The vast majority of advisers would back the FSA if it pursued policies that reduced the regulatory burden, according to a poll from Sesame. It says eight out of 10 advisers would back FSA initiatives that led to a lighter touch regulatory regime.
It says 83 per cent of the 104 advisers polled said they either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that advisers would have more support for FSA initiatives, such as Treating Customers Fairly, if higher standards meant we had a lighter touch regulatory regime in the future.
Six per cent said they either disagreed or strongly disagreed and 11 per cent were undecided, according to Sesame.
Head of sesame learning Paul Dawson says: “The FSA often talks about ‘reaping a regulatory dividend’ from adhering to higher professional standards, and one area where the increased focus on qualifications and professionalism may bring a regulatory reward is within the maintaining competence requirements.
“As an industry we have aspired for parity with other professions, such as solicitors and accountants, for many years. Principles-based regulation and the eventual outcome of the FSA’s Retail Distribution Review may present the financial advice profession with the opportunity to take that leap.”
Dawson says achieving chartered status is one of the professional standards that more and more advisers are aspiring to and working towards. He says while it might not be right for every adviser practice, advisers who take that route, and put in the hard work to achieve chartered status, could reap the regulatory benefit.
He says: “However, this will only be successful if the FSA finally accepts that the advice profession has moved on and has reached the required standard. If this happens then a higher entry level into our profession may be the price we have to pay in return for a more relaxed maintaining competence regime, as is already the case for solicitors and accountants.”