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Comment of the week: Time for the FCA to treat us like professionals

Response to last week’s column from Martin Wheatley: One year of the FCA

Martin, thank you. It’s obvious you have very good intentions for the future of our sector.

However, I question the continued “industry” label when referring to the advisory profession. I doubt it’s missed your attention that advisers now have statements of professional standing (at least those who advise do) to demonstrate they have put in the hard yards to achieve the required standards and qualifications.

Therefore, my challenge to you is to start treating advisers, particularly independent advisers, as professionals rather than product distributors, which by definition implies product salesmen. It’s about time that the regulator supported by Government considered moving the regulation of the independent advisory sector to the professional bodies and the FCA concentrated on the product distributors, that is, tied adviser (aka restricted advisers), insurance, banking and investment product manufacturers.

It would be good for not only the independent advisory sector itself but for the customers we serve to finally be treated as a profession and, therefore, act like one.

Malcolm Coury

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