in the insurance and financial planning sectors, consumers and small and medium-sized businesses.

It says the public expect chartered individuals to be prominent in corporate chartered firms, especially in the management and leadership of the business and/or the provision of advice.

The CII says it aims to provide clearer guidance on the standards that underpin a corporate chartered firm, relating to conduct and culture as well as technical competency.

The consultation closes on 31 January 2014.

Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “It is important the criteria is reviewed to ensure it is appropriate and that chartered firms continue to improve their standards.”



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