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Execs back higher standards

Fifty-five per cent of financial services executives think that higher professional standards for IFAs will attract more graduates and talented new entrants to the sector.

The survey of 136 senior executives across the financial services industry by Pinsent Masons also found that 75 per cent are very supportive of the retail distribution review proposal to create a professional standards board for organisations distributing investment, life and pension products.

Ninety-six per cent say they are in favour of minimum professional qualifications within the financial advisory market and 97 per cent back a system of professional standards and qualifications, including continuing professional development, which mirrors standards in other professions such as law and accountancy.

Fifty-five per cent of respondents believe that these measures will attract more of the most talented new entrants, particularly graduates, into financial advisory careers, but 30 per cent disagree, mainly because they do not think that the industry will offer these entrants sufficient income and that graduates are not suited or experienced enough to advise on and sell financial products.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters is running a free session for university careers advisers on opportunities in the industry at the CASS Business School in Moorgate on May 28.

Employers taking part for the financial sector include Fidelity International, the FSA, ACCA, FactSet, Aviva, Grant Thornton and Swiss Re.

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