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‘Don’t devalue worth of advice’

FSA managing director David Kenmir says IFAs who tell consumers that advice is free are damaging the industry because it makes their role worthless. He wants firms, no matter what route they choose, to be up front with their charging and market the cost of their specialist advice.

Kenmir admits that many small IFAs seem uncertain about which path to take in depolarisation and says some are asking for suggestions from the FSA. The regulator will endeavour to make information available to intermediaries but is not in a position to tell firms which advice model would benefit their business, says Kenmir.

He rejects claims that the FSA is being tough on advisers and says that any implication of from the business plan is just a matter of interpretation.

Kenmir says: “We are in the business of helping people. If that was the interpretation that was taken from it, then that is about individual perception. IFAs have to make its clear that there is value to their advice and market that value. It is harmful to say advice is free.”

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